12/02/2016 - VATICAN
In a letter, Mgr Fisichella does not include this in the list of sins reserved for the Holy See that the Missionaries of Mercy can absolve. This involves bishops ordained "without papal mandate” in China and within the Lefebvrian community.
12/02/2016 - INDIA
Even non-Catholics pray at the Indian shrine of Our Lady of Gunadalaby Benigna Menezes*
Yesterday, the diocese celebrated the feast day of Our Lady of Lourdes, marking the first apparition of Our Lady to Bernadette. PIME missionaries founded the diocese and brought a statue of the Virgin in 1928. Placed on a hill, the latter protects “the city and brings it closer to Jesus." The shrine drew 1.4 million faithful, including non-Christians.
12/02/2016 - INDIA
Interfaith pilgrimage to the cities of India’s great religions "to understand the faith"by Nirmala Carvalho
A group of seven people of different faiths from Australia have already visited Delhi and Varanasi, symbolic places for Islam and Hinduism. Now they will travel to Bodh Gaya (the cradle of Buddhism) and Kolkata, important for Christians thanks to Mother Teresa. “It is also true, that at times people are afraid; however, faith is always open to others”. Sadly, “Those who close in on themselves do not understand their own faith”.
12/02/2016 - CHINA - VATICAN
The Pope’s interview on China has not allayed the Catholics fearsby Wang Meixiu*
A researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences comments on Francis’ words about the Asian country: "pleasant" references to respect for the culture and for the people, "surprising" the absence of any reference to religious matters. The faithful have some doubts, but they hope that their fears will soon be allayed.
12/02/2016 - BANGLADESH
Bangladesh, another robbery of Catholic nuns: "It is not an isolated incident"
A dozen people have raid clinic run by religious, threatening them and stealing phones, cash and gold chains. Resident Muslims and Catholics, warned by the pastor, captured two thieves. The episode takes place four days after a similar attack in another province. Secretary of Justice and Peace: "These attacks are premeditated and intended to harm our Christian community."
12/02/2016 - SYRIA
Patriarch Laham: Syria agreement a positive step, now common front against the Islamic State
Gregory III hopes that the agreement "can be beneficial to the country and its people." He urges continued alliance against Daesh and other jihadist groups. And he calls for mediation between "the Syrian government and the real internal opposition." Only foreign mercenay fighters do not want peace. Encounter between Francis and Kirill the hope of a united and fixed Easter.
12/02/2016 - RUSSIA - VATICAN
Francis and Kirill, the "alliance against" and the desire for unity (II)by Ieromonaco Ioann
The meeting at the airport of Havana is a "fleeting encounter" for fear of negative reactions of the orthodox conservatives. Although political reasons seem to prevail ( "alliance against" terrorism, secularism, moral relativism, Islam, liberalism, Protestants, ...), the event is a step on the path towards full unity between Catholics and Orthodox. The second part of an article by a leading figure of the Moscow Patriarchate.
12/02/2016 - CUBA – VATICAN – ORTHODOX
Francis-Kirill meeting in Cuba: “Finally! We are brothers. We have everything in common”
The first meeting in centuries between the Pope and the Patriarch of Moscow took place in a relaxed and fraternal atmosphere. Two hours of private talks were followed by the signing of a Joint Declaration. As he thanked Raul Castro, the pope said, "If things continue like this, Cuba will be the capital of unity." Both leaders are committed to defending Christians around the world and support "the foundations of morality, the family and the person".
12/02/2016 - VATICAN – CUBA – ORTHODOX
Francis and Kirill: Orthodox and Catholics united vis-à-vis persecuted Christians and the secularised West
In the Joint Declaration signed in Havana, the Pope and the Patriarch of Moscow emphasise the world’s evils and the need for Christians to bear witness together. Both stand for the natural marriage of a man and a woman, the right to life, and the need for inter-faith dialogue. Both are saddened by the scandal of division, and jointly appeal for an end to religious persecution, for peace in Ukraine and for unity based on "tangible gestures." The full text of the Declaration follows.
11/02/2016 - LEBANON
Lent, a special time for corporal and spiritual works of mercyby Fady Noun
Abstinence is not only giving up something pleasurable, like chocolate or coffee. One can find how to deepen the meaning of the commandments in John Paul II’s catechesis. Pope Francis calls for the rediscovery of all forms of poverty. Mercy is not goodness, but has a strong political connotation.
11/02/2016 - RUSSIA - VATICAN
Francis and Kirill, a meeting that has many political and faith based reasons (I)by Ieromonaco Ioann
After centuries of waiting, a week after the announcement, the dream of John Paul II and Benedict XVI will become a reality. Among the reasons for the meeting, the Patriarchate emphasizes the defense of persecuted Christians by Islamic fundamentalism and the widespread secularization even in the Protestant world. An alliance "against". There are also "political" reasons: preparations for the pan-Orthodox Synod and the indirect blessing of Putin. Conservative fringes of the Patriarchate are against "minimalist" meeting. First part of an analysis by a personality of the Moscow Patriarchate.
11/02/2016 - SRI LANKA
Tewatta, Catholics celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Lanka (video)by Melani Manel Perera
Today is the memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes. The Catholics of Sri Lanka share a deep reverence for the Virgin Mary, to whom they have entrusted the country, spared from the Second World War. The festival falls on February 4, but was celebrated on Sunday 7. Devotees tell AsiaNews stories of graces received from Mary.
11/02/2016 - VIETNAM
Despite persecution, the desire for religious freedom is growing
In a challenge to the authorities, an activist group, the Association for the Defence of Religious Liberty, releases a report on violations of religious freedom in 2014 and 2015 affecting Protestants, Catholics (Redemptorists, Sisters) and non-official Buddhists. The country’s proposed new religious legislation is criticised as a step backward in terms of freedom and rights.
11/02/2016 - INDIA
Survivors of the Orissa pogroms in solidarity with persecuted Christians in Syriaby Santosh Digal
The survivors of the most ferocious massacre against the Christian community in India met for the first time. During the meeting they expressed solidarity with the suffering Christians in Syria and the Middle East. "As refugees, we can truly understand your pain." "The wave of violence directed at implementing an ethnic and religious cleansing against Yazidis and Christians is a crime against humanity."
10/02/2016 - SRI LANKA
For UN Commissioner, Sri Lanka must defeats the demons of its past
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein made a four-day visit to assess the progress of the war crimes investigation. During his stay, he met with politicians and civil society leaders. The main issues were political prisoners, internally displaced people, refugee camps, and civilian areas still under military control.
10/02/2016 - HONG KONG – CHINA – VATICAN
Missionary of Mercy in Hong Kong, with an eye on Chinaby Bernardo Cervellera
The Holy Year of Mercy is an opportunity to rebuild relationships and ties with those who live faraway. Reconciliation with unlawful bishops will be difficult. Pope Francis would also like “to come to China." Protestants become Catholic to receive forgiveness in the sacrament of reconciliation. A divided Hong Kong needs mercy.
10/02/2016 - RUSSIA - VATICAN
Sergei Chapnin: The Russian Orthodox Church in 2016. The problem of understanding and credibility. Part Threeby Sergei Chapnin
10/02/2016 - SYRIA
Vicar of Aleppo says Syrian people do not want war which is fomented by foreigners
The regular army advances in the region. Thousands of civilians and militants in flight. For Msgr. Georges Abou Khazen Christian migrants are a resource "in pastoral and ecclesial service". He urges them to witness to the Gospel to Muslims, a mission "in the sign of the times." From the drama of the Christians to the miracle of the meeting between Francis and Kirill. Lent and the ecumenism of blood.
10/02/2016 - CHINA
Even in retirement, Communists “cannot take part in religious activities”
The Communist Party’s Organisation Department, which controls the 88 million party personnel, issued new rules banning retired party members from engaging in religious activities. Politburo member Yu Zhengsheng called for “more effort in building a religious ideology with Chinese characteristics”.
09/02/2016 - VATICAN – CHINA
The Missionaries of Mercy and China’s unlawful bishopsby Bernardo Cervellera
The mandate of the Missionaries of Mercy also covers China, where excommunicated bishops could be readmitted. Yet, this would be difficult to do because it would require a public statement that Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association would slam as “Vatican meddling in China's internal affairs". Likewise, "sinicisation" would bring the risk of dividing the Church even more.
09/02/2016 - PAKISTAN
A ‘water man’ discriminated in high school because he is Christian and should not give water to studentsby Shafique Khokhar
Qaisar Jahan began to work at the MC Girls High School in Faisalabad in November 2015 bringing water to students. When the headmistress found out that he was a Christian, she told him to do the janitorial work and not deliver water. He refused saying, “I shall not bend in front of this kind of people”.
09/02/2016 - INDIA
Rising violence against Christians in Uttar Pradesh ahead of state electionsby Nirmala Carvalho
The state’s legislative assembly is set for renewal next year. For the Global Council of Indian Christians, acts of violence and incidents of discrimination against the Christian minority have reached a crescendo. A pastor and two worshipers have been arrested in Noida. The pastor of the Mission India Church was held for hours without charges along with 20 other religious leaders in Robertsganj.
09/02/2016 - IRAQ
Auxiliary Bishop of Baghdad: Christian properties targeted by criminals, government and police weak
Msgr. Warduni confirms reports of "gangs and militias" responsible for attacks and expropriation of houses, commercial, cultural and religious sites. A milieu of groups that operate by exploiting the inertia of the authorities and the institutions and target Christians, Muslims, Yazidis. They are acting for money and are a concern. UN blue helmets to ensure the unity of Iraq.
08/02/2016 - INDIA
For Guwahati archbishop, Cebu was one of Asia’s most inspiring faith eventsby Nirmala Carvalho
Mgr Thomas Menamparampil, who addressed the International Eucharistic Congress with his catechesis titled ‘The Eucharist as mission, the mission as dialogue,’ saw joy in the faces of participants who paid attention even during the longest and most serious meetings. He stressed the importance of silent Eucharistic adoration to hear Jesus’ cry on the cross, and spoke about the meaning of work in India, “periphery of peripheries”.
08/02/2016 - RUSSIA – VATICAN
Notes on the Russian patriarch and Russian Church the pope will meetby Ieromonaco Ioann
Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, whom the pope will meet in Cuba on 12 February, is transforming his communities by offering them younger bishops and a functioning curia with the Catholic Church as his model and Nikodim’s legacy as a precedent. The bureaucratisation and self-centredness are real risks.
06/02/2016 - RUSSIA - VATICAN
Francis and Kirill, a Holy Alliance for the future of Christians and the worldby Vladimir Rozanskij
The meeting between the Pope and the Patriarch of Moscow Kirill has been eagerly desired for quite some time. Expected under John Paul II; hoped for with Benedict XVI, it has taken time to realize. Catholics and Orthodox face the same challenges of persecution and relativism. Orthodox nationalism, backed by Putin, causes some reticence. The Middle East crisis and risk of Russia’s isolation fosters collaboration.
06/02/2016 - RUSSIA - VATICAN
Moscow and Rome: A history of clashes and dialogueby Ieromonaco Ioann
Good relations until the fifteenth century. The Council of Florence, the Union of Brest and the birth of the Catholic Churches of the Eastern rite. The anti-Christian persecution of the Soviet Union and the conflict between Catholics and Orthodox in Ukraine. The Catholic mission in Russia.
05/02/2016 - HOLY LAND
The Church of the Holy Land mourns the passing of Jeries Khoury
The 64-year-old of Palestinian died on 3 February in Rome, where he was to attend a papal audience. A scholar of comparative religions, since 1988 he was director of the Al-Liqa’ Center, an institute dedicated to exchanges with Muslims and Jews in the Holy Land.
05/02/2016 - INDIA
Maharashtra: Pentecostal pastor arrested on charges of practicing black magic
Rev Sebastian Marin was detained along with two members of the prayer centre he directs. The three are accused of violating the state’s Anti-Superstition and Black Magic Act, a law against witchcraft. For Sajan K George, "Jesus is the Healer and there's nothing magic about praying or laying hands”.
05/02/2016 - INDIA – AUSTRALIA
India-Australia interfaith pilgrimage, to reinvigorate the dialogue between faithsby Nirmala Carvalho
Australian religious leaders arrive tomorrow in the Indian capital. From here, they embark on a pilgrimage across the country. Islam expert Fr Victor Edwin SJ has arranged various meetings and visits, including to a Delhi mosque and shrine.
05/02/2016 - CHINA - VATICAN
Pope’s interview on China: enthusiasm and skepticism among Chinese Catholics. Some priests face police pressureby Maria Chen
State newspapers and radio report on Pope Francis’ interview with Asia Times. There are those who dream of an impending papal visit to China. Underground priests subjected to interrogation. Appreciation for "the olive branch" extended by the Pope and for his pointing out the value of Chinese culture. But skepticism surrounds Beijing leadership’s response. The dialogue between China and the Vatican cannot bring results, because there are different interests at play, both political and religious. Diplomatic relations cannot come at the cost of the freedom of the Church and the sacrifices of its martyrs. The Chinese Church is growing.
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