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Wednesday, April 16, 2014                                                                            ICN Latest News feed updates              

Tax breaks for multinationals outstrip spending on schools and clinics in Sierra Leone | Losing Out, Budget Advocacy Network, BAN, the National Advocacy Coalition on Extractives, NACE,   Tax Justice Network Africa, TJNA), Christian Aid, ActionAid, IBIS

Abu Bakarr, Co-ordinator at BAN,
Tax breaks for multinationals outstrip spending on schools and clinics in Sierra Leone
A new report highlights the huge amount of revenue that one of the poorest countries in Africa loses each year through tax breaks for multinationals. In 2011, Sierra Leone spent more on tax give-aways than on its development priorities, with mining firms the biggest beneficiaries. The following year, the tax exemptions amounted to more than eight times Sierra Leone’s health budget and seven times its education budget. Read More ...
Syria: Child killed, 61 people injured in attack on Catholic school | Armenian Catholic, Damascus, Bab Tuma, Syria,  Christian school,, Father George Bahi, Armenian Catholic Patriarchal Exarchate of Damascus
Syria: Child killed, 61 people injured in attack on Catholic school
One child  died and 61  children, parents and teachers were injured  when a  missile hit the Armenian Catholic school in Damascus on Tuesday morning. The school is in  the historic district of Bab Tuma, in the old town, where there are many churches and Christian schools. Father George Bahi, a priest of the Armenian Catholic Patriarchal Exarchate of Damascus said: "This morning, around 7.30am, a missile fell on the crowd of children, parents and teachers who were waiting for the school to open. Read More ...
Syrian army seizes ancient Christian town of Maaloula | Syria, President Bashar Al Assad, Maaloula, Damascus, Robert Ewan, Christians. Tekla monastery
Syrian army seizes ancient Christian town of Maaloula
Syria's state news agency has said forces loyal to President Bashar Al Assad captured Maaloula on Monday. Sana reported that army units had to dismantle explosive devices planted in Maaloula by the rebels after recapturing areas they had occupied. The town is located 56 km to the northeast of Damascus, and built into the rugged mountainside.  Maaloula has changed hands at least four times since December as government forces and rebels have launched attacks and counter-attacks, according to the Reuters news agency. Read More ...
Westminster: More than 300 Priests join Cardinal to celebrate Chrism Mass | Chrism Mass, Westminster, Cardinal Nichols
Westminster: More than 300 Priests join Cardinal to celebrate Chrism Mass
His Eminence Vincent Nichols, Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, celebrated the Chrism Mass for the Diocese of Westminster at 12pm today (Tuesday 15 April). The Mass was concelebrated by HE Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, Auxiliary Bishops John Arnold and John Sherrington and over 300 priests, with deacons, seminarians and parishioners from across the Diocese. In his homily, Cardinal Vincent spoke of the "overriding emotion’ of joy in the hearts of the priests gathered, from knowing Christ and ‘being heralds of the message of His unfailing love Read More ...
Scotland: New bishop opts to live in housing estate |  Bishop of Paisley, Bishop John Keenan, Greenock,  Herald Scotland, housing estate
Scotland: New bishop opts to live in housing estate
The new Bishop of Paisley, Bishop John Keenan,  has decided not to move into the detached sandstone villa used by his predecessors, and move instead to a church property in Greenock's east end, Herald Scotland reports. In his first wide-ranging interview since being installed last month, Bishop Keenan has told of his concern that those in destitution have been "abandoned by society and the church", adding he would reflect "a church out on the street not one that's comfortable in the chapel". Read More ...
Jerusalem: Local Christians barred from attending Holy Week services   | Holy Land, Palestinian Christians, Holy Week, Jerusalem, Israel, Kairos, Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum
Jerusalem: Local Christians barred from attending Holy Week services
While pilgrims from around the world are flocking to Jerusalem to attend Holy Week services, many local Christians are not being allowed to join them. Under the 'permit regime' - some members of a family to travel while other are barred.  Entire scout and school groups who have been preparing for weeks have not received permits. In this article, Rifat Kassis, general coordinator of Kairos Palestine, and a member of the Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum Core group shares a reflection where he describes the emotional anguish Read More ...
ACN seeks Community Fundraising Officer | Aid to the Church in Need, ACN. fundraiser, job vacancy
ACN seeks Community Fundraising Officer
Aid to the Church in Need seeks a Community Fundraising Officer. Aid to the Church in Need is a Catholic charity helping to bring Christ to the world through prayer, information and action; the charity is a Pontifical Foundation of the Catholic Church.... This post will initially report to the PA to the National Director until the Community Fundraising Manager is appointed, and will provide key administrative support. The Officer will be administratively responsible for setting up and managing local and national ACN events across England, Scotland and Wales, Read More ...
Chile: Valparaiso suffers huge forest fire  | Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati, Archbishop of Santiago, Pope Francis, Valparaiso
Chile: Valparaiso suffers huge forest fire
At least 12 people have died and 10,000 people have been evacuated after a forest fire engulfed large swathes of Valparaiso over the weekend.  Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati, Archbishop of Santiago, said: "This Easter we are faced with so much pain. A few weeks ago we saw the people in the north suffer the effects of the earthquake and yesterday we were all deeply touched by the deadly fire that hit many families and has killed many people in Valparaiso...These two events invite us to live Easter more intensely. Read More ...
Pope asks: Who am I before the Lord?  | Pope Francis, Passion of the Lord, Palm Sunday
Pope asks: Who am I before the Lord?
On Sunday in St Peter's Square, Pope Francis began the rites of Holy Week with the solemn liturgical celebration of Palm Sunday and the Passion of the Lord. The ceremony began with the blessing of the palms and the olive branches placed beside the obelisk in the Square, carried in procession to the entrance of the basilica. The young people of Rome and other diocese took part in the celebration, in relation to the 29th World Youth Day, which this year takes the theme, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven Read More ...
Pope advises seminarians: If you are not willing to act like shepherds, seek another path | Pope Francis, sheep, seminarians, Pontifical College 'Leoniano de Anagn
Pope advises seminarians: If you are not willing to act like shepherds, seek another path
This morning the Holy Father met with seminarians from the community of the Pontifical College 'Leoniano de Anagni', and warned them not to fall into the trap of thinking that they are preparing to exercise a profession, to become the employees of a business enterprise or a bureaucratic entity. “You are becoming 'good shepherds', in the image of Jesus, to be like Him, in the midst of His flock, to care for His sheep. Before this vocation, we can answer like the Virgin Mary to the Angel: 'How is this possible?' Read More ...
Campaigners call for hospitals, schools and homes instead of  weapons | Pax Christi, military spending, Trident
Campaigners call for hospitals, schools and homes instead of weapons
Pax Christi joined with other peace and environment groups today in Central London to symbolically redistribute the £38 billion military budget to government departments with greater needs. Today, the Global Day of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS) it was announced that world military expenditure totals $1.75 trillion - UK military expenditure is £38 billion. The UK has the 6th largest military budget in the world.The action in London, where speakers included Bruce Kent of Pax Christi, Kate Hudson of CND, John Hilary of War on Want Read More ...
Letter from Bethlehem - Christians wait for permits to attend Holy Week services | Toine van Teeffelen, Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Holy Week, permits
Letter from Bethlehem - Christians wait for permits to attend Holy Week services
It is Easter season. The permits to visit Jerusalem come late. Is that related to the stagnating “peace process”? After the Palestinian Authority signed up to a number of international human rights treaties Israel announced “sanctions” as a response to this “unilateral step.” But which peace process considers signing op to the rights of children, the handicapped and other vulnerable groups as a threat to peace – people ask themselves. Jara receives a permit, contrary to last year’s Easter; Mary and her sister not (yet?) Read More ...
Recently-jailed Madagascan mother to confront Rio Tinto at London AGM   | Rio Tinto,  QE II Conference Centre, Perle Zafinandro, FAGNOMBA,  QMM-Rio Tinto, mining, land grabbing
Recently-jailed Madagascan mother to confront Rio Tinto at London AGM
A mother-of-four who was recently jailed for 58 days for confronting mining injustice against her community in Madagascar will be joined by church justice and peace groups and other campaigners on Tuesday morning from 9.30am on Tuesday outside the Rio Tinto AGM at the QE II Conference Centre, SW1. Perle Zafinandro is the president of the FAGNOMBA association that has accused QMM-Rio Tinto of land-grabbing and environmental destruction in Madagascar. After having been involved in protests against the company since 2010, in March 2013, Read More ...
Pope appoints new Bishop of Brentwood | Pope Francis, Father Alan Williams SM, Director of the National Shrine of Our Lady at Walsingham, Bishop of Brentwood, Brentwood Cathedral
Pope appoints new Bishop of Brentwood
Pope Francis has appointed Father Alan Williams SM, currently the Director of the National Shrine of Our Lady at Walsingham, as the seventh Bishop of Brentwood. His episcopal ordination will take place at Brentwood Cathedral on 1 July 2014 at 12 noon. The bishop-elect was born in Oldham, Lancashire in 1951. He took final vows in the Society of Mary [Marist Fathers] in 1981 and was ordained priest in St Anne’s Whitechapel in 1983. The bishop-elect was born in Oldham, Lancashire in 1951. He took final vows in the Society of Mary [Marist Fathers] in 1981 Read More ...
Passion of Christ in Trafalgar Square | Cardinal Nichols, Passion of Christ in Trafalgar Square
Passion of Christ in Trafalgar Square
For the fifth year in a row, Trafalgar Square in central London will be transformed into the Jerusalem of two millenniums on Good Friday, when the 80-strong cast of the Wintershall Players perform the Passion of Christ at 12 noon and 3.15pm. The epic performances will be relayed to massive screens and high quality sound systems will carry the actors’ words around the Square.  More than 20,000 people are expected to come and watch the drama. Cardinal Vincent Nichols will say a closing prayer at the end of the first performance at 1.15pm. Read More ...
New York: Pax Christi Metro Way of the Cross through Manhattan  | Rosemary Pace, Pax Christi Metro, Way of the Cross, Bishop Joseph M Sullivan
New York: Pax Christi Metro Way of the Cross through Manhattan
On Good Friday, Pax Christi Metro New York will walk the Way of the Cross through Manhattan.  Over 500 are expected to take part. They will recall how Jesus’ revolutionary life led to his execution and contemplate how counter-cultural it can be if we truly walk with Him in His way of life today. They will pray for the courage to follow in Jesus’ footsteps and offer this contemporary Stations of the Cross as penance for their own complicity in the sins of a world that has lost its moral compass. They will enter into Christ’s Passion for life driven by love. Read More ...
Pope advises doctors: never lose sight of the human person - body & spirit   | Pope Francis, doctors
Pope advises doctors: never lose sight of the human person - body & spirit
.... in order to be able to speak of full health it is necessary to not lose sight of the human person, created in the image of God, and who is unity of body and spirit. The Greeks were more precise: body, soul and spirit. Man is that unity. It is possible to distinguish these two elements but not to separate them, because the human person is one. So, disease, the experience of pain and suffering, do not regard solely the corporal dimension, but man in his totality... Read More ...
Obituary: Cardinal Emmanuel III Delly - 'A dove in crimson fields' | Cardinal Emmanuel III Delly, Robert Ewan, Iraq
Obituary: Cardinal Emmanuel III Delly - 'A dove in crimson fields'
Karem Delly was born in Tel Keppe, in northern Iraq, on September 27, 1927 to Jarjes Murad Delly and Katrina Putros .He was baptized on October 6, 1927 by father Francis Kattola.When he completed his high school education, Delly enrolled at the St Peter seminary in Mosul on September 21, 1940. After studying philosophy for two years he was sent by Patriarch Emmanuel II Toma to Rome to further his education. Delly obtained a Master's Degree in Philosophy from the Pontifical Urbaniana University. Read More ...
North London churches begin Holy Week with ecumenical procession | Ecumenical Palm Sunday procession, Finsbury Park, FR CLive Lee, St Thomas More's Catholic Church, St Olave's, Woodbury Down, and St John the Evangelist, Brownswood Park Anglican Churches, United Reform Church, 

Finsbury Park Methodist Church.
North London churches begin Holy Week with ecumenical procession
There was warm sunshine as more than 200 members of five north London churches gathered for the eighth Ecumenical Palm Sunday procession-  with a donkey and Blessing of Palms  - at the Manor House gates of Finsbury Park. Jesus' entry into Jerusalem was re-enacted with loud hosannas by parishioners from St Thomas More's Catholic Church, St Olave's, Woodbury Down, and St John the Evangelist, Brownswood Park Anglican Churches, the United Reform Church and 

Finsbury Park Methodist Church. Read More ...
Central African Republic cannot wait six months for peacekeepers |  CAFOD, Central African Republic, CAR, UN peacekeepers, UN Security Council, Caritas Central African Republic, Catherine Mahony
Central African Republic cannot wait six months for peacekeepers
On Friday, CAFOD warned that the people of Central African Republic  (CAR) cannot afford to wait for 12,000 UN peacekeepers to arrive in the country, and that the world must act immediately to stop a dire situation deteriorating further. The UN Security Council has agreed to send the peacekeeping force to CAR, but not for almost six months, despite the escalating cycle of retaliatory violence and lawlessness, which has left thousands of people dead, more than one million in need of urgent food, water and basic services, and over 600,000 people homeless. Read More ...
Lord Alton: Will anyone stand up for persecuted Christians? | Christians in the Middle East,  Lord  David Alton of Liverpool, Aid to the VChurch in Need, John Pontifex, Neville Kyrke-Smith, David Cameron
Lord Alton: Will anyone stand up for persecuted Christians?
Christians in the Middle East and elsewhere are suffering "systematic killing and outright persecution", according to Catholic peer Lord  David Alton of Liverpool, and yet the West's response is to ignore it "without barely a murmur of protest". Highlighting worsening killing and kidnapping of Christians and arson attacks on their churches and homes in parts of Africa, the Middle East and other parts of Asia, Lord Alton said the West's "indifference" was compounding the crisis. Read More ...
Palm Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons | Palm Sunday Reflection, Fr Robin Gibbons
Palm Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons
I celebrated 35 years of priesthood recently, not with any great party, but as a reflective anniversary looking back at what has been a very fulfilling ministry for me,  also a calling that I would not swap for any other. But as I grow older, a bit like Thomas Aquinas, I find that all the knowledge I have of Theology, Scripture, Liturgy, whatever, does not do justice to the heart of our faith, which is quite simply centered on the person of Jesus Christ. I continually discover that my own faith gets simpler but deeper, like you, I follow  Read More ...
Catholic and Anglican bishops visit East London homeless | Catholic Bishop of Brentwood, Anglican Bishop of Chelmsford, Caritas Anchor House, Archbishop Justin Welby, Cardinal Vincent Nichols,Bishop Thomas McMahon, Bishop Stephen Cottrell
Catholic and Anglican bishops visit East London homeless
The Catholic Bishop of Brentwood and the Anglican Bishop of Chelmsford visited East London based homeless charity Caritas Anchor House on Friday as part of 'Listen To God: Hear the Poor' week. This joint initiative between Archbishop Justin Welby and Cardinal Vincent Nichols aims to highlight the efforts of Christians who work with those in need and runs from Passion Sunday on 6 April to Palm Sunday on 13 April. Bishop Thomas McMahon and Bishop Stephen Cottrell spent the day visiting two flagship poverty fighting projects in their dioceses.  Read More ...
Pope Francis pledges stronger action on child abuse |  BICE,  International Catholic Child Bureau, Pope Francis, child abuse
Pope Francis pledges stronger action on child abuse
“I feel compelled to personally take on all the evil which some priests ... to personally ask for forgiveness for the damage they have done for having sexually abused children. The Church is aware of this damage, it is personal, moral damage carried out by men of the Church, and we will not take one step backward with regards to how we will deal with this problem, and the sanctions that must be imposed. On the contrary, we have to be even stronger. Because you cannot interfere with children”. This was Pope Francis' clear message to members of BICE Read More ...
Student Cross gears up to walk to Walsingham | Student Cross, Walsingham, Holy Week
Student Cross gears up to walk to Walsingham
As Holy Week approaches - many pilgrims are beginning their final preparations before the annual Easter journey on Student Cross to the shrine to Our Lady in Walsingham, Norfolk in the south east of the country. On their way, they will provide many parishioners and people who see them as a reminder of the true meaning behind the Christian festival. Mark Jordan, national director of Student Cross for 2014, said: “For most people, Easter is a break from school, Read More ...

 

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