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Saturday, November 1, 2014
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Viewpoint from South Africa: Crime and family life
Viewpoint from South Africa: Crime and family life

The murder of Senzo Meyiwa is front page news, and dominating social media. His shocking death has stunned us as a nation. Here is a young man who was a symbol of hope and an inspiration for many other young South Africans. His tragic death reminds us all of the reality we live with, that ours is an incredibly violent society. South Africa is not the poorest country in the world. But we are one of the most violent. I believe this is because Apartheid has left us with deep psychological wounds. I think that greatest harm we suffer from Apartheid is one we rarely talk about.

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Pope Francis: Love and justice bring us closer to God  than excessive attachment  to laws
Pope Francis: Love and justice bring us closer to God than excessive attachment to laws

Pope Francis lamented Christians who are so attached to the laws that they neglect the concepts of love and justice, during his homily at Casa Santa Marta on Friday morning. Examining the day’s Gospel reading, where Jesus asked the Pharisees whether it was lawful to heal a sick person on the Sabbath, the Pope reflected on how love and justice are the path to Christ rather than an excessive attachment to the laws. He reminded how Jesus described the Pharisees as hypocrites for criticizing him behind his back

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British MPs send message to Pakistan on Asia Bibi case
British MPs send message to Pakistan on Asia Bibi case

More than 50 Members of Parliament, from across the political spectrum, have written to the Pakistani authorities asking for an urgent review in the case of Asia Bibi. In a joint letter, authored by Rehman Chishti MP, the 54 British MPs say they feel strongly that a miscarriage of justice has taken place in the case of the Christian mother of five children, who has been sentenced to death. They call on the Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif and the Chief Justice, Nasir-Ul-Mulk, to consider this case as a matter of urgency.

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Faith leaders on  frontline of the Ebola crisis
Faith leaders on frontline of the Ebola crisis

Faith leaders across West Africa are using their unique position of influence within communities to speak out and help stop the spread of the deadly Ebola virus, say the faith-based member agencies of the Disaster and Emergency Committee (DEC).CAFOD, Christian Aid, Tearfund and World Vision are working through established religious networks across Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone to educate communities about the symptoms of Ebola, offer support to people affected by the outbreak and ensure survivors are not stigmatised 

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Pope receives EU president
Pope receives EU president

Pope Francis received the President of the European Parliament, Martin Schultz, in a private audience in the Vatican's Apostolic Palace yesterday. The meeting was an occasion for the two men to look ahead to the Pope’s journey to Strasbourg scheduled to take place next month. They met for the first time in the Vatican exactly one year ago when Schultz’s visit coincided with the publication of an essay written by him to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Saint Pope John II’s visit to the European Parliament back in 1988.

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Syrian Bishops: 'If the world wants to help us, stop sending weapons'
Syrian Bishops: 'If the world wants to help us, stop sending weapons'

The Catholic Bishops of Syria issued a severe reminder to the international community this week, calling it to end the arms trade fuelling the war that is destroying their country and forcing thousands of Christians to flee. The statement was issued at the end of their autumn Assembly held in Damascus on Tuesday and Wednesday (28-29 October). It was attended by the Patriarch of Antioch of the Greek-Melkite, Grégoire III, and 11 Catholic bishops of six different rites, along with the Apostolic Nuncio Mario Zenari and Mgr Giovanni Pietro Dal Toso, 

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Text: Official English translation of Synod on the  Family  report
Text: Official English translation of Synod on the Family report

The Synod of Bishops, gathered around the Holy Father, turned its thoughts to all the families of the world, each with its joys, difficulties and hopes. In a special way, the Assembly felt a duty to give thanks to the Lord for the generosity and faithfulness of so many Christian families in responding to their vocation and mission, which they fulfill with joy and faith, even when living as a family requires facing obstacles, misunderstandings 

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Pope Francis: Christian life is a continuous battle against Satan
Pope Francis: Christian life is a continuous battle against Satan

Pope Francis said Christian life is a continuous battle against the Devil, the world and the passions of the flesh. His comments came during his homily at morning Mass in the chapel of Casa Santa Marta today. He stressed that the devil exists and we must fight against him with the armour of truth. The Holy Father was reflecting on the words of St Paul in his letter to the Ephesians where he urges Christians to put on the full armour of God in order to resist Satan’s temptations. A Christian life, he said, has to be defended and it requires both strength and courage. 

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Canadian Bishops issue new document on ecumenism
Canadian Bishops issue new document on ecumenism

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council's Decree on Ecumenism, Unitatis Redintegratio in November, 2014, (1964-2014), the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), through its Episcopal Commission for Christian Unity, Religious Relations with the Jews, and Interfaith Dialogue, has published the following document: A Church in Dialogue: Towards the Restoration of Unity among Christians. This publication provides an in-depth presentation of the Church's commitment to ecumenical dialogue and is intended for those 

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Iraq: More than 700 Christian families flee ISIS to Baghdad
Iraq: More than 700 Christian families flee ISIS to Baghdad

More than 700 Christian families from Mosul and the Nineveh Plain are now lliving as refugees in makeshift housing and temporary accommodation in Baghdad, after being forced to leave their homes by Islamic State. Raad Jalil Kajaji, head of the finance Office for Christians, Yazidis, Sabean and Mandaeans, said the number of Christian refugees arriving in the capital continues to increase day by day,. He called for and international relief organizations to support the local authorities more vigorously in addressing this humanitarian emergency.

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Pope Francis: We are all the Church
Pope Francis: We are all the Church

We are all the Church! All of us all of us Baptized! We are the Church, the Church of Jesus’”. This was the message at the heart of Pope Francis’ general audience today, (Wednesday), which he dedicated to the relationship between the visible and spiritual reality of the Church.  The Pope observed that the Church represents the Body of Jesus, and that its visible dimension- that is the structures and people who make up the Church – are at the service of its spiritual reality, witnessing to God’s love for all mankind.

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 Pope tells Evangelical group: We must focus on unity not divisions
Pope tells Evangelical group: We must focus on unity not divisions

In a private meeting with leaders of the inter-denominational Ark Community, Pope Francis said Christians should not wait for theologians to reach agreement, but should walk, pray and work together now. His words came during a 10 October gathering at Casa Santa Marta with members of the community founded by Evangelical leader Tony Palmer who was killed in a road accident last July. Palmer became friends with Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio when he worked in Buenos Aires as international ecumenical officer of the Communion of Episcopal Evangelical Churches,

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Pope addresses participants at World Meeting of Popular Movements
Pope addresses participants at World Meeting of Popular Movements

Yesterday, Pope Francis met with participants of all nationalities and faiths, attending the World Meeting of Popular Movements which is holding a conference in Rome to discuss problems facing the poor, the unemployed and those who have lost their land. The group chose to hold their three-day conference in the city because of Pope Francis’ particular attention to the struggles of the poor. The event was organised by the Pontifical Council Justice and Peace, in collaboration with the Pontifical Academy for Social Sciences and the leaders of 

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  Bishop John Arnold Visits Cambodia with CAFOD
Bishop John Arnold Visits Cambodia with CAFOD

Bishop John Arnold last week (19th – 26th October) visited Cambodia in his role as Chairman of CAFOD to observe how CAFOD’s partners are working to improve the lives of those affected by poverty. During his week there, he visited Phnom Penh and Siem Reap near the Thailand border, the latter being noted for having ‘the highest average wealth of Cambodian cities but its provincial inhabitants are the poorest.’ He met with a variety of delegates including Michelle Broadbent, the British Deputy Ambassador to Cambodia, Bishop Olivier, 

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Pope Francis: Big Bang theory does not contradict Divine intervention
Pope Francis: Big Bang theory does not contradict Divine intervention

"The Big Bang theory does not contradict  Divine intervention - but confirms it"  - Pope Francis told a group of clergy and academics at the unveiling of a statue of Pope Benedict at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences on Monday.  "Evolution in nature is not opposed to the notion of Creation, because evolution presupposes the creation of beings that evolve."    Read a translation in English of the full text of Pope Francis' speech at the unveiling,  here: 

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Call for Pakistani government to intervene in Asia Bibi case
Call for Pakistani government to intervene in Asia Bibi case

The former secretary of the Pakistani Bishops Justice and Peace Commission has appealed for the Pakistani government to protect people suffering from religious discrimination. Peter Jacob said: "The federal and provincial ministries should take the responsibility to monitor, protect and defend cases against people accused of blasphemy, including that of Asia Bibi." "The governments of the country are responsible for allowing the abuse of the blasphemy law, giving rise to a climate of widespread insecurity, 

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Coptic Orthodox Pope makes historic visit to Russia
Coptic Orthodox Pope makes historic visit to Russia

His Holiness Pope Tawadros II, 118th Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of All Africa on the holy Apostolic See of Saint Mark, accompanied by a papal delegation, arrived in Russia on 28 October 2014 ahead of a historic visit. HH Pope Tawadros will visit His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia on 29 October 2014, marking 26 years since the visit of the previous Pope of Alexandria, His Holiness the late Pope Shenouda III, who had participated in the celebration of the Millennium of the Christianisation of Russia and the baptism of St Vladimir.

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Pope Francis tells Christians: don't hover at the door, come in
Pope Francis tells Christians: don't hover at the door, come in

Pope Francis today encouraged all Christians to feel they are an integral part of the Church. Speaking during his homily at morning Mass in Casa Santa Marta, the Pope said that Jesus does not seek out man’s sins, but looks to his heart, and he invited all believers not to hover on the threshold of the Church, but to come right in. The Holy Father said Jesus did the “work” 2000 years ago when he chose twelve pillars upon which to build His Church, and positioned himself as the basis and the corner stone.

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How is CAFOD responding to Ebola?
How is CAFOD responding to Ebola?

CAFOD Church and non-Church partners are urgently scaling up their response to the Ebola crisis, and need to reach many more people over the coming weeks. Their work includes: Raising awareness: Many communities do not have access to accurate information on Ebola, or hygiene facilities to protect themselves. Our partners are working with priests and imams to spread the word about hand-washing and safe sanitation, and to distribute hygiene kits. Religious leaders are in a unique position to bust myths and ensure that communities 

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Mexico: 30,000 pray Rosary for drug traffickers and killers
Mexico: 30,000 pray Rosary for drug traffickers and killers

More than 30,000 faithful gathered in Leon stadium on Sunday to pray the Rosary for drug traffickers and organized crime. Led by the Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of León, Guanajuato, Mgr Juan Frausto Pallares, organized groups from different parishes came in procession. Many others had been waiting inside the stadium from the early morning. They came together to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the 'Living Rosary'. "It is a beautiful tradition, where you feel the presence of the Virgin and God, and we can ask for help for someone else, not just for ourselves", 

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Pope Francis: We are called to be children of light
Pope Francis: We are called to be children of light

During Mass this morning (Monday) in the chapel at Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis said, a conscientious examination of our words will help us understand whether we are Christians of light, Christians of darkness or Christians of grey areas. Reflecting on the First Reading from St Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians, the Pope said men are recognizable by their words. By inviting Christians to behave as children of light, and not as children of darkness, St Paul gives "a catechesis on the word".

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Nigeria: Life is the country's cheapest commodity, laments bishop
Nigeria: Life is the country's cheapest commodity, laments bishop

A Catholic bishop responsible for the area worst affected by Boko Haram has described the desperate needs of those who have fled the terrorist group – hitting out at the government for its failure to protect citizens. Responding to an urgent request from Bishop Oliver Doeme of Maiduguri in north-east Nigeria, Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need has just approved £35,500 in aid for refugees who fled attacks by the Islamist terrorists in northern Nigeria. Following Boko Haram’s attacks on towns and villages in the northeast, thousands of Internal Displaced People (IDP) –

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Patriarch suspends monks and priests who fled Iraq without permission
Patriarch suspends monks and priests who fled Iraq without permission

Chaldean Patriarch Louis Sako I has suspended a group of monks and priests who fled Iraq without consulting their superiors. Published on the Chaldean Patriarchate’s website, the Patriarch's decree gives the names of six priests and six monks who, as of October 22, have been suspended from their priestly duties... When he is ordained, the Priest offers his whole life to God and the Church. It is an offering grounded in the obedience to the superiors without any reservations. 

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Pope Francis: Love of God and neighbour are inseparable
Pope Francis: Love of God and neighbour are inseparable

“Today's Gospel reminds us that the whole law of God is summed up in love for God and neighbour,” said Pope Francis, during his address to pilgrims before the Angelus in St Peter's Square on Sunday. In his reflections on the day's Gospel readings, the Holy Father said: “You cannot love God without loving your neighbour and you cannot love your neighbour without loving God.” The “novelty” of Christ’s teaching consists in the union of the two commandments, he said.

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Pope defends marriage and family, encourages daring prayer
Pope defends marriage and family, encourages daring prayer

On Saturday, Pope Francis met wit more than 7000 pilgrims belonging to the Schoenstatt movement, an international Marian and apostolic organization celebrating the 100th anniversary of its founding in Germany. In his conversation during the audience, Pope Francis said the institution of Christian marriage has never been attacked so much as it in today's throw-away culture. Asked about what advice he can offer to those who don’t feel welcome in the Church, Pope Francis stressed the need for priests to stay close to each one of their flock 

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Displaying Articles 1 - 25 of 4877
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