» 09/21/2006, 00.00
Rise above controversy about pope, say Lebanese bishops on day for peace
Religious services are scheduled as well as a roundtable with Christian and Muslim representatives, and a candlelit procession in the heart of Beirut. Mgr Matar has called on all to read the text of the address of Benedict XVI.
Beirut (AsiaNews) The Day of Prayer for Peace in the Middle East, marked today in Lebanon on the invitation of the Middle East Council of Churches, will feature a series of spiritual and religious manifestations it will also provide the opportunity to defend Pope Benedict XVI, who is still coming in for harsh criticism from some quarters.
The Day includes a roundtable conference on the theme "for a just peace", with the participation of the Maronite archbishop of Beirut, Mgr Paul Matar, the Greek-Orthodox Metropolitan of Mount Lebanon, Mgr Georges Khodr, the Shiite mufti of Tyre, Sheikh Ali El Amin, and a scholar on inter-faith dialogue, Ridwan El Sayed.
This afternoon, the Greek Melchite metropolitan of Beirut and Jbeil, Mgr Youssef Kallas, presides over a Eucharistic Celebration for peace in the region, in the Greek-Melchite Cathedral of Beirut. The participation of many believers from all religious rites is expected. This will be followed by a prayer vigil in the cathedral and a candlelit procession through the centre of Beirut, as a sign of solidarity with peace builders and as a sign of protest against those who do not want to conserve the identity of Lebanon. An appeal to live this day of prayer "in a spirit of pardon, tolerance and acceptance of the other, even in his diversity", was launched by Mgr Paul Matar.
As for the controversy about the address of the Pope in Regensburg, the Maronite bishop of Beirut underlined the need to "put an end to useless discussions that are ruining the social peace of the country" and he invited all to read the pope's address carefully. In this regard, Mgr Matar criticized the article published in the newspaper El Nahar, written by journalist Sarkis Naoum, because it's "content is false, attributing to the pope what he did not say". He invited journalists to be more objective in tackling a theme as difficult as the conference text of the pope. The article referred to by Mgr Matar is entitled "Western confrontation with Islam continues" and it maintains that the pope, after his election, has frequently shown himself to be against Islam and not too much in favour of dialogue with Muslims, inviting Christians to be more in solidarity, to confront and defend themselves from Islam.
Meanwhile, the Iraqi Ambassador in Lebanon, Jawad El Hayiri, told AsiaNews he thought protests about the pope's conference were "useless uproar" and he invited all to reread the pope's text.
The ambassador lamented the massive exodus of Christians from Iraq: "Baghdad is nearly without a Christian presence and this contradicts history, because Christians have been present in the country since before the birth of Islam. Thanks to the new government, which makes no distinction between citizens, the country should be reborn according to ancient tradition, which Christians were a part of. All Christians who had to leave Iraq in the last three years should return to take the places waiting for them."
21/09/2006 IRAN - VATICAN
Ahmadinejad proclaims respect for pope but Iran has strange anti-Catholic coalition
Foreigners, Armenians and minorities have taken to the streets, but the "students" have not. Tomorrow, however, the Islamic Propagation Office has called a rally in Teheran to "show anger and hatred".
Pope worried only about the "religious motivation of violence"
In an official statement, the Holy See responds to the angry criticism vented at Benedict XVI by some Muslim leaders who call on him to apologise to Islam as whole for his conceited, unfortunate and arrogant attitude.
Pope: I was misunderstood about Islam, may my words become an opportunity for dialogue
At the general audience, Benedict XVI said that at Regensburg, while tackling the topic of faith and reason, he had maintained that "not religion and violence but religion and reason go together". It was a call "to dialogue both among religions and between modern reason and Christian faith".
12/09/2006 VATICAN - GERMANY
Pope: Faith and reason to escape violence and suicide of Enlightenment
We present in full the address delivered by Benedict XVI today at the University of Regensburg. There is a note from the Holy See press office: The Holy Father intends to supply a subsequent version of this text, complete with footnotes. The present text must therefore be considered provisional.
22/09/2011 VATICAN - GERMANY
Pope in Germany: Without justice "the State is great band of robbers”
In his address before the German parliament, Benedict XVI offers ways to renew politics and social life for the world. Positivism is limiting because it marginalises the ethics and culture of politics and society.
HONG KONG – CHINA – VATICAN
On “Hong Kong sectors” supposedly "against Francis"
John Mok Chit Wai
A scholar at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, who collaborates with AsiaNews, responds to accusations against the agency and people in Hong Kong with respect to criticism of the Vatican’s diplomatic approach towards China. Religious freedom is a fundamental human right and a universal value, whether in China, Russia or the Middle East. Between "Right" and "Left", China defines itself as left, yet it practices state capitalism and unfettered capitalism just as "right-wing governments" do. Gaudium et Spes calls on the faithful to engage in politics against the "arbitrary domination by [. . .] a political party,” like in China.
The "enemies" of Pope Francis
The charge made against AsiaNews that we are against the Pope and in favor of Putin, is an opportunity to outline what motivates our commitment to evangelization. And also to ask for greater professionalism from those who write about the Pope. The Pope does not need public defenders. Facilitating dialogue between "conservatives" and "progressives" to realize the Council and concern ourselves with the world so that it encounters Jesus Christ. Christ’s “enemies” were also his "friends."
15/10/2016 INDIA - VATICAN
15/10/2016 BANGLADESH - CHINA
AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!
AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.