29 April 2017
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  • 29/04/2017 - EGYPT - VATICAN

    Francis last encounter in Egypt was dedicated to priests, religious and seminarians. Do not give in to temptations, from being dragged down by disappointment and pessimism to allowing yourself be dominated by envy and yielding to gossip, from feeling superior to others to "walking without compass" by living "with a heart divided between God and worldliness" .




    29/04/2017 - INDONESIA

    Jakarta, public outpouring of affection and gratitude for Ahok

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    Citizens want to express their admiration. Each day thousands go to the town hall. The area in front of the palace flooded with signposts and floral decorations. Radical Islamist group's initiatives against the Christian governor continue. On 9 May the verdict of the blasphemy trial. Ahok: "Disliked and hated because of my faith and my ideas."


    29/04/2017 - EGYPT - VATICAN

    Pope in Egypt: "Any other fanaticism does not come from God and is not pleasing to him"


    At Mass celebrated in Cairo Francis exhorts Egyptian Catholics "not be afraid to open your hearts to the light of the Risen Lord, and let him transform your uncertainty into a positive force for yourselves and for others.  Do not be afraid to love everyone, friends and enemies alike, because the strength and treasure of the believer lies in a life of love!" "For God, it is better not to believe than to be a false believer, a hypocrite!"


    28/04/2017 - EGYPT - VATICAN

    Pope in Egypt: the ecumenism of blood unites Copts and Catholics


    Francis and Patriarch Tawadros II want to move on the path of full unity. They prayed in the church attacked in December. “[J]ust as the heavenly Jerusalem is one, so too is our martyrology; your sufferings are also our sufferings.”


    28/04/2017 - EGYPT – VATICAN

    Pope in Egypt: Egypt called to condemn violence and poverty in the Middle East


    In his address to Egyptian authorities, Francis stressed Egypt’s role and responsibility in the future of the region. "In the fragile and complex situation of today’s world, which I have described as ‘a world war being fought piecemeal’, it needs to be clearly stated that no civilized society can be built without repudiating every ideology of evil, violence and extremism that presumes to suppress others and to annihilate diversity by manipulating and profaning the Sacred Name of God.”


    28/04/2017 - INDONESIA

    Indonesian women slam child marriage, sexual violence, and pollution as sinful


    National conference of female religious scholars issues three fatwas. Child marriage is against Islamic law. Marriage age for women should be raised from 16 to 18. Every year, 340,000 girls are married. Sexual violence should also be banned, even in marriage. In Indonesia, 16,217 cases were reported in 2016. Environmental destruction for economic development should also be illegal.


    28/04/2017 - EGYPT - VATICAN

    Pope in Egypt: The future depends on the encounter of religions and cultures


    Francis in Cairo intervenes at the Peace Conference organized by Al-Ahram. Never commit violence in the name of God. "Without giving in to forms of facile syncretism,  our task is that of praying for one another, imploring from God the gift of peace, encountering one another, engaging in dialogue and promoting harmony in the spirit of cooperation and friendship."


    28/04/2017 - ISLAM – VATICAN – EGYPT

    A Muslim writes to the pope: Dear Pope Francis . . .

    by Kamel Abderrahmani

    He admires the charity shown by the pontiff towards Syrian Muslim refugees, and his push in favour of love and against hatred. Islamic scholars are not like this, he says, they do not denounce Daesh’s hatred and do nothing for Christians. He calls on the pontiff to press President to Sisi and Al Azhar to reform Islam. Without this Al Azhar risks being the academy of world fundamentalism. Here is the letter from our friend and collaborator Kamel Abderrahmani.


    27/04/2017 - EGYPT – VATICAN

    For Indian Jesuit, the pope’s visit of peace in Egypt will make history


    Fr Bimal Kerketta has lived in Egypt for 14 years. Pope Francis is a "man of peace. He has resisted terror and extremism [. . .] with great courage and wisdom.” Egyptians love him because despite threats and the tragic attacks against the two Coptic churches, he has not postponed his visit.


    27/04/2017 - INDONESIA

    West Java, Muslim women conference rejects polygamy


    The meeting aimed at boosting the role of female clerics in spreading Islamic teachings. Participants discussed and issued some fatwa. Broadening the role of women in Islam can counter extremist groups' propaganda. Muslim women can be "agents of change." Polygamy causes violence and is not part of Islamic teachings.


    27/04/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: The Christian's life is not witness to an idea, but to obedience to God


    Becoming a "witness to obedience" is "a grace of the Holy Spirit," and we must ask for it. "It is a grace we must seek, 'Father, Lord Jesus, send me your Spirit so that I may become a witness of obedience, that is, a Christian.'


    26/04/2017 - VATICANO

    Pope: Jesus will walk with us to the end of the earth, every day of our lives


    We will never cease to be "a concern for God's heart," because He is a God “passionate” for man, so tenderly loving as to be incapable of separating Himself from him." " Christian hope finds its root in fact not in the attraction of the future but in the certainty of what God has promised us and realized in Jesus Christ." "Our existence is a pilgrimage, a journeyEven all those who are moved by a simply human hope perceive the seduction of the horizon, which drives them to explore worlds they still do not know. Our spirit is a migrant soul "


    26/04/2017 - THAILAND

    Date for King Bhumibol’s cremation set for one year after his death


    26 October will be a national holiday. The five-day funeral ritual will start on 25 October followed by King Maha Vajiralongkorn’s coronation. A huge cremation complex is going up outside Bangkok’s Grand Palace.


    25/04/2017 - VIETNAM

    Vietnamese protesters demand apology over police mistreatment


    Agents seized No-Formosa T-shirts. Police mistreatment sparks anger among locals. For parish priest Dan Huu Nam, "They have to apologise for their behavior and must return the shirts". One year after the disaster, compensation is slow.


    25/04/2017 - EGYPT – VATICAN – ISLAM

    Catholic patriarch of Alexandria: Pope Francis’s visit will mark a renewal of the Church in Egypt

    by Loula Lahham

    Anba Ibrahim Isaac Sidrak describes his joy for Pope Francis’s visit and his uneasiness towards his country, hit by terrorism. He talks about the fraternal relations with Tawadros II and those with Al Azhar and President el-Sisi, as well as the renewal of the Church with new bodies, social tasks, and enhanced role for the lay men and women.


    25/04/2017 - VATICAN-EGYPT

    Pope Francis in a video message: Dear people of Egypt ...

    by Papa Francesco

    To mark his upcoming visit to the country (28-29 April), Pope Francis today sent a video message to the Egyptian people. " Our world, torn by blind violence, which has also afflicted the heart of your dear land – needs peace, love and mercy; it needs workers for peace. "


    25/04/2017 - VATICAN - EGYPT

    Pope Francis in Egypt, without an armored car. Program of visit


    Plans for Pope to tour among faithful in a golf car. The theme of the visit is "The Pope of Peace in Egypt of Peace". After visiting Al-Sisi and the great imam of Al Azhar, Francis will participate in the International Peace Conference organized by Al Tayyeb. A prayer for the martyrs of terrorism near the Coptic cathedral, where there was an attack in December. A meeting with the children of Cairo and with young pilgrims.


    25/04/2017 - ISLAM

    The roots of violent Islamism are in Islam, the words of a Muslim

    by Kamel Abderrahmani

    After every terrorist attack, there is the tendency to say, "This is not Islam." Yet those criminal acts are justified and inspired by texts that are the reference point for Muslims and Islamic institutions worldwide. There is an urgent need to reform Islam from within, by the Muslims themselves. Coexistence with other religions is the way to remove Islam from sclerosis and stagnation.


    24/04/2017 - INDONESIA

    Hatred against non-Muslims grows as radical movements expand

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    Some 59 per cent Indonesians are intolerant towards minorities. Religious radicalism is on the rise. At least 11.5 million people are "spiritually" ready to change Indonesian society. The last election was poisoned by religious conflict. For Sinta Nuriyah Wahid, " radical groups have their own political agenda,” namely “the Islamic State of Indonesia”. Only 11 per cent of Indonesians are strongly opposed to an Islamic nation.


    24/04/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: Christianity is "concrete": the Word "made flesh, not an idea"


    "The Lord gives us all this Easter Spirit, to travel the paths of the Spirit without compromise, without stiffness, with the freedom to proclaim Jesus Christ as He came: in the flesh."


    23/04/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: Mercy is a form of knowledge that opens the door of the mind and heart


    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 - VIETNAM – CHINA

    Catholics outraged by bad-mannered Chinese visitors in Nha Trang cathedral

    by Nguyen Hung

    The local Communist Party section told the parish to keep the church open to visitors. Parishioners are opposed to this because Chinese tourists are aggressive towards worshippers, cause degradation and undermine local cultural traditions. For Catholics, protecting the building’s sacredness is a duty.


    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".


    21/04/2017 - INDONESIA

    Indonesian Catholics meet to discuss the country's development


    Catholic Academics and business leaders met at Atma Jaya Catholic University to focus on what they can do for Indonesian society.


    21/04/2017 - VIETNAM

    Farmers resist land grab, put up barricades, and seize police agents


    Land in Mỹ Đức, a suburban district in the capital, is at the centre of the dispute. For days, residents have held 20 cops and local officials as hostages. The authorities sent Hà Nội mayor to mediate, but protesters refused to meet him. Instead, they said they are ready to set the hostages on fire in case of armed intervention.


    20/04/2017 - INDONESIA

    Jakarta prosecutors ask for light sentence in blasphemy trial involving Ahok

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    Prosecutors call for two years' probation with a possible one-year jail term if the accused breaks the law during this period. The maximum sentence in such cases is five years. Islamic extremists slam the prosecutors’ request. The latter acknowledge the outgoing governor’s "great work" in the capital.


    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 - MALAYSIA

    At Easter, Malaysian Catholics celebrate more than a thousand baptisms in Kota Kinabalu


    Some received the sacrament during Easter Vigil in the cathedral. Others were baptised at Easter Mass. The catechumens also received first communion and confirmation. More than 200 baptisms took place in Karamunsing; 244 in Ranau.


    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 ".






    Editor's choices

    EGYPT – VATICAN
    Pope in Egypt: Egypt called to condemn violence and poverty in the Middle East



    In his address to Egyptian authorities, Francis stressed Egypt’s role and responsibility in the future of the region. "In the fragile and complex situation of today’s world, which I have described as ‘a world war being fought piecemeal’, it needs to be clearly stated that no civilized society can be built without repudiating every ideology of evil, violence and extremism that presumes to suppress others and to annihilate diversity by manipulating and profaning the Sacred Name of God.”


    ISLAM – VATICAN – EGYPT
    A Muslim writes to the pope: Dear Pope Francis . . .

    Kamel Abderrahmani

    He admires the charity shown by the pontiff towards Syrian Muslim refugees, and his push in favour of love and against hatred. Islamic scholars are not like this, he says, they do not denounce Daesh’s hatred and do nothing for Christians. He calls on the pontiff to press President to Sisi and Al Azhar to reform Islam. Without this Al Azhar risks being the academy of world fundamentalism. Here is the letter from our friend and collaborator Kamel Abderrahmani.


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