24 April 2017
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  • 23/04/2017 - VATICAN

    On the Sunday of Divine Mercy, established by Saint John Paul II, Francis reiterated the importance of the experience of mercy, "the concrete form in which we give visibility to the resurrection of Jesus". He also explained the meaning of Sunday ‘in Albis’, and thanked those who sent him Easter greetings.




    22/04/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: The persecution of Christians comes from the devil's hatred


    Francis went to the basilica of St Bartholomew on the Tiber, which, after the Jubilee of 2000, was dedicated to the memory of the new martyrs of the 20th and 21st century. “The memory of these heroic, old and recent witnesses confirms us in the awareness that the Church is a Church of martyrs,” the pope said. “Refugee camps are concentration camps. They [refugees] are left there, because international agreements seem more important than human rights."


    22/04/2017 - VATICAN

    Vatican releases message on Buddha’s feast day (Vesakh), stresses shared path of nonviolence


    Religions must work together because religion is often used to justify violence. Christians and Buddhists recognise the need to heal evil in the heart where it originates. They must promote peace education and respect for the environment as well as reject "hate speech" in the media and rebuild "broken societies".


    20/04/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope to proclaim saints young Fatima shepherd children on 13 May


    The canonisation will take place during Francis's trip to Portugal. Francisco and Jacinta Marto will be the first children in the history of the Church to be proclaimed saints without being martyrs.


    19/04/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: Christianity "is grace, is surprise", it is "God's search for us"


    Christianity "is not an ideology, it is not a philosophical system, but a journey of faith that starts from an event, witnessed by the first disciples": "Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and on the third day rose. And appeared to Peter and the Twelve" and then "to five hundred brothers ".


    17/04/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: Begin to rise again asserting the value of life


    During the Regina Caeli, Pope Francis invited all the faithful "to 'act quickly' and 'go out' to announce to the men and women of our time" the "message of hope" of the Risen Lord. We are able “to undertake acts of solidarity and welcome, and feed the universal desire for peace and the aspiration for an environment free from degradation.” May the Virgin Mary "intercede especially for the persecuted and oppressed Christian communities that are called to a more difficult and courageous testimony."


    16/04/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope at the Urbi et Orbi: The Risen Lord comfort the people of Syria, the Middle East, Africa, Ukraine, Latin America

    by Papa Francesco

    In his Easter message, Pope Francis recalls the massacre of refugees bombed yesterday while they were fleeing Aleppo. "The signs of the Passion" of Jesus to draw "on his way, the way of life." "The Risen Shepherd is our traveling companion of those who are forced to leave their homelands because of armed conflicts, terrorist attacks, famines, oppressive regimes." A reminder that Europe lacks "hope."


    16/04/2017 - CHINA - VATICAN

    A victory for the Patriotic Association: Illicit Bishop Zhan Silu concelebrates with Bishop Ma Daqin of Shanghai

    by Bernardo Cervellera

    Zhan Silu was ordained in 2000. Ma Daqin, still under house arrest, but could "visit the Diocese of Mindong," where the ordinary bishop, Msgr. Guo Xijin, has disappeared in police custody. In the ceremony, Ma Daqin was called "bishop" and not "father" as before. The Patriotic Association undisputed master of the Church in China. "The Vatican is a joke".  The PA attempts to destroy dialogue between the Holy See and the government.


    15/04/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: with the Resurrection Jesus breaks down walls and asks us to change humanity


    In the face of women who go to the tomb we see "the faces we can see reflected all those who, walking the streets of our cities, feel the pain of dire poverty, the sorrow born of exploitation and human trafficking. We can also see the faces of those who are greeted with contempt because they are immigrants". "Let us go back to proclaim, to share, to reveal that it is true: the Lord is alive! He is living and he wants to rise again in all those faces that have buried hope, buried dreams, buried dignity." 


    15/04/2017 - VATICAN-ASIA

    An Easter for the Young

    by Bernardo Cervellera

    In Mark’s Gospel a young man announces the resurrection of Jesus. The crisis of youth: "distrust, indifference, indignation towards institutions", even toward the Church. They learn to live without God and the Church. The importance of next Synod and the testimony of those who are kept "young" through mission.


    14/04/2017 - THAILAND

    Thai Catholics preparing for Easter as the country celebrates New Year

    by Matteo Win

    The Songkran festival provides Thais a great opportunity to return to their home town and spend time with family. Thai Catholics are engaged in the celebrations as well. Good Friday falls on the first day of Thai New Year. "Jesus washing the feet of his disciples is an exhortation for us to do the same and serve others," said Fr Kriengyot Piyawanno.


    14/04/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: Via Crucis, shame for our infidelities, hope that in the end good will conquer


    Shame "for all the times that we bishops, priests, consecrated men and women have caused scandal and hurt Your Body, the Church, and forgotten our first love, leaving our consecration to rust.” Hope “that your church will try to be the voice that cries in the desert of humanity to prepare the way for your triumphant return, when you will come to judge the living and the dead.”


    13/04/2017 - VATICAN – ITALY

    Pope: "washing of the feet" reminds us that "God loves us to the end"


    Francis celebrated the Mass for the Lord's Supper in the Paliano prison, near Frosinone. The "pope stands in for Jesus and I would like to do the same as He did." Francis performed the rite of "washing of the feet" with 12 of the facility’s 70 inmates, ten Italians, an Argentine and an Albanian.


    13/04/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: "Let no one try to separate" the three Gospel graces: Truth, Mercy and Joy


    "Announcing a great joy to the poor can only be done in a respectful, humble, and even humbling, way.  Evangelization cannot be presumptuous. The integrity of the truth cannot be rigid, because the truth has become flesh, has become tenderness, he became a child, became man, became sin on the Cross. " Mother Teresa of Calcutta, "a Samaritan soul".


    13/04/2017 - CHINA - VATICAN

    Msgr. Peter Shao Zhumin, bishop of Wenzhou (underground) seized by police

    by Bernardo Cervellera

    Public security will not reveal where he was taken, but allow the faithful to deliver some clothes for their pastor. The bishop will celebrate Easter with his faithful. Pressures on the prelate to adhere to the Patriotic Association. A similar fate to that of Msgr. Guo Xijin. It is also pressure on the Holy See.


    10/04/2017 - CHINA – VATICAN

    Underground Mindong Bishop Guo Xijin missing for four days

    by Wang Zhicheng

    After being detained at the Religious Affairs Office in Fuan, he was taken to an undisclosed location "to study and learn." Catholics believe that he will be pressured into joining the Patriotic Association. His refusal will likely mean that he won’t be allowed back to his diocese.


    10/04/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: technology has great power, but carries risks for humanity and poor nations


    For the pontiff, "people, and sometimes even those who represent and govern them" cannot fully realise the seriousness of the emerging challenges. “When the interplay between technological and economic power becomes close, interests can affect lifestyles and social orientations to the benefit of come industrial and business groups”.


    10/04/2017 - EGYPT - ISLAM

    Egypt, Catholic Church spokesman: Attacks cast a shadow on Easter and the Pope's visit


    Father Rafic Greiche emphasizes that terrorists "are stealing the joy of the feast." In spite of a climate of fear, yesterday churches across the country were packed with faithful. The government has declared a state of emergency. Need to strengthen intelligence work. He adds: Hard to know when, but "there will be more attacks."


    10/04/2017 - VATICAN-ISLAM-EGYPT

    Even the West contributes to the massacre of Christians and of hope in the Middle East

    by Bernardo Cervellera

    The cliché of the conflict of civilizations and religious wars. Daesh targets Christians, but also coexistence between Christians and Muslims. Al Sisi’s struggle for full citizenship of Christians in Egypt. Al Azhar and condemnation of fundamentalism. The West sells weapons to the Middle East, which end up in the hands of the Islamic State. Benedict XVI’s Regensburg address needs to be reconsidered.

     


    10/04/2017 - EGYPT - ISLAM

    Attacks on Egypt’s churches, what really happened

    by Loula Lahham

    The toll is of 43 dead and 114 wounded in the two attacks. A lot of the faithful want to bury the dead in the church's crypt. Daesh claims the attacks. The Muslim Brotherhood is complicit. President Al-Sisi declares a three-month state of emergency

     


    09/04/2017 - EGYPT-ISLAM

    A second terrorist attack hits church in Alexandria where Tawadros II was celebrating Mass

    by Loula Lahham

    The Coptic Orthodox Patriarch is unharmed. So far 11 are dead and 66 wounded. Initial reports indicate a suicide bomber was responsible. Egypt’s National Defence Council is set to meet. Some call for an overhaul of security measures around churches.


    09/04/2017 - VATICAN

    Palm Sunday: Jesus is neither a purveyor of illusions, nor a 'new age' prophet or an impostor, he is the great patient of human suffering, said the pope


    Pope Francis celebrated Palm Sunday with tens of thousands of young people on World Youth Day. "[A]s we joyfully acclaim our King, let us also think of the sufferings that he will have to endure in this week,” he said. “Jesus never promised honour and success. [. . .] He had always warned his friends that [. . .] the final victory would be achieved through the passion and the cross.” He did not ask us to contemplate him “only in pictures and photographs, or in the videos” but in his presence “in our many brothers and sisters who today endure sufferings like his own”. Krakow youth passed the WYD cross to their counterparts from Panama. The pontiff mentioned the recent attacks in Sweden and Egypt.


    08/04/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope tells young people to listen to their grandparents’ dreams and make them real


    Francis speaks at prayer vigil in St Mary Major Basilica ahead of tomorrow’s 32nd Diocesan World Youth Day.  Young people from Panama, host of the next World Youth Day, were present. “The pope will be there," Francis told them. "I don’t know if I'll be there,” he added, “but the pope will be there."


    07/04/2017 - THAILAND

    Thai king signs new pro-military constitution


    This is the 20th charter since the end of Thailand’s absolute monarchy in 1932. It boosts the monarch’s powers without popular vetting. For opponents, the new Charter neuters democracy. Elections are set for next year. The outgoing military government will pick Senate members who will elect the prime minister. For the military, the new dispensation will end deep political divisions. Violence breaks out in the south: Malay rebels carry out 23 attacks.


    07/04/2017 - SYRIA-USA

    United States: 59 missiles on a Syrian base in response to Idlib gas attack


    Shayrat airbase targeted, the base for jets that took part in the raid with chemical weapons over Idlib. Deaths and injuriesThe soldiers stationed at this base had liberated Palmyra. The Pentagon warned Russia before the attack. Tillerson: No role for Assad in Syria.


    06/04/2017 - VATICAN

    The number of Catholic believers, bishops and lay missionaries is up, the number of priests and nuns is down


    Catholics number 1,285 billion, 17.7 per cent of the world population. They represent 3.2 per cent of Asia’s population, 19.4 per cent of Africa’s, 26.4 per cent of Oceania’s, 39.9 per cent of Europe’s and 63.7 per cent of the Americas’. With 34,741, Asia has the largest number of seminarians.


    06/04/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: "stop ten minutes" to look at our own history to discover the beauty of God's love


    The Lord is faithful forever. This is demonstrated by the story of Abraham, a man of faith and hope, "a dreamer" who has always obeyed and saw the fulfillment of the promises.


     


    06/04/2017 - EGYPT-ISLAM

    Al Azhar and the rights of Christians in the Islamic world

    by Luca Galantini

    A few weeks ahead of Pope Francis’ visit to Egypt, the most influential Sunni university has defended equal rights for Christians and Muslims. But in the Arab-Islamic world, religious minorities suffer. All Constitutions impose restrictions: prohibition of community gatherings; to change one's religion; to assume high government office. Marginalization is leading to the flight of Christians from the Middle East.

     






    Editor's choices

    CHINA - VATICAN
    Msgr. Peter Shao Zhumin, bishop of Wenzhou (underground) seized by police

    Bernardo Cervellera

    Public security will not reveal where he was taken, but allow the faithful to deliver some clothes for their pastor. The bishop will celebrate Easter with his faithful. Pressures on the prelate to adhere to the Patriotic Association. A similar fate to that of Msgr. Guo Xijin. It is also pressure on the Holy See.


    CHINA – VATICAN
    Underground Mindong Bishop Guo Xijin missing for four days

    Wang Zhicheng

    After being detained at the Religious Affairs Office in Fuan, he was taken to an undisclosed location "to study and learn." Catholics believe that he will be pressured into joining the Patriotic Association. His refusal will likely mean that he won’t be allowed back to his diocese.


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