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Thursday, July 28, 2016
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Syria: Bishop says martyrdom of Fr Hamel must not be exploited for political gain
Syria: Bishop says martyrdom of Fr Hamel must not be exploited for political gain

The tragic death of Father Jacques Hamel, the elderly French priest murdered while saying Mass in Rouen on Monday, must not be exploited by those who want to stir up anti-Islamic feelings, the Bishop of Aleppo said today. Fr Hamel's death "belongs to the great history of Christian martyrdom including the recent martyrs of the Eastern Churches," Bishop Georges Abou Khazen OFM, Latin Rite Vicar apostolic of Aleppo said.

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Pope urges Polish leaders to welcome migrants fleeing conflicts
Pope urges Polish leaders to welcome migrants fleeing conflicts

During the first official event of his five day visit to Poland, Pope Francis urged the country's political leaders to welcome migrants fleeing from wars and hunger, while at the same time protecting human life from conception until natural death. The Pope's words came as he met with the nation's president, prime minister and other political leaders in the courtyard of Krakow's historic Wawel Castle complex. Noting that this visit marks his first to central-eastern Europe,

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Muslim leaders join Cardinal Nichols in prayer for murdered French priest
Muslim leaders join Cardinal Nichols in prayer for murdered French priest

Together as faith leaders our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and all those affected by the murderous assault that took place today at the Church of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray in France. We are deeply saddened and shocked by the brutal murder of Fr Jacques Hamel. To commit murder at a place where people gather in peace to worship adds another layer of depravity to the violence that we have witnessed over the past weeks.

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WYD Krakow: Pope scraps official address to Polish bishops in favour of private meeting
WYD Krakow: Pope scraps official address to Polish bishops in favour of private meeting

Pope Francis has decided to scrap a previously scheduled official discourse to Polish bishops on the first day of his apostolic journey to Poland, in favour of a private encounter with them during which the Pope and the bishops will be able to listen to each other and converse in total freedom. Speaking to Vatican Radio, Father Federico Lombardi SJ, Director of the Holy See Press Office, explained that the Pope wants the occasion to be as spontaneous and authentic as possible: a moment in which the bishops and the Pope will be at ease and free

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March for Life and Peace on Korea's Jeju Island
March for Life and Peace on Korea's Jeju Island

The 2016 Gangjeong Grand March for Life and Peace will take place 1-6 August. Columbans and other church groups in South Korea will be participating in the march, which starts at Gangjeong Village, the site of a new naval base on Jeju Island.

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Bishop speaks out against targeted attacks on Egypt's Copts
Bishop speaks out against targeted attacks on Egypt's Copts

Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom, issued the following statement on 25 July concerning increased attacks against Egypt's Christian community: Egypt is undoubtedly going through a formative stage of its contemporary history. Having emerged from uprisings and changes in Government, dealing with resulting pressures on its economy and infrastructure..

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Pope reflects on Our Father, prays for victims of latest terror attacks
Pope reflects on Our Father, prays for victims of latest terror attacks

Pope Francis focused on Jesus' teaching on prayer, from the day's Gospel, during his Angelus address to pilgrims in St Peter's Square yesterday. When the Apostles asked the Lord to teach them to pray, Jesus responded, "When you pray, say 'Father...'" This word, "Father," the Pope said, is the "secret" of the prayer of Jesus - "it is the key that He Himself gives us so that we too can enter into that relationship of confidential dialogue with the Father."

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Extra-judicial killings rise in the Philippines
Extra-judicial killings rise in the Philippines

Human rights and church groups in the Philippines have expressed concern over a spate of killings of suspected drug dealers and addicts since President Rodrigo Duterte took office on June 30. "It is alarming that these incidents happened after Duterte was elected president," said Fr Robert Reyes, known as the "running priest" for his penchant to run for various causes.

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Israel: Christians flock to Magdala on Feast Day of Mary Magdalene
Israel: Christians flock to Magdala on Feast Day of Mary Magdalene

More than 300 Arab Christians, diplomatic corps, and religious leaders in the Holy Land, gathered for the Feast Day of Mary Magdalene at her hometown. It was the first time Magdala hosted the official feast day for the first witness of Jesus' Resurrection, since the decree of Pope Francis on June 10th, 2016. A solemn Mass was presided over by HE Mgr Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo, Auxiliary Bishop to the Latin Patriarchate in Israel. The Mass and ceremony took place in the Boat Chapel Duc In Altum centre, which has an altar depicting a

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South Sudan:
South Sudan: "The worst is still to come"

A project partner of Aid to the Church in Need has warned that the upsurge of fighting in South Sudan will see the humanitarian crisis affecting millions of civilians worsening. One of the charity's South Sudanese project partners, who cannot be named for security reasons, described how renewed violence in Juba has caused immense suffering and increased insecurity amongst its people. Referring to calls from the governments of neighbouring countries Uganda and Kenya for their citizens to leave South Sudan, he said:

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Zambia: Missionaries of Africa prepare 125th anniversary celebrations
Zambia: Missionaries of Africa prepare 125th anniversary celebrations

The Missionaries of Africa (White Fathers) mark their 125th anniversary of work in Zambia this year. Writing in their blog, Fr Lawrence Tukamushaba, M.Afr, describes the history of the missionaries and preparations now underway for various commemoration events. Fr Lawrence writes: "The main celebration will be held on August 06 at Mambwe-Mwela situated in the Archdiocese of Kasama where the Missionaries of Africa were the first to settle for good in Zambia. It is important to note that they built this mission on their way from Mponda in

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Pope Francis issues new document on Women's Contemplative Life
Pope Francis issues new document on Women's Contemplative Life

The Vatican on Friday published a new Apostolic Constitution, Vultum Dei quaerere (Seeking the Face of God), On Women's Contemplative Life. The promotion of an adequate formation; the centrality of prayer and of the word of God, especially in lectio divina; specific criteria for the autonomy of contemplative communities; and membership of monasteries within federations are some of the main points addressed by Pope Francis in the new Apostolic Constitution.

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Pope's envoy on peace mission in South Sudan
Pope's envoy on peace mission in South Sudan

Pope Francis has sent a special envoy to South Sudan to urge for an end to violence in the country and to help establish dialogue and trust between the warring parties. Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, travelled to the capital Juba this week to give support to the Archbishop and to meet with the country's leaders. He carried with him a letter from the Pope for President Salva Kiir and one for Vice President Riek Machar who are historic enemies and represent the different ethnic groups.

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Reflection from South Africa: My 67 minutes, I want to be involved
Reflection from South Africa: My 67 minutes, I want to be involved

On Monday 18th July we celebrated the birthday of our late former statesman Mr Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. He was a true legend who made significant contributions throughout the world and made us feel proud to be South Africans. He left a legacy not only for us in South Africa but for many people in the world. He was a President who was concerned about all that was happening in the country, but an issue which was particularly close to his heart was the HIV-AIDS epidemic.

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 Bethlehem: Ancient mosaics discovered during restoration works at Church of Nativity
Bethlehem: Ancient mosaics discovered during restoration works at Church of Nativity

Ancient images are being revealed for the first time in centuries at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem which is undergoing major restoration work. Layers of candle smoke and plaster is being carefully removed from the walls and columns, and experts are carefully cleaning and reattaching the sparking mosaic pieces. Last month a 12th century angel was discovered under a layer of 19th century plaster. The works of the Basilica started in 2013 after Palestinian Minister Ziad Bandak,

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Yemen: Possible image of kidnapped priest posted online
Yemen: Possible image of kidnapped priest posted online

An image claiming to be that of Father Tom Uzhunnalil has been posted on his Facebook account, Fides reports today. The Indian priest was kidnapped on 4 March in Aden, by a terrorist group when they stormed a nursing home, killing 16 people including four Missionaries of Charity. Bishop Paul Hinder OFMCap, Apostolic Vicar of Southern Arabia, said: "We have no further news, and today, with technical means available, everything is possible in this field. But the photo may be authentic. There are those who believe that Father Tom is still alive.

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South Africa: J&P commission urges government to intervene in broadcasting crisis
South Africa: J&P commission urges government to intervene in broadcasting crisis

The South African Catholic Bishops Conference (SACBC) Justice and Peace Commission has called on the parliament to reconvene a committee on communications under National Assembly (NA) Rule 223 to address the broadcasting crisis while Parliament is in recess for the elections. Bishop Abel Gabuza, chair of the SACBC Justice and Peace Commission, said: "Through its editorial policy and the subsequent crisis, an impression has been created that the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) is failing to report fully and objectively on events

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Nigeria: Family escapes ambush
Nigeria: Family escapes ambush

It was a routine journey for Pius Ogbu Sunday. It was a trip he made almost every weekend, driving from Abuja where he worked during the week to his family home in Minna. This time he was driving back his wife and children who had come to visit for the holidays. The 44-year-old father of three was at the wheel with his wife Doris, 43, in the front passenger seat. His children Eudora, 13, Joshua, nine and Eliora, five, were on the back seat listening intently to their dads tales of his trip to the Qua Iboe Church Leprosy Hospital, in Akwa

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Vatican envoy tells UN: Trafficking of children is abominable
Vatican envoy tells UN: Trafficking of children is abominable

The Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, has told the United Nations the trafficking of children is "abominable." "While human trafficking always exploits the vulnerable, the trafficking of children and youth exploits those most vulnerable of all, something that not only exposes the evil of trafficking in all its repulsive ugliness but something that likewise makes abundantly clear the urgent call for everyone to rise up to protect children, youth and everyone from those who would enslave and

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Zimbabwe: Church leaders issue statement on police violence, government corruption
Zimbabwe: Church leaders issue statement on police violence, government corruption

Christian leaders in Zimbabwe have issued a joint statement protesting against police violence towards demonstrators and the arrest of Baptist pastor Evan Mawarire. They urge the government to address the "genuine concerns of the citizens to avoid the total collapse of the State.".. "If the government does not listen to the cries of its suffering citizens" their grievances could soon explode into civil unrest if not addressed, the document said. Among the signatories was the Zimbabwean Episcopal Conference.

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Dr Rowan Williams calls for urgent action to end deadly conflict in South Sudan
Dr Rowan Williams calls for urgent action to end deadly conflict in South Sudan

The Chair of Christian Aid, the Rt Rev Dr Rowan Williams, has spoken out against the recent fighting in South Sudan, where armed clashes in the capital, Juba, claimed nearly 300 lives and forced thousands of people to abandon their homes. The former Archbishop of Canterbury, who visited South Sudan with Christian Aid in 2014, has highlighted the devastating cost of conflict in the country. He has also echoed a call for peace made by fellow senior Christian leaders at the South Sudan Council of Churches, a Christian Aid partner,

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Religious leaders condemn Nice killings
Religious leaders condemn Nice killings

Religious leaders around the world have expressed their shock and sadness at the killings in Nice on Friday. A spokesman for Pope Francis said: "Throughout the night we have followed with great concern the terrible news from Nice. On behalf of Pope Francis, we join in solidarity with the suffering of the victims and of the entire French people this day that should have been a great holiday. We condemn in the strongest way every demonstration of senseless violence, of hatred, terrorism and any attack against peace."

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Jerusalem: Israeli authorities confiscate antiques from Palestinian family shop
Jerusalem: Israeli authorities confiscate antiques from Palestinian family shop

An antique shop run by a Palestinian family in Jerusalem, which will be have been visited by many foreign pilgrims through the years, has been raided by Israeli authorities who confiscated many items. Israeli forces on Sunday morning raided a Palestinian-owned antiquity shop in occupied East Jerusalem's Old City and confiscated a large number of antiquities, the owner told Ma'an news service. Nabil al-Huroub said Israeli police and border guard officers along with inspectors from the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) stormed his shop on al-Wad Street in

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Caritas protests at desperate conditions in Ventimiglia refugee camp
Caritas protests at desperate conditions in Ventimiglia refugee camp

Caritas Europa, together with its members Secours Catholique-Caritas France and Caritas Italy, calls on the EU and in particular on the French and Italian governments to take action to respect the human dignity and fundamental rights of migrants stuck in Ventimiglia, Italy. On 24 June, at Caritas Ventimiglia-San Remo's 25th anniversary celebrations, the youngest person in the audience was Sharifa Maria, a baby girl only a few days old. She is the first baby born in the "camp" opened by Caritas Ventimiglia-San Remo to provide humanitarian assistance to migrants

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South African Reflection: Censoring protest - deja vu?
South African Reflection: Censoring protest - deja vu?

During the 1980s the apartheid state ruthlessly censored the media - public and private - in an effort to keep South African citizens (and the rest of the world) in the dark about the deteriorating situation in the country. The current SABC policy of censoring any coverage of protests - now in defiance of the recent ICASA (Independent Communications Authority of South Africa) ruling, creditably unlike the 1980s - gives me a grim sense of déjà vu. There are clearly parallels and differences between then and now. In both cases, the country is in crisis. Then, as now,

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Displaying Articles 1 - 25 of 6666
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