28 June 2016
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    28/06/2016 - VATICAN

    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 - ARMENIA – VATICAN

    Francis’s visit and the mission entrusted to the Armenian people

    by Pierre Balanian

    The pope did not waver from calling evil by its name, recognising the right of the Armenian people to remember. However, remembrance can no longer be an end in itself; it must become the vocation of the Armenian people and Diaspora. Armenians must become ambassadors and a bridge between cultures they met after the genocide, working for peace and religious coexistence. A Diaspora Armenian writes.

    27/06/2016 - CHINA - VATICAN

    Mgr Ma Daqin’s volte-face, a cross to bear for the sake of Shanghai

    by p. Pietro dalla Cina

    The auxiliary bishop of Shanghai holds dear the welfare of his diocese and intends to carry alone the burden of his statements of four years ago. Fr Lombardi’s clarification on the role of the Holy See dispels any doubt: the Letter of Benedict XVI to the Chinese Church is still valid; thus the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association's position is not accepted by the Vatican. A Chinese priest comments. Translation by AsiaNews.

    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".


    25/06/2016 - VATICAN -ARMENIA

    The Pope at the Armenian Genocide Memorial: flowers and prayers for the victims

    Francis visits the "Hill of the Swallows," the Tzitzernakaberd Memorial Complex to commemorate those who died during the "Great Evil." A long silent prayer before the entrance of the building, then the Psalms and the Gospel in Armenian and Italian in the Flame Room of perpetual memory. Immediately after, a meeting with the descendants of those who were housed by Pope Benedict XV in Castel Gandolfo during the persecutions.

    24/06/2016 - VATICAN – ARMENIA

    Pope in Armenia condemns genocide, calls for action against those who use God to commit violence

    The ‘Great Evil’, the genocide that struck the Armenian people "was the first of the deplorable series of catastrophes of the past century, made possible by twisted racial, ideological or religious aims”. Hence, “it is vitally important that all those who declare their faith in God join forces to isolate those who use religion to promote war, oppression and violent persecution, exploiting and manipulating the holy name of God.”

    24/06/2016 - VATICAN - ARMENIA

    Pope in Armenia: Ecumenism, collaboration, is also of value outside of Churches

    On arriving in Yerevan, Francis went to Etchmiadzin Cathedral. "For Armenia, faith in Christ has not been like a garment to be donned or doffed as circumstances or convenience dictate, but an essential part of its identity, a gift of immense significance, to be accepted with joy, preserved with great effort and strength, even at the cost of life itself".



    Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem

    On the same day, the Holy See accepts the resignation of Fouad Twal, the Latin Patriarch, and appoints the former custodian of the Holy Land as apostolic administrator of the patriarchate. Facing new challenges, addressing the geopolitical and socio-religious changes taking place in the Middle East.


    23/06/2016 - ARMENIA – VATICAN

    Pope Francis in Armenia, a pilgrim in the land of Christian martyrs

    by Pierre Balanian

    This visit is first and foremost a way of sharing with the first Christian people in history, marked by the genocide. There is also the ecumenical value of fraternity with the Armenian Apostolic Church, and the prophetic quality for peace in the Caucasus, a crossroad between Asia and Europe. Here are the views of a Diaspora Armenian.

    23/06/2016 - VATICAN – CHINA

    Pope is praying for Mgr Ma Daqin, the Vatican had no "role" in his statement

    Vatican Press Office Fr Federico Lombardi dispels all doubts and suspicions among Chinese Catholics with respect to Mgr Daqin’s “volte face” vis-à-vis the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association.

    22/06/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: Refugees are our brothers, we must welcome them

    At the General Audience Francis urges people to "touch the excluded" and the poor who need us. "Every night I pray: 'Lord, if you want you can make me clean' and I say five Our Fathers, one for each of Jesus’ wounds". "The grace working in us does not seek sensationalism. Usually it moves quietly and without fanfare".

    22/06/2016 - LEBANON - SYRIA

    Gregory III to "rebel" Melkite bishops: I will not resign under illegal and deceptive pressures

    by Fady Noun

    The Greek-Catholic synod due to have taken place two days ago lacked a quorum, with the absence of 10 bishops. They accuse the Patriarch of having bankrupted the Church patrimony. The faithful are scandalized. The Congregation for Eastern Churches pushes for dialogue.

    21/06/2016 - VATICAN

    For pope, the death penalty is unacceptable and contradicts God’s plan

    In a video message, Francis addressed the 6th World Congress against the Death Penalty, which opened today in Oslo. “The commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill’ has absolute value and applies both to the innocent and to the guilty.” The pontiff also called for improved living conditions for prisoners.

    21/06/2016 - CHINA

    Inculturating theology, key to religious freedom in China

    The Chinese Catholic Church has suffered decades of enforced immobility under Communist rule. As it started up again in the 1980s, the paucity of pastors and administrators became apparent. Now scholars and theologians are needed to inculturate the faith to local conditions and engage Chinese society in dialogue despite some fears vis-à-vis the spread of Christianity. Here is an article by Tripod, a publication of the Diocese of Hong Kong.

    20/06/2016 - ORTHODOX

    Despite the absence of some Churches, Pan-Orthodox Synod opens

    by NAT da Polis

    The leaders of the Churches of Antioch, Russia, Georgia and Bulgaria are not present. They decided not to come a week ago, despite agreeing to the gathering and its agenda. The Orthodox Church must urgently meet the challenges of the contemporary world. Synodality must be a permanent feature of the Church. Pope Francis sent his greetings and prayers.

    20/06/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: Only God can judge, “look in the mirror" before judging others

    "Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye and not notice the log that is in your own?". Judging is wanting to take God’s place, "as a bad judge." "And also, my opinion is poor judgment. It lacks something so important about God's judgment, it lacks mercy".

    19/06/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: The world needs Christ, his salvation, his merciful love more than ever

    Speaking at the Angelus Pope Francis reiterated the question in today's Gospel, “Who is Jesus for the people of our time? Who is Jesus for each of us?” Sadly, “Many people feel an emptiness around and in themselves; others live in restlessness and uncertainty because of insecurity and conflict”. He recited the Ave Maria for the Pan-Orthodox Synod in Crete. Tomorrow is the UN’s World Refugee Day. Speaking about refugees, he said we must “meet them, welcome them, listen to them, and become peacemakers in accordance with God’s will."

    18/06/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: on conversion, Jesus persuaded people with kindness and love

    In today’s jubilee audience, Pope Francis focused on conversion, the "first word" of Jesus 'preaching. With "the Holy Spirit,” he seeded “in us the restlessness to change life and be a little better.” He noted that the conversions of Matthew and Zacchaeus took place "because they felt loved by Jesus and, through Him, by the Father."

    17/06/2016 - CHINA – VATICAN

    Mgr Ma Daqin: the text of his “confession”

    by Mons. Taddeo Ma Daqin

    Four years after quitting the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, the bishop of Shanghai “admits” his faults on his blog, praising the organisation that controls the Church. We publish his article, almost in its entirety. Translation by AsiaNews.

    17/06/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope urges laity to look "outside", to those who are distant, to families in need, to unexplored areas

    Receiving the Pontifical Council for the Laity, Francis speaks of the reform of the Curia, and indicates the fields in which they can act. "We need well-trained lay people, animated by a sincere and limpid faith, whose life has been touched by the personal and merciful encounter with the love of Christ Jesus."


    17/06/2016 - VATICAN - ISLAM

    Christians and Muslims must work together to help those in need

    Message of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue for Ramadan. Faced with so many victims of conflict and violence "it is vital that all work together to assist those in need, regardless of their ethnicity or their religious beliefs."


    17/06/2016 - CHINA - VATICAN

    China and Vatican: incredulous reactions and distress over Shanghai Bishop Ma Daqin’s "volte-face"

    by Bernardo Cervellera

    After resigning from the Patriotic Association, and having suffered four years under house arrest, Msgr. Ma appears to have retracted his positions, lauding the PA and its’ functions in favor of the Chinese Church. Some faithful believe he "was forced"; others that he is the victim of "too much pressure"; for others still, this "submission" is the "price he must pay" to regain freedom for the community of Shanghai, where perhaps the seminary (closed for 4 years) will reopen in September. The Vatican gives little credence to the bishop’s statements. A Chinese bishop wonders whether dialogue between the Holy See and China is of any use and is concerned that someone in the Vatican piloted Ma Daqin’s "confession" to please the Chinese government.


    16/06/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: pastoral outreach should “accommodate, accompany, discern and integrate” families

    Francis opened the Ecclesial Conference of the Diocese of Rome, dedicated to Amoris laetitia. He called for “Reflecting on the lives of our families, as they are” rather than ideologising, avoiding a “separatist logic”, and giving seniors some room.

    16/06/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: even beneath the tears and bloodshed caused by violence and persecution, there is light

    Receiving participants in the Reunion of Aid Agencies for the Oriental Churches (ROACO), Francis recommends "communion in the witness of the one Saviour" by Latin rite and Eastern Catholics.


    16/06/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: Sowing joy and beauty "in a world with a somber and sad face" is an act of mercy

    Francis thanks participants in the Jubilee for Circus and Travelling Show People "you are artisans of beauty" and "do not know the good you do”. He caresses a tiger cub.


    16/06/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: Pray the Our Father, forgetting all insults, "the best prayer we can say"

    "Father", the word that Jesus used in the most intense moments, is "the cornerstone" of prayer, "it is a call to the One who gave us the child's identity." "Unless we feel that we are his children, without considering ourselves as his children, without saying ‘Father,’ our prayer is a pagan one, it’s just a prayer of words."


    15/06/2016 - ARMENIA – VATICAN

    Armenian bishop: Church and faithful materially and spiritually preparing for the pope's visit

    Mgr Minassian, Ordinary for Eastern Europe’s Armenian Catholics, talks about how Catholics are preparing for Francis’s visit.  There is a feeling “of faith that touches a deep psychological, sentimental and human core,” the bishop noted. The pope “has special affection” for the Armenian people. Giant screens are being set up for large crowds. People will come long distances to see Francis, and thank him for what he said about the genocide.

    Editor's choices

    Vatican silence over Shanghai’s Mgr Ma Daqin causing confusion and controversy

    Bernardo Cervellera

    For some, Mgr Ma’s blog post praising the Patriotic Association and acknowledging his mistakes is nothing but “dirt”. For others, he chose humiliation for the “sake of his diocese”. Many wonder why the Holy See has remained silent about the article’s content and the bishop’s persecution. Some suspect the Vatican views the episode in positive terms. Yet, the Ma Daqin affair raises a major question. Has Benedict XVI’s Letter to Chinese Catholics (which describes the Patriotic Association as “incompatible with Catholic doctrine”) been abolished? If it has, who did it? A journey of compromises without truth is full of risks.

    Mgr Ma Daqin: the text of his “confession”

    Mons. Taddeo Ma Daqin

    Four years after quitting the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, the bishop of Shanghai “admits” his faults on his blog, praising the organisation that controls the Church. We publish his article, almost in its entirety. Translation by AsiaNews.


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