03/06/2014VATICAN Pope: Time of mercy, closeness to wounded for entire Church Encountering priests of the diocese of Rome, Francis says that “we must think of the Church today like a ‘field hospital'". "I always carry a small cloth pouch" containing a cross, in memory of a "great confessor", and when I have bad thoughts about someone my hand reaches for it". Confessors must be neither too "lax" nor too "rigorous".
03/05/2014EGYPT - ISLAM Samir Khalil Samir: Hamas ban also good for Palestinians by Samir Khalil Samir The Islamist movement accuses the Egyptian government of helping "the Israeli occupation". However, by choosing the path of violence, Hamas has created the current unsustainable situation in Gaza. Egypt shows that the diplomatic path is more fruitful. The court's decision is in line with the Arab Spring, against an ideological and religious dictatorship and for democracy.
03/04/2014EGYPT - PALESTINE Egyptian court bans Hamas activities in Egypt The court shuts down the movement's offices in the country. Hamas slams the Egyptian court's decision because it "harms the image of Egypt and its role towards the Palestinian cause". In recent months, Egyptian authorities destroyed most of the 1,200 tunnels with Gaza.
03/04/2014VATICAN Pope: Remember that among Christians "there are more martyrs today than in the early days of the Church" "The world does not tolerate the divinity of Christ. It doesn’t tolerate the announcement of the Gospel. It does not tolerate the Beatitudes". "They are condemned because they have a Bible. They can not make the sign of the Cross", "they can not go to Mass, because it is forbidden". How often "does a priest come in secret, among them, they pretend they are having a meal, taking tea and there they celebrate Mass", "so they will not see them".
03/03/2014ISRAEL Ultra-Orthodox Jews protest against military service, see it as "an attack on Torah" by Joshua Lapide At least 500,000 people - adults, youth and children - took over Jerusalem for a few hours. According to the Haredim, military service stops them from studying the Bible and undermines the moral education of their youth. Secular Israelis accuse them of being "parasites" because they live off state subsidies.
03/01/2014SYRIA ISIL jihadists flee Raqqa In recent days, the group had imposed "rules of submission" to Islam on local Christians. The retreat was ordered by Nusra Front, which has threatened to oust its rivals "from Syria and even Iraq". Population takes to the streets in celebration.
02/28/2014ISRAEL Israel seizes a playground donated by Italy to a Bedouin school Deemed illegal, the school is part of a settlement hit by dozens of demolition orders. Attended by 128 pupils, the facility was built without a permit, something that the authorities deny to all Bedouin settlements. Residents have turned to the High Court of Justice.