26 July 2016
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    25/07/2016 - VIETNAM

    Thousands of young people who would have liked to have travelled to Krakow for WYD could not do so for economic reasons. Yet, they are committed to praying for the pope and putting into practice his message of mercy. Many students join charities and save money to donate to the poor.  Young people need to become “protagonists” in the life of the Church.


    by Thanh Thúy

    24/07/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: Appeals and prayer for Munich and Kabul massacres. The prayer of Our Father


    At the Angelus, Pope Francis makes the pilgrims pray for the victims of terrorist attacks in Germany and Afghanistan, against the "dark security and peace prospects." "The word 'Father' is the 'secret' of the prayer of Jesus, is the key that He gives to us so we too can enter into that confidential relationship of dialogue with the Father who accompanied and supported all his life”. The Pope’s upcoming trip for World Youth Day in Krakow, from 27 July.


    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.


    22/07/2016 - PAKISTAN – WYD

    Young Pakistanis to meet pope in Krakow

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    A delegation of 11 people will come from Pakistan, including five youth leaders, like Viviana Natalie Rodrigues, 26, and Zeeshan Bais, 25. The first set up her parish’s Facebook page and will post pictures and comments from Poland during the whole week. The second is making a spiritual journey in preparation for the trip.


    21/07/2016 - PAKISTAN

    Church and Pakistani activists call for swift law against ‘honour killings’

    by Shafique Khokhar

    Prime Minister Sharif’s daughter calls on parliament to legislate after the murder of Qandeel Baloch, a famous model and blogger who was killed by her brother to cleanse the family’s lost honour. A bill against honour killings has been languishing in parliament for years. However, for Muslim teacher, such a law would “make an already complicated issue even more complicated.”


    20/07/2016 - PAKISTAN

    Lahore, Caritas stages show on peace and harmony


    The play was performed by Ajoka actors, one of Pakistan's most famous companies. The social arm of the Church wants to effect a profound change in society and involve the various communities. The theater group fighting conservative mentality.


    20/07/2016 - SRI LANKA

    Church against drug use in Sri Lankan schools

    by Melani Manel Perera

    The Archdiocese of Colombo calls for broad partition in mass rally on 30 July. Drug abuse is rapidly increasing even among Catholic students. The island nation has about 45,000 heroin users as well as 200,000 cannabis users. It is a transit point for drug trafficking originating in India.


    19/07/2016 - INDIA - UNITED STATES

    Card Dolan is guest of honour at event celebrating the founder of the Syro-Malankara Church

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    The archbishop of New York praised the great diversity of the Indian Catholic Church, speaking at the celebrations in honour of Aboon Geevarghese Mar Ivanios, founder of the rite and "Servant of God." Strong bonds of friendship have tied the Archdiocese of New York and the Syro-Malankara Church since the late forties.


    18/07/2016 - INDIA

    Bangalore Diocese welcomes African migrants, “precious before God”

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    The Diocese organised a meeting for economic and political migrants from Africa’s poorest areas and conflict zones. In order to meet their spiritual needs, large parts of the liturgy are in French. The pastoral care of migrants is "central to our Jubilee of Mercy".


    18/07/2016 - PAKISTAN

    Pakistani Church calls for ban on TV preacher who inspired Dhaka terrorists

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    Zakir Naik, a major Salafist advocate, is the founder of Peace TV and a well known TV preacher. His network has broadcast in Pakistan since 2009. Dhaka massacre investigators found a direct link between his sermons and one of the attackers.


    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 - PAKISTAN - AFGHANISTAN

    Peshawar: school attack mastermind killed in US drone strike


    Umar Mansoor died along with four other Islamic militants in a US drone attack in Afghanistan. The Taliban terrorist leader trained the attackers who killed 148 people, including 132 children, in December 2014. He also masterminded two other deadly attacks in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.


    14/07/2016 - INDIA

    India, Caritas at forefront in flood relief efforts

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    Incessant rains have hit in the central states of Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh and Assam. In recent days 24 people have died and 170 thousand others had to leave their homes. The operators of the social arm of the Church have set up field hospitals and are distributing tents and survival kits to thousands of families.

     


    13/07/2016 - SRI LANKA

    Catholics and fishermen against land expropriation for tourism development

    by Melani Manel Perera

    A UN-sponsored international conference on tourism is currently underway in Sri Lanka. Local Catholics, fishermen and activists planned a protest until they were deterred by Sri Lanka’s CID. Critics bemoan the negative impact on the local population, who were not invited to the event. Tourist development “will benefit only big business.”


    13/07/2016 - INDIA

    First documentary on Kandhamal martyrs released in Kerala


    The documentary is titled "Voice from the ruins - Kandhamal in search of justice", and will be screened July 17 to 19. The director traces the origins of the violence against Christians in Orissa, mostly poor tribal and dalit. The Hindu radicals authors of various waves of persecution since the early 60's. The survivors fight for justice. The violence in numbers.


    12/07/2016 - UZBEKISTAN

    Bishop of Tashkent: God’s mercy also touches the hearts of children


    Mgr Jerzy Maculewicz is the apostolic administrator of Uzbekistan. Local Catholics came together for three days to celebrate the feast day of the Sacred Heart with activities exploring the theme of the Jubilee Year. Stories of forgiveness and personal penance came out of the working groups. Plays based on Gospel stories were staged. A meal was shared with Lutherans.


    11/07/2016 - INDIA

    Kandhamal: Christians mistakenly killed as" Maoists"

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    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."


    09/07/2016 - PAKISTAN

    Church mourns "Pakistan’s Mother Teresa "

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    Abdul Sattar Edhi died last night at age 88 at a hospital in Karachi. His funeral was attended by faithful of all religions. He set up a network of homes that welcome thousands of abandoned people, poor, elderly, sick, rejected children, that operate free medical clinics, dispensaries, ambulances. His example of charity will not be forgotten "because his good work is immortal."

     


    07/07/2016 - SRI LANKA

    Colombo: a book on the Christian contribution to national life

    by Melani Manel Perera

    The book’s author, Wijith Rohan, a Catholic, teaches Western classic culture and Christian culture. His book, which contains 16 articles centred on the country’s political history, was presented by a Buddhist scholar, who stressed its importance for today’s society. “Catholicism,” the latter said, “teaches about the freedom of the oppressed”.


    06/07/2016 - INDIA

    Card Gracias: Church in Asia mourns Dhaka

    by card. Oswald Gracias

    The president of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences spoke on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the Muslim month of prayer and fasting. The prelate remembers the Bangladesh victims and encourages religious leaders to build bridges of peace.


    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

    After years of the good life, “derailed youth” converted to radical Islam. Moderate Islam must condemn fundamentalist Islam. Muslims blame uncultured imams who sow hatred and contempt. The West should read again Benedict XVI’s lecture and rethink its marginalisation of religion as irrational. Fundamentalist Islam and the godless West mirror each other.


    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 - SRI LANKA

    Catholics and activists against police torture in Sri Lanka

    by Melani Manel Perera

    The diocese of Kandy is collecting signatures to petition the government. Human rights advocates held seminars and protest marches. In 2015 the Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission received 413 complaints of police violence; so far this year, the number is 53.


    04/07/2016 - INDIA

    Miao diocese fighting drug abuse among youth


    Catholic youth association campaigns in Arunachal Pradesh schools to raise awareness of drugs’ negative effects. At least one youth in ten has tried drugs. The State is a point of transit and production for drugs.


    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 - INDIA

    Mgr Menamparampil: on being peacemakers in India

    by mons. Thomas Menamparampil*

    Ethnic insurgencies in the ‘seven sister states" of India’s north-east goes back a long time. In 1996 local Churches set up a Joint Peace Mission Team. The former archbishop of Guwahati describes what makes a good peacemaker. Peacemaking succeeds if mediators can sympathise with both sides. Appealing for peace must be sincere, excessive publicity can be harmful, and influential people can come together. The power of prayer is a key lesson.


    01/07/2016 - PHILIPPINES

    CBCP: We’re not enemies, but we’ll remain vigilant on new government


    President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines said the Church would collaborate for the sake of Filipinos, but would be vigilant at the same time. “Pursuing the same vision as Filipinos and as Catholics, we will be vigilant because vigilance is the great price for freedom.”


    30/06/2016 - PAKISTAN

    Pakistani Church against cutting funds for minorities to finance a pro-Taliban madrassa

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    Many have slammed the decision. The Islamic school has trained terrorists operating at home and in Afghanistan and is slated to get funds otherwise earmarked for the province’s minorities. One of its former students is among those who assassinated former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. Muslim clerics defend the decision.


    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. "






    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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