30 March 2017
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  • 30/03/2017 - JORDAN

    At their annual meeting, leaders condemn "foreign interference" in Mideast conflicts. Lebanese President highlights the refugee crisis, calling for an end to "wars between brothers”. Final communiqué reiterates the two-state solution as the only solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.




    30/03/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: "God’s delusion" when His people abandoned Him to follow "idols"


    "How many idols that am unable to rid myself of, which enslave me? That idolatry that we have inside ... And God weeps for me. " "Today we should think about this disappointment, of God who made us for love and we go to look for love, health, wellbeing in other places and do not love Him. We move away from this God who raised us. And this is a thought for Lent. "

     


    30/03/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: the Christian family, place and witness of mercy


    In a letter ahead of the world meeting of families in 2018, Francis expresses "the desire that families have the opportunity to deepen their reflection of the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris laetitia".


     


    30/03/2017 - TURKEY - SYRIA

    Ankara, 'theoretical' end military operations in Syria: no withdrawal of troops


    The Turkish leadership claims the success of the campaign "Euphrates Shield ". The Prime Minister Binali Yildirim does not rule out "new measures" for the future. Silence on the permanence of troops across the border, in Syria. Ankara wants to join the offensive against Raqqa, a stronghold of the Islamic state, but without the Kurds.

     


    29/03/2017 - ISRAEL – FRANCE

    French-based NGO slams the "dangerous relationship" between French banks and Israeli settlements


    Four French banks and the Axa insurance company finance Israeli businesses and banks involved in settlements. French NGOs call for disinvestment.


    29/03/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: An "imperative and urgent obligation" to protect civilians trapped in Mosul


    Our "great hope" that is founded in faith and promise "not to just of anyone, but of God." "We call today to the Lord for the grace to count not so much on our safety, on our own strength, but on the hope drawn by the promise of God."


    29/03/2017 - RUSSIA – IRAN – SYRIA

    Business and Syria dominate Rouhani’s visit to Moscow


    The Iranian president met with his Russian counterpart, Putin, and Prime Minister Medvedev. The two sides signed 14 documents on political, economic, scientific and cultural cooperation. The partnership between Tehran and Moscow has had a positive impact in terms of stability and security. For Putin, Iran is “stable and reliable partner". In Iran, the presidential election looms.


    29/03/2017 - JORDAN

    Terrorism, regional wars and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at the Arab League summit


    On the program today in Jordan, the annual meeting of Heads of State and Government of Arab nations. Also present were leaders and UN special envoy for Syria. For experts the summit will not provide "key solutions" to real problems in the region. The political system of the Arab world is "weak, divided" and "corroded by years of" vices.


    28/03/2017 - ISRAEL – PALESTINE

    Tensions rise as Israeli settlers visit daily the Temple Mount


    In 2016, more than 14,000 settlers visited the Muslim holy site (where the ancient Jewish temple once stood). The visits of Jewish extremists have sparked clashes between Muslims and police.


    28/03/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: follow Jesus by accepting the life we have, without being paralyzed by sloth


    Sloth is a "bad sin", it means living just because “oxygen is free," is "by watching others who are happier than me"; it is full of "sadness", it makes you forget joy. "Sloth - said the Pope - is a shame that paralyzes us, we become paralytics. It stops us from walking. Even today the Lord looks at each of us, we all sin, we are all sinners but he is watching this sin, "he says," Get up. "


    28/03/2017 - LEBANON

    Beirut: World Day of dialogue between religions and cultures

    by Fady Noun

    Lebanese political and religious leaders call for such a feast. The Islamic-Christian celebration can be a model for meeting and exchange. An international Marian centre dedicated to dialogue will be set up in the capital. A garden dedicated to Mary, a beloved figure revered by both monotheistic religions, will also be established.


    28/03/2017 - EGYPT - ISLAM

    Secularism and citizenship: how Al Azhar could influence Arab-Islamic countries

    by Luca Galantini

    The Cairo conference studies proposals for equal rights for Christians and Muslims, and for a State separation from religion. Regional constitutions and especially the Arab League and Organization of the Islamic Conference Human Rights Charter need to be addressed. All this just one month before Pope Francis’ visit to Egypt.


    28/03/2017 - VATICAN – UNITED NATIONS

    Pope: peace cannot be based on the fear of nuclear war


    In a message to the ‘United Nations Conference to Negotiate a Legally Binding Instrument to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons, leading towards their Total Elimination’, Francis said that dialogue must boost trust. “Humanity has the ability to work together in building up our common home; we have the freedom, intelligence and capacity to lead and direct technology, to place limits on our power, and to put all this at the service of another type of progress.”


    28/03/2017 - IRAN

    The Islamic State threatens Tehran and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei


    In a video in Farsi faction of the "province of Diyala" threatens Tehran over its involvement in ongoing regional conflicts. Iran's support for Iraqi government and Syrian leadership targeted. Its openness and tolerance towards Jews also criticized.


    27/03/2017 - IRAQ

    Chaldean patriarch’s sorrow over Mosul’s tragedy, ready to help thousands of displaced people


    Mar Sako tells of west Mosul "difficult but necessary" liberation. Jihadis "use people" as human shields amid narrow streets and houses. Thousands have died and more than 10,000 homes have been destroyed. Controversy continues over an air strike by the US-led coalition that killed more than a hundred people. The Chaldean Church provides food aid to Muslim refugees.


    27/03/2017 - YEMEN

    Aden, tens of thousands of people take to the streets to demand an end to the war


    Promoted by the Houthis, who occupy the capital and large areas of the north of the country. Former President Saleh also present. He called crowd to resistance. One demonstrator: "In the streets against the Saudi aggression." A criminal court close to Shiite rebels issues death sentence for Hadi in absentia.


    25/03/2017 - ITALY – VATICAN

    Pope tells 80,000 youth that grandparents can help them find faith, says no to bullying


    Parents should strive to educate children about contents, ideas, values and attitudes about life. He urged them to play with their children, take the time to go to Mass with them, visit a park, and remember that they can see and suffer when they argue.


    25/03/2017 - ITALY – VATICAN

    Pope: in a time marked by speculation, nothing and no one is "foreign" to God


    Francis celebrated Mass in Monza before a million people according to organisers. This followed his visit to Milan’s San Vittore Prison where he had lunch with inmates. “The Lord loves me as much as he does you,” he told them. “Jesus himself is in you and in me; we are sinful brothers".


    25/03/2017 - ITALY – VATICAN

    Pope in Milan: pastors must teach how to choose in a society that has many cultures


    Francis began his visit at the Case Bianche compound, home to three families. He met priests and consecrated people at the Cathedral where he talked about discernment. “Choose the peripheries, reawaken processes, ignite the spent and weakened hope of a society that has become insensible to the pain of others,” he said.


    25/03/2017 - ISRAEL – PALESTINE – UNITED STATES

    UN: Israel has failed to comply with UN demands and continues to expand settlements


    The United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process criticised the Jewish state for failing to comply with the UN resolution on settlements. Instead, the Israeli government has authorised a “high rate” of settlement expansion. For Israel’s UN ambassador, the settlements are not an obstacle to peace.


    24/03/2017 - VATICAN - EU

    Pope: Europe is not just an economy, but a way of conceiving man and a capacity for hope


    Francis spoke to the heads of state and government of the 27 EU member states on the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome. He told them that the Old Continent is a reality based on the centrality of man, effective solidarity, openness to the world, the pursuit of peace and development, and overture to the future. He also talked about "serious migration crisis" and the populism that is the "fruit of an egotism".


    24/03/2017 - VATICAN - GREAT BRITAIN - ISLAM

    London attack: The Pope's pain and that of a young Muslim


    Pope Francis expresses "prayer and solidarity" for the victims killed in Westminster. A young Muslim  apologizes to the victims because terrorists used his religion to cause such violence. Islam "has been taken hostage." Police release the name of the dead attacker: Khalid Massoud, 52, born in Britain. Perhaps he is of Pakistani or Afghan origin. The Islamic State claims him as "one of our soldiers."


    23/03/2017 - PALESTINE – ISRAEL

    As peace is ever remote, more Palestinians in Jerusalem apply for Israeli citizenship


    More than a thousand families applied for Israeli citizenship in 2016, up from 69 in 2003. However, red tape is an obstacle and more than half of all applications are rejected. Israel’s hold over the city is getting stronger with more settlements. Behind the trend is a desire to lead a normal life and avoid the fear of losing residency rights.


    23/03/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: if you do not listen to the Word of God, you end up confusing God with the devil


    "When a people, a community, even a Christian community, a parish, a diocese, close their ears and become deaf to the Word of the Lord, they look for other voices, other lords, and end up with the idols, idols of the world, the worldliness, that society offers them. They walk away from the living God. "


    23/03/2017 - ASIA - ISLAM - GREAT BRITAIN

    Indian Church praying for the victims of London attack. The sympathy of world leaders


    Cardinal Gracias expresses deep sorrow for an attack that caused a "senseless loss of life." And prays God grant "peace, strength and consolation." Sympathy and solidarity from international leaders. Iran asks to stop the sale of the "weapons to terrorist groups ". Erdogan expresses solidarity with the British, but launches a new attack on Europe.


    23/03/2017 - SYRIA - UN

    Geneva, fifth round of talks on Syria begin. Few hopes for peace


    Government delegates and opposition representatives present at the meeting. There will be no "direct" talks and positions appear more and more distant. Recent clashes in the capital have raised tensions. The UN special envoy on visit to Ankara, Riyadh and Moscow to mediate an agreement.


    22/03/2017 - HOLY LAND

    For Jerusalem Churches, restoration of the aedicule of the Holy Sepulchre is symbol of brotherhood and co-operation


    An ecumenical ceremony marked the reopening of the aedicule. Representatives of the Franciscan community, Greek Orthodox and Armenian Churches spoke at the event. Mgr Pizzaballa also spoke. Pope Francis donated money for the restoration of the Holy Sepulchre and the basilica in Bethlehem. Bartholomew I, Patriarch of Constantinople, expressed his gratitude.


    22/03/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: Protect water, a common good, also by enhancing the cultural and religious significance


    The Word of God "feeds a hope that concrete results in sharing in mutual service." "Our hope is not based on our own strength or means, but on the support of God and the faithfulness of His love, that is, on God's strength and consolation of God." "That of migrants is the biggest tragedy since the Second World War".


    22/03/2017 - MIDDLE EAST - UNITED STATES

    Washington and London prohibit and tablets and pc on flights from Africa and the Middle East


    The measure will enter into force on 25 March and does not have a end date. Threats from the Yemeni al Qaeda cell behind the ban, ready for new attacks. Experts and analysts raise doubts about its real effectiveness.


    21/03/2017 - TURKEY – EUROPEAN UNION

    Europe and Turkish opposition worried by Erdogan's constitution and totalitarian threat

    by Luca Galantini

    The row between Berlin and Ankara gets worse after Erdogan’s Nazi comparison. The pro-government newspaper Güneş published a photo of a Hitler-like Merkel. Turkish authorities arrest a thousand Kurdish activists on the eve of Nowruz ahead of the 16 April poll. A scholar and academic offers his thoughts about the reform and its consequences.






    Editor's choices

    VATICAN
    Pope tells young people to remember the past, to have courage in the present and hope for the future



    The Message for the 32nd World Youth Day was issued today centred on “The ‘great things’ that the Almighty accomplished’.” In her meeting with Elizabeth, Mary becomes a model. The pontiff calls on young people to avoid being couch potatoes, safe and cosy, urges them to rediscover the relationship with seniors. The Church experience is not a flash mob. The future should be experienced in a constructive way, and “the institutions of marriage, consecrated life and priestly mission” should not be devalued.


    AFGHANISTAN
    Fr. Moretti: The Little Sisters of Jesus, for 60 years " Afghan among Afghans"



    They have lived for 60 years at the service of the needy. They remained in Kabul under Soviet occupation, the Taliban control and the NATO bombing. Respected by all, even by the Taliban. This February their experience will end, according to Fr. Moretti "an example for us all."


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