27 July 2016
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    26/07/2016 - POLAND - CHINA - WYD

    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.


    by Vincenzo Faccioli Pintozzi

    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.


    26/07/2016 - TURKEY - USA

    Without Fethullah Gülen extradition, Turkey-US relations in danger


    The religious leader is accused of being the mastermind behind the "failed coup". But some analysts say the coup "succeeded" because it has given Erdogan total power. Media campaign against Gülen and the United States. West's growing mistrust of Turkey.


    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 - TURKEY

    Erdogan declares state of emergency to eradicate terrorist "virus" behind failed coup


    During the three-month state of emergency, the rights of assembly, publishing, broadcasting and movement will be suspended. Some 20,000 teachers have been fired. According to Erdogan, Fethullah Gülen and "other states" are behind the coup.


    20/07/2016 - TURKEY

    Erdogan purges target military, academics, teachers


    At least 99 generals and admirals, 1577 university deans, 21 thousand teachers, 15 thousand employees of the Ministry of Education have been questioned, arrested, forced to resign. All are suspected of being close to Fethullah Guelen, accused of being the mastermind of the plot.


    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 - CHINA – VATICAN

    Chinese youth and priests prevented from attending World Youth Day

    by Bernardo Cervellera

    Some 2,000 young people from mainland China are expected in Krakow. However, many would-be participants have no money or sponsors. The authorities have banned official and underground priests from going because they are too friendly with the pope. Police have stopped young people at airports minutes before embarkation. Some fear that once home participants will be subjected to interrogation.


    19/07/2016 - TURKEY

    Reinstating the death penalty, next step in repression unleashed by Erdogan


    Although the Turkish president denies wanting to take advantage of the situation, there seems to be no end to the wave of arrests taking place, as well as thousands of military and police officers, generals and judges. In this regard, experts from the Council of Europe yesterday stated that "mass arrests and referrals of judges are not an acceptable means to restore democracy".

     


    18/07/2016 - TURKEY

    A failed coup and the power of Erdogan: Overture to a tragedy

    by NAT da Polis

    New pro-Erdogan demonstrations in Istanbul and Ankara. The weak attempt to overthrow the regime was not supported by Army Chiefs. Increased arrests and the possibility of introduction of the death penalty. Turkish democracy threatened by Kemalist secularism and Islamic fundamentalism.

     


    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.


    16/07/2016 - TURKEY

    Military coup fails in Turkey: after faltering Erdogan announces crackdown


    The Turkish president is back in Istanbul, met by supporters. For hours he flew over the country, waiting to see the situation evolve. Mystery surrounds the coup attempt, and its masterminds. About 90 people die in clashes and 1,200 are wounded. Some 200 soldiers who took part in the operation are arrested. International community is concerned.


    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."


    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 - TURKEY

    Istanbul airport: the terrorists came from Russia, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan


    The international airport is a focal point for pilgrims to Mecca. Many young people from the Caucasus and Central Asia stop in Istanbul before traveling to Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Syria to fight the jihad. The death toll of the attack is now 43, of which 19 foreigners. Tourism in Turkey severely hit.


    30/06/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope’s travels in the Caucasus to "encourage hope and paths of peace"


    At today’s jubilee audience, Francis spoke about his recent visit to Armenia, and his coming trip to Georgia and Azerbaijan in September. It is "one thing to talk about mercy, it is another to live mercy" because "the works of mercy are not theoretical issues, but actual deeds. They force us to roll up our sleeves to alleviate suffering. "


    30/06/2016 - CHINA – VATICAN

    Mgr Ma Daqin, the Vatican and the Patriotic Association’s “crooked logic”

    by Gu Feng

    A priest in central China looks at the bishop of Shanghai’s volte-face, comparing him to John the Baptist who was jailed after he accused Herod. Because of their crooked logic, the Patriotic Association and the government seek to eliminate religion from the country. The Vatican is in danger of contradicting itself if it makes compromises with the Patriotic Association. Pope Benedict XVI described the latter as “incompatible” with Catholic doctrine in his Letter to Chinese Catholics, which Pope Francis has never disclaimed, but has instead reiterated.


    30/06/2016 - TURKEY

    Istanbul airport attack: Turkey declares a day of mourning while the number of victims increases


    The dead are 42; among them there are 13 foreigners. The wounded are 239 of which 41 were in serious condition. For Erdogan terrorists " were non-Muslims." Still no claim of responsibility. Putin reopen dialogue with Turkey.


    29/06/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope speaks about Peter and Paul, lights of the east and west, appeals after Istanbul attack


    At the Angelus prayer, Pope Francis talks about the two apostles who brought the faith to Rome. “They still want to carry Jesus, his merciful love, his consolation, his peace.” The pontiff welcomed the ecumenical delegation from Constantinople, as well as Chinese Catholics. Sharing the sorrow, he prays for the Turkish people after the Istanbul airport attack.


    29/06/2016 - TURKEY

    Islamic State suspected in Istanbul airport attack


    At least 36 people are dead and 140 wounded. Attackers began shooting before blowing themselves up at the terminal. Critics point to poor security measures.


    29/06/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: Prayer as the way out for the community in lieu of looking inward from persecution and fear


    On the Solemnity of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, Pope Francis greeted the delegation sent by the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople. He expressed hope to see things go from "division to unity". He blessed the pallia for new major archbishops, a sign of communion with the See of Peter. Christian communities must be Churches “going out” through prayer to overcome fear and "Herod's complex", the feeling of persecution that drives inward when faced with dangers and “God’s surprises”.






    Editor's choices

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

    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.


    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.


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