28 July 2016
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    28/07/2016 - WORLD YOUTH DAY

    Francis takes part in WYD welcoming ceremony. The Church “wants to learn from you, to be reassured that the Father’s Mercy has an ever-youthful face.”




    28/07/2016 - SYRIA

    Syrian army close to retaking Aleppo, cuts jihadists’ road to Turkey


    Syrian soldiers today took the Bani Zaid neighborhood. Militants are on the run. Assad offers amnesty to those who lay down their weapons and hand themselves in to the army. The government promises fast reconstruction of hospitals and schools. Russia offers four humanitarian corridors for civilians and fighters who hand in their weapons.


    28/07/2016 - FRANCE-ISLAM

    Second terrorist who murdered Fr. Jacques Hamel identified: a 19 year old youth


    The young man had tried to go to Syria to fight with the Islamic State. In a video, Abdel Malik Nabil Petitjean and Adel Kermiche, the two terrorists, swear allegiance to the "Caliph" Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Religious representatives in France: No to religious war. Muslim thinkers: To defeat Isis, guarantee religious freedom for non-Muslim communities in Islamic countries. Others ask for the revision of alliances with Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Turkey, supporters of the Wahabi jihadism and indirect supporters of the Islamic State.


    28/07/2016 - POLAND - VATICAN

    Pope: "God saves us in littleness, being close hand, with a simple and open heart "


    Francis celebrates 1050th anniversary Baptism" of Poland" at Jasna Gora. Being attracted by power, greatness and visibility is tragically human, and it is a great temptation that tries to penetrate anywhere; giving to others, eliminating distances, abiding in the smallness and concrete situations of everyday life, this is purely divine".


    27/07/2016 - POLAND – VATICAN

    Pope says "the world is at war”, a “war for real” but “not a war of religions”


    On the plane taking him to Krakow for the 31st World Youth Day, Pope Francis spoke about the murder of Father Jacques Hamel, the priest killed in Saint Etienne du Rouvray. The issue of migration “requires a supplement of wisdom and mercy to overcome fears and achieve the greatest good.” At the same time, “we must encourage international collaborations and synergies in order to find solutions to conflicts and wars”.


    27/07/2016 - EGYPT-ISLAM-FRANCE

    The Grand Imam of Al Azhar condemns the killing of Fr. Jacques Hamel in France

    by Pierre Balanian

    Ahmad Al Tayyeb offers condolences to the French president, the archbishop of Rouen, the victims' families and to the whole of France. The assailants "devoid of any sense of humanity." In Islam "there is the order to respect the sacred places of worship and the sanctity of non-Muslims”. Counter terrorism means also fighting “extremist thought” in Islam.


    26/07/2016 - POLAND - CHINA - WYD

    Beijing's tricks and violence to stop Chinese youth from reaching WYD

    by Vincenzo Faccioli Pintozzi

    The government yesterday blocked a group of 50 young pilgrims who had already boarded a plane bound for Krakow. Interrogated for hours by immigration, they were "admonished" and sent home with orders not to contact anyone abroad. Meanwhile, "young Chinese Catholics" hang around central World Youth Day locations in groups of five or six, with the task of spying on fellow countrymen. They work for cultural institutes or Chinese companies in Poland.


    26/07/2016 - POLAND – CHINA – WYD

    "Our dream is to bring World Youth Day to China, despite government obstacles”


    The big Chinese delegation in Krakow for 31st World Youth Days has not lost hope. “The government has done so much to discourage us, but they cannot win all the time.” One day the Pope “will celebrate young people in China." Participants express the joy and the wonder of being in Poland. “Religious aspect of this trip aside, the trip is a source of wonder. At home, it is like living in a kind of cultural prison”; what impresses here “the most so far is meeting the world.”


    26/07/2016 - ISLAM - EUROPE

    Fr Samir: Islamic terror in France and Germany a crisis of integration, but above all of politics

    by Samir Khalil Samir

    The kidnapping and murder of a priest near Rouen (France) and the various attacks in Würzburg, Munich, Ansbach (Germany) were carried out by young people, who were indoctrinated with ease. Germany was a model for the integration of refugees. But radical Islam cannot be assimilated. It is supported by Saudi Arabia and Qatar. There is no other road other than integration. But we must tell the truth: the Koran contains elements of war and violence. Western politicians suffer from ignorance and a loss of all moral sentiment.


    24/07/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: Appeals and prayer for Munich and Kabul massacres. The prayer of Our Father


    At the Angelus, Pope Francis makes the pilgrims pray for the victims of terrorist attacks in Germany and Afghanistan, against the "dark security and peace prospects." "The word 'Father' is the 'secret' of the prayer of Jesus, is the key that He gives to us so we too can enter into that confidential relationship of dialogue with the Father who accompanied and supported all his life”. The Pope’s upcoming trip for World Youth Day in Krakow, from 27 July.


    23/07/2016 - POLAND - VATICAN - WYD

    Krakow, young people from all over the world and high alert for WYD


    A few days before the opening of the 13th World Youth Day security levels have been raised at Wawel, in the Market Square and the rest of the historic center. But the "peaceful" invasion of the young people is filling the  streets with colour. The first vocational stands and “street confessionals” are appearing, ready for the events led by the pontiff. A Taiwanese delegation travels 42 hours to reach the cultural capital of Poland: "exhausting but beautiful".


    22/07/2016 - ASIA – WYD

    Card Gracias: young Asians bring Asian values to World Youth Day in Krakow

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    "Our Asian pilgrims not only bring the grandeur, the vitality and beauty of Asia, but also the multi-cultural diversity, pluralism as well as Asian values of hospitality and family and, of course, the Church of the young.” Asia youth come to discover Krakow and the charisma of John Paul II, founder of the WYD.


    22/07/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: the Church and the world are still in need of contemplative religious


    Apostolic Constitution "Dei Vultum quaerere – Seeking the Face of God" indicates 12 "themes of reflection and discernment" on women’s contemplative life in general. Yes to social media, but not  as a means of "wasting time or escaping from the demands of fraternal life in community". No to "recruiting" sisters to avoid closing monasteries. Prayer “must enlarge your heart to embrace all humanity, especially those who suffer” and not close monastic life in on itself.


    21/07/2016 - SYRIA

    Horror in Aleppo: "moderate" rebel group beheads Palestinian child


    The Nour al-Din al-Zenki movement beheads 11-year old Abdallah Issa shouting "Allah Akbar". The child was executed for collaborating with government forces. Before he died he was tortured. The group’s leaders try to back away from the barbaric killing. The group is supported by Turkey, the US, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.


    20/07/2016 - VATICAN - POLAND

    Pope: Estimated 2 million waiting in Krakow for WYD


    Francis will arrive by tram, along with a group of disabled people. He will visit Auschwitz, in silence, and Father Kolbe’s cell. "There are no particular concerns regarding security" and "no groups have withdrawn over security concerns".


    19/07/2016 - SYRIA

    Aleppo: Humanitarian tragedy unfolds as 200 thousand people risk starvation


    Food, bread and other basic necessities lacking for days. United Nations denounces block in aid distribution. The government's siege of the eastern part of the city could be a turning point in the Syrian conflict. In the northeast of the country a Syrian Orthodox Church on fire; behind the raid (maybe) Islamic State militiamen.


    19/07/2016 - CHINA – VATICAN

    Chinese youth and priests prevented from attending World Youth Day

    by Bernardo Cervellera

    17/07/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: More important than serving are listening and welcoming guests


    Francis spoke today about Jesus’s visit to two sisters, Martha and Mary, one of whom was “busy” and the other was “contemplative”. The right attitude belongs to those who "value the most important thing, i.e. the presence of the guest, Jesus." After the Marian prayer, the pope turned his thoughts to the Nice massacre. “May God, the good Father, welcome all the victims into his peace, support the wounded and comfort the families. May he dissolve every project of terror and death, so that no one dares to spill his brother's blood.” He also greeted “the great Chinese brothers and sisters” in the square.


    15/07/2016 - VATICAN - FRANCE

    Pope condemns "blind violence" of Nice attack


    Solidarity with the French people hit "again" and with the victims' families. The pain of the Asian churches in a statement by Cardinal Gracias.


    13/07/2016 - SYRIA

    Caritas Syria: transcending war through small deeds that unite Christians and Muslims

    by Sandra Awad*

    In a letter to AsiaNews, Caritas’s communications director talks about the message of hope Pope Francis expressed for her country. Small deeds, like preparing a meal together, are a sign that peace is possible, that it is only a matter of time. Tomorrow 175 Caritas workers are set to meet for a training course.


    12/07/2016 - SYRIA

    Vicar of Aleppo: Too much violence, we have to suspend activities. But our churches will stay open


    Heavy shelling all day yesterday caused dozens of victims among the civilian population. Msgr. Abou Khazen: the front is elsewhere, these are revenge attacks by the rebels on  government areas.  The vicariate suspends activities and summer camps for young people. The church is only open for prayer and functions.

     


    11/07/2016 - ISLAM – EUROPE

    Political Islam, failure in educating young people, ambiguity towards the West

    by Hocine Drouiche*

    Qur‘anic schools in the West teach political Islam centred on jihad and hatred towards the enemies. Imams and scholars are blocking any reform and every question from students. Islamist groups want to destroy Muslim regimes and the imperialist West. An Islam of dialogue that does not proselytise is still possible. Europe must control Jihadi groups. This will save Islam as a religious experience, and even world peace. Imam Drouiche, vice-president of the Conference of Imams of France-Paris, gives his reflections.


    10/07/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: May good works grow within us, for we will be judged by our mercy


    Francis comments on the parable of the Good Samaritan: "Let us ask ourselves: Is our faith fruitful? Does it produce good works? Or is it rather sterile, and therefore more dead than alive? Do I stop to help others or simply pass by?". After the Angelus prayer he recalls Sea Sunday: "May Mary, Star of the Sea, watch over you."


    07/07/2016 - SYRIA

    Vicar of Aleppo: Truce, for some relief to a population exhausted by bombings


    For Msgr. Georges Abou Khazen the situation in the northern cities "is still though". People fear to go out onto the streets to celebrate Eid al-Fitr. Improvement in electricity and water supplies. Church offers rare moments of leisure for a battered community with summer camps. Thanks to Pope Francis for his support and solidarity.


    06/07/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope calls on a group of poor to pray for those who are rich and those who have no compassion


    The “Church, who loves and prefers the ones whom Jesus loved and preferred, cannot stay quiet until it has reached all those who experience rejection, exclusion, and do not matter to anyone.”


    06/07/2016 - ISLAM

    We Muslims hypocrites: Daesh, it is us

    by Kamel Abderrahmani

    Sharia "invented" by Ulemas and taught in Islamic schools is the same law practiced by the Islamic State militants. The "religious jurisprudence, founded more than 10 centuries ago," has “chained and rusted our brain and that of our children." It is urgent to modernize the Muslim religion and free it from the ambiguities linked to the past. The courageous appeal of a young Algerian Muslim student.


    05/07/2016 - BANGLADESH – ISLAM

    Dhaka massacre and the half understood Regensburg lecture

    by Bernardo Cervellera

    After years of the good life, “derailed youth” converted to radical Islam. Moderate Islam must condemn fundamentalist Islam. Muslims blame uncultured imams who sow hatred and contempt. The West should read again Benedict XVI’s lecture and rethink its marginalisation of religion as irrational. Fundamentalist Islam and the godless West mirror each other.


    05/07/2016 - VATICAN - SYRIA

    For pope, no military solution in Syria is possible, only a national unity government can do


    Francis issues a video message in support of Caritas Internationalis’s ‘Syria, peace is possible’ campaign. “While the people suffer, incredible quantities of money are being spent to supply weapons to fighters. And some of the countries supplying these arms are also among those that talk of peace. How can you believe in someone who caresses you with the right hand and strikes you with the left hand?”


    04/07/2016 - VATICAN

    Vatican calls on governments and bishops to care more for those who live from the sea


    The Pontifical Council for Migrants and Itinerant releases a message for Sea Sunday 2016, which falls next Sunday 10 July, to "remind to all Christian communities and to each individual how important and essential are the seafarer profession and the shipping industry for our daily life”.


    01/07/2016 - LEBANON – SYRIA

    Caritas Lebanon coping with refugees amid acceptance and fundamentalism


    For Fr Paul Karam, Lebanon’s religious and cultural ethnic mosaic is at risk. Region-wide plans and international efforts are needed. Fundamentalism is fuelled by deteriorating conditions in refuge facilities.


    30/06/2016 - LEBANON - SYRIA

    For Lebanese bishop, Al-Qaa is a symbol of coexistence, the terrorists shall not win


    Mgr Elias Rahal, the Greek -Melkite archbishop of Baalbek, visited the town that was attacked. Lebanon’s army has re-imposed a semblance of security. In this border town, Christians and Muslims live peacefully and fruitfully. We “shall never leave the town,” the prelate said.






    Editor's choices

    POLAND - CHINA - WYD
    Beijing's tricks and violence to stop Chinese youth from reaching WYD

    Vincenzo Faccioli Pintozzi

    The government yesterday blocked a group of 50 young pilgrims who had already boarded a plane bound for Krakow. Interrogated for hours by immigration, they were "admonished" and sent home with orders not to contact anyone abroad. Meanwhile, "young Chinese Catholics" hang around central World Youth Day locations in groups of five or six, with the task of spying on fellow countrymen. They work for cultural institutes or Chinese companies in Poland.


    ISLAM - EUROPE
    Fr Samir: Islamic terror in France and Germany a crisis of integration, but above all of politics

    Samir Khalil Samir

    The kidnapping and murder of a priest near Rouen (France) and the various attacks in Würzburg, Munich, Ansbach (Germany) were carried out by young people, who were indoctrinated with ease. Germany was a model for the integration of refugees. But radical Islam cannot be assimilated. It is supported by Saudi Arabia and Qatar. There is no other road other than integration. But we must tell the truth: the Koran contains elements of war and violence. Western politicians suffer from ignorance and a loss of all moral sentiment.


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