06/19/2013G8 - SYRIA G8 leaders hold back weapons from rebels in favour of dialogue After opening with the announcement of a possible No-Fly Zone in Syria, the G8 in Lough Erne ends with a bland declaration calling on rebels and regime to talk. No reference is made to the fate of Bashar al-Assad in a possible transitional government. The shadow of al-Qaeda and Moscow's subtle threats stop United States and Europe. Lough Erne (AsiaNews) - At the G8 Summit that
ended yesterday in Lough Erne (Ulster), Western countries are showing caution
over armed support to Syrian rebels and the creation of a Libya-style No-Fly
Zone to stop the war in Syria .
In a seven-point...
06/19/2013IRAQ - VATICAN For Chaldean patriarch, Sunni-Shia divisions and foreign influences are obstacles to peace by Dario Salvi Mar Sako is in Rome for ROACO's 86th Plenary Assembly to talk about the violence in Syria and the Middle East. Calling on Christians to show the positive side of the separation of Church and state that "respects religion", he says it is different from Western secularism. Politics "seeks oil," the Church "seeks people." He renews the invitation to Pope Francis to visit the Christians in the region.
06/19/2013KOREA Korea, a new cathedral on the border to reconcile Seoul and Pyongyang by Joseph Yun Li-sun The Church will be inaugurated by Card. Cheong and dedicated to "forgiveness and atonement." Inside mosaics portraying the Christian martyrs, by artists from the north. The Archbishop Emeritus of Seoul: "The building represents the desire for peace, unity and reconciliation that animates the Korean people."
06/19/2013PALESTINE Gaza: Hamas imposes Islamisation on schools, endangering Catholic institutions As of September, mixed classes will be banned for students over the age of ten. Even teachers will be strictly divided according to gender in order not to violate Sharia. The Church currently runs three schools with almost a thousand students, mostly Muslims. For the bishop of Jerusalem, "We have two alternatives: put pressure on the government or close."
06/18/2013LEBANON - SYRIA Beirut: appeal for Catholic-Orthodox unity and an end to the war in Syria The synods of the Melkite Catholic and Greek Orthodox Churches got underway today in Lebanon. As the bishops pray for Mgrs Bouls Yazigi and Youhanna Ibrahim, abducted on 22 April, Gregory III Laham, patriarch of Antioch, criticises the Western decision to send weapons to the rebels. For the bishops, Christians in Syria and Lebanon have a duty to bear witness to the Gospel with their lives. This is the true "political action" and duty that every believer must undertake. The Melkite Church plans to set up a solidarity committee in Syria to help the needy and rebuild destroyed or damaged churches.
06/18/2013PAKISTAN Punjab: young Christian dies under torture in police custody with 22 broken bones by Jibran Khan Irfan Masih was arrested on 8 June suspected of a murder he did not commit. For days, he was subjected to abuse in order to extort a confession. He died on Sunday from the serious injuries he suffered. "So what if he died? So many die anyway every day," a police officer said. Human rights activists call for justice, whilst the victim's family is in hiding for fear of reprisals.
06/18/2013INDIA - CAMEROON From mission territory to a territory of missionaries: India goes to Africa by Piero Gheddo Even if persecuted, the Church in India continues to grow: more than 2500 priests and 6 thousand nuns are abroad. The experience of Fr. Sleeva, a PIME Indian missionary in Cameroon since 2009. Comparing the two different civilizations the need to export the Indian model of the family to Africa emerges, because "there is a lot of love here, but little opportunity to express it."
06/18/2013VIETNAM - VATICAN Vietnamese Catholics celebrate new auxiliary bishops in Vinh and Hung Hoa by Paul N. Hung Prayers and celebrations welcome Pope Francis's decision to appoint Fr Alphonse Nguyen Huu Long and Fr Pierre Nguyen Van Vien. The first is an expert in canon law who served as rector of the major seminary in Hue; the second holds a doctorate in theology and was vicar general in the same diocese.
06/17/2013ISLAM Oasis: with the death of secular humanism, it is time to build new bridges by Bernardo Cervellera On the first day of the Oasis Centre's annual conference, participants hear that secularism and the 'crisis of man'-that of an inward-looking man, stalked by radical environmentalism, man as an animal, a 'monkey'-appear to be at an end. Islamic parties brought to the fore by the Arab spring are failing. As new religious experiences emerge in the Arab world, states try to bring under their bureaucratic control. But, as Benedict XVI put it, faith and reason must engage in dialogue. In Najaf (Iraq), a Council for dialogue between religions has been set up for the purpose of promoting basic universal human rights and full citizenship for all of the country's religious communities.
06/17/2013SYRIA Massacres by Islamic extremists bolster Bashar al-Assad Ignored for months by Western media, massacres by Islamist brigades have appeared on pro-rebel media with reports on summary executions, Islamic courts and the mass killing of Shias, justified in the name of the hatred against Assad. However, in al Qusair and Aleppo, residents have welcomed the return of the regular army.
06/17/2013IRAN Hopes for a new era in Iran as moderate Rohani wins presidential elections The new president won with over 50% of the vote. The turnout was 72%. Outcome welcomed by the United States, European Union and Gulf monarchies. The hope is that Rohani will put a definite stop to the nuclear ambitions pursued by his predecessor Ahmadinejad. Israeli government skeptical: "The international community must not indulge in dreams."
06/15/2013ISLAM Oasis: benefits and risks of secularization in Muslim-Christian sphere At the annual meeting of the Scientific Committee of the magazine founded by Card. Angelo Scola, testimony from Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Turkey, Egypt, Iran, Nigeria. Many personalities from the international academic world present. Discussion focuses on secularization brought about by the "Arab Spring", the fundamentalist fallout and western secularism.