07/24/2014VATICAN - SUDAN Pope meets Meriam, thanks her for her courageous witness of faith Today at Domus Sanctae Marthae, Francis received the Sudanese woman, jailed in recent months for her faith, together with her husband and two sons. "Francis wanted to express his closeness, concern and prayers for all those who suffer for their faith," said Father Lombardi. Vatican
- During a friendly meeting,
which lasted about half an hour in a
serene and tender atmosphere,
the Pope thanked Meriam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag
for her testimony...
07/24/2014SUDAN - ITALY Meriam free at last in Rome where she could meet the Pope Sentenced to death for apostasy, the young Sudanese Christian woman arrived in Italy on an Italian government plane. Her story had sparked protests across the non-Muslim world. "Today is a day of celebration," said Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. "The Pope has been informed," said Father Lombardi.
07/21/2014LEBANON - IRAQ Patriarch Rahi: "What do moderate Muslims say" about what is happening to Christians in Mosul? by Fady Noun "We hear no one cry out" against the brutal behavior that contradicts 1,400 years of history of the Islamic world. The Syriac-Catholic patriarch calls on the Vatican to organise a meeting to deal with the situation with the apostolic nuncios from the countries involved, and consider joining forces with the diplomatic efforts of the Patriarch of Moscow.
07/20/2014VATICAN Pope: I am with the persecuted Christians of Mosul and the Middle East "May the God of peace inspire in all a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated with violence. Violence is defeated with peace." At the Sunday Angelus Francis comments on the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God is "patient" He knows "the same weeds in the end, may become good wheat". But "at the time of the harvest, that is, of judgment, the reapers will execute the order of the master separating the weeds to be burned".
07/18/2014VATICAN - ISLAM Christians and Muslims should work fraternally for "justice, peace and respect for the rights and dignity of every person" The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue issues a message for the Muslims of the world to mark the end of Ramadan. "Despite being aware of our differences, [. . .] We perceive the importance of promoting a fruitful dialogue built upon mutual respect and friendship. Inspired by our shared values and strengthened by our sentiments of genuine fraternity, we are called to work together for justice, peace and respect for the rights and dignity of every person."
07/18/2014CHINA - VATICAN Beijing, seminarians desert graduation ceremony: We will not celebrate Mass with illegitimate bishops The rector of the seminary is the illegitimate bishop Joseph Ma Yinglin: Students refuse to concelebrate with him and reject Msgr. Fang Xingyao, who has participated in several illegal episcopal ordinations. The directors close the year without awarding diplomas and send students home: rumors of some courses being "suspended" in September. The precedent of 2000, when 130 young students chose fidelity to the Pope over compromise with the government.
07/14/2014HONG KONG - CHINA - VATICAN Hong Kong's bishops-elect back civil disobedience, cautious about China Vatican dialogue by Victoria Ma Catholics in Hong Kong and mainland China welcomed papal appointments with joy. A Catholic from northern China hopes to see the Holy See choose new bishops for the Chinese Church. The three new bishops will be ordained on 30 August. Card Tong's episcopal mandate has been extended for another three years.
07/13/2014VATICAN As pope makes "heartfelt appeal" for peace in the Holy Land, he notes that prayer is not "in vain" After the Angelus, Pope Francis called on those present to pray during a minute of silence. He made the same plea to local and international policy makers. Prayer helps us "not allow ourselves be overcome by evil, nor accept that violence and hatred take over from dialogue and reconciliation." The parable of the sower asks, 'How is our heart? To what ground does it look like: a road, rocky ground, or a bush? We must remember that with our words "we too are sowers". Indeed, "Our words can do so much good and so much evil; they can hurt and heal, encourage and depress." And "please, do not forget to pray for me."
07/12/2014ASIA - UNITED NATIONS More than half the world's population lives in cities India will lead the way, as the country's urban population is expected to swell by 404 million people between now and 2050. Tokyo will continue to top the mega-city list followed by Delhi, Shanghai, Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Beijing, Osaka, and Cairo. This trend will be challenge for health care, schools, food, and housing.
07/11/2014VATICAN Tourism can contribute to "integral human development" In his message for World Tourism Day, the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Itinerant notes that tourism can be an instrument of progress, provided that its benefits reach all sectors of the host society. "It is also essential that these benefits follow ethical criteria that are, above all, respectful to people both at a community level and to each person, and avoid a purely economic conception of society".
07/11/2014HONG KONG-CHINA-VATICAN Card Zen: Religious freedom and civil liberties are united, for China and Hong Kong by Bernardo Cervellera A wide ranging conversation with the bishop emeritus of Hong Kong: the courage of Msgr. Ma Daqin, who sent a message to Pope Francis; underground Catholics are also prepared to be arrested; suspicions about Beijing’s sincerity towards possible dialogue with the Holy See. And in Hong Kong, the march for a referendum on democracy; support for "Occupy Central"; the fear of the government and arrests. Card. Zen reaffirms that religious freedom and civil liberties go hand in hand.
07/10/2014CHINA - VATICAN Shanghai: Catholics remember Mgr Ma Daqin and the sufferings of the faithful on the day of Chinese martyrs by Jian Mei Mgr Ma is said to have sent a message to Pope Francis: "Do not worry about me, do not stop from preaching the truth." The bishop has been in solitary confinement for two years for resigning from the Patriotic Association. To the faithful of Shanghai, he remains "our beloved pastor." In Hong Kong, people remember him and the martyrs. Asian Youth Day in Korea is set to focus on the martyrs.
07/10/2014VATICAN-ITALY-BRAZIL Marcello Candia, the industrialist for the poor by Piero Gheddo From successful businessman to lay missionary in the Brazilian Amazon. He cared for lepers and the poor; supported contemplative monasteries and hospitals. The Vatican has recognized his "heroic virtues", one step closer to beatification. In 1975 he was named Brazil’s “Person of the year”.
07/10/2014SOUTH KOREA - VATICAN Korean pop stars make music video to celebrate Pope Francis’ visit The song is titled "Koinonia" and is a symbol of friendship and sharing, to "present to the Pope on his arrival". Argentinian Pope’s journey "a source of hope." The stars have signed up for free, because "it is an honor to be part of it”. The song will be preformed during the beatification ceremony of the Korean Martyrs.