31 July 2016
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    30/07/2016 - POLAND – VATICAN – WYD

    Before a million young people gathered for the vigil in Krakow, Pope Francis called on them to answer in person Jesus’ call to change the world. To do so, they must avoid nodding off, as well as growing drowsy and dull by consumerism and sofa-happiness. Adults should heed the courage and risk taking attitude of the young. A young Polish woman, a Syrian woman from Aleppo and an ex drug addict from Paraguay told poignant stories.

    30/07/2016 - CHINA – VATICAN

    Mindong Bishop Mgr Vincent Huang Shoucheng dies

    by Wang Zhicheng

    Unrecognised by the Chinese government, he was liked by both official and underground Catholics as a humble and capable pastor. Almost everyone in Diocese of Mindong belongs to the underground Church, 80,000 out of 90,000 members. The authorities would like to see a low profile funeral, with the body without Episcopal insignia. The faithful plan otherwise. Mgr Huang spent 35 years in prison, house arrest and forced labor. He ordained his successor, Mgr Vincent Guo Xijin, in 2008.

    30/07/2016 - UKRAINE – RUSSIA – ORTHODOXY

    Poroshenko: only Patriarch Bartholomew can help unite the Ukrainian Church

    by Nina Achmatova

    On the anniversary of the Baptism of Rus, Ukraine’s president reiterates the Ukrainian parliament’s call for autocephaly for the Ukrainian Church. Christian communities reflect political divisions.

    30/07/2016 - POLAND – VATICAN – WYD

    Campus Misericordiae: the beating heart of the Krakow WYD

    by V.F.P.

    Young pilgrims are coming in from around the world to be at the Field of Mercy in Brzegi (Wieliczka). Tonight they will take part in a vigil with Pope Francis and worship the Blessed Sacrament. Among those who will bear witness, one is a young Syrian from Aleppo; another is a former addict.

    30/07/2016 - VIETNAM

    Summer camps in Đà Nẵng and Hưng Hóa to be in the “spirit of World Youth Day"

    by Trung Tin

    The Church gave thousands of young people unable to be in Krakow a chance to be in communion with Pope Francis and share his appeal for mercy. Dioceses organised two-day meetings with prayers and games. Participants deepened their faith and discover " how generous everyone can be”.

    30/07/2016 - WYD

    Pope: the disciple of Jesus goes into the world to serve and live as a witness to the Gospel

    Francis celebrated Mass at the sanctuary dedicated to Saint John Paul II. "Jesus sends. From the beginning, he wants his to be a Church on the move, a Church that goes out into the world. And he wants it to do this just as he did. He was not sent into the world by the Father to wield power, but to take the form of a slave; he came not “to be served, but to serve”. He also “wants hearts that are open and tender towards the weak, never hearts that are hardened. He wants docile and transparent hearts that do not dissimulate before those whom the Church appoints as our guides.”

    29/07/2016 - WYD

    Pope: Via Crucis, “Unless those who call themselves Christians live to serve, their lives serve no good purpose”

    “Where is God? Where is God, if evil is present in our world, if there are men and women who are hungry and thirsty, homeless, exiles and refugees? Where is God, when innocent persons die as a result of violence, terrorism and war?” Yet, “In the face of evil, suffering and sin, the only response possible for a disciple of Jesus is the gift of self, even of one’s own life”. Indeed, "I wish that we, as Christians, could stand by the sick the way Jesus did with silence, a touch, a prayer”. He also called to embrace “our Syrian brothers and sisters, who fled war.”

    29/07/2016 - NEPAL

    World Tiger Day: Nepal wants to save big cats from Chinese market

    by Christopher Sharma

    The species is still endangered even though its numbers are up. Poaching to meet demand from China remains the main threat. In Chinese culture, tiger meat has magical powers, and tiger parts go into local pharmacopeia and religious items.

    29/07/2016 - INDIA – ASIA

    An activist and a singer from India among 2016 Asian “Nobel” Prize laureates

    Bezwada Wilson, a Dalit anti-manual scavenging activist, and Thodur Madabusi Krishna, a traditional singer, are recognised along with associations and volunteers from the Philippines, Indonesia, Laos and Japan. In India, waste collection is handed down from one generation to the next. About 180,000 Dalits clean 790,000 public and private facilities. Each year, the Magsaysay Award acknowledges leading Asian figures.

    29/07/2016 - PAKISTAN

    For Justice and Peace, textbooks are full of intolerance and hatred towards non-Muslims

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    The Episcopal Commission presents a comprehensive study on violent content in curriculum. Many references to hatred and intolerance fuel an atmosphere of violence, religious fanaticism and extremism. Over the years, textbooks have been cleansed of references to non-Muslim heroes, whilst “weapon-wielding warriors” have been chosen as heroes.

    29/07/2016 - POLAND

    Pope: Auschwitz, "Lord forgive such cruelty!"

    On a day seemingly dedicated to suffering, Francis visited Auschwitz and Birkenau and in the afternoon will go to a children's hospital, before the Way of the Cross this evening. In silent prayer in the cell of St. Maximilian Kolbe. Meeting with some survivors and 12 "Righteous Among the Nations".

    29/07/2016 - NORTH KOREA – CHINA

    North Koreans smuggled into China

    Migrants work on cattle ranches or soybean farms. Despite paying fines for long absences, they still make more than in North Korea.

    29/07/2016 - PHILIPPINES

    Fr D'Ambra: Christian lives are in danger in Jolo because jihadists want to kill them

    The PIME missionary, who heads the Silsilah group for interreligious dialogue, calls on the authorities to “find proper solutions" to stop “the agony of the Christian community". A few days ago, a man was killed and 20 others were threatened with death by fundamentalists. Moderate Muslims, who are also at risk, ought not to be “silent witnesses” to this persecution.

    29/07/2016 - POLAND - GERMANY - WYD

    Francis' silence in Auschwitz "gift of John Paul II and Benedict XVI"

    by Vincenzo Faccioli Pintozzi

    A group of young German pilgrims has been preparing for the World Youth Day visiting Krakow, in a sort of "Way of the Cross through history", the Nazi death camps and the places of suffering imposed by the Soviets on Poland. The Pope's visit today, "closes the wounds that we have inflicted on each other. We remember the words of Pope Benedict XVI with gratitude ".

    29/07/2016 - INDIA

    Foreign Minister will lead Indian delegation at Mother Teresa's canonization

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    The rest of the delegation names have not yet been revealed. Chief Minister of Delhi and West Bengal set to attend, perhaps privately. The first, Arvind Kejriwal, has been working with the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta, at the direct request of the Blessed.

    29/07/2016 - INDONESIA

    Jakarta carries out four death sentences overnight

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    Despite criticism from Church and world leaders, Jakarta carries out death sentences. An Indonesian, two Nigerians and a South African are killed. For now 10 prisoners saved, but they are due to be killed before 31 July. Former president Habibie writes to Joko Widodo calling for a moratorium on the death penalty.

    28/07/2016 - WORLD YOUTH DAY

    Pope tells young people to say no to those who “say that things cannot change” and to “vendors of smoke”

    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 - POLAND - INDIA - WYD

    Orissa youth at WYD: In the name of our martyrs, we learn mercy

    by Vincenzo Faccioli Pintozzi

    A delegation of about 50 young people from the area of ​​Cuttack-Bhubaneswar is in Krakow to join the rest of the young people from around the world. Forgiveness, reconciliation and the Eucharist "are our encouragement to overcome the pain of the pogroms". John, 21, speaks of the impact of the vocational centers: "Come and See is a beautiful invitation. And in my heart I feel a love that I can not express. Perhaps it is the Lord who calls me, maybe not. But I could not go home without talking to a priest".

    28/07/2016 - CHINA

    Heavy rains spare ancient Forbidden City, flood modern skyscrapers (photos)

    Built 600 years ago, the imperial palace has a drainage system that works better than modern ones. Despite weeks of pounding rains across China, hundreds of “water spitting” dragon-shaped drainage points in the Forbidden City release excess water and prevent flooding. Online humour stresses how “modern drainage systems can't even beat the ancient ones that were erected six centuries ago!"

    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".

    28/07/2016 - SOUTH KOREA – JAPAN

    Protests in Seoul at the opening of foundation for "comfort women"

    The foundation is part of the historic agreement reached last year on sex slaves in Japan’s military. Tokyo is providing a billion yen to help survivors and presented a verbal apology. Students, activists and Korean Church leaders slam Japan’s refusal to admit official responsibility.

    28/07/2016 - MYANMAR

    Card Bo calls on leaders to allow all religions to advise the government

    The archbishop met with Aung San Suu Kyi on Martyrs’ Day. He calls for Christians and Muslims to have the same access to ministers. Muslim leader welcomes the idea, but government official declines to comment.

    28/07/2016 - INDONESIA

    Archbishop of Jakarta: We are opposed to the death penalty, we pray for the condemned

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    The government is preparing the execution of 14 prisoners of different nationalities within three days. They are all accused of drug dealing or drug possession. Msgr. Suharyo asks the faithful for special prayers "so that capital punishment is removed from our legal system." The European Union demand the suspension of executions. India and Pakistan appeal to save the lives of their citizens.

    28/07/2016 - BANGLADESH

    In wake of Dhaka massacre British Council closes offices over security concerns

    by Sumon Corraya

    The language organization has to update security procedures in all schools. Smooth running of English exams guaranteed, for high schools.

    28/07/2016 - IRAN

    Presidential elections set for May 19, 2017. Risks for Rouhani

    The President is loved by Iranians that opens the relations with the international community. But the conservative fringes show the few benefits received. The Iranian economy is still blocked thanks to the US, which maintain the embargo on the use of the dollar in financial transactions.

    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 - POLAND - IRAQ - WYD

    "Do not give in to fear": Young Iraqis appeal to France

    by Vincenzo Faccioli Pintozzi

    There are numerous Middle Eastern delegations in Krakow: Flags from Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan and even an Iranian flag. Iraqis are mostly from Baghdad and Erbil: They read of the attacks in Rouen and Nice "with sorrow and solidarity". But the World Youth Day is "the right setting to send a message of hope: do not be overwhelmed by hatred." Also in the Iraqi capital today, "the attacks are more and more often the work of marginalized and antisocial, lone wolves,who only want chaos."

    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.

    Editor's choices

    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.

    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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