03/02/2015VATICAN Pope: Judging ourselves to obtain and offer mercy At Mass in Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis emphasizes that judging ourselves is the first step of Christian wisdom. Recognizing the envy that leads us to "speak ill of others", that we are capable of doing worse things than which we judge others for. "Who am I to judge?" obeys the exhortation of Jesus: Judge not lest you be judged. Vatican City (AsiaNews) -
It is easy to "blame others", but the first steps of Christian life
are those in which one learns "to judge oneself" to be able to
express compassion towards others, said Pope Francis in his homily during the
Mass today in the Casa Santa...
03/02/2015THAILAND Four Thai fishermen held captive by Somali pirates for five years are freed by Weena Kowitwanij A joint collaboration between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the United Nations. The fishermen: "It's like coming back to life after being dead”. Thai Prime Minister: "Entrepreneurs in the sector must cooperate with the government to stop this human trafficking."
03/01/2015VATICAN Pope: Let us not forget those who are suffering in Syria, Iraq and Venezuela; let us pray for them Francis comments the Gospel of the Transfiguration of Christ. "Jesus reveals himself as the perfect icon of the Father, the irradiation of his glory. It is the fulfilment of revelation. [. . .] Jesus' journey always leads us to happiness [. . .]. Love transfigures everything." The task he leaves for the disciples and the faithful is simple: "Listen to and follow the Saviour." After the Marian prayer, the Holy Father issued an appeal to the peoples of the Middle East, noting that "We are praying insistently for an end to the intolerable brutality of which they are victims."
02/28/2015VATICAN Pope encourages the growth of cooperatives as an economic model that serves the common good Cooperatives are "enterprises based on the principle of solidarity and social relations," that act as "the lever that raises and develops the weakest part of local communities and civil society," and provide "new welfare solutions" that support, facilitate and even encourage family life, because even though money is "the dung of the devil," if it is well managed, "it can be used to promote the common good."
02/24/2015EGYPT - ISLAM What Tayeb and Sisi said is big step towards a revolution in Islam by Samir Khalil Samir The grand imam of Al-Azhar slammed literalist interpretations of the Qur'an and the Sunnah, as fundamentalists and Islamic terrorists do. He supports the urgent need for Islam's reform, especially in terms of teaching lay people and clerics. He also calls for an end to mutual excommunication (takfir) between Sunnis and Shias. Egyptian President al-Sisi chose to fight the Islamic state group after it beheaded 21 Coptic Christians, whom he called "Egyptian citizens" with full rights.
02/23/2015SAUDI ARABIA - ISLAM For head of Al-Azhar, religious education reform is needed to stop Islamic extremism For Ahmed al-Tayeb, it is urgent to come up with new educational programmes to avoid "corrupt interpretations" of the Qur'an and Sunnah. Islamic terrorism undermines the unity of the Muslim world. He blames Mideast tensions on a "new global colonialism allied to world Zionism". a speech by the Saudi king is read at the conference.
02/23/2015THAILAND Bangkok: Student actors jailed for treason after skit on monarchy Patiwat Saraiyaem, 23, and his 26 year old companion Pornthip Munkong were arrested and charged. They have been sentenced to two years and six months, but had their sentence reduced because they pleaded guilty. The laws on treason used by the military junta to suppress dissent.
02/22/2015VATICAN Pope gifts "Guard your heart" booklet as an aid to conversion in Lent At today's Angelus Pope Francis gave away booklets containing "the wealth of our doctrine," the essentials of the faith: "the seven sacraments, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the Ten Commandments, the virtues, works of mercy. .. ". The booklet was distributed by volunteers and homeless people. "Those who are in need are also the ones who give us this great wealth." Lent is a time "for spiritual battle against the spirit of evil", already won by Jesus in the desert. "We go into the desert without fear, because we are not alone, we are with Jesus." This afternoon, the Pope goes to Ariccia on retreat with the Curia: "Pray so that in this desert we can hear the voice of Jesus and correct our many defects".
02/20/2015VATICAN Pope: "a good Christian is just to the people who depend on him" "Love of God and love of neighbor are one in the same" and especially in Lent "fasting, is not just abstaining from meat” only to "fight with and exploit workers" and make offerings to the Church "on their backs". The point of Lent is "to think about them: what can I do for the children, for the elderly, who do not have the opportunity to be seen by a doctor?", who maybe wait "for eight hours and then they give an appointment for a week after ".
02/20/2015THAILAND Thailand bans surrogacy services for foreigners Parliament passes a law to prevent the country becoming "the world’s womb". Commercial surrogacy will be granted only to Thai or mixed couples in cases where the mother "for rent" is over 25. The case of Gammy, abandoned by his biological parents because of having Down Syndrome.
02/19/2015LAOS - THAILAND Laos and Thailand to fight jointly against the trafficking of women Lao and Thai border officials are teaming up against human trafficking. The latest incident involved 100 Laotian teenagers stopped at a border crossing. Since 2011, more than 2,200 Lao nationals have been sold in Thailand's sex trade business: 95 per cent are women, and almost 80 per cent are under age.
02/19/2015THAILAND Bangkok, more legal woes for ex- Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra The public prosecutor has opened an investigation for "negligence" linked to the controversial subsidy scheme for rice production. Prosecutors say it has taken billions of dollars from state coffers. The former prime minister denies any wrongdoing. If convicted, she faces up to 10 years in prison.
02/18/2015VATICAN Pope: Lent, a time of conversion, a push to return into "the arms of God" "This work of conversion is not just a human endeavor. Reconciliation between us and God is possible thanks to the mercy of the Father. [. . .] We will do well to ask, at the beginning of this Lent, for the gift of tears, so as to make our prayer and our journey of conversion ever more authentic and without hypocrisy."
02/18/2015VATICAN Pope: "the international community must a find peaceful solutions to the difficult situation in Libya" Francis again asks for prayers at the general audience "for our Egyptian brothers," killed in Libya "for the mere fact of being Christian." Peace also for Ukraine. "Brother" and "sister" are "words that Christianity loves" and "history has shown enough, moreover, that the freedom and equality, without brotherhood, becomes filled with individualism and conformity, even personal interests".