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Saturday, August 29, 2015
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Jerusalem: Church appeals on behalf of 500 Eritrean &  Sudanese refugees
Jerusalem: Church appeals on behalf of 500 Eritrean & Sudanese refugees

On Tuesday, August 25, some 500 Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers were released from a detention centre in Holot in the Negev Desert, where they had been confined in contravention of their fundamental rights. Now they need to settle back into society, find work and places to live. The Jerusalem African Community Centre NGO (JACC) has committed itself to help the refugees find work, and they are also looking for temporary lodging for them, for a week or two. Father David Neuhaus SJ, Patriarchal Vicar for Hebrew-speaking Catholics said:

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Pope Francis: A heart filled with love of God can make the smallest thought a moment of prayer
Pope Francis: A heart filled with love of God can make the smallest thought a moment of prayer

During his General Audience today Pope Francis continued his reflections on family life, focusing especially on the importance of finding time for prayer. Greeting visitors from many different countries in St Peter's Square, the Pope said families often experience difficult devoting time for prayer. But he said a heart filled with the love of God can make even a silent thought or small gesture into a moment of prayer. Pope Francis noted that family life is complicated and time consuming: parents, he said, should win Nobel prizes for the way they manage to squeeze 48 hours' work

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CAFOD calls for urgent reconstruction in Gaza
CAFOD calls for urgent reconstruction in Gaza

One year since a temporary ceasefire brought a halt to 50 days of conflict in Gaza, CAFOD is asking for an urgent review of the failed Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism. Last summer's attack destroyed 18,000 houses and drove more than half a million people from their homes, according to the UN...an agreement between the Palestinian Authority and Israel, was intended to facilitate the import of essential construction materials into the territory following the ceasefire. By July 2015, however, not a single destroyed house had been rebuilt and at least 100,000 people remain

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Nigeria marks 500 days since abduction of Chibok girls
Nigeria marks 500 days since abduction of Chibok girls

Nearly 500 days have passed since Boko Haram terrorists kidnapped 200 girls from their school in Nigeria. The President of the Ekklisiyar Yan'uwa a Nigeria (EYN, Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) has revealed that more than 176 of them are from families belonging to his denomination. Reverend Samuel Dali's revelation coincides with a Global Week of Action launched by local activists to mark the 500 days. Speaking to local media, Reverend Dali added that over 8,000 members of his church had lost their lives and 70 percent of church facilities in Adamawa,

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Maronite Archbishop writes from Damascus: 'Living under the bombs'
Maronite Archbishop writes from Damascus: 'Living under the bombs'

Archbishop Samir Nassar, the Maronite Archbishop of Damascus has written a short letter concerning the bombardment he has lived through in Damascus in the past days. Many are dead, many are injured and his Cathedral was also bombed. Part of the war in Syria is to live under indiscriminate bombing, a kind of Russian roulette which is always unpredictable. This Sunday, August 23, 2015 a rain of mortars fell on the neighbourhood including two shells on the roof of the church. Since it is constructed with stone vaults it held despite the damage: cracks larger

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Caritas director reflects on growing migrant crisis
Caritas director reflects on growing migrant crisis

Over 10 years ago I saw a fiction film called 'The March'. It showed police fighting to stop millions of Africans trying to reach Europe. I watched it with other migration experts in Germany. At the time, we thought it was unhelpful as it might spread panic. Now, as the latest crisis unfolds with tens of thousands of people trying to reach the European Union through Turkey, Greece, Macedonia, Bulgaria and Serbia, it seems prescient. A quarter of a century after the falling of the Berlin Wall, we see a new wall being built, this time in Hungary to stop migrants from Serbia.

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Iraq: Authorities begin to document abuse and violence against Christians
Iraq: Authorities begin to document abuse and violence against Christians

A committee of the security forces in Iraq has been set up, on the orders of Prime Minister Haydar al-Abadi, to collect information about the violence and abuse suffered by Christians in Iraq and in particular in the capital. The committee aims to counter the escalation of kidnappings of Christians and the illegal expropriation of Christian homes. The heads of the Committee have already visited the headquarters of the Chaldean Patriarchate in Baghdad and spoken with Patriarch Louis Raphael I in order to start collecting data and information about the abuses suffered by Christians.

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Thailand: Interfaith prayers for victims of shrine bomb
Thailand: Interfaith prayers for victims of shrine bomb

Thailand paid homage to victims of the bomb blast at the Erewan shrine in Bangkok, in an interfaith ceremony on Friday. Buddhist monks were joined by Muslim, Christian, Hindu and Sikh faith leaders at the temple. The ceremony was also attended by local authorities and foreign representatives. A message from the Thai Catholic Bishops Conference was shared during the service. The text expressed sadness at the loss of life and condolences to the victims families. It condemned all forms of violence.

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Pope Francis: Who is Jesus for me?
Pope Francis: Who is Jesus for me?

At the end of his Angelus address on Sunday, Pope Francis called on the faithful to ask themselves this question. "Who is Jesus for me? Is He simply a name? an idea? A person from history? Or is He really someone who loves me, Who gave His life for me, and walks with me?" Reflecting on the day's Gospel Pope Francis said some of Jesus' disciples left Him, because He had disappointed their expectations of a worldly Messiah, a leader that would be immediately successful.

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Pope makes surprise visit to St Peter's
Pope makes surprise visit to St Peter's

Pilgrims attending the 7am Mass at the Altar of St Pius X in St Peter's Basilica on Friday were surprised to notice Pope Francis praying at the altar. The day was the feast day of the saint. The Mass was celebrated by Mgr Lucio Bonora, an official of the Vatican's Secretary of State, who was unaware the Pope planned to be there. When he was informed Pope Francis was praying at the altar, he asked if he should go back to the sacristy, but was told to say Mass as usual.

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Canadian Bishops renew protest against Israel's construction of wall through Cremisan Valley
Canadian Bishops renew protest against Israel's construction of wall through Cremisan Valley

Canada's Catholic Bishops have added their voices to a chorus of protests by church leaders and human rights groups around the world, over Israel's resumption of work building the 'security wall' through the Cremisan Valley. The route of the wall will dig deeply into Palestinian farmlands, and vineyards and orchards belonging to the Catholic Church. The Patriarch of Jerusalem said the resumption of construction is "without regard to the rights of the families of the valley" and called on the Israeli authorities to await the upcoming decision of the Supreme Court of Israel on the

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Syria: IS destroys ancient monastery, relics of saint
Syria: IS destroys ancient monastery, relics of saint

IS/Daish militants have bulldozed the ancient monastery of Mar Elian in al-Qaryatayn, a town in the central Syrian province of Homs. Photos on IS social media sites show militants destroying the building, which dated back to 5th century AD. One image shows the desecration of the church. Another shows the desecration of the tomb of Saint Elian. The town of al-Qaryatayn, is at a strategic crossroads in the central province of Homs. Earlier this month, IS fighters seized it from forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

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Holy Land: Patriarch says Cremisan wall is 'an insult to peace'
Holy Land: Patriarch says Cremisan wall is 'an insult to peace'

The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem has strongly condemned the decision to resume the construction of the Separation Wall through orchards and land belonging to the Church, calling it "an insult to peace." On Monday 17 August, bulldozers arrived to restart the building of the barrier through the Cremisan Valley near Bethlehem - despite the Supreme Court having rejected a planned route through the area in April 2015, after a nine-year legal battle.

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Faith leaders in Central African Republic win major humanitarian award
Faith leaders in Central African Republic win major humanitarian award

The Interreligious Peace Platform, a CAFOD partner in the Central African Republic (CAR), has won a prestigious humanitarian award for working tirelessly to hold their country together in the face of a brutal conflict. Dieudonné Nzapalainga, the Catholic Archbishop of Bangui, Imam Omar Kobine Layama, President of the Central African Islamic Community, and Nicolas Guérékoyame-Gbangou, President of the Evangelical Alliance of the Central African Republic, were awarded the UN Sergio Vieira de Mello Award on 19 August for their efforts in reconciling Christian and Muslim groups

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Assessing the evidence on Assisted Suicide
Assessing the evidence on Assisted Suicide

The debate over assisted suicide frequently generates more heat than light, and arguments are often based on anecdotes or appeal to emotion rather than evidence. When people do appeal to evidence, they often do so selectively or in broad terms, and it is not always easy to check their sources. As a contribution to this debate, the Anscombe Bioethics Centre has produced a guide to the evidence on assisted suicide and euthanasia. This guide gives direct links to the official data from the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, and the states of Oregon

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South Africa: Police attack school parents with rubber bullets
South Africa: Police attack school parents with rubber bullets

There was a tense stand-off this week between police and a crowd of parents gathered at Roodepoort Primary School. Gauteng Premier David Makhura has closed the school, following a feud about the appointment of a new principal at the school. When buses came to take the students to other schools, some parents reportedly prevented the students from boarding the buses, saying they would rather have the school re-opened or at the very least have the students attend the nearest schools in the area - these being Witpoortjie or Discovery. However, what is crucial to the story is how the police reacted.

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Sydney: Bishop calls Australians to show same generosity his family received when they fled Vietnam 40 years ago
Sydney: Bishop calls Australians to show same generosity his family received when they fled Vietnam 40 years ago

Former asylum seeker and refugee, Vietnamese-born Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen OFM has called on all Australians to show the same kind of generosity shown to him and his family when they were forced to flee their homeland after the fall of Saigon and the Communist take-over. The then 21-year old, his parents and a brother and sister managed to escape Vietnam by boat and a year later, in December 1981 finally arrived in Australia. In 1983, he became a Conventual Franciscan friar and began his studies for the priesthood in Melbourne the following year.

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Pope Francis on the dignity of work
Pope Francis on the dignity of work

Pope Francis focussed on the dignity of work in his address during the Wednesday audience... Pope Francis departed from his prepared text to say, "It makes me sad, when I see people without work, who do not find work and haven't the dignity of bringing bread home - and it cheers me when I see that political leaders make great efforts to find jobs and to seek to make sure that everyone has a job."... The Holy Father went on to say: "Work is sacred, work gives dignity to a family: we must pray that work be not lacking in any family."

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President Obama appoints Jesuit to key post
President Obama appoints Jesuit to key post

President Obama has announced more key administration posts which include Campion Hall Visiting Fellow, Reverend Michael Suarez SJ, as a Member of the National Council on the Humanities. Fr Michael recently gave the outstanding Lyell Lectures in the Weston Library in Oxford. The National Council on the Humanities comprises a board of twenty six distinguished private citizens appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. Members serve staggered six year terms during which they advise the National Endowment for the Humanities,

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Pope sends message of 'heartfelt solidarity' to people of Thailand
Pope sends message of 'heartfelt solidarity' to people of Thailand

Pope Francis has expressed his "heartfelt solidarity" after the terrorist attack on the Erawan Hindu Shrine in Bangkok, Thailand, which killed 20 people. In a telegram sent to King Bhumibol Adulyadej through the Cardinal Secretary of State, the Pope said he was "deeply saddened" to learn about injury and loss of life caused by the attack. "Mindful of the security and emergency personnel who are seeking the perpetrators of these crimes, while also assisting the injured, their families and those of the deceased, His Holiness offers the assurance of his prayers

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Progressio urges readers to stand in solidarity with people of  war-torn Yemen
Progressio urges readers to stand in solidarity with people of war-torn Yemen

Today, World Humanitarian Day (19 August) provides an opportunity to recognise those who face danger to help others, and to celebrate the spirit that inspires humanitarian work all around the world. International Development charity Progressio works alongside poor communities in fragile states, such as Yemen, where weak governance frequently results in fierce conflict. This World Humanitarian Day, Progressio is calling upon UK citizens to stand in solidarity with Yemeni people to support a permanent ceasefire in their country.

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Holy Land: Israeli forces begin construction of  Wall through monastery
Holy Land: Israeli forces begin construction of Wall through monastery

The Israeli army on Monday morning barged into Beit Jala town northwest of Bethlehem, using bulldozers, to proceed building a new section of the Separation Wall. The bulldozing is taking place in Bir Ona archaeological site. The wall will split the Cremisan valley Monastery in half - making it impossible for families to reach their land and places of work. Israel's Supreme Court in July issued a decision giving the occupation army the green light to proceed building of the Separation Wall in the valley.

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Nigeria: Missionary priest killed in ambush
Nigeria: Missionary priest killed in ambush

A Claretian missionary priest was killed in Nigeria on Friday, 15 August. Fr Dennis Osuagwu was shot dead in Nekede in the southeast of the country, after his car was highjacked on the Nekede Avu Road. The General House of the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, known as the Claretians after founder St Anthony Claret said in a statement: "At the moment we have no further information regarding the circumstances of our brother's death".

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China: Catholic volunteers among first responders to Tianjin disaster
China: Catholic volunteers among first responders to Tianjin disaster

Catholic volunteers were among the first to respond to the tragedy following last Wednesday's huge ‎explosions in an industrial area in the port city Tianjin in ‎northeastern China that has killed at least 114 ‎people and injured more than 700. Seventy are missing, most of them fire fighters. ‎ The morning after the blast, the Tianjin Diocesan Social Service Centere helped line up 60 volunteers to ‎assist the government's rescue and relief work. They distributed drinking water, clothes and other ‎supplies to hospitals and temporary settlements for evacuees.

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Holy Land: Church leaders file complaint against Rabbi who called for church burning
Holy Land: Church leaders file complaint against Rabbi who called for church burning

The Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land filed a complaint against Israeli Rabbi Bentzi Gopstein and the Lehava movement, on 7 August, following remarks the rabbi made about supporting and encouraging the burning of churches in Israel. Rabbi Gopstein, leader of an anti-Jewish assimilation extremist movement, Lehava, made the remarks at a panel discussion for Jewish yeshiva students where he did not hesitate to assert that Jewish law advocated destroying the land of idolatry Israel, and therefore churches and mosques could be burned.

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Displaying Articles 1 - 25 of 5748
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