08/20/2014ISRAEL - PALESTINE Violence resumes in Gaza. Israel "is not defending itself, its defending its occupation” Fr. Manawel Musallam, formerly the long time pastor of Holy Family in Gaza speaks to AsiaNews. Shortly before the end of the last cease-fire, 34 Hamas rockets hit Tel Aviv and Beersheba, causing no casualties. Israel has responded with airstrikes 70. The target was the leader of the al-Qassam Brigade, instead his wife and daughter were killed. Jerusalem (AsiaNews) - "By its very actions, Israel is
not defending itself, but its occupation of Palestine", says Fr. Manawel
Musallam, former and long time pastor of Holy Family Parish in Gaza, commenting
on the resumption of hostilities between...
08/20/2014VATICAN Pope asks Church to unite in prayer for persecuted Christians and minorities worldwide, particularly in Iraq The trip to Korea "can be condensed into three words: memory, hope, witness." "In a country where ancient Asian cultures and the perennial newness of the Gospel meet" there is "a young and dynamic church ", "founded on faith, on mission and the martyrdom of the lay faithful". The meeting with managers and players of his favorite soccer team, San Lorenzo, winners of the Copa Libertadores. Pope’s gratitude "for prayers and condolences for what happened in my family."
08/20/2014LEBANON - IRAQ Patriarch al-Rahi in Kurdistan for the future of Christians and the fight against Islamists by Fady Noun The cardinal makes a short one-day stop in Erbil accompanied by civil and religious leaders. He will meet with Kurdish President Barzani and visit the archbishop's see. The trip will focus on the fate of Christians fleeing jihadists and the possible use of force to repel the Islamist threat. The issue of relations with Islam and interfaith dialogue will also be discussed.
08/20/2014IRAQ - SYRIA - UNITED STATES Islamists behead US reporter abducted in Syria in response to Obama’s airstrikes Islamic State militia release a video of the execution of journalist James Foley, abducted in November 2012. The video, titled "Message to America" is authentic and announces the killing of a second hostage if military operations are not halted. The Jihadist addresses President Obama and speaks with a British accent.
08/19/2014ISRAEL - PALESTINE Gaza war: Truce prolonged for another 24 hours Israel wants guarantees for the demilitarization of the Strip; Hamas wants an end to the blockade and the openings of border crossings. Sense of détente between the two sides. At least 100 thousand Palestinian left homeless by airraids. The death toll: 2016 Palestinians, mostly civilians; 67 Israelis, mostly soldiers.
08/18/2014VATICAN For pope, in Iraq "It is lawful" to halt an "unjust aggressor", but the decision belongs to the UN During the flight that brought him back to Rome, Francis spoke of his "respect" for the Chinese people, reiterating the importance of the Letter by Pope Benedict XVI. "If I felt I could not go on, I would resign," he said. As preparations for the encyclical on safeguarding creation continue, the pope plans future trips, including one to Albania, which has "important reasons".
08/18/2014VATICAN-CHINA Pope Francis and Xi Jinping’s "new line" and the Chinese young people in Korea by Bernardo Cervellera Pope Francis sends another telegram to China. Still no answer, but Xinhua today published an article on the trip. The pontiff’s "olive branch" in line with missionary work of Matteo Ricci, missionaries in China, of previous popes. No emphasis on diplomatic relations. Beijing’s hampering Chinese youth in attending Asian Youth Day. An overview of the "new line" for China, in the hope that the young people are not arrested or persecuted.
08/18/2014INDIA - IRAQ Indian bishop invokes Mary Queen of Heaven to bring peace to Iraq by Felix Machado* The President of the Commission for Ecumenical and Interreligious Dialogue of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC) reflects on the persecution of Iraqi Christians. ISIS is "destroying the historical and human heritage of the country" and bringing the state "towards the total destruction of its religious history."
08/18/2014KOREA - VATICAN - AYD President of the Korean bishops: Francis gave wake up call to Korea and Asia The Bishop of Cheju, Msgr. Peter Kang U-il, tells AsiaNews: "Francis’ meeting with the young people was both a warm embrace and a wake up call. The pontiff invited our young people to never give up, even when faced with what seems like a dead end. And he has made it clear once and for all to our society that peace is born of justice, and that compassion for the marginalized must not result only in sterile charity".
08/18/2014KOREA - VATICAN - AYD Pope: Reconciliation and peace in Korea and world need conversion of hearts by Vincenzo Faccioli Pintozzi At the great final Mass of his apostolic visit to South Korea, Francis once again calls on Koreans to "firmly to reject a mindset shaped by suspicion and instead shape a culture formed by the teaching of the Gospel. Trust in the power of the Cross". All Koreans "are brothers and sisters, continue with humanitarian aid." An unscripted prayer Card. Filoni, sent to Iraq, and for all minorities who suffer in that country. Before the Mass the Pope meets with a former "comfort woman", who gifts the Pope a badge of her association which he wore throughout the Mass. Leaders of other religions: "We walk together, in the presence of God".
08/17/2014KOREA - VATICAN - AYD Pope tells Asia's young people to wake up and not to be afraid to bring faith to society At the final Mass of the sixth Asian Youth Day Francis took the opportunity to spur young Asians. "Wake up!" he told them. The martyrs who defeated death speak "to you of a duty, a responsibility" to bring Christ to every reach of Asia. You "are not only a part of the future of the Church; you are also a necessary and beloved part of the Church's present." The next Asian Youth Day is set for 2017 in Indonesia.
08/17/2014KOREA - VATICAN - AYD Pope ready to talk to countries that do not have diplomatic relations with Vatican "I earnestly hope that those countries of your continent with whom the Holy See does not yet enjoy a full relationship, may not hesitate to further a dialogue for the benefit of all," the pope said during a meeting with Asian bishops. The pontiff also mentioned the many nameless martyrs of the faith, who died for the Gospel in Asia and "deserve our love." For Gwangju archbishop Hyginus Kim Hee-joon, the meeting was "brotherly and friendly". As he "walked about us [. . .] he spoke instead of staying on the stage," spending "a few minutes with each of us." He is a "trailblazer even in the Church."