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Thursday, May 28, 2015
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Blessed Oscar Romero -  'Viva!'
Blessed Oscar Romero - 'Viva!'

I've been back from El Salvador for 24 hours and still cannot believe that we have just celebrated the beatification of Archbishop Romero as a martyr. Many, many people have longed for years for this great day. As a young theology student, working with Central American refugees, I heard hundreds of testimonies of the violence that forced them to flee their beloved homelands. Always, in the midst of their stories, they would eventually mention "Monseñor Romero." The poor of Central America spoke of Romero as if he were their best friend, their faithful and trusted shepherd and teacher, the

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Pope warns against being 'halfway Christians'
Pope warns against being 'halfway Christians'

A Christian is called to make a radical choice in life, Pope Francis said during his morning homily at Casa Santa Marta yesterday. You can't be "half Christian". You can't "follow Jesus and the things of this world." Pope Francis reflected on Peter's query to Jesus: what would he and the disciples get in return for following Him? Peter asks the question after the Lord told the rich young man to sell all his possessions and give everything to the poor. The Pope noted that Jesus responds in an unexpected way. He does not speak of riches to his disciples, but promises instead the Kingdom of Heaven

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Pope prays with Pentecostal evangelical pastors  in video message
Pope prays with Pentecostal evangelical pastors in video message

.."I am convinced it will not be theologians who bring about unity among us. Theologians help us the science of the theologians will assist.. but if we hope that theologians will agree with one another, we will reach unity the day after Judgement Day. The Holy Spirit brings about unity. Theologians are helpful, but most helpful is the goodwill of us all who are on this journey with our hearts open to the Holy Spirit! In all humility, I join you as just another participant on this day of prayer, friendship, closeness and reflection. In the certainty that we have one Lord: Jesus is the Lord.

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Pope addresses Italian Christian Workers Associations
Pope addresses Italian Christian Workers Associations

Pope Francis spoke to the Italian Christian Workers Associations (ACLI) on Saturday in the Vatican on occasion of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Association. In his speech, Pope Francis called those present to support a culture of dignified labour. He denounced the 'god of money' at the heart of our global economic system, promoting a culture of waste which throws away children and the elderly. Recalling his Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, the Holy Father focused on the need for a culture of 'free, creative, participatory, and mutually-supportive labour',

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Cardinal Turkson's message on Africa Day 2015
Cardinal Turkson's message on Africa Day 2015

Speaking on the occasion of Africa Liberation Day or Africa Freedom Day being celebrated by many African countries on 25 May 2015, the President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Peter Kodwo Appiah Cardinal Turkson has spoken passionately about the need for African governments to work towards nation building. Cardinal Turkson, who originates from Ghana, was speaking in Rome during an interview with Fr Paul Samasumo of Radio Vatican's English Service for Africa. "A number of people in Africa value the sense of solidarity and belonging to tribal groups than to national groups," he said.

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Reorganised Vatican bank posts big jump in profits for 2014
Reorganised Vatican bank posts big jump in profits for 2014

The IOR, the Institute for Works of Religion, released its Annual Report for 2014 on Monday, showing a net profit of 69.3 million Euros, a substantial increase from the 2.9 million reported in 2013. IOR media officer Max Hehnberg told Vatican Radio that 2014 was a positive year financially, but "within the norm" for what is widely known as the Vatican bank. The net gains, the Institute said, are the result of a reorganization of the accounts and "mainly due to an increase in the Net Trading Income from securities and a decline in extraordinary operating expenses."

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Pakistan: 106 indicted for murder of Christian couple
Pakistan: 106 indicted for murder of Christian couple

A court in Pakistan has officially indicted 106 people for the murder of a Christian couple. Shahzad and Shama Masih, were lynched and burned alive after being accused of blasphemy in November 2014 in the city of Kot Radha Kishan, in Punjab. The couple had four children and Shama was pregnant. A Muslim mob who accused them of burning pages of the Koran, beat them and then threw them both alive into the flames of a brick oven. The incident provoked international outrage. According to the reconstruction based on some evidence obtained by the court,

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Pope Francis: Wealth that is not shared generates corruption
Pope Francis: Wealth that is not shared generates corruption

If you are wealthy, you should make sure your riches serve the 'common good', Pope Francis said in his homily at Mass in Casa Santa Marta this morning (Monday) An abundance of things lived selfishly is sad, steals hope, and is the origin of all kinds of corruption, large or small, he said. Pope Francis reflected on the Gospel reading in which Jesus meets the rich young man who enthusiastically asks to follow Him and assures Him he will always live by the commandments. But when Jesus tells him one last thing is needed - to sell his things, give everything to the poor and then follow

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Pope's message for Second International Conference on Women
Pope's message for Second International Conference on Women

The Pope has sent a message of greetings and encouragement to the participants in the Second International Conference on Women held in Rome, and which today comes to an end. The event was organised by the Pontifical Pontifical Council "Justice and Peace", in cooperation with the World Union of Women's Catholic Organisations and the World Women's Alliance for Life and Family, on the theme "Women and the post-2015 development agenda: the challenges of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)". "Women face a variety of challenges and difficulties in various parts of the world", he writes.

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Iraq: Christian leaders plea to UK bishops: Don't forget us
Iraq: Christian leaders plea to UK bishops: Don't forget us

The bishop overseeing the needs of displaced Christian families in northern Iraq called on an ecumenical delegation to ensure Britain does not forget the plight of Iraq's suffering Christians. Chaldean Archbishop Bashar Warda of Erbil made the plea to UK Christian leaders from the Catholic, Oriental Orthodox and Anglican communities visiting northern Iraq. Archbishop Warda said: "The needs are huge - the Church has achieved a lot here, but there is such a lot to do. Please remember us and please keep telling the story in churches, in the media and to your politicians -

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Syria:  Another priest abducted
Syria: Another priest abducted

Another priest has been kidnapped in Syria. Local Christians fear Islamic extremists have seized him. Father Jacques Mourad was travelling in Qaryatayn with a co-worker on Thursday, when two motorcycles drew up alongside their car. The kidnappers seized the vehicle and abducted the priest. Qaryatayn is a small town around 65 miles (100 km) southwest of Palmyra, which was seized by IS/Daish on Wednesday, 20th May. For the past 12 years Fr Mourad had been ministering to Qaryatayn's Syriac Catholic community.

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Kenya celebrates beatification  of  Sr Irene 'Nyaatha' Stefani
Kenya celebrates beatification of Sr Irene 'Nyaatha' Stefani

Uo to 100,000 people gathered at Dedan Kimathi University in Nyeri central Kenya on Saturday for the beatification ceremony of Sister Irene 'Nyaatha' Stefani, an Italian nun who worked for many years in this East African nation. Millions more watched the event live on television. The ceremony was conducted by Archbishop Polycarp Pengo of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Archbishop John Njue of Nairobi, Kenya. President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy, William Ruto, were among many dignitaries who attended the event, as well as Stefani's relatives from Italy.

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Pope's  Message for beatification of Oscar Romero + film from El Salvador
Pope's Message for beatification of Oscar Romero + film from El Salvador

Pope Francis sent a letter to the Archbishop of San Salvador, Mgr José Luis Escobar Alas, on the occasion of the beatification of Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero Galdámez on Saturday. In the letter, the Holy Father says that "the voice of the newly Blessed continues to resonate today to remind us that the Church, a convocation of brothers surrounding their Lord, is the family of God, in which there should be no division." He recalled Archbishop Romero's words as he wrote of the necessary to renounce "the violence of the sword, of hate" and to live "the violence of love,

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Pope Francis: How is Jesus looking at me today?
Pope Francis: How is Jesus looking at me today?

How is Jesus looking at us - Pope Francis asked during morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta on Friday. The Holy Father said we should consider whether Jesus looks at us with a call, with forgivenesss - or with a mission. Taking his inspiration from the day's readings, in his homily Pope Francis reflected on the three different types of looks which Jesus gave to the Apostle Peter. He said these three different looks were one of choosing, one of forgiveness and one of mission.

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 Brazilian bishop who cherishes Church's defence of the poor
Brazilian bishop who cherishes Church's defence of the poor

Just days before the beatification of Archbishop Oscar Romero I had the privilege to speak with a Brazilian bishop who is very proud of the Latin American Catholic Church's defence of the poor. Dom Enemesio Angelo Lazzaris, Bishop of Balsas in northeast Brazil and President of the Brazilian Bishops' Pastoral Land Commission (CPT), joined a workshop I led on 'Conflict and Climate Change' at Pax Christi's recent International Assembly in Bethlehem. He was attending the Assembly because the CPT is a member of Pax Christi. I spoke with him afterwards, through a translator from the Maryknoll Office for Global

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Rome: 
Marist friends of Oscar Romero rejoice at his beatification
Rome: 
Marist friends of Oscar Romero rejoice at his beatification

One of the groups who were very close to Archbishop Oscar Romero, are rejoicing over his beatification in El Salvador tomorrow. "His beatification fills us Marists who were closest to him with joy and hope," said Marist brother José Antonio López. "We give thanks to the Lord for this because he is the first saint of El Salvador... he said, in an interview with the Marist general house press office in Rome.

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Vatican:  Presentation of the Second International Conference on Women
Vatican: Presentation of the Second International Conference on Women

A press conference was held yesterday at the Vatican to present the second International Conference on Women which opens today. The two-day event is organised by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, in collaboration with the World Union of Catholic Women's Organisations (WUCWO) and the World Women's Alliance for Life and Family (WWALF). The theme of the conference is: 'Women and the post-2015 development agenda - the challenges of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)'.

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China: Schoolteacher, five months pregnant, ordered to abort; then permitted to give birth
China: Schoolteacher, five months pregnant, ordered to abort; then permitted to give birth

Under the One-Child Policy, a Chinese schoolteacher, five months pregnant, was ordered to have an abortion by the end of May or lose her job. This order has just been reversed, following domestic and international media attention. Qin Yi (sometimes translated Tan Yi) and Meng Shaoping were both divorced and both have daughters from their first marriages. Qin Yi's residency is in Huangshan City in Anhui Province, where officials told her that she could have a second child because she divorced the father of her first child.

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Chad: Zarah's Choice -  One woman's story of a family separated by war
Chad: Zarah's Choice - One woman's story of a family separated by war

"My heart palpitates when I remember," says Zarah, a tall, slender woman in her forties, her long legs folded beneath her as she sits on a mat. "I'm OK during the day," she continues, "but at night it all comes back to me - the soldiers killing three people, right in front of me, at the market." She pulls her Paisley pattern scarf to cover her hair. Despite the 45C degrees in the refugee camp in Chad, she is swathed in a floor-length blue and yellow dress, miraculously clean, given the dust and rubbish everywhere. It defies logic that this woman, who narrowly escaped death in her native

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 CTE Statement on 'Contemporary Christian Martyrs'
CTE Statement on 'Contemporary Christian Martyrs'

The Presidents of Churches Together in England have expressed their deep sorrow at the alarming increase in violence and murder against Christians in many parts of the world. Receiving reports, in some cases eye-witness reports, of martyrdom in Iraq, Iran, Egypt, India, Pakistan and Indonesia, among other places, the Presidents call upon all people of goodwill to uphold respect for the sanctity of life and the flourishing of every human being. Stressing the fundamental God-given right and freedom to practice one's faith and belief, the Presidents call for peaceful

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South Sudan: Aid agencies say  renewed fighting in Melut, is plunging country from crisis to catastrophe
South Sudan: Aid agencies say renewed fighting in Melut, is plunging country from crisis to catastrophe

CAFOD and Trocaire are gravely concerned about the attack on the town of Melut in South Sudan. The international aid agencies have been forced to withdraw their staff and halt their life-saving humanitarian work with vulnerable communities who have been caught up in nearly two years of conflict between government and opposition forces. Jane Andanje, Country Representative for CAFOD and Trocaire, gave the following report: "We have three staff bunkered inside the UN compound in Melut, and our staff report that there is the constant sound of shelling

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 A Baltimorean's reflections on the Baltimore riots
A Baltimorean's reflections on the Baltimore riots

"The God of peace is never glorified by human violence," wrote the famous Trappist monk Thomas Merton. Whether it's on an individual, city, national, or international level, violence always dishonors God, and makes bad situations worse. The recent Baltimore City riots were no exception: people were injured, neighbourhood stores were burned, and violence was further engrained into a city and world already steeped in violence. But, and this is a big but: What are the reasons that led to violence?

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Burma: NGOs urge Ban Ki Moon to negotiate humanitarian corridor in  Rakhine State
Burma: NGOs urge Ban Ki Moon to negotiate humanitarian corridor in Rakhine State

Thirty three international humanitarian aid and advocacy organisations, including Christian Solidarity Worldwide and Pax Christi have written today to the United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, urging him to give his "personal attention" to the humanitarian crisis in Rakhine State, Myanmar (Burma) and to take "a personal lead" in negotiating for humanitarian access to all areas of Rakhine State. In an open letter, the NGOs quote the UN Assistant General-Secretary for Humanitarian Affairs, Kyung-hwa Kang, who said after visiting camps for internally displaced people

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Pope reflects on parents' vocation to educate children
Pope reflects on parents' vocation to educate children

In his catechesis at the General Audience on Wednesday, Pope Francis focused on the role of parents in the education of their children, which he called "an essential characteristic" of the family. The Holy Father noted the many difficulties facing parents today, especially those who find themselves in difficult situations. He spoke especially about the difficulties of separated couples, calling on them to "never, never, never take the children hostage!" He spoke out strongly against "intellectual critics" who have "silenced" parents in order to defend younger generations from real or imagined harm.

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Cardinal Tagle elected president of Caritas Internationalis
Cardinal Tagle elected president of Caritas Internationalis

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila, Philippines has been elected as the new president of Caritas Internationalis at the confederation's 20th General Assembly in Rome. Speaking on the phone, Cardinal Tagle told delegates from over 130 member organisations from all over the world: "Buona sera a tutti! Thank you for your trust. I'm limited in my capacities but with all of you, with the love that Jesus has poured into our hearts and in the name of all of the poor people in the world, I accept this election.

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Displaying Articles 1 - 25 of 5530
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