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08 February 2016
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    07/02/2016 - VATICAN

    At the Angelus Francis launches appeals also to eradicate new forms of slavery and sends greetings of peace and serenity for the Chinese New Year. He asks for prayers for the meeting with "my brother Kirill." "The essentials" of Christianity is "the essence of Christianity: to spread the regenerating and gratuitous love of God, with attitude of welcome and mercy to everyone, so that everyone can meet the tenderness of God and have the fullness of life."




    06/02/2016 - SAUDI ARABIA

    Saudi Arabia, 80% of children suffer physical or psychological violence


    Results of research conducted by the National Family Safety Program. 13% has suffered sexual violence, 53% are victims of neglect. Among child victims of abuse cases of depression and drug abuse are growing. Saudi expert: we need targeted programs, aid and specialized centers.

     


    06/02/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: prayer works miracles, it is a key that opens God’s heart “which is never padlocked"


    Greeting the Padre Pio Prayer Groups Francis says that prayer "is not a good practice for peace of  heart,  neither a pious way to obtain from God what we need. If it were so, it would be moved by a subtle selfishness: I pray to feel good, like taking an aspirin. No, it is not this. I pray to get this thing. That is just making a deal. Neither is it this. Prayer is something else. Prayer, is a work of spiritual mercy". " In a word, it means entrusting: entrust the Church, people, situations to the Father, so that He may care for them".


    06/02/2016 - INDIA

    Bishop of Vijayawada: Let's join together and work for the Kingdom of God

    by di Benigna Menezes*

    Msgr. Joseph Raja Rao Thelagathoti is the new bishop of the Indian diocese. The ceremony for his installation was held on February 2. The bishop's seat was vacant for three years. Over 10 thousand faithful crowd the square in front of the sanctuary where the consecration was celebrated. The Apostolic Nuncio Msgr. Pennacchio, 12 bishops and more than 1,000 priests from around the world paid homage to the new bishop.


    06/02/2016 - TAIWAN

    Earthquake in Taiwan: at least seven dead and 300 injured


    An earthquake of magnitude 6.4 struck Tainan City this morning (in the south). Several buildings were destroyed and dozens of people believed trapped in the rubble. The city was very busy for the upcoming Chinese New Year.

     


    06/02/2016 - RUSSIA - VATICAN

    Francis and Kirill, a Holy Alliance for the future of Christians and the world

    by Vladimir Rozanskij

    The meeting between the Pope and the Patriarch of Moscow Kirill has been eagerly desired for quite some time. Expected under John Paul II; hoped for with Benedict XVI, it has taken time to realize. Catholics and Orthodox face the same challenges of persecution and relativism. Orthodox nationalism, backed by Putin, causes some reticence. The Middle East crisis and risk of Russia’s isolation fosters collaboration.


    06/02/2016 - RUSSIA - VATICAN

    Moscow and Rome: A history of clashes and dialogue

    by Ieromonaco Ioann

    Good relations until the fifteenth century. The Council of Florence, the Union of Brest and the birth of the Catholic Churches of the Eastern rite. The anti-Christian persecution of the Soviet Union and the conflict between Catholics and Orthodox in Ukraine. The Catholic mission in Russia.


    05/02/2016 - EGYPT – ITALY

    As Egyptian Church prays for Giulio Regeni, his death cries out for justice


    Egyptian authorities have launched an investigation into the murder of the young researcher whose body shows signs of torture and injury. For some, it was a political crime; others point to the lack of evidence. For young activist: " Neither the police nor the security services have any reason” to harm “a foreigner". Meanwhile, “The Egyptian Church will pray for him and his family,” Church spokesman said.


    05/02/2016 - RUSSIA – VATICAN

    For Russian Patriarchate, the “genocide of the Christian population” made the Kirill-Francis meeting urgent


    Metropolitan Hilarion told a press conference that despite unresolved issues such like the expansion of the Greek Catholic Patriarchate in Ukraine, the Moscow Patriarchate hopes that the meeting "will open a new page in the relations between the two Churches”.


    05/02/2016 - HOLY LAND

    The Church of the Holy Land mourns the passing of Jeries Khoury


    The 64-year-old of Palestinian died on 3 February in Rome, where he was to attend a papal audience. A scholar of comparative religions, since 1988 he was director of the Al-Liqa’ Center, an institute dedicated to exchanges with Muslims and Jews in the Holy Land.


    05/02/2016 - BANGLADESH

    Christians and Muslims mourn Matthew Bose, Bangladesh’s’ genius of sacred hymns"

    by Sumon Corraya

    The composer and director died aged 77. He was the main figure of Bangladeshi sacred music and directed a choir of 1,000 people during the visit of St. John Paul II in 1986. He has written more than 50 hymns. Muslim engineer: "He was a great man, may God give him peace and rest."


    05/02/2016 - VATICAN - RUSSIA

    Francis to meet Kirill in first meeting in history between a pope and a patriarch of Moscow


    Their meeting will take place in Cuba, where Francis will stop before he travels to Mexico. The two are expected to sign a joint statement after a two-hour private talk.


    05/02/2016 - INDIA

    Maharashtra: Pentecostal pastor arrested on charges of practicing black magic


    Rev Sebastian Marin was detained along with two members of the prayer centre he directs. The three are accused of violating the state’s Anti-Superstition and Black Magic Act, a law against witchcraft. For Sajan K George, "Jesus is the Healer and there's nothing magic about praying or laying hands”.


    05/02/2016 - INDIA – AUSTRALIA

    India-Australia interfaith pilgrimage, to reinvigorate the dialogue between faiths

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    Australian religious leaders arrive tomorrow in the Indian capital. From here, they embark on a pilgrimage across the country. Islam expert Fr Victor Edwin SJ has arranged various meetings and visits, including to a Delhi mosque and shrine.


    05/02/2016 - CHINA - VATICAN

    Pope’s interview on China: enthusiasm and skepticism among Chinese Catholics. Some priests face police pressure

    by Maria Chen

    State newspapers and radio report on Pope Francis’ interview with Asia Times. There are those who dream of an impending papal visit to China. Underground priests subjected to interrogation. Appreciation for "the olive branch" extended by the Pope and for his pointing out the value of Chinese culture. But skepticism surrounds Beijing leadership’s response. The dialogue between China and the Vatican cannot bring results, because there are different interests at play, both political and religious. Diplomatic relations cannot come at the cost of the freedom of the Church and the sacrifices of its martyrs. The Chinese Church is growing.


    05/02/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: "God’s style is not man's", God wins with humility


    Commenting on the death of John the Baptist, Francis invites us to "ask the Lord for the grace of humility that John had without bestowing us with the merits or glories of others. And above all, the grace that there is always space in our lives for Jesus to grow and that we abase ourselves, to the very end. "


    04/02/2016 - LEBANON

    Remembering war to reach "reconciliation" between Lebanese Christian groups

    by Fady Noun

    The meeting between Aoun and Geagea does not erase the mistakes of the past nor the memory of Lebanon’s bloody conflict. Its history is that of a country in an almost permanent state of instability. To go from phoney to real civil peace, memory must be “purified” in the interests of peace, justice and truth.


    04/02/2016 - SRI LANKA

    Card Ranjith calls for national unity to build peace


    Today Sri Lanka marks its independence from British colonial rule. In his message for the occasion, the archbishop of Colombo calls for building "coexistence and joy." For the first time, during the event, the national anthem was sung in Tamil. Some activists march in the capital, demanding the release of Tamil political prisoners.


    04/02/2016 - CHINA – VATICAN

    By courting Beijing, Pope Francis is losing China (as well as Hong Kong)

    by John Mok Chit Wai, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

    Talking about "China" is risky because the word can refer to China’s culture, civilization, and people but also to its one-party Communist state, i.e. the People's Republic of China. With his interview to Asia Times, the pontiff might be renewing with the policy of Ostpolitik pursued by the late Vatican Secretary of State Agostino Cardinal Casaroli, which had disastrous effects on religious freedom in Communist countries. Here is an analysis by a Hong Kong-based scholar.


    04/02/2016 - CHINA – VATICAN

    Global Times: the pope should accept the independence of the Chinese Church


    After 24 hours of silence, China’s media today published excerpts, comments and editorials about Pope Francis’ interview with Asia Times. Although the pope did not address religious issues or Church problems, many saw the interview as an attempt to improve diplomatic relations between China and the Vatican, and advised Francis to accept Mao Zedong’s "three principles of independence" (theology, administration, jurisdiction), which would leave the power to appoint bishops in the hands of the Party. The People's Daily’s Global Times publishes an editorial on the issue.


    04/02/2016 - LEBANON – SYRIA

    Caritas Lebanon asks donor countries for more aid, calls for a stop to the war and arms trade


    Fr Paul Karam is in London for the Syria donor conference. For him, the priority is to stop the conflict. So far, "personal interests" have prevailed with "the civilian population" paying the price. The Middle East is "a raging volcano" that can be stymied by following the path of peace outlined by Pope Francis.


    04/02/2016 - MALAYSIA

    Archbishop of Kota Kinabalu: support for the family, against chaos, on Chinese New Year


    In his message for the lunar New Year, which falls on 8 February, Mgr John Wong says, the family is the “foundation of society. When family units are broken, the order of society and the world will be in chaos”. Materialism and selfishness are the first enemies of the family. According to Chinese tradition, New Year family “reunion dinner was a day not to be missed but to be greatly treasured.”


    04/02/2016 - INDIA

    Uttar Pradesh, Christian's head shaved and publically humiliated over alleged forced conversions

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    The man was taken forcefully by a mob of 200 Hindu extremists. He is accused of having lured three men under the pretext of attending a meditation session. Police opened three cases, one against the Christian and two against extremists. Christian leader. "The accusations do not hold up. No sensible person would ever do what they say. Christians always respect the laws ".
     

     


    04/02/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: the best inheritance we can leave is faith in God who "never disappoints"


    Thinking of our "final passage" which is "a light which illuminates life", "is a reality that we must always have before us".  We must ask God to not fear death.


    04/02/2016 - JORDAN - SYRIA

    Syrian crisis brings Jordan to verge of collapse amid risk of silent fanaticism


    An AsiaNews source describes a situation "at breaking point. There is no housing, water  or work". The government has so far maintained "control", but long-term projects are needed as well as peace in Syria, because the refugees "want to return to their country”.  The increasing risk of a "silent fanaticism" that could flare up. In the midst of chaos, the reality of Karak Hospital, whichcontinues to assist pregnant women and children.


    04/02/2016 - INDONESIA

    LGBT seminar broken up by Muslim extremists

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    A dozen members of Islam Defenders Front raided a Jakarta hotel, where the meeting on human rights was taking place. After hours of threats and negotiations with police, participants were evacuated for "security reasons".


    04/02/2016 - UN - SYRIA

    Geneva UN negotiations for peace in Syria suspended. Both sides play blame game


    Special envoy Staffan de Mistura claims it is just a temporary break and is not a sign of the failure of the talks. But experts say: "Negotiations never really begun." Opposition accuse the government of bombing and starving people. Damascus says rebels backed by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.


    04/02/2016 - AUSTRALIA

    Australian churches offer themselves as a "sanctuary for refugees" who risk deportation


    The High Court rules "legitimate"  the government's decision to move hundreds of migrants on the island of Nauru, where there are some prisons that "host" asylum seekers. Christian communities in the country offer their facilities to prevent deportation. The executive: "The Christians have the right to think whatever they want, but they are not above the law." Thousands march for migrants.


     


    03/02/2016 - PHILIPPINES

    For Card Tagle, 20 cents a day to save 25,000 children from hunger


    In his pastoral letter for Ash Wednesday, the archbishop calls on the faithful to replenish the ‘Pondo ng Pinoy’ programme. Feeding children is a concrete act of charity in the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, and a lot can be done with a little for malnourished children.


    03/02/2016 - CHINA

    New Year paralyses Guangzhou station with 100,000 people stuck waiting for a train


    Hordes of passengers swamp the main railway station in China’s southern metropolis because bad weather has led to major delays and cancellations. Thousands of passengers arrived two days in advance for fear of losing their train. The national railway authority expects to carry 332 million passengers this season for some 2.91 billion-passenger trips.






    Editor's choices

    CHINA – VATICAN
    Global Times: the pope should accept the independence of the Chinese Church



    After 24 hours of silence, China’s media today published excerpts, comments and editorials about Pope Francis’ interview with Asia Times. Although the pope did not address religious issues or Church problems, many saw the interview as an attempt to improve diplomatic relations between China and the Vatican, and advised Francis to accept Mao Zedong’s "three principles of independence" (theology, administration, jurisdiction), which would leave the power to appoint bishops in the hands of the Party. The People's Daily’s Global Times publishes an editorial on the issue.


    INDIA – PHILIPPINES
    Archbishop of Guwahati: In Asia religion is not dying, the faithful take strength from the Eucharist



    Mgr Menamparampil is among the speakers at the International Eucharistic Congress in Cebu, Philippines. He was also a conflict mediator between various ethnic groups. He told AsiaNews about the value of the Congress for the Catholic Church in Asia and how people can bear witness the Gospel today, even amid tensions and violence of those who "hate us." "with the same pain in our hearts that we descend to our depths during a Eucharistic adoration."


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