Pope Francis received in audience Reuven Rivlin, president of the State of Israel on Tuesday. The President later met with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, accompanied by the secretary for Relations with States, Archbishop Paul Gallagher. In a statement the Vatican said: "During the cordial discussions the Parties focused on the political and social situation in the Middle East, affected by several conflicts, with special attention to the condition of Christians and other minority groups.
"This is a hugely complex and wicked crisis that underlines our human frailty and the fragility of our political systems. My heart is broken by the images and stories of men, women and children who have risked their lives to escape conflict, violence and persecution. "There are no easy answers and my prayers are with those who find themselves fleeing persecution, as well as those who are struggling under immense pressure to develop an effective and equitable response. Now, perhaps more than ever in post-war Europe, we need to commit to joint action across Europe,
The heads of the Catholic Church in England, Wales and Scotland - Cardinal Vincent Nichols and Archbishop Philip Tartaglia - are encouraging the Catholic community to embrace the opportunity to reflect, act and pray, following the release of the Pope's landmark encyclical, Laudato Si'. In a joint statement, which concludes the new encyclical study guide created by development agencies CAFOD and SCIAF, the senior clerics said: "Pope Francis' encyclical, Laudato Si', is an open dialogue with all people on the care of our common home. As a Catholic community, we are called by our faith to
Rev Saliba Rishmawi prays and speaks behind an improvised open air altar under the watchful eye of Israeli soldiers behind him accompanied by an Israeli military jeep. He seems relaxed, but his words are strong. "Here it happens that land, trees and people are destroyed." It is Wednesday 2 September. In the presence of a German Pax Christi group from Augsburg we stand at the foot of the imposing high bridge in Beit Jala used by Israeli settlers traveling between Jerusalem and the Hebron and Gush Etzion settlements. A road that cannot be used by Palestinians from
Following on from the World Day of Prayer for Care of Creation on 1 September, many Christian denominations across the world are celebrating Creation Time, running from 1 September to 4 October - the Feast of St Francis of Assisi. This is a time when people of faith focus their attention on how to care for Earth and all of creation. This year, as we approach the UN Climate Summit in Paris, Creation Time may never have felt more timely. In 1989 the Ecumenical Patriarch suggested that 1 September, the first day of the Orthodox Church's year, should be observed as a day
The Bishop of Portsmouth has placed his diocese on "environmental alert" after reading Pope Francis' encyclical 'Laudato Si'. The alert, he says, "will affect (1) the way we think, (2) the way we act, and (3) the way we pray. His 'Pastoral Message from Bishop Philip about Laudato Si and the Care of Creation' was released on 25 August, in time to flag up the new World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation on 1 September. Bishop Philip Egan called 'Laudato Si' "one of the most challenging papal encyclicals of our time".
The community of Benedictine nuns at Stanbrook Abbey, Wass, North Yorkshire, are delighted to announce that their abbey church will be dedicated on Sunday 6 September 2015. The Mass of Dedication will be by invitation only. The community moved to Wass in 2009 from their previous home at Callow End, near Worcester. They have been using the chapter house as a chapel while waiting for the abbey church to be built. The abbey church has been designed by Fielden Clegg Bradley Studios and built by QSP Construction.
Vatican officials, bishops, clergy and academics from around the world came together on 28 August in Philadelphia to offer to more than 200 news journalists covering religion an intensive course on Pope Francis and his upcoming visit to the United States. The seminar, called 'The Church up Close' was organized by the School of Church Communications of the Pontifical University Santa Croce (Opus Dei's Rome-based university) and sponsored by Columbia magazine. The seminar was part of the Religion Newswriters Association's annual conference.
I cannot read about one more refugee family drowning in the ocean at Europe's doors - not one single more mother losing her kids to hunger, or one more tiny child watching his parents die at sea. My heart is broken, and as long as I watch the news, I can't stop crying. But yesterday, a ray of hope came - after Iceland refused to take in more than a pitiful 50 refugees, one author asked her Facebook followers to offer to host a refugee family. 10,000 people responded. We say to our leaders, we reject your politics of xenophobia, we say to our brothers and sisters, Welcome Home.
Westminster's monthly 'Pray and Fast' gathering took a new turn on Tuesday, 1 September, when Finsbury Park Mosque hosted an evening welcoming all faith communities to discuss their respective religions' approach to creation. Speakers Fatima Said and Barbara Kentish quoted from their respective traditions, agreeing on many similar points, and found that the recent Islamic Declaration on Climate Change and Pope Francis's Laudato Si encyclical proposed many of the same solutions: a simpler lifestyle, less material consumption, divestments from fossil fuels,
This new post is for a person to be responsible for the day-to-day management of Progressio's International Citizen Service (ICS) programme. It will involve working closely with and supporting Progressio's in-country managers delivering ICS in El Salvador, Honduras, Malawi, Nicaragua and Zimbabwe, and with the staff of the ICS central hub, line manage the London-based ICS team, and represent Progressio in the negotiations of the new ICS phase.
This new report by The Society of St Yves - Catholic Center for Human Rights is a comprehensive summary and analysis of the Cremisan Valley case. The report aims to shed light on the grave violation of building the annexation wall in Cremisan and its destructive effect on the Palestinian Christian families living in the area. The report aims to condense all the proceedings and developments of the case from 2006, starting with a review of the history of the case and its main elements.
A video on 'Care for God's Creation' is the first of a seven-part series on Catholic Social Teaching, designed to be an introduction to this body of thought with notable Catholics reflecting on each of the teachings. The video release comes in conjunction with Pope Francis' declaration of September 1 as a day of prayer for creation. The video series is co-sponsored by Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and the Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
Pope Francis led the liturgy for the first World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation in Saint Peter's Basilica yesterday, 1 September. The service began with the canticle from the Book of Daniel, where all of creation is called upon to praise the Lord. In addition to readings from Genesis and the Gospel of Saint Matthew, there was a reading from Pope Francis' encyclical letter Laudato si', which concluded with a passage from St Francis of Assisi's Canticle of the Sun.
As nations meet in Bonn, Germany, to develop a global climate agreement, Christian Aid has warned that with only 10 negotiating days left until ministers meet in Paris, urgency is needed. Mohamed Adow, Christian Aid's Senior Climate Change Advisor, said: "With the world expecting a positive outcome at the Paris summit in December it is vital that much of the legwork is done now to ensure negotiators are not left with a mountain to climb in Paris. December may feel a long way off but we only have 10 negotiating days between now and then and there is still lots of issues to be resolved.
Pope Francis today conceded to priests during the upcoming Holy Year the disposition to absolve of the sin of abortion those who have procured it and seek forgiveness for it. He also expressed his hope that solutions may soon be found to recover full communion with the Fraternity of St Pius X. In an articulated letter addressed to the President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, the Pope focused on a series of points which he said "require attention to enable the celebration" of the upcoming Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy.
On Monday evening, Pope Francis held a 'virtual audience' in several cities across the United States as part of the lead-up to his visit later this month. During the interactive event, those taking part were able to share their stories and ask the Holy Father questions. In one instance, the Pope asked a teenage girl, who had been a victim of bullying, to sing for him. Speaking from the Vatican, and alternating between English and Spanish, Pope Francis addressed those taking part at various locations across the US.
One of Syria's most senior Catholic leaders has issued an impassioned plea to young people, describing a "tsunami" of youth emigration and begging them to stay. Referring to "an almost communal wave of youth emigration", Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch Gregorios III said the exodus was so severe it begged serious questions about the future of the Church in Syria. In an open letter to youth, the Damascus-based prelate said emigration of Christian youth was especially severe in Syria but was also of grave concern elsewhere in the Middle East.
A peaceful march in the Plateau State capital Jos on Monday, 31 August , was the latest in a week of protests calling for action to end the daily killings of local villagers by Fulani gunmen. Protestors at the march in Jos, organised by the Plateau Intelligentsia group, assembled at the Old Airport Junction before marching to the Plateau State House of Assembly, where they were received by the Speaker, Mr Peter Azi. Protest organiser Dr Daniel Meshak revealed that four youths had been ambushed and killed at Kura Falls in Barkin Ladi Council
Pope Francis said Christians should comfort each other through good works and kind words and not with useless chatter. He was speaking on Tuesday (1st September) during his homily at his first morning Mass in the chapel at Casa Santa Marta since the summer break. Taking his inspiration from the St Paul's first letter to the Thessalonians about the need for a strong faith and hope in a final meeting with Christ, the Pope noted that the apostle wrote that the day of the Lord can arrive without warning "like a thief" but Jesus is coming to bring salvation to those who believe in Him.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, has called on Catholics to contact their MPs before next week's vote on a Private Member's Bill to legalise assisted suicide. The Cardinal warns that the intrinsic value of each human life will be undermined if assisted suicide were to be legalised by this Bill, with some lives being seen as worth less than others. It would also fundamentally change the "do no harm" principle that underpins all medical practice. These dangers are reflected in the significant opposition of medical professionals.
The general prayer intention of Pope Francis is for jobless youth: that opportunities for education and employment may increase for all young people. The Holy Father is greatly concerned about high jobless rates among young people, saying they are becoming a lost generation - victim of today's 'throw-away' culture that casts aside anyone who is not profitable economically. It's painful to see young people on the lookout for their first job turned away for lack of previous experience, thus nipping them in the bud.
Today marks the start of week two in the St Vincent de Paul Society's (SVP) 'Happy Families?' awareness month campaign. Posters will be going up in parishes across England and Wales featuring 'Mr In Debt who can't pay the bills.' Mr In Debt is typical of the kind of person the SVP helps every week. Nearly 10,000 SVP members visited 80,000 people last year, helping people like Mr In Debt who are experiencing financial hardship and struggling to pay for essential items and bills. The SVP gave out grants, members helped negotiate payment plans with service providers and provided a listening ear to
The Supreme Court of Pakistan criticized the inaction of the police in front of the lynching of the Christian couple Shahzad and Shama Masih, accused of blasphemy and killed in Kot Radha Kishan, Punjab, on 4 November 2014. In the horrific incident, Shama Bibi, who was four months pregnant, and her husband Shahbaz Masih, were attacked by a crowd who accused them of burning pages of the Qur'an. After beating the couple they incinerated their bodies in a brick kiln. Reports state that Shahbaz Masih was still alive, although badly wounded, when he was thrown into the kiln.
Patriarch Michel Sabbah, former head of the Latin Church in Jerusalem made a desperate appeal to the Christian world after Sunday Mass at Cremisan, near Bethlehem yesterday. Sabbah said: "The message to the Christian world, the international community and the Arab world is that this Holy Land is burning, dying and being destroyed, and if you really care about justice and equality, you have the obligation to stop this war, killing and destruction." ... "They claim it's their land, but they use their soldiers, their tanks, their military occupation to force their will - and it is not their land.