24 July 2016
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    23/07/2016 - POLAND - VATICAN - WYD

    A few days before the opening of the 13th World Youth Day security levels have been raised at Wawel, in the Market Square and the rest of the historic center. But the "peaceful" invasion of the young people is filling the  streets with colour. The first vocational stands and “street confessionals” are appearing, ready for the events led by the pontiff. A Taiwanese delegation travels 42 hours to reach the cultural capital of Poland: "exhausting but beautiful".




    22/07/2016 - ASIA – WYD

    Card Gracias: young Asians bring Asian values to World Youth Day in Krakow

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    "Our Asian pilgrims not only bring the grandeur, the vitality and beauty of Asia, but also the multi-cultural diversity, pluralism as well as Asian values of hospitality and family and, of course, the Church of the young.” Asia youth come to discover Krakow and the charisma of John Paul II, founder of the WYD.


    22/07/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: the Church and the world are still in need of contemplative religious


    Apostolic Constitution "Dei Vultum quaerere – Seeking the Face of God" indicates 12 "themes of reflection and discernment" on women’s contemplative life in general. Yes to social media, but not  as a means of "wasting time or escaping from the demands of fraternal life in community". No to "recruiting" sisters to avoid closing monasteries. Prayer “must enlarge your heart to embrace all humanity, especially those who suffer” and not close monastic life in on itself.


    20/07/2016 - VATICAN - POLAND

    Pope: Estimated 2 million waiting in Krakow for WYD


    Francis will arrive by tram, along with a group of disabled people. He will visit Auschwitz, in silence, and Father Kolbe’s cell. "There are no particular concerns regarding security" and "no groups have withdrawn over security concerns".


    19/07/2016 - CHINA – VATICAN

    Chinese youth and priests prevented from attending World Youth Day

    by Bernardo Cervellera

    Some 2,000 young people from mainland China are expected in Krakow. However, many would-be participants have no money or sponsors. The authorities have banned official and underground priests from going because they are too friendly with the pope. Police have stopped young people at airports minutes before embarkation. Some fear that once home participants will be subjected to interrogation.


    18/07/2016 - VIETNAM - CHINA

    Hanoi arrests dozens of activists for protesting against Chinese imperialism on the seas

    by Thanh Nhan

    Patriots and nationalists demonstrated in the capital and in Ho Chi Minh City. The protest  Beijing’s failure to respect the ruling on the disputed territories in the South China Sea. Hanoi fears that the demonstrations may turn against government. Vietnamese broadcaster cancels Chinese TV series: the actors signed a pro-Beijing petition.


    17/07/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: More important than serving are listening and welcoming guests


    Francis spoke today about Jesus’s visit to two sisters, Martha and Mary, one of whom was “busy” and the other was “contemplative”. The right attitude belongs to those who "value the most important thing, i.e. the presence of the guest, Jesus." After the Marian prayer, the pope turned his thoughts to the Nice massacre. “May God, the good Father, welcome all the victims into his peace, support the wounded and comfort the families. May he dissolve every project of terror and death, so that no one dares to spill his brother's blood.” He also greeted “the great Chinese brothers and sisters” in the square.


    15/07/2016 - VATICAN - FRANCE

    Pope condemns "blind violence" of Nice attack


    Solidarity with the French people hit "again" and with the victims' families. The pain of the Asian churches in a statement by Cardinal Gracias.


    14/07/2016 - VIETNAM - CHINA

    South China Sea: Hanoi satisfied with ruling against Beijing

    by Nguyen Dinh

    The Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs "welcomes" the decision of the Permanent Court of Arbitration. Hanoi claims sovereignty over part of the disputed area and an exclusive economic zone. The majority of citizens in favor of territorial claims. But disputes must be resolved peacefully and according to international law.

     


    12/07/2016 - PHILIPPINES – CHINA

    Tribunal rules that Beijing has no claim over disputed islands in South China Sea


    The Permanent Court of Arbitration rules on a case brought by Philippines. According to the judges China has no claim over the disputed waters. The legal decision has great political significance, but Beijing does not feel bound by it. For the Philippines’ legal representative, the ruling was "clear and unanimous".


    11/07/2016 - ISLAM – EUROPE

    Political Islam, failure in educating young people, ambiguity towards the West

    by Hocine Drouiche*

    Qur‘anic schools in the West teach political Islam centred on jihad and hatred towards the enemies. Imams and scholars are blocking any reform and every question from students. Islamist groups want to destroy Muslim regimes and the imperialist West. An Islam of dialogue that does not proselytise is still possible. Europe must control Jihadi groups. This will save Islam as a religious experience, and even world peace. Imam Drouiche, vice-president of the Conference of Imams of France-Paris, gives his reflections.


    10/07/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: May good works grow within us, for we will be judged by our mercy


    Francis comments on the parable of the Good Samaritan: "Let us ask ourselves: Is our faith fruitful? Does it produce good works? Or is it rather sterile, and therefore more dead than alive? Do I stop to help others or simply pass by?". After the Angelus prayer he recalls Sea Sunday: "May Mary, Star of the Sea, watch over you."


    07/07/2016 - VIETNAM

    Police attack again Thien An monastery in Hue


    The Communist authorities have set their eyes on the monastery’ land. On 26 June police stopped the monks from building a path. The following day the abbot sent a petition of protest to local and international authorities. The monastery can lose its case if the authorities “ignore the law,” said one monk.


    06/07/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope calls on a group of poor to pray for those who are rich and those who have no compassion


    The “Church, who loves and prefers the ones whom Jesus loved and preferred, cannot stay quiet until it has reached all those who experience rejection, exclusion, and do not matter to anyone.”


    06/07/2016 - ISLAM

    We Muslims hypocrites: Daesh, it is us

    by Kamel Abderrahmani

    Sharia "invented" by Ulemas and taught in Islamic schools is the same law practiced by the Islamic State militants. The "religious jurisprudence, founded more than 10 centuries ago," has “chained and rusted our brain and that of our children." It is urgent to modernize the Muslim religion and free it from the ambiguities linked to the past. The courageous appeal of a young Algerian Muslim student.


    05/07/2016 - VIETNAM

    Fifteen seminarians go to “charity school” in Ho Chi Minh City’s poorest neighbourhoods

    by Paul N. Hung

    St Joseph Major Seminary students set to work with Caritas for a month. After a training course, they went to the Cần Giờ missionary point to work with disabled and abandoned children. “Continue along this path” to serve the Lord, city’s archbishop said.


    05/07/2016 - BANGLADESH – ISLAM

    Dhaka massacre and the half understood Regensburg lecture

    by Bernardo Cervellera

    05/07/2016 - VATICAN - SYRIA

    For pope, no military solution in Syria is possible, only a national unity government can do


    Francis issues a video message in support of Caritas Internationalis’s ‘Syria, peace is possible’ campaign. “While the people suffer, incredible quantities of money are being spent to supply weapons to fighters. And some of the countries supplying these arms are also among those that talk of peace. How can you believe in someone who caresses you with the right hand and strikes you with the left hand?”


    04/07/2016 - VATICAN

    Vatican calls on governments and bishops to care more for those who live from the sea


    The Pontifical Council for Migrants and Itinerant releases a message for Sea Sunday 2016, which falls next Sunday 10 July, to "remind to all Christian communities and to each individual how important and essential are the seafarer profession and the shipping industry for our daily life”.


    01/07/2016 - VIETNAM

    Hanoi admits Formosa Plastic Group responsible for environmental disaster, will pay damages


    After three months of investigation, the government blames steel maker for tonnes of dead fish and marine pollution. The company will pay US$ 500 million in compensation. For activists and dissidents, this is not enough given the damage to millions of people who need long-term help. The authorities too are responsible.


    30/06/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope’s travels in the Caucasus to "encourage hope and paths of peace"


    At today’s jubilee audience, Francis spoke about his recent visit to Armenia, and his coming trip to Georgia and Azerbaijan in September. It is "one thing to talk about mercy, it is another to live mercy" because "the works of mercy are not theoretical issues, but actual deeds. They force us to roll up our sleeves to alleviate suffering. "


    30/06/2016 - CHINA – VATICAN

    Mgr Ma Daqin, the Vatican and the Patriotic Association’s “crooked logic”

    by Gu Feng

    A priest in central China looks at the bishop of Shanghai’s volte-face, comparing him to John the Baptist who was jailed after he accused Herod. Because of their crooked logic, the Patriotic Association and the government seek to eliminate religion from the country. The Vatican is in danger of contradicting itself if it makes compromises with the Patriotic Association. Pope Benedict XVI described the latter as “incompatible” with Catholic doctrine in his Letter to Chinese Catholics, which Pope Francis has never disclaimed, but has instead reiterated.


    29/06/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope speaks about Peter and Paul, lights of the east and west, appeals after Istanbul attack


    At the Angelus prayer, Pope Francis talks about the two apostles who brought the faith to Rome. “They still want to carry Jesus, his merciful love, his consolation, his peace.” The pontiff welcomed the ecumenical delegation from Constantinople, as well as Chinese Catholics. Sharing the sorrow, he prays for the Turkish people after the Istanbul airport attack.


    29/06/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: Prayer as the way out for the community in lieu of looking inward from persecution and fear


    On the Solemnity of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, Pope Francis greeted the delegation sent by the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople. He expressed hope to see things go from "division to unity". He blessed the pallia for new major archbishops, a sign of communion with the See of Peter. Christian communities must be Churches “going out” through prayer to overcome fear and "Herod's complex", the feeling of persecution that drives inward when faced with dangers and “God’s surprises”.


    28/06/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: mercy is the “criterion” for Catholic-Orthodox relations


    Francis welcomes a delegation from the Ecumenical Patriarchate, presently in Rome for the feast day of Saints Peter and Paul. “For divine mercy frees us of the burden of past conflicts and lets us be open to the future to which the Spirit is guiding us.” Bartholomew mentions the visit to Lesvos Island.


    27/06/2016 - VIETNAM – VATICAN

    "I met the true faith" of Vietnamese Christians, Mgr Girelli said

    by Thanh Thuy

    Since January 2011, the non-resident papal representative has visited each of Vietnam’s 26 dioceses at least twice. The prelate highlighted the work of bishops, priests, religious and laity. He met with Communist authorities and paid attention to the poor and marginalised. He stressed the importance of seminars in the training of future priests.


    27/06/2016 - ASIA-UNITED KINGDOM

    Hong Kong and Asia are still suffering from Brexit: "a new era of great uncertainty"


    Analysts speak of "economic chaos" worse than the 2008 crisis. This morning the Pound fell more than 2%. Financial stocks linked to London still negative. At the China's central bank think that it will take 5-10 years to get over the bumps. Indian Manager: Just a temporary reaction.


    26/06/2016 - VATICAN - ARMENIA

    Pope in Armenia: religious freedom essential to the victory of peace


    At the conclusion of his visit Francis signed a joint declaration with Catholicos Karenin II. The "constant conflicts based on ethnicity, political and religious in the Middle East and other parts of the world." The willingness of the Catholic Church and the Armenian Apostolic Church to continue on the path towards full unity.

     


    26/06/2016 - VATICAN - ARMENIA

    The Pope in Armenia asks the Catholicos to bless "this our path towards full unity"


    Pope Francis attends the Armenian Apostolic divine liturgy. The program does not include a Catholic mass today, to emphasize the unique Eucharistic mystery. The "common wealth" of the two traditions; the intercession of the Spirit, the Mother of God, the saints, the Armenian martyrs to "re-found unity". "Let us pay heed to the younger generation, who seek a future free of past divisions" and the end of the "scandal" of division among Christians.


    25/06/2016 - VATICAN - ARMENIA

    Pope in Armenia: Memory, faith, mercy, the foundation for rebuilding Church and society


    In the city of Gyumri, marked by the genocide and by the earthquake, Pope Francis offers the "three stable foundations" to rebuild the person, the population, society. The invitation to young people to consecrate their lives to merciful love for the Church and the world "this is something that is needed in these troubled times, which is also a time of mercy".

     


    25/06/2016 - VATICAN - ARMENIA

    Pope in Armenia: reconciliation with Turkey and peace in Nagorno Karabakh


    At the ecumenical encounter and prayer for peace Francis says "we are walking together on a journey that has already taken us far". In the Middle East, "where so many of our brothers and sisters suffer violence and persecution on account of hatred and interminable conflicts.  Those conflicts are fueled by the proliferation of weapons and by the arms trade".

     






    Editor's choices

    ASIA – WYD
    Card Gracias: young Asians bring Asian values to World Youth Day in Krakow

    Nirmala Carvalho

    "Our Asian pilgrims not only bring the grandeur, the vitality and beauty of Asia, but also the multi-cultural diversity, pluralism as well as Asian values of hospitality and family and, of course, the Church of the young.” Asia youth come to discover Krakow and the charisma of John Paul II, founder of the WYD.


    SYRIA
    Horror in Aleppo: "moderate" rebel group beheads Palestinian child



    The Nour al-Din al-Zenki movement beheads 11-year old Abdallah Issa shouting "Allah Akbar". The child was executed for collaborating with government forces. Before he died he was tortured. The group’s leaders try to back away from the barbaric killing. The group is supported by Turkey, the US, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.


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