Pope Francis: Be beacons of hope to all around you

“Wherever the Lord has planted you, stand firm in hope. Never lose heart.” Those were Pope Francis’ words today, at his General Audience with pilgrims in St Peter's Square, as he continued his reflections on Christian hope. This week the Holy Father focused his attention on teaching the virtue of hope, offering his guidance and encouragement especially to young people. “Nev...

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Mexican earthquake: Bishops appeal for support and prayers

The Bishops of Mexico have appealed for support and prayers after their country was rocked by a massive, 7.1 earthquake yesterday. A message signed by the President and by the Secretary General of the Mexican Episcopal Conference, says: “We are united in grief for the victims of the earthquake, which occurred on September 19, 2017, in different parts of our country, mainly in the ...

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Statement from new JPII Institute for Marriage & Family

Archbishop Paglia

The newly-created John Paul II Pontifical Theological Institute for Matrimonial and Family Sciences on Tuesday released a statement regarding Pope Francis' Motu Proprio Datae summa familiae cura. The Motu Proprio was released on Tuesday, establishing the Institute to carry forward the work of the two recent Synods of Bishops and the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia. T...

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Pope sets up new Institute for Marriage and Family

Pope greets newlyweds October 2016

Pope Francis has set up a new Pontifical institute for the study of marriage and the family, replacing the organisation set up by his predecessor in 1981. In a Motu Proprio, published yesterday, the Vatican announced that the John Paul II Pontifical Theological Institute for Marriage and Family Sciences is being established to carry forward the work of the two recent Synods of Bishop...

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Pax Christi calls for end to Israeli occupation

Bethlehem  2017 - overshadowed by the Wall

The World Week for Peace for Palestine and Israel is underway. Pax Christi International issued the following statement this summer. In this month of the commemoration of 50 years of Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories, Pax Christi International in collaboration with its members, urges the international community to call for the immediate end of the 50-year Israeli occ...

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Concerns raised at US plans to lift sanctions on Sudan

South Sudan refugees queuing for aid in Sudan - image ACN

Friends of the besieged Christian community in Sudan believe the US will use this week’s United Nations General Assembly in New York to bury news that it is lifting sanctions on the regime. They warn the move signals that the US will not hold other repressive leaders around the globe to their promises to reform.

The sanctions, imposed by President Clinton, were intended to punish Sudan ...

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Bishop calls for prayers and action to support Myanmar's Rohingya Muslims

image FCO

The lead Bishop for international affairs has urged Catholics in England and Wales to take up Pope Francis’ call for prayer and action to support Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims.

Bishop Declan Lang said: “As Christians we have a duty to support people of other faiths who are facing persecution and violence.

I hope that Catholics in England and Wales will take up Pope Francis’ ca...

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Philippines: Kidnapped priest rescued by army

Fr Chito pictured last Christmas

Fr Teresito Suganob, (Fr Chito) vicar of the Apostolic Prelature of Marawi who was kidnapped by Islamic militants more three months was rescued over the weekend. Announcing the news, Bishop Edwin De La Pena of Marawi said: "We are happy for the release of Fr Chito. We thank the Lord and all those who in the world prayed for his release. We praise the efforts of the Filipino army who are doing t...

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Sisters in Syria: Our job is to stand by the sick

Sister Anne Marie, Dr George Theodory with a patient and family in St Louis Hospital, Aleppo

Sisters caring for Syria’s sick and wounded throughout five years of heavy bombardment have received essential medical equipment from Aid to the Church in Need. The charity has provided the Sisters of St Joseph of the Apparition who run St Louis Hospital, western Aleppo, with more than £225,000 (€250,000) in medical equipment ensuring vital treatment for all those in need. New ...

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Pope Francis: Open your hearts to forgiveness

Pope Francis has urged all Christians to open their hearts to forgiveness. Speaking to the crowds gathered in St Peter’s Square for the Angelus on Sunday, the Pope said that to be able to build peace one must be able to forgive. “Forgiveness does not deny the injustice one has been subjected to, but it acknowledges the fact that the human being, created in the image of God, is a...

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Vietnamese Cardinal Van Thuan on first step to sainthood

Cardinal Van Thuan

The recognition of the heroic virtues of Cardinal François-Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan of Vietnam was celebrated with a solemn Mass in the Church of Santa Maria della Scala in Rome on Friday, the eve of the 15th anniversary of his death. Cardinal Peter Turkson, prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, celebrated the decree which Pope Francis signed on May 4, 2017, recogn...

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CAFOD partners rush aid to Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh

Rohingya families in makeshift shelters

More than 340,000 people are now estimated to have fled to Bangladesh, escaping violence in Rakhine State in neighbouring Myanmar, and the numbers are growing daily. CAFOD partner, Caritas Bangladesh, is responding to the refugee crisis by providing emergency aid.

Earlier this month, aid workers from Caritas Bangladesh’s regional office, Caritas Chittagong, visited Ukhiya and Teknaf Upa...

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UK aid charities issue joint statement on crisis in Myanmar

A group of UK international aid charities have issued a statement on the humanitarian crisis in Myanmar/Burma. “Action Against Hunger UK, ActionAid UK, Christian Aid, Save the Children UK and the International Rescue Committee UK strongly condemn the attacks carried out on 25 August. We are deeply concerned by the spiralling violence that has followed across Myanmar’s northern Rakhine Stat...

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British Press misleading public over Hurricane Irma aid spending

The UK's response to the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma, is not hampered by rules on overseas aid spending, Christian Aid said this week. Other government funding is available for British Territories.

Christine Allen, Director of Policy and Public Affairs at Christian Aid said: “The situation in UK Overseas Territories like the British Virgin Islands, and many other places affecte...

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