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Wednesday, February 10, 2016
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Thirteenth meeting of Council of Cardinals
Thirteenth meeting of Council of Cardinals

The Council of Cardinals met with the Holy Father for a day and a half this week: Monday 8 February, morning and afternoon, and Tuesday 9 in the morning. The cardinals concelebrated with the Pope in the Mass for the Friars Minor Capuchin on Tuesday morning at 7.30 in St Peter's Basilica, at the Altar of the Cathedral. Cardinal Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Bombay, was absent for health reasons. His absence was expected since the month of December, as he was expected to undergo a previously scheduled surgical operation.

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Christian Aid: Syrians need more than financial pledges
Christian Aid: Syrians need more than financial pledges

Christian Aid has welcomed the latest commitments made by the UK, Germany, France and others to increase humanitarian support for Syrians and the region. However the charity added that real relief will only happen when the bombs stop. Frances Guy, Christian Aid's Head of Middle East Region said: "For Syrian refugees who rely on food baskets and vouchers from the World Food Programme it will be a relief to know that Germany has already pledged to fund half of the money that is needed for these distributions for this year.

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Programme of Holy Father's apostolic trip to Mexico
Programme of Holy Father's apostolic trip to Mexico

The programme of the Holy Father's apostolic trip to Mexico, with a prior stop in Havana, Cuba to meet with Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia was published yesterday. The trip, the twelfth of Pope Francis' papacy, will take place from 12 to 18 February. All times given below are local. The Pope will depart from Fiumicino airport, Rome on Friday 12 February at 7.45am, destined for Jose Marti international airport, Havana, Cuba where he is expected to arrive at 2pm. Shortly after arriving he will meet privately with Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, with whom he will sign a Joint

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Russia: Threat to Christians is catalyst for historic meeting between Pope and Patriarch
Russia: Threat to Christians is catalyst for historic meeting between Pope and Patriarch

The persecution of Christians is the driving force behind the forthcoming historic meeting between the heads of the Catholic and Russian Orthodox Churches according to a leading Catholic charity's Russian expert. Aid to the Church in Need's Peter Humeniuk said that the meeting between Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill in Cuba had come about "because we are witnessing a persecution of Christians, which... now threatens the survival of Christianity in parts of the world."

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Pope Francis sends message to people of Mexico
Pope Francis sends message to people of Mexico

Pope Francis has sent a message to the people of Mexico as they await his arrival telling them that he is travelling to the nation as a "missionary of mercy and peace". Four days before the start of his apostolic journey to Mexico, the Pope sent a video message to those awaiting him. In the message, in his native Spanish, the Pope highlights the fact that he wants to embrace all Mexican people, especially those who suffer. He also speaks of his devotion for the Blessed Virgin and he expresses his joy at being able to visit the Shrine of Our Lady of

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Tragic fate of Christians and other minorities recognised as genocide
Tragic fate of Christians and other minorities recognised as genocide

The Commission of Bishops' Conferences of the European Community (COMECE) has welcomed last week's European Parliament's resolution to recognise the tragic fate of Christians and other minorities as genocide. COMECE sees this as a significant step forward in facilitating measures to prevent the on-going incipient genocide against Christians and other minorities.

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CAFOD appeal for Syrian refugees
CAFOD appeal for Syrian refugees

CAFOD is asking for donations to support its winter humanitarian aid work in response to the Syrian refugee crisis. The plight of refugees has been portrayed in a moving series of portraits, 'Lost Family Portraits', by the award-winning photographer, Dario Mitidieri. CAFOD partners are supporting refugee families living in informal tent settlements in the Bekaa valley, Lebanon, only nine kilometres from the Syrian border, Mitidieri did studio-style portraits of families whose lives were shattered as they fled the conflict...

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Ethiopia facing worst drought in half a century
Ethiopia facing worst drought in half a century

With the 'Horn of Africa' currently feeling the devastating effects of the El Nino climate phenomenon, Catholic agencies say Ethiopia is now facing the worst drought it has seen in half a century. The gradual onset of this crisis poses aid agencies with a dilemma. Will we have to wait until there are shocking pictures of malnutrition before the world wakes up to the threat? I certainly hope not, because Ethiopia has every chance of overcoming the danger of famine - as long as help arrives in time.

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Pope tells religious: Church and world needs your prophesy, your hope
Pope tells religious: Church and world needs your prophesy, your hope

The Year of Consecrated Life, called by Pope Francis at the end of 2014, which began with a prayer vigil in the Roman basilica of St Mary Major, closes tomorrow with a solemn Mass celebrated by the Holy Father in St Peter's Basilica. Through the year there have been events, seminars, chains of prayer in monasteries around the world, and an encounter between consecrated persons of different Christian confessions which, Pope Francis says, he hopes will continue. This morning in the Paul VI Hall the Pope received in audience participants in the Jubilee of Consecrated Life,

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North Wales: Blessing of Saint Colette at Ty Mam Duw
North Wales: Blessing of Saint Colette at Ty Mam Duw

Pregnant mothers and would-be parents will be flocking to the Ty Mam Duw Poor Clare Colettines in North Wales this Saturday for a special Mass and Blessing in honour of their founder. St Colette was a 15th century contemplative nun who is specially remembered as a patron of the unborn, of expectant mothers and couples who long to conceive a child. Whilst she was still at Besançon, the father of a dead child brought it to Colette and begged her to restore it to life. She took off her veil, wrapped the baby in it and sent the man back to the priest who had refused to baptize it

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French authorities bulldoze church and mosque in Calais 'Jungle'
French authorities bulldoze church and mosque in Calais 'Jungle'

Faith and human rights groups have expressed their shock today after the French authorities destroyed a mosque and an evangelical Church in the 'jungle' refugee camp at Calais. In spite of assurances given earlier not to disturb places of worship, the Prefect ordered in bulldozers which destroyed the flimsy buildings within minutes. Ben Bano from the Kent-based charity Seeking Sanctuary, said: 'The destruction of these places of worship is at odds with the fundamental human right to worship freely according to the beliefs and principles.of all those in the jungle.

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Pope Francis: All Christians are called to be missionaries
Pope Francis: All Christians are called to be missionaries

Thousands gathered in St Peter's Square yesterday for the first monthly Jubilee audience in this Year of Mercy. During his address Pope Francis spoke about the close relationship between mercy and mission. Recalling the words of Saint John Paul II, the Pope said that his predecessor "reminded us that the Church lives an authentic life when she professes and proclaims mercy, and leads people to the source of mercy." Just as we naturally seek to share with others the beautiful moments of our lives, we are called also and especially to share the joy

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Bishop: 'Mexico is a cemetery - government only goes to light a candle for the dead'
Bishop: 'Mexico is a cemetery - government only goes to light a candle for the dead'

A retired bishop in Mexico has spoken out over the government's inaction in the face of massive criminal activity. "Mexico is a cemetery, and the government only goes to light a candle to the dead": are the harsh words of His Exc Mgr Arturo Lona Reyes, Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Tehuantepec, speaking about the indigenous territory of Chimalapas invaded by entrepreneurs and loggers from Chiapas and Veracruz, who threaten to destroy the environment.

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Pope saddened by death of Casa Santa Marta family member
Pope saddened by death of Casa Santa Marta family member

Pope Francis spoke yesterday of his sadness at the death of one of the workers at Casa Santa Marta. The Holy Father said the woman, who was called Elvira, had been sick for some time. He was speaking at the end of his first Jubilee audience during this Year of Mercy in St Peter's Square and he asked the pilgrims present to pray a Hail Mary for the woman and her family. Casa Santa Marta is a big house, the Pope said, where about 40 priests, and some bishops who are working in the Curia live. There are also, he added, guests who stay, such as

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Missionaries of Mercy, relics of St Padre Pio and St Leopold Mandic in Rome for Jubilee Year
Missionaries of Mercy, relics of St Padre Pio and St Leopold Mandic in Rome for Jubilee Year

Yesterday, Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation, and Mgr Graham Bell, under-secretary of the same dicastery, presented two initiatives linked to the Jubilee Year: the Missionaries of Mercy and the temporary translation to Rome of the relics of St Pio of Pietrelcina and St Leopold Mandic. "It is has been almost two months now since Pope Francis opened the Holy Door of St Peter's", said Archbishop Fisichella. "Since that moment, the Doors of Mercy have been opened all around the world. The incredible number of people who have

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World Leprosy Day: combating disease; reintegrating survivors in society
World Leprosy Day: combating disease; reintegrating survivors in society

Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, president of the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care, has written a message for the 63rd World Leprosy Day which takes place this Sunday. The theme of which this year is 'To live is to help to live,' "This Day ... constitutes for everyone an opportunity to continue with the fight against this terrible infection, as well as to weaken the ostracism that often burdens the people who carry its unmistakable signs", writes the prelate.

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Carmelites in Rome for Year of Mercy Pilgrimage Jubilee
Carmelites in Rome for Year of Mercy Pilgrimage Jubilee

Carmelites from Britain, the Philippines and Poland took part in a great gathering held in Rome in mid-January 2016 of those involved in the work of pilgrimage and shrine ministry. As part of the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, Pope Francis has invited people to come to Rome as pilgrims to reflect on some of the Church's particular ministries of mercy. Over the course of the Jubilee Year there will be gatherings of: people who are sick or disabled; those involved in the spirituality of Divine Mercy; priests; deacons; catechists; volunteers of Mercy;

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Egypt: Ten Christians jailed for building 'illegal' wall
Egypt: Ten Christians jailed for building 'illegal' wall

Ten Coptic men were arrested while they were building a fence wall for the Coptic church in the village of Abu Hennis, near the city of Salamout, in the governorate of Minya. The news was reported by the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of Salamout, saying that the arrest was imposed on the grounds that the workers did not present legal authorizations for the construction of the wall.

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  Pope Francis:  The Christian heart is magnanimous
Pope Francis: The Christian heart is magnanimous

In his reflection on the Gospel reading today during Mass at Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis said heart of the Christian is magnanimous because we were born of a loving Father and our arms should be open wide to welcome everyone with generosity. "The mystery of God is light", the Holy Father said, commenting on the passage in which Jesus says that the lamp does not come to be put under a bushel, or under the bed, but to be put on the lampstand to illuminate. "A Christian who has received the light in Baptism must give it. That is, the Christian is a

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Pakistan: CSW calls for inquiry into death of Christian in custody
Pakistan: CSW calls for inquiry into death of Christian in custody

CSW is calling for an inquiry and charges to be brought against those responsible for the death of Liaqat Masih, a 35 year-old Christian man who died following his illegal detention and torture in a Pakistani prison. Liaqat Masih, who worked as the driver for Raza Hameed, the son of Gujranwala politician SA Hameed, was arrested on 15 November 2015 following accusations of theft. Although Raza Hameed had initially lodged the complaint against unknown perpetrators, he later registered a case against Liaqat Masih after becoming suspicious of him. The police arrested

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Israeli group makes solidarity visit to desecrated Christian cemetery
Israeli group makes solidarity visit to desecrated Christian cemetery

In December, vandals destroyed several tombs in the Christian cemetery of Beit Gemal. Last Friday, 22 January, a group of Jews came to express their sadness and solidarity. After they were welcomed by the Salesians, the group visited the cemetery which is still undergoing repairs. They planted an olive tree at the entrance of the Salesians' residence before heading to St Stephen Sanctuary where Beni Salzberg and a Salesian monk talked about the history of the place. One remarkable moment of this meeting

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Vatican envoy to UN calls for direct talks between Israel and Palestine
Vatican envoy to UN calls for direct talks between Israel and Palestine

Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the UN in New York, said acts of violence in the Holy Land "continue to spiral, bringing many to doubt seriously the continued validity of the Oslo Accords." He called for direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians "with the strong support of the international community." Such talks, he added, require "courageous decisions from both Parties" and demand "fair mutual concessions." The papal envoy also expressed hope that the Comprehensive Agreement recently signed between the Holy See and the State of

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Pope Francis: God is not indifferent to human suffering
Pope Francis: God is not indifferent to human suffering

During his weekly General Audience with pilgrims in St Peter's Square on Wednesday, Pope Francis spoke about God's mercy throughout history, and in our own day. He noted that the Lord always accompanied the people of Israel, and continues to work in our own time as well. Pointing to the story of Joseph and his brothers as an example of grace and reconciliation, Pope Francis said the Jubilee Year of Mercy was a good opportunity to reconcile with family members.

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Eradicating leprosy is not a pipe dream
Eradicating leprosy is not a pipe dream

World Leprosy Day will be marked on 31 January - the last Sunday of the month, chosen to coincide with the anniversary of the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, on January 30, 1948. Gandhi's work to help people affected by leprosy is, probably, less well known than his fight to improve the plight of Dalits (untouchables). It is 62 years since the French philanthropist and writer Raoul Follereau initiated World Leprosy Day in 1954 in his effort to raise global awareness of the diseases and make people aware that it is preventable, treatable and curable.

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US Bishop urges government to work to build lasting peace, stability in Middle East
US Bishop urges government to work to build lasting peace, stability in Middle East

Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, New Mexico, has urged Secretary of State John Kerry and National Security Advisor Ambassador Susan Rice to take renewed action to build on steps toward peace in the Middle East and work toward long term stability in the region in separate letters, sent on Wednesday. Bishop Cantú, who chairs the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, wrote to Secretary Kerry that the United States should build on the success of the Iran nuclear deal by pursuing peace in Syria and

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Displaying Articles 1 - 25 of 6240
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