The Holy Family Latin Church in Gaza has just received an evacuation order warning them that Israei is planning to bomb their neighbourhood tonight. In a message, a priest writes: " The church of Gaza has received an order to evacuate.. they will bomb the Zeitun area and the people are already fleeing. The problem is that the priest Fr George and the three nuns of Mother Teresa have 29 handicapped children and nine old ladies who can't move. "How will they manage to leave?? If anyone can intercede with someone in power, and pray,
The UK head of a Catholic charity has hit out at the British Government for helping “to lay the foundations” for the rise of extremists in Iraq who have flushed out the last remaining Christians from Mosul after 1,600 years. Neville Kyrke-Smith, National Director, Aid to the Church in Need (UK), said the UK’s response to uprisings in the Middle East “has blown up in our face” and called on the Government to help form “an axis of moderation” in the region. He went on to warn that, unless action was taken, “before long” the UK could be in line
The last night was extreme. The "ground invasion" of Gaza resulted in scores and carloads with maimed, torn apart, bleeding, shivering, dying - all sorts of injured Palestinians, all ages, all civilians, all innocent. The heroes in the ambulances and in all of Gaza's hospitals are working 12-24hours shifts, grey from fatigue and inhuman workloads (without payment all in Shifa for the last four months), they care, triage, try to understand the incomprehensible chaos of bodies, sizes, limbs, walking, not walking, breathing, not breathing, bleeding, not bleeding humans.
Patricia and Michael Pulham gave the following ‘witness’ presentation at the annual conference of the National Justice and Peace Network last weekend. The couple are currently on the national executive committee of Christian CND and involved in UN lobbying on nuclear disarmament. Michael: Justice and Peace issues had always been important to us, but one particular event made us realise we were striving against Powers with more strength than we imagined. Do you remember how it all began?
After Sunday's Angelus prayer, the Holy Father, remarking that tomorrow marks the centenary of the beginning of the First World War, launched a new appeal for peace in the Middle East, Iraq and Ukraine, and called for a cessation of hostilities. “Tomorrow is the one hundredth anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War, which claimed millions of lives and caused immense destruction. This conflict, defined by Pope Benedict XV as a 'senseless slaughter', persisted for four long years and led to a more fragile peace.
Pope Francis made a short visit to the the city of Casterta on Saturday. During his stay he had a meeting with the diocesan priests and celebrated an open air Mass. On Monday he returned to the city for a private visit with the Evangelical community, and an old friend from his days as Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Pastor Giovanni Traettino. During his meeting with the priests on Saturday, Pope Francis set aside aside his prepared text he spoke off the cuff, answering four questions they presented to him.
Korea’s Catholic Church is currently participating in the annual Grand March For Life and Peace of Gangjeong Village, Jeju Island from 29 July to 2 August. Columban missionaries in Korea have devised the petition below as an expression of solidarity with the people of Gangjeong and all those opposed to the construction of a naval base on Jeju Island in the vicinity of Gangjeong! Jeju Island has been dubbed 'The Island of Peace'. Just off the coast of South Korea,
Dear Muslim Brothers and Sisters, It gives us great joy to offer you our heartfelt congratulations and good wishes on the occasion of 'Id al-Fitr at the conclusion of Ramadan, a month dedicated to fasting, prayer and helping the poor. Last year, the first year of his ministry, Pope Francis personally signed the Message addressed to you on the occasion of ‘Id al-Fitr. On another occasion, he also called you "our brothers and sisters" (Angelus, 11 August 2013).
Caritas has launched an emergency appeal to help the people of Gaza. Following attacks by Israel, over 600 Palestinians have died and over 100,000 people have fled their homes to seek shelter elsewhere. Twenty-seven Israelis have been killed in the conflict. Fr Raed Abusahlia, director of Caritas Jerusalem said: “Most of the victims are children, women and old people. We strongly believe that the Church of Jesus Christ cannot remain silent; we cannot stand aside and do nothing.
As the widespread violence and aggression facing Christians and minority groups in Mosul, Iraq, intensifies, it is increasingly evident that the fundamental right and freedom to practice one’s Faith and belief is, and continues to be, grossly violated. We are currently witnessing an unacceptable widespread implementation of extremist religious ideology that threatens the lives of all Iraqi’s who do not fit within its ever-narrowing perspective.
An unexpected visitor came to the Vatican staff canteen on Friday, Vatican Radio reports. Pope Francis arrived unexpected shortly after noon, much to everybody’s astonishment, and after taking a tray and cutlery joined the line with all the employees to be served his lunch. Staff said he ate pasta without sauce and cod served with grilled tomatoes. He ate his lunch at a long table alongside a group of employees. Describing the papal visit as " a thunderbolt out of the blue,"
Hundreds of people have died from the deadly Ebola virus in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. CAFOD’s partners are on the ground, helping communities to protect themselves. An outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease has hit communities in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. To date, the World Health Organisation estimates that 786 people have been infected, and 442 people have died, making it the largest outbreak ever known. Ebola is a severe acute viral illness often characterized by the sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain,
As Chair of the International Department of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, I condemn in the strongest possible terms, the ISIS insurgents ultimatum to the Christian population of Mosul to convert, pay a religious levy or vacate the city. This threat to Iraqi citizens is a sin against God and a violation against life. We must not forget that Christians have lived and witnessed in Iraq for almost two millennia. The desecration of Mosul’s holy places and the systematic attempts to change the cultural and religious landscape of this ancient city are crimes
Meriam Ibrahim, the woman who was sentenced to death in Sudan for refusing to renounce her Christian faith, arrived in Italy yesterday, and met with Pope Francis in Casa Santa Marta. During the meeting, she was accompanied by her husband Daniel Wani, son Martin (a year and a half), and baby Maya, born in prison two months ago. Her family was accompanied by the Italian Deputy Foreign Minister, Lapo Pistelli, who helped negotiate and arrange her departure from Sudan and travelled with her to Italy.
Kairos Britain - a network of individuals, organisations and faith communities seeking a just and lasting peace in Israel and Palestine has issued the following statement today: End the suffering in Gaza NOW. Now is the time for Christians to take action to end the suffering in Gaza and promote a just, lasting, and sustainable peace between Israel and the Palestinians. The situation in Gaza is desperate. Over 600 Palestinians have been killed since Israel began military operation over two weeks ago. The UN says the majority of these are civilians, a third of them children.
Meriam Ibrahim and her family have arrived safely in Italy after criminal charges against her and her husband were dismissed and they were permitted to leave the Sudan. On 24 June, Mrs Ibrahim and her husband Daniel Wani were detained as they attempted to leave Sudan, and were later charged with forgery and provision of false information under article 123 and 97 of the 1991 Criminal Code, due to alleged irregularities with her travel documents.
In a dramatic appeal to the international community the Archbishops of Mosul, Iraq have asked for more outside help for minorities in Iraq. Their declaration calls for pressure to be put on the militants to end the destruction of Church buildings – including historic churches. With violence still ongoing in parts of the country, they said: "We, the Archbishops of Mosul, coming from all the denominations gathered in Erbil, Ankawah, headed by His Beatitude Patriarch Raphael Louis I Sako,
Jesuit astronomer, Brother Guy Consolmagno SJ, has been awarded the prestigious Carl Sagan Medal for “outstanding communication by an active planetary scientist". The award was made by the American Astronomical Society’s (AAS) Division for Planetary Sciences, which described him as “the voice of the juxtaposition of planetary science and astronomy with Christian belief, a rational spokesperson who can convey exceptionally well how religion and science can co-exist for believers”.
The Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations in Geneva, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, delivered a statement today, during a special session of the UN's Human Rights Council on the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem...As the number of people killed, wounded, uprooted from their homes, continues to increase in the conflict between Israel and some Palestinian groups, particularly in the Gaza Strip, the voice of reason seems submerged
The last Christian has now been expelled from Mosul. The light of religious freedom, along with the entire Christian presence, has been extinguished in the Bible’s “great city of Nineveh” — the centre of Christianity in Iraq for two millennia. This follows the uncompromising ultimatum by the jihadists of Isis to convert or die. On Sunday Pope Francis expressed his profound anguish: “Our brothers are persecuted, they are cast out, they are forced to leave their homes without having the chance to take anything with them.”
Pope Francis has reassured the Patriarch of the Syriac Catholic Church Ignatius Youssef III Younan that he is following news out of Iraq with concern, particularly the dramatic situation of Christians in Mosul who have been threatened with death and seizure of their homes by Islamic militants demanding they leave or convert to their form of Islamic belief. Christians have lived in Iraq’s second largest city for nearly two thousand years; there are few, if any, left now in Mosul. The Patriarch told the Italian Catholic news agency SIR (Religious Information Service),
The Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Culture has thanked Dr Ishrat ul Ebad Khan, Governor of Sindh in Pakistan, for his support of the Vatican Cricket Club which is about to tour England. And the Governor has presented a cheque, along with six Test-quality, made-in-Pakistan, cricket bats, as “a gift to the Vatican as a token of friendship.” Governor Ishrat ul Ebad made the presentation to Columban Fr Robert McCulloch, from Australia, and Aamir Bhatti, a Pakistani seminarian who has been selected for the touring Vatican cricket team.
The family is glued to the TV showing horrifying images of the shellings in Gaza. A guest clicks with her tongue, expressing anger. We all look with an overwhelming sense of powerlessness. In the Shujaya quarter in Gaza city dozens are hit or crushed. We watch the head of a boy torn apart from the rest of the body. I am distressed by the BBC, which clinically speaks about Israel’s “intensified operation” in Gaza, and which wants to “cover both sides of the conflict,” as if there is symmetry.
A Sacred Heart sister who taught at a school in Sydney, Australia, and an Irish mother who worked as a bursar at a Perth Catholic college, were among those killed in the Malaysia Airlines flight that was shot down over Ukraine on Friday. Sister Philomene Tiernan rscj who was returning from a retreat in France, was remembered as a much-loved friend and teacher at Kincoppal-Rose Bay school. Edel Mahady was described as a 'tiger mother' by her family.
Recent events in Mosul and the threat of annihilation of the Iraqi Christians by ISIS can only be described as horrific and the likes of which has not been seen since the 7th century AD. An 1800 year-old Syriac Catholic Church is desecrated and burnt to the ground. Meanwhile, the outside world looks on as if this is but a mere local event. The Iraqi Christian community in London across its various denominations is trying to bring this tragedy to the forefront of people's minds.