4 November 2019
A child in Ethiopia peers out from beside a handful of khat, the popular but addictive crop that is causing widespread problems in the country. Read how some families are Breaking Free of the drug, with help from the church, in the current edition of ONE. (photo: Petterik Wiggers)
4 November 2019
Pope Francis celebrates Mass in the Catacombs of Priscilla in Rome on 2 November 2019, the feast of All Souls. (photo: CNS/Vatican Media)
Celebrating Mass in catacombs, Pope recalls persecuted Christians (CNS) In what he said was his first visit to the catacombs, Pope Francis celebrated Mass for the feast of All Souls with special words of remembrance for Catholics who still today must worship in secret…
Pope prays for persecuted Orthodox Christians in Ethiopia (CNS) Pope Francis Sunday asked for prayer for persecuted Orthodox Christians in Ethiopia, who have been targeted in ongoing ethnic clashes that have left 78 people dead. ”I am saddened by the violence of which Christians of the Tewahedo Orthodox Church of Ethiopia are victims,” Pope Francis said in his Angelus address on 3 November. ”I express my closeness to this beloved church and her patriarch, dear brother Abune Mathias, and I ask you to pray for all the victims of violence in that land,” he said…
Russian Orthodox churches from Western Europe officially return to Moscow (RT) The Archdiocese of Russian Orthodox churches in Western Europe has officially returned to the Moscow Patriarchate’s domain after defying an order from its rival Constantinople to dissolve. Russia’s Patriarch Kirill presented the unity charter to Archbishop John (Renneteau) during a ceremony at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, the Moscow’s Patriarchate’s largest church. John, who shall remain in charge of the Western European parishes, was previously given the title ‘Archbishop of Dubna’…
Holy See backs global convention on crimes against humanity (Vatican News) The Holy See is backing the creation of a global convention on crimes against humanity saying that international and domestic instruments are needed to fight the plague. ”It is a matter of great concern for us all that the world continues to be scarred by political, religious and ethnic violence,” Archbishop Bernadito Auza said on Thursday…
Protestors killed outside Iranian consulate in Iraq (Vatican News) Dozens of Iraqi protesters gathered in the Shi’ite holy city of Karbala on Sunday night. They set tires ablaze and attacked Iran’s local consulate. Demonstrators chanted slogans like “Iran out, Kerbala remains free.” Some threw firebombs over the walls, others scaled the concrete barriers, and an attempt was made to take down the Iranian flag flying on the property…
What India looks like when the air turns to poison (The New York Times) Air pollution in India’s capital climbed to poisonous extremes over the weekend and into Monday, blanketing streets in an opaque haze, delaying flights and prompting fights between politicians over who was to blame…
31 October 2019
Tags: India Pope Francis Ethiopia Persecution
Sister Marie-Therese and Sister Muntaha Hadaya visit a family who returned to Qaraqosh, Iraq, two years ago, after fleeing ISIS. Catholic and Orthodox patriarchs this week pressed the importance of preserving the Christian presence in the Middle East. (photo: CNEWA/Raed Rafei)
Syrian-born Catholic and Orthodox patriarchs pressed the need to preserve the Christian presence in the Middle East during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.
The patriarchs -- Syriac Catholic Patriarch Ignace Joseph III Younan, Melkite Patriarch Joseph Absi, Syriac Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II and Greek Orthodox Patriarch John X of Antioch -- met with Peter Szijarto, Hungary’s foreign minister, in addition to Putin and Orban during their official visit to the Hungarian capital 29-10 October.
In a speech to Szijarto, Patriarch Absi said the exodus of Christians from the Palestinian Territories, Lebanon, Iraq, and most recently Syria, has become “an alarming issue” for Christian leaders.
“The failure of different groups to live together in harmony in Middle Eastern countries is a threat to convivial relations between different groups all over the world,” he said.
“Failure to help the Middle-East to remain an oasis for different religions to live peacefully together will set a dangerous historical precedent,” Patriarch Absi warned. “Soon, similar conflicts will start to take shape in different places of the world.”
The patriarch stressed that the Christian presence in the Middle East “gives us a special role regarding our Muslim compatriots: that of witnessing the Gospel through a commitment to the service of all, whether in our schools, our hospitals, our centers for the elderly or our orphanages.”
He praised “the courage of the Hungarian position against immigration,” citing in particular the government’s Hungary Helps program, which has benefitted war-torn Syrian communities.
While the churches in the Middle East are trying to encourage Christians to stay in their homelands, Patriarch Absi said, “this is a mission that needs the work of governments because the needs are truly big and go beyond the capacity of the church.”
“What we need is countries with a similar vision to Hungary and Russia,” Patriarch Absi said. “That is, to help people the way they want to be helped rather than to change entire countries to befit political agendas.”
Patriarch Absi continued, “We hope that other countries will follow their example and encourage Christians to stay. This can be done by the lifting of economic sanctions, putting an end to the embargo, and by helping to achieve lasting peace. The Russian Federation and Hungary can have an impact on the international community; they can show other countries the way to achieve peace and how to safeguard nations in conflict.”
In a news conference on 30 October with Putin, Orban said that Hungary and Russia have a shared interest in stopping migration and achieving stability in the Middle East.
31 October 2019
Tags: Syria Iraq Orthodox Persecution
Demonstrators form a human chain during anti-government protests in Tripoli, Lebanon on 27 October 2019. The 29 October resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri followed 13 days of massive country-wide demonstrations. (photo: CNS/Omar Ibrahim, Reuters)
Lebanon’s Maronite bishops call for unity (CNS) Lebanon’s Maronite bishops, commending the unity of the Lebanese people amid a peaceful mass uprising demanding a new government, called for a “constructive spirit” following the resignation of the country’s prime minister. ”The Lord is leading the ship of the homeland and we hope that this step will be the beginning of the solution,” Cardinal Bechara Rai, Maronite patriarch, said in response to the resignation of Saad Hariri…
Russia and Hungary to discuss persecuted Christians (Vatican News) Hungary’s state secretary, for the aid of persecuted Christians, Tristan Azbej, is worried. He told Vatican News that Christians are now the most persecuted people in the world. That’s why, he says, Hungary wants to set up an international alliance to help Christian believers and other faith minorities during an upcoming conference next month…
Ethiopia mourns dead after ethnic violence breaks out (VOA) Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed says his country remains united after a week of violent clashes left at least 67 people dead and several religious sites destroyed. Now, he is trying to restore calm…
Cyclone brings heavy rains to Kerala (The Weather Channel) Heavy downpour in Kerala and Lakshadweep is set to continue in full swing on Thursday 31 October, as the depression over the Arabian Sea intensified into a cyclonic storm on Wednesday. The cyclone has been named ‘Maha’…
30 October 2019
Tags: India Lebanon Ethiopia
CNEWA visited Our Lady of Mt. Virgin Parish in Middlesex, New Jersey, last weekend, helping to spread the word about the work of CNEWA around the world. (photo: CNEWA)
Last weekend, CNEWA paid a visit to Our Lady of Mt. Virgin Parish in Middlesex, New Jersey. It was a great opportunity for us to share “the church’s best kept secret” and spread the word about some of the work we’re doing around the world.
We were warmly welcomed by the OLMV administrator, the Rev. David Skobolow, my old friend Deacon Tom Sommero, and hundreds of members of the parish family.
Deacon Greg Kandra preached at four Masses at Our Lady of Mt. Virgin over the weekend. (photo: CNEWA)
I preached and served at four Masses over the weekend, linking CNEWA’s mission to the Gospel reading from St. Luke, about praying to God with humility. So many we serve have taught us about humility — but also about hope, perseverance and unwavering faith. As the reading from Sirach reminded us, “The prayer of the lowly pierces the clouds.” It’s a blessing and a privilege to pray with the poor, and walk with them on their journey.
We’re eager to continue spreading the word about CNEWA, so if you’d like us to visit your parish, please let us know!
For more information, write to us at email@example.com
CNEWA development officer Christopher Kennedy; multimedia editor Deacon Greg Kandra; OLMV administrator the Rev. David Skobolow; and OLMV Deacon Tom Sommero. (photo: CNEWA)
30 October 2019
Protests have continued in Lebanon, following the resignation of Prime Minister Saad Hariri. The video above explores what happens next. (video: Al Jazeera/YouTube)
Lebanon: Army begins clearing roads after prime minister’s resignation (Al Jazeera) Security forces in Lebanon began clearing roads hours after the Lebanese army issued a directive urging protesters to vacate major thoroughfares to allow life to return to normal. The army’s statement came on Wednesday, a day after Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced his resignation and hours before a scheduled speech by President Michel Aoun…
Pope calls for dialogue, reconciliation over problems in Iraq (CNS) In the wake of deadly protests in Iraq, Pope Francis called on the people and their leaders to take the path of dialogue to find answers to their nation’s problems. At the end of his weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square on 30 October, the pope said his thoughts were with “beloved Iraq, where protest demonstrations going on this month have caused numerous deaths and injuries…”
How the new Syria took shape (The New York Times) In just a few weeks, the American withdrawal from northern Syria dramatically reordered power in the country after eight years of civil war…
U.S. House passes resolution recognizing Armenia genocide (The New York Times) The House voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to formally recognize the Armenian genocide and denounce it as a matter of American foreign policy, a symbolic vindication for the Armenian diaspora made possible by a new torrent of bipartisan furor at Turkey…
How they discovered the ancient site of a miracle (The Express) The Pool of Siloam was a rock-cut pool on the southern slope located just outside the walls of the Old City to the southwest. Located less than 2,000 feet from Temple Mount, the pool was fed by the waters of the Gihon Spring and was used by pilgrims more than 2,000 years ago.The pool remained in use during the time of Jesus Christ and, according to the Gospel of John, the Messiah led “a man blind from birth” to the pool in order to complete his healing...
29 October 2019
Tags: Iraq Lebanon Jerusalem Armenia
Filipino members of the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate harvest olives in the Garden of Gethsemane in Jerusalem on 19 October 2019. Catholic nuns, locals and international volunteers gathered to pick olives that will be made into liturgy oil used during the Chrism mass on Maundy Thursday in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. (photo: CNS/Debbie Hill)
29 October 2019
Metropolitan-Archbishop Borys Gudziak of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia speaks at Georgetown University in Washington on 25 October 2019. The archbishop spoke about the church's role of support during Ukraine's Soviet occupation and its ministry now of helping people find healing and keeping the faith alive while numbers are dwindling.
(photo: CNS/Georgetown University)
Gudziak: Ukrainian Church faces new struggles (CNS) Addressing an audience at Georgetown University on 25 October, the leader of the Ukrainian Catholic Church in the United States said the world news in Washington is as “Ukrainian as it ever has been.” But although he made reference to the current political interest in Ukraine, he also said “no one in Washington would give (the country) the time of day had there not been a July phone conversation,” referring to President Donald Trump’s conversation, now under congressional investigation, with Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Ukraine’s president…
Vatican pushes to eliminate nuclear weapons (CNS) Expressing concern that arms control treaties are “abrogated and flouted,” the Vatican’s permanent observer to the United Nations called on global leaders to work to rid the world of nuclear weapons. In a series of addresses to two U.N. committees, Archbishop Bernardito Auza said nations must step up to prevent a new nuclear arms race from emerging and work to reduce growing threats to peace…
U.S. military envisions broad defense of Syria’s oilfields (Al Jazeera) The United States will repel any attempt to take Syria’s oilfields away with “overwhelming force” whether the challenger is Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) or forces backed by Russia or Syria, the Pentagon has warned…
Why global warming has left Kerala vulnerable (India Today) The state had never bothered about global warming induced climatic changes, but the consecutive floods in August 2018 and 2019 have prompted a rethink. The 2018 August floods, the worst in about a century, destroyed infrastructure and livelihoods and killed 453 persons. This year too, floods caused by the southwest monsoon have played havoc in the state…
25 October 2019
Tags: Syria India Vatican Ukrainian Catholic Church
Ethiopian Cardinal Berhaneyesus Demerew Souraphiel stopped by our New York office Friday afternoon for a visit. He’s pictured in the center with (from l-r) the Rev. Abayneh Gebremichael, who leads the Ethiopian Catholic community in Washington; and CNEWA staff members Greg Kandra, Thomas Vargehese, Noel Selegzi, Haimdat Sawh and Christopher Kennedy. (photo: CNEWA)
25 October 2019
Tags: Ethiopia CNEWA
Our CNEWA team will be visiting Our Lady of Mt. Virgin Parish in Middlesex, New Jersey, on 26-27 October. (photo: OLMV website)
CNEWA will be on the road Saturday and Sunday. We’re heading to Our Lady of Mount Virgin Parish in Middlesex, New Jersey. I’ll be the guest homilist this weekend, preaching at the Masses — not only proclaiming the Good News, but also sharing the good news about CNEWA’s work in the world.
If you’re in the neighborhood, stop by and say hello! We are eager to answer questions, share copies of our award-winning magazine and introduce more people to “the best kept secret of the Catholic Church.”
We’re hoping to make more visits like this one in the months to come, so if you’d like CNEWA to visit your parish, let us know.
Just drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
See you soon!