30 April 2016
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    30/04/2016 - VATICAN

    At an extraordinary Jubilee audience, Francis returns to the theme of reconciliation, "God has never failed to offer his forgiveness to men: his mercy is felt from generation to generation." An appeal to confessors: "You are in the place of God the Father." A special Jubilee greeting for the police and the Armed Forces: "Faced with every day challenges, irradiate Christian hope, which is the certainty of the victory of love over hatred and peace over war."




    29/04/2016 - INDIA

    Msgr. Menamparampil: Amoris laetitia affirms values of Indian families

    by mons. Thomas Menamparampil

    The apostolic administrator of Jowai comments on Pope Francis' Apostolic Exhortation. He believes that the papal document is applicable to the condition of the Indian tribal families. Amoris laetitia talks about "irregular" situations, marriages, divorces, abandoned children. All of this is also found in India where, as the Pope recalls, we must not give in to easy judgments, but to discern each situation case by case.
     


    29/04/2016 - INDIA

    Andhra Pradesh: Catholic bishop kidnapped and beaten for hours


    Msgr. Gallela Prasad is the bishop of Cuddapah and was returning from Kadapa district, where he celebrated Mass. The car IN which was traveling was stopped by unknown persons, who blindfolded him and beat up the driver and prelate all night. The Telugu Federation of Churches filed a complaint and asked the authorities to register the case to "ensure the safety of Christians."

     


    28/04/2016 - THAILAND

    Thai Muslim leader calls for learning from other religions to build peace

    by Weena Kowitwanij

    The Department of Religious Affairs organised an inter-faith forum that brought together leaders of major religions. According Abdulau Nhumsuks, a member of the Bangkok Islam Association, the idea that learning the teachings of other faiths is a sin “is old-fashioned and incorrect”.


    27/04/2016 - SINGAPORE

    Marriage, "a sign of closeness to God" in hyper-competitive Singapore


    The archdiocese of the city-state has organised a series of meetings on the family and its problems in a society increasingly focused on productivity. The last meeting is set for 21 May. For one of the organisers, Christians are “called to be the alternative voice, the counter-culture.” Each year, 21,000 marriages take place; 7,000 end in divorce.


    27/04/2016 - INDIA

    Indian bishop: Church must focus on priestly training

    by Benigna Menezes*

    Mgr George Palliparambil is the bishop of the Diocese of Miao, Arunachal Pradesh. Yesterday, he celebrated the ordination of five new priests in Eluru from to the Missionaries of Compassion. In addition to India, they operate in Australia, Venezuela and the United States. The prelate spoke with concern about several suicide cases among Indian priests.


    27/04/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: Indifference to the suffering of man is to ignore God


    Jesus teaches us not to "categorize others to see who is our neighbor and who is not. You can become a neighbor to whomever you meet in need, and you will be if you have compassion in your heart, that is if you are capable of suffering with others".

     


    26/04/2016 - SRI LANKA

    As it celebrates Sri Lanka’s National Laity Sunday, the Church says no one can be a bystander

    by Melani Manel Perera

    Mgr Norbert Andradi, president of the National Laity Commission, issued a message for the occasion, reprinted in a Catholic weekly. “The lay apostolate is as important as the priesthood,” he wrote. Lay people can serve children, youth, young couples, and new families. By “sharing the roles and the abilities of one another,” the laity can “manifest the merciful face of the Father.”


    26/04/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: "It is not for the pastor to determine what the faithful have to say in different arenas"


    In a letter to the president of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America Francis speaks of the "temptation" of clericalism that "not only cancels out the Christian personality, but also tends to belittle and underestimate the baptismal grace that the Holy Spirit has placed in the heart of the our people ".

     


    26/04/2016 - INDIA

    Bishops meet Prime Minister Modi in Delhi, ask him to invite Pope Francis to India

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    The leaders of the Indian Catholic Church asked the prime minister to lead a government delegation to Rome for the canonisation of Mother Teresa. The bishops praised the government's involvement in trying to get the release of Fr. Tom Uzhunnalil, who was abducted in Yemen. Modi pledged support for Ranchi hospital for the poor and Tribals, an initiative of local Catholics.


    24/04/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope Francis tells young people that “genuine love” is not a “soap opera”, but Christians’ real identity card


    In his homily for the Jubilee of Teens, Pope Francis asked questions and gave answers to the 70,000 present. Stressing the great ideal of love as giving oneself “without being possessive”, he noted that freedom is “being able to choose the good”. He warned young people “who dare not dream,” telling them that “If you do not dream at your age, you are already ready for retirement”. He also received funds raised for the Ukraine, and appealed for the release of bishops and the priests held in Syria.


    23/04/2016 - ISRAEL – PALESTINE

    For Fr David, Tel Aviv kindergarten for migrant children is like Jesus’ family


    The facility has 52 children from the Philippines, Sudan, Eritrea, India and Sri Lanka, including two with autism, and one with Down. The “multi-faceted project” is not profit oriented, manager says. For one parent, children get “children everything they need”.


    23/04/2016 - INDIA

    Two newly ordained priests to serve Christians in Odisha’s Kandhamal district

    by Santosh Digal

    Mgr John Barwa, archbishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar, ordained Fr Pritam Singh and Fr Bhanja Kishore Singh in a ceremony attended by more than a thousand Catholics, as well as 35 priests and 50 nuns. The district now has 12 priests, the highest number in the state. The increase in consecrations confirms that the Christian community has not been intimidated by Hindu radical violence.


    23/04/2016 - PHILIPPINES

    Davao: running against child malnutrition


    The archdiocese organises ‘I am running for you’ (Para sa Iyo ang Takbo Ko), a fun run to raise funds for its nourishment centre, which feeds 200 children every day. Davao is located in one of the areas most affected by El Niño-related drought.


    22/04/2016 - INDIA

    First alternative medicine hospital run by the Sisters of Nazareth opens in Bihar


    This is the first facility of its kind in the state. During the opening ceremony on Wednesday, Mgr William D'Souza SJ, Archbishop of Patna, stressed the importance of finding “wellness and integrity” in a busy life. The centre offers yoga, herbal massages, and Ayurvedic treatments, as well as dietary and joint pain advice.


    22/04/2016 - BANGLADESH

    New Auxiliary Bishop of Dhaka: Be witnesses of Christ to win people’s hearts

    by Sumon Corraya

    Today the archdiocese celebrates the installment of Msgr. Shorot Francis Gomes, appointed by Pope Francis in February. The bishop comes from a Catholic family, where the example of their parents' faith led the three children to embark on the journey of consecration. He will offer the local Church his experience with families and the formation of priests.


    21/04/2016 - SOUTH KOREA

    Justice and peace chief tells Catholics MPs to be missionaries in parliament

    by mons. Lazzaro You Heung-sik*

    21/04/2016 - INDIA

    Guwahati’s "monuments of mercy": scholarships for deserving students


    Msgr. John Moolachira speaks of the initiatives implemented in response to the call of Pope Francis. For years the archdiocese finances studies for worthy young people. From now on, the scholarships will become official. Those who pass the 10th class exams with good grades, will receive subsidies until the third year of university. A contribution of 2,600 euros for catechists; building schools in villages far from major urban centers.


    20/04/2016 - PAKISTAN

    For Lahore Franciscan, Amoris Laetitia is a reconciliation tool for Catholics

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    Fr Victor Sawera heads a Franciscan centre in Lahore. He is personally involved in spiritual outreach with 30 families. He began working with Catholic couples when he was ordained eight years ago. Poverty and extra-marital relations are the main challenges.


    20/04/2016 - PHILIPPINES

    Drought forcing farmers to eat rats, Caritas slams government


    Fr Peter Geremia, a PIME missionary Arakan Valley, describes the tragic situation farmers face as a result of El Niño. For him, “Rice distribution is proceeding too slowly”. On 1 April, police killed two protesters demanding rice. Caritas blames the authorities for not handing out financial aid to the agricultural sector.


    19/04/2016 - BANGLADESH

    Bangladesh’s only Catholic weekly enriches the lives of its readers, Muslims and Hindus included

    by Sumon Corraya

    The weekly Pratibeshi celebrated its 75th anniversary on 1 April at a ceremony attended by 6 bishops, 50 priests and 3,000 faithful readers. Founded in 1941, the paper today has a circulation of 10,000. Its readership includes Muslims and Hindus who like it because it talks about religious harmony and respect for all human beings.


    19/04/2016 - INDIA

    Ranchi: a hospital for the poor and the tribals, a "monument of mercy"


    In response to Pope Francis’ call, Msgr. Theodore Mascarenhas, auxiliary bishop of Ranchi, speaks of the project for a health facility that will be built in Mandar. The plan calls for a 400-bed hospital, a medical university and nursing school. Also there will be a dormitory for employees, a pharmacy and a "mercy department" completely free of charge. The cost of the project is 46.5 million euro.

     


    19/04/2016 - INDIA

    Chhattisgarh, another attack on Pentecostals: a pastor and his pregnant wife assaulted

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    The attackers remain unidentified, but are probably Hindus. They beat up the family and forced them to sing "Jai Sri Ram", or "Victory to Ram". Then they burned the church and also threw petrol on the Christians. Recently there has been a similar attack against another Pentecostal group. State applies anti-conversion law and many local councils have banned all non-Hindu religious events.


    18/04/2016 - INDIA

    For Indian activist, papal visit to Lesbos’ refugees reveals the hypocrisy of Muslim rulers


    Lenin Raghuvanshi heads the Peoples' Vigilance Committee on Human Rights. Pope Francis’s humanitarian trip to the Greek Island highlighted the plight of migrants. According to the activist, fascist politics rule the Middle East where Muslim leaders are rich with oil, but ignore the plight of their peoples.


    17/04/2016 - VATICAN - GREECE

    Pope Francis brings three Syrian refugee families home to the Vatican


    They arrived with the pontiff from Lesbos. They join the two families already living inside the Vatican. Pope alights first from the plane bringing him back to Rome to shake hands with each of them. The reception and the maintenance of three families will be borne by the Vatican. The initial hospitality - said Father Lombardi - will be guaranteed by the Community of Sant'Egidio.

     


    17/04/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: Our life is safe in Christ’s hands, we no longer need fear


    At the Regina Caeli Francis stresses the importance of listening, as followers, to Christ's words: "An engaging not superficial, listening, to enable a true mutual knowledge". After the Marian prayer, the Pope thanks people for their prayers for his recent visit to Lesbos with Patriarch Bartholomew and Archbishop Hieronymus: "The unity in the charity of all the disciples of the Lord". The Pope speaks of a young Muslim man whose wife was slain by terrorists because she was a Christian: "She was a martyr, and he was crying so much." A prayer for the victims of the earthquakes in Ecuador and Japan.


    16/04/2016 - VATICAN - GREECE

    Pope calls on Europe to be a land of welcome, says migrants are not numbers but faces


    Meeting the people of Lesbos, Francis expresses "admiration" for the Greek people who - despite difficulties - welcomes those who suffer: "God will reward this generosity, like that of other surrounding nations, which from the first moments have received with great availability many forced migrants. " The people's "concerns are legitimate," but we must never forget that in front of us we have people who are suffering. A common prayer.


    16/04/2016 - VATICAN - GREECE - ORTHODOX

    Migrant crisis, the "worst humanitarian disaster since the Second World War"


    Francis, Bartholomew and Jerome sign a lengthy joint declaration on the situation of refugees. "World opinion can not ignore the colossal humanitarian crisis created by the spread of violence and armed conflict, the persecution and displacement of religious and ethnic minorities, and the uprooting of families from their homes, in violation of their human dignity and their fundamental human rights and freedoms". Renewed commitment to Christian unity, an appeal for the end of the war in the Middle East. The full text of the declaration.

     


    16/04/2016 - GREECE - VATICAN

    Pope to refugees in Lesbos: You are not alone, I plead with the world for a solution


    Along with the Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew and Archbishop of Athens Hieronymus, Francis visits the large Moria refugee camp on the Greek island. Moving, painful but also much joy, especially from the young people. Many throw themselves at the Pope’s feet to tell stories of pain and suffering. The pope: "Do not lose hope." Special thanks to the Greek people who "despite their own suffering" opened hearts and homes to those fleeing from pain.


    15/04/2016 - SINGAPORE

    Collin Wee, a life dedicated to young people in Singapore’s "Hope House"


    The De la Salle Brother works in the home for poor and abandoned children, victims of the city-state’s ultra-competitive society. Bullying, violence, alcohol abuse, and neglect the most common plagues. His only reward "is when I can reinsert them into society."


    14/04/2016 - THAILAND

    Thai bishop at mosque inauguration says dialogue is not a show


    Mgr Andrew Thanya Vissanu Anan, deputy general secretary of the Thai Bishops’ Conference, attended the event at Bangkok’s Islamic Centre. Afterwards, he took part in a seminar with Islamic leaders and a march for peace. For him, differences “should not be a cause of conflict".






    Editor's choices

    VATICAN
    Pope Francis tells young people that “genuine love” is not a “soap opera”, but Christians’ real identity card



    In his homily for the Jubilee of Teens, Pope Francis asked questions and gave answers to the 70,000 present. Stressing the great ideal of love as giving oneself “without being possessive”, he noted that freedom is “being able to choose the good”. He warned young people “who dare not dream,” telling them that “If you do not dream at your age, you are already ready for retirement”. He also received funds raised for the Ukraine, and appealed for the release of bishops and the priests held in Syria.


    IRAN
    Odd alliance between the US and Iranian fundamentalists

    Bernardo Cervellera

    Washington is still preventing the use of US dollars in transactions with Iranian banks, preventing business with the outside world in spite of the nuclear deal. This way, the US is helping Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guards, who want to torpedo the agreement in order to maintain their hold on power. Meanwhile, most Iranians hold down two or three jobs just to make ends meet. An unstable and bellicose Iran is a boon for arms sales. A report follows.


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