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September, 2018
Volume 44, Number 3
  
11 June 2013
J.D. Conor Mauro




In this 2011 photo, Swiss Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, talks with Catholic News Service in Washington. (photo: Nancy Wiechec)

Cardinal Koch in Ukraine: Goal of ecumenism ‘visible communion’ (Vatican Radio) Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, gave a lecture on ecumenism at the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv, Ukraine, on 10 June. According to the Religious Information Service of Ukraine (RISU), the cardinal focused on the discussion of one of the most painful and key issues of Orthodox-Catholic relations — the primacy of the bishop of Rome…

Chaldean patriarch calls for committee to promote dialogue (AsiaNews) Chaldean Patriarch Raphael Louis hosted a dinner last night at a hotel in the Green Zone in Baghdad, inviting political and religious leaders — including the Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki, the first to accept the invitation. In the context of this initiative, Patriarch Raphael Louis said he hoped to see the birth of a “committee” to boost the work of “frank and brave” dialogue and encounter between the country’s various souls: Sunni, Shiite, Christian, Arab, Turkmen and Kurdish…

Bulgarian Orthodox metropolitan of Western Europe resigns (Sofia Globe) The Bulgarian Orthodox Church’s governing body, the Holy Synod, has accepted the resignation of Simeon, Metropolitan of Western Europe, on grounds of poor health. Simeon, elected in 1986 as the first Metropolitan of the then-newly established Diocese of Western Europe, has been ill for some time and has been receiving medical treatment in the United States. It is expected that a replacement will be named in the autumn…

Clashes over church in Macedonia (Eurasia Review) At least two people have been injured in clashes between protesters and police that erupted over a church construction project in the Centar municipality of the capital Skopje. The clashes started on Monday when several hundred government supporters tried to push past a police cordon into a local government courtyard, angry over the opposition mayor’s alleged plan — which he denies — to demolish a church. Macedonian Orthodox Bishop Pimen came out with an appeal for calm. “My faithful people, is this the way we witness the peace of Christ? We demolish a municipality in an attempt to prevent the ‘demolishing’ of a church. Let us fill up the churches instead of municipal courts…”

St. Macrina Church in Anatolia holds first ceremony in 90 years (Hurriyet Daily News) Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the spiritual leader of the Orthodox world, officiated at the first religious ceremony in 90 years at St. Macrina Church in the Central Anatolian province of Nigde yesterday. About 200 people attended the liturgy, including Greek Deputy Agriculture Minister Maksimos Harakopulos and members of various associations from Argentina, Greece and Istanbul…

Survivors of Syrian fighting describe harrowing flight from Qusayr (Los Angeles Times) Ibrahim, a dark-haired man with bandages across his abdomen, said he was injured in a rocket attack amid raging battles between rebel fighters and Syrian government troops backed by Lebanon’s militant group, Hezbollah. It took him three days to trek nine dangerous miles through rocky mountains to Lebanon, dodging soldiers he said were targeting the group of wounded he fled with. Their group, which would dwindle to only a few, split up as Syrian troops chased them…

Damascus hit by multiple suicide bombings (BBC) Two suicide bombers have blown themselves up in the center of the Syrian capital, Damascus, killing 14 people, Syrian state media says. At least 30 other people were injured in the blasts, in Marjeh Square. The explosions happened at a police building in the busy commercial district. The attack comes as regime forces prepare an assault to recapture the northern city of Aleppo after having retaken Qusayr from the rebels…



Tags: Syrian Civil War Ecumenism Chaldean Church Orthodox Cardinal Kurt Koch

10 June 2013
J.D. Conor Mauro




Syrian children attend a class at a new school that opened in the Al Zaatri refugee camp in Mafraq, Jordan, on 4 June. Some 500,000 Syrian refugees have sought shelter in Jordan from the civil war between forces loyal to President Bashar al Assad and rebel fighters trying to overthrow him. (photo: CNS/Muhammad Hamed, Reuters)

Cardinal: Lebanon will ‘pay cost’ of Syrian conflict (France24) “Where do the refugees go? The Christians go to Christian homes in Lebanon, the Druze go to Druze homes in Lebanon, the Alawites go to their relatives [in Lebanon],” said Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. More than 500,000 Syrians fleeing the conflict have sought refuge in Lebanon, which is increasingly being sucked into the war…

U.S. considers taking in Syrian refugees (Los Angeles Times) Two years into a civil war that shows no signs of ending, the Obama administration is considering resettling refugees who have fled Syria, part of an international effort that could bring thousands of Syrians to American cities and towns. A resettlement plan under discussion in Washington and other capitals is aimed at relieving pressure on Middle Eastern countries straining to support 1.6 million refugees, as well as assisting hard-hit Syrian families…

Palestinian descendants start to reclaim village (Al Jazeera) A dream long nurtured by hundreds of thousands of Palestinians made refugees during the establishment of the state of Israel has become a concrete reality at a small makeshift camp atop a windswept hill. Today, all that remains of the village of Iqrit, close to Israel’s border with Lebanon, is a Catholic church on the hill’s brow. But in 1948, the village was home to 600 Christian Palestinians…

Syria troops ‘preparing for Aleppo assault’ (BBC) Syrian government forces are reported to be preparing for a major offensive on rebel-held parts of the northern city of Aleppo and its surroundings. A Syrian security source said it would start “in the coming hours or days.” On Sunday, they retook the last remaining rebel-held villages in the strategically important area, which lies between the Lebanese border and the central city of Homs…

Amman, Christian Arab media discuss peace, justice and human rights (AsiaNews) Today, the Catholic Center for Studies and Media, in collaboration with the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Social Communications, has begun a two-day conference on justice, human rights and the Arab media. Guests include Fouad Twal, the Latin patriarch of Jerusalem…

Cleric fights to save rural Romania from fracking (ENCA) For months, 50-year-old Father Vasile Laiu has been one of the most outspoken opponents to plans by United States energy giant Chevron to drill for shale gas in rural eastern Romania. Clad in his black cassock, Father Laiu has joined thousands of locals in street protests against a project he says “threatens man, nature and future generations”…



Tags: Refugees Syrian Civil War United States Palestinians Patriarch Fouad Twal

7 June 2013
J.D. Conor Mauro




Syrian refugees wait to receive aid and rations at the Al Zaatri refugee camp in Mafraq, Jordan, 4 June. Some 500,000 Syrian refugees have sought shelter in Jordan from the civil war between forces loyal to President Bashar al Assad and rebel fighters trying to overthrow him. (photo: CNS/Muhammad Hamed,  Reuters)

U.N. says half of Syria’s population will need aid by end of year (The Guardian) The United Nations has launched the largest emergency appeal in its history — $5 billion — warning that half the population will need humanitarian aid by the end of the year. The civil war in Syria has led to the fastest growing refugee crisis in the world amid a conflict in which hospitals, schools and water and sanitation infrastructure have been targeted. But some fear that the appeal will not be enough, as aid agencies have struggled to keep pace with the three-year crisis that has left more than 80,000 people dead…

Patriarch: Millennium of Russian presence on Mount Athos in 2016 (Interfax-Religion) Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia has proposed rebuilding the Ksilurgu Monastery, the oldest Russian monastery on Mount Athos in Greece, by 2016, when the 1,000 years of the Russian presence on Mount Athos will be celebrated. “In three years, we will celebrate the 1,000 years of the Russian presence on the Holy Mount Athos,” the patriarch said in Ksilurgu, addressing monks…

With Golan fence, Israel closer to surrounding itself with barriers (Washington Post) Fearful that the Syrian civil war, jihadist terrorists or Lebanese Hezbollah fighters will spill into Israel, the country’s military engineers are rushing to complete their latest “smart fence,” this one in the occupied Golan Heights. When the 45-mile fence is finished in the coming months, Israel will have taken another big step in surrounding itself with barriers. But some Israelis worry that the fences are a metaphor for weakness as much as they are for strength and that the barriers have increased a sense of isolation…

Church denies Israeli municipality use of its property for festival (WAFA) The Greek Orthodox Patriarchate in Jerusalem said Tuesday that it would not allow the Israeli municipality of West Jerusalem to use church property in the Old City for a festival of lights because of Israeli police mistreatment of Christians during their holidays. A statement by the church spokesman Issa Musleh said the Greek Orthodox Patriarch Theophilos III has told the municipality of its objections to the use of its property in any way for the festival, which he said “does not reflect in any way the true identity of Jerusalem”…

Egypt-Ethiopia water dispute escalates after threatening remarks (Los Angeles Times) A battle over water has turned into a war of colorful rhetoric between Ethiopia and Egypt over the flow of the Nile, which begins in the African highlands but keeps Egypt from being swallowed entirely by desert. An ambitious Ethiopian dam project is diverting Nile waters that Cairo says will reduce the river’s northward flow. The Egyptians have stumbled into crisis mode: At a meeting hosted by the Egyptian president this week, several politicians, unaware TV cameras were rolling, suggested sabotaging or threatening to bomb the dam…



Tags: Pope Francis Refugees Syrian Civil War Israel Separation Barrier

6 June 2013
Greg Kandra




In the video above, John Klink, president of the International Catholic Migration Commission, talks to Catholic News Service about Pope Francis’ special awareness of migrants’ problems.
(video: CNS)


Vatican calls for less restrictive policies toward migrants (Business Ghana) The Catholic Church on Thursday called on the international community to adopt a less restrictive approach on migration and to show more compassion towards the plight of refugees and displaced people. Cardinal Antonio Maria Veglio, the top Vatican official on such matters, lamented that “ever more often, the political debate at national and international level” focuses on “restrictive measures.” “It seems that the issue is mainly about how to keep away asylum-seekers and displaced people. Instead of considering the reasons why they were forced to leave, the sole presence of refugees or deported people is seen as a problem,” Veglio said...

Pontifical council predicts summer will aggravate Syrian crisis (VIS) The Pontifical Council “Cor Unum” called a meeting, from 4-5 June, of the Catholic charitable agencies that are working to combat the crisis in Syria. Testimonials confirm the extent of the tragedy: almost seven million people who need humanitarian assistance, more than 4.5 million forcibly displaced persons, and an ever-increasing number of persons seeking security outside of the country’s borders. A more careful analysis of the needs in this area have revealed that, with the onset of summer, the risk of epidemics in the affected population — with pregnant women, children, the elderly, and the disabled in particular jeopardy — will certainly increase along with shortages of medicines and aid...

Pope warns priest-diplomats against careerism (Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Thursday spoke to the members of the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy, which is dedicated to training priests to serve in the diplomatic corps and the Secretariat of State of the Holy See. In his address, the Holy Father reminded the students that they must cultivate a deep spiritual life in order to attain the “inner freedom” that is necessary for their future work. He also warned against ambition, and once again denounced careerism, which he called “a leprosy”...

Chalden Synod begins in Baghdad (Fides) On Wednesday 5 June the Synod of the Chaldean Church convened by the Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans Louis Raphael I Sako began in Baghdad. The beginning of the assembly was also attended by Archbishop Giorgio Lingua, Apostolic Nuncio to Jordan and Iraq...

Tensions surround construction of new dam in Egypt (Fides) The construction of the Grand Renaissance Dam which is currently under construction on the Blue Nile is creating tension between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia. According to a report published by a committee composed of experts from Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia, in fact, the dam built by Ethiopia will deprive Egyptians of 12 billion cubic meters of water a year...



Tags: Iraq Egypt Pope Francis Vatican Chaldeans

5 June 2013
J.D. Conor Mauro




Enthroned in 1999, Armenian Catholic Patriarch Nerses Bedros XIX of Cilicia has been a strong proponent of education and social service. To learn more about the Armenian Catholic Church, which comprises more than half a million people worldwide, see our profile in ONE. (photo: The Armenian Catholic Church)

Pope meets with Armenian Catholic patriarch at the Vatican (Rome Reports) The pope welcomed Armenian Catholic Patriarch Nerses Bedros XIX of Cilicia. He also met with those who manage the Armenian seminary in Rome. As a gift, the patriarch gave the pope a bronze crucifix that actually had to be carried out by two people…

Pope reiterates concerns for Syria, calls for humanitarian action (VIS) “The destiny of the Syrian people,” the pope repeated, “is a concern that is also close to my heart. On Easter Sunday I asked for peace ‘above all for dear Syria, for its people torn by conflict, and for the many refugees who await help and comfort.’ … In the face of ongoing and overwhelming violence, I strongly renew my appeal for peace…”

Cardinal Koch visits Ukraine to deepen Catholic-Orthodox dialogue (Vatican Radio) The head of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Cardinal Kurt Koch, traveled to Ukraine today for a visit aimed at deepening the dialogue between Catholics and Orthodox in the former Soviet state. The Cardinal will spend two days in the capital, Kiev, meeting with the Greek and Latin Catholic communities there. He’ll also hold talks with the Ukrainian Orthodox leader, Metropolitan Volodymyr of the Moscow Patriarchate, and other representatives of that church…

ROACO will meet this month (Fides) The Reunion of Aid Agencies for the Oriental Churches (ROACO), the committee which unites funding agencies from various countries around the world, will take place from 18 to 21 June in the Vatican. It will focus in particular on the critical conditions experienced by Christians in the Middle East. The summit’s participants will include Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Pontifical Congregation for the Oriental Churches; Chaldean Patriarch Louis Raphael of Babylon; Coptic Catholic Patriarch Ibrahim Isaac of Alexandria; representatives of the Eastern Christian communities of Syria; and Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa, O.F.M., custos of the Holy Land…

Millions in India join pope to pray for the respect of women (Fides) More than 19 million Catholics in India united with the Holy Father in solemn Eucharistic Adoration on 2 June, scattered in parishes, monasteries and other religious institutions across India. During Adoration the “concern for the problems in India, for a more effective mission against poverty and for the dignity of women and against violence” was expressed…

Racist attacks against Arabs on the rise in Israel (Der Spiegel) Arabs are being beaten and insulted in Israel, where the number of racially motivated attacks has risen dramatically. Reportedly fueled by nationalist politicians, these events have been spreading from Palestinian areas into the Israeli heartland. The attacks have no overt connection with militant settlers or an autonomous Palestine, although these conflicts may well be at the back of people’s minds…



Tags: India Pope Francis Ecumenism Armenian Catholic Church ROACO

4 June 2013
J.D. Conor Mauro




In this 2010 photo, Serbian Orthodox Patriarch Irinej speaks with Cardinal Christoph Schonborn in the yard of cardinal’s residence in Vienna, Austria. (photo: CNS/Heinz-Peter Bader, Reuters)

Serbian patriarch: More unites than divides Orthodox and Catholics (b92) Serbian Patriarch Irinej has said that there is “much more that unites us with the Roman Catholic Church,” compared to that which stands in between. “We’ve always been close and lately it is even intensified,” he said, adding that the churches should move past “the moments that keep us apart”…

New Armenian Patriarch Of Jerusalem Enthroned (Eurasia Review) Archbishop Nourhan Manougian was today enthroned the 97th Armenian patriarch of Jerusalem…

Russian church leader receives Greece’s top honor (Interfax Religion) On Monday, Greek President Karolos Papoulias awarded Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia Greece’s highest honor: the Grand Cross of the Order of Honor. “We are brother nations, we share the same faith, and this is the immutable foundation for relations between Greece and the countries making up historical Russia. I mean the Russian Federation, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova,” Patriarch Kirill said in accepting the award…

Egyptian Presidency, church prepare joint Ethiopia trip (Egypt Independent) Egypt’s presidency and the Coptic Orthodox Church are coordinating for a joint trip to Ethiopia by President Mohamed Morsi and Pope Tawadros II, where they will discuss with Ethiopian officials a means to resolve a dispute over Ethiopia’s Millennium Dam, which could threaten Egypt’s water supply…

Patriarch Daniel attends the European Commission (Basilica News Agency) The patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church participated in the annual meeting of the religious leaders of Europe with the presidents of the European Commission, Council and Parliament, as well as with other high officials of the European Union. This year, the discussions were focused on the concept of European citizenship, 20 years after its introduction, through the Maastricht Treaty, and especially in the context of the multiple challenges that the present economic and social climate addresses to the future European project…

Palestinian Christians surprised to receive travel permits (Al Monitor) When Palestinian Christians suddenly received unsolicited three-month travel permits, they and the Catholic leaders were surprised and worried. There has been little information as to what led the Israelis to give hundreds of unsolicited permits to Palestinian Christians. The Reverend William Shomali, the auxiliary bishop and patriarchal vicar for Jerusalem and Palestine, told Al Monitor that he was as surprised as everyone else. “We didn’t ask for these permits, and I don’t like that they are given to a specific group of Palestinians and not to all.” Shomali believes that the entire permit system is a problem and that the right to movement should be made available to all Palestinians…

Syrians continue education in Egypt (Al Jazeera) Schools are accommodating thousands of Syrian refugees in neighboring Egypt. It is one of the few positive developments for the young victims of the war, some of whom have missed two years of classes…



Tags: Refugees Middle East Christians Christian Unity Patriarchs Palestinians

3 June 2013
J.D. Conor Mauro




In this video, Al Jazeera’s Hashem Ahelbarra reports on the state of civilians trapped in the Syrian city of Qusayr. International aid organisations have stepped up calls for civilians to be evacuated, as rebel fighters faced a fresh assault from government forces. (video: Al Jazeera)

As battle for Qusayr enters third week, civilians remain trapped (Daily Star Lebanon) The battle for Qusayr entered its third week Monday, as wounded civilians remain trapped in the besieged town, the regime having vowed not to let the Red Cross enter until fighting is over. The regime, backed by Hezbollah, is trying to win back the border town from the rebels, as it both provides a vital lifeline for the opposition to secure weapons and supplies, and secures a link between Damascus and the coastal Alawite heartland. Reports say the wounded are being treated in private homes after the town’s main hospital was destroyed during fighting…

Pope calls for release of kidnapped in Syria (VIS) After praying the Angelus, the pope expressed his great concern regarding the continuation of the conflict that, “for more than two years now has inflamed Syria, especially affecting the civilian population that aspires to peace in justice and understanding.” He added: “This troubled situation of war bears with it tragic consequences: death, destruction, massive economic and environmental damage, as well as the scourge of kidnapping. In denouncing these events I wish to assure my prayers of solidarity for those who have been kidnapped and their families and I appeal to the humanity of the kidnappers for the release of the victims…”

For nuncio in Damascus, abductions are a silent scourge (AsiaNews) Echoing the pope’s 2 June remarks, Apostolic Nuncio in Damascus Archbishop Mario Zenari said: “I wish to assure my prayers and my solidarity for those who are being held in captivity and for their families, and I appeal to the humanity of the kidnappers to free their victims. Let us pray for our beloved Syria…”

Melkite Archbishop of Aleppo: ‘United with the Pope we call for dialogue’ (Fides) “We see only chaos and destruction in a conflict that is against everything and everyone. In a country disfigured, with the civilian population led to the slaughter, Pope Francis’ appeal calls for dialogue and reconciliation,” said Melkite Greek Catholic Metropolitan Jean-Clément Jeanbart of Aleppo…

Jerusalem: Dormition Abbey vandalized (ICN) The Dormition Abbey, one of the major sites for Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land, was vandalized on Friday. Graffiti and anti-Christian insults in Hebrew were sprayed on a wall. Two cars were also smeared with offensive words and all tires were slashed. The Abbey is located on Mount Zion in Jerusalem and cared for by German Benedictine monks. This incident is the latest in a succession of desecration of Christian monasteries in September and October last year…



Tags: Pope Francis Syrian Civil War Violence against Christians Jerusalem Aleppo

31 May 2013
J.D. Conor Mauro




Pope Francis accepts a gift from Vuk Jeremic, president of the 67th session of the U.N. General Assembly, during a private audience in the Apostolic Palace at the Vatican on 31 May. The gift was an icon of St. Sava. (photo: CNS/Paul Haring, pool)

Pope and U.N. assembly president discuss Middle East, human trafficking (AsiaNews) The Middle East and human trafficking were the central theme during discussions this morning between Pope Francis and United Nations General Assembly President Vuk Jeremic. Jeremic also met with Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone in the Apostolic Palace. “In [the context of the Middle East] the importance of reconciliation between the various communities that make up society and respect for the rights of ethnic and religious minorities was recognized,” read a statement from the Vatican…

Iraq sees deadliest month in five years (Christian Science Monitor) More than 500 people were killed in Iraq in May, about 120 of them since 27 May alone, making it the deadliest month since June 2008, according to the United Nations. The uptick in violence has put increased pressure on the government to prove its ability to keep sectarian tensions under control and prevent the country from spiraling into a renewed civil war…

In Jordan, informal militias form to guard against potential Syrian attacks (Washington Post) For weeks, ragtag forces have spent evenings patrolling the mountainous frontier region and monitoring what Jordanian officials and Syrian opposition activists say is a Syrian military escalation in the south. Residents here fear it may be a prelude to a potential invasion…

Indian sisters say Mary is a refuge for the poor of all castes and creeds (AsiaNews) Sister Gemma, prioress of the Carmelite monastery in Mumbai, underlines the importance of the feast of the Visitation for the poor and for people who suffer. Conceived by Pope Benedict XVI and issued by Pope Francis, the Worldwide Eucharistic Adoration on 2 June is a great example of God’s love. “This event,” Sister Gemma explained, “has no precedent in history, and fulfils Isaiah’s prophecy: ’I am coming to gather all nations and tongues; they shall come and see my glory’ (66:18). … Although we nuns remain within the walls of [the cloister], we are in the world through our prayers and charity work,” the nun added…

Cardinal Sandri attends inauguration of University of Madaba in Jordan (Vatican Radio) The prefect of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches, Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, attended the official inauguration of the University of Madaba in Jordan, belonging to the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem. Among those attending were King Abdullah II of Jordan and other dignitaries. In his address at the inauguration, Cardinal Sandri said this new university becomes a powerful agent of interreligious dialogue and urged students and teachers to respect the religious sensibilities of each other and help heal historical wounds. A full transcription of the cardinal’s address is included…



Tags: Iraq Pope Francis Jordan Sisters United Nations

30 May 2013
J.D. Conor Mauro




A boy walks on the rubble of buildings damaged by missiles fired by Syrian air force fighter jets in Salqin, Syria, 28 May. The Vatican has reiterated its call for negotiations and putting an end to violence in Syria, saying that children are suffering the most. (photo: CNS/Muzaffar Salman, Reuters)

Vatican: Children suffer most from Syrian violence (CNS) The Vatican has reiterated its call for negotiations to end the violence in Syria, saying that children are suffering the most. “Silencing the guns is the priority,” Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican’s permanent observer to U.S. agencies in Geneva, told the Human Rights Council during a 29 May debate on Syria. Calling the violence in Syria “the terrain of the violation of all human rights,” Archbishop Tomasi said the tragedy risks intensifying regional and global conflicts…

W.C.C. issues statement on Middle East Christians (Ekklesia.co.uk) A World Council of Churches conference has issued a joint statement calling the churches and ecumenical actors to commit themselves to support one another in prayers and actions to support Christian presence and witness in the Middle East. The statement was an outcome of discussions engaging more than a hundred church leaders and representatives of the ecumenical organizations in the Arab world…

Chaldeans embark on journey back to Turkey (Hurriyet Daily News) The European Chaldean community has begun to act on the call of Turkey’s Culture Minister Ömer Çelik to return to Turkey. After a series of negotiations conducted in France and Belgium, it was determined that 27 families would return to Herbole village in southeastern Turkey as part of the first stage of the return process. If the required social and economic conditions are met, the number returning will increase…

Patriarch Kirill to visit Mount Athos (Interfax-Religion) Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia will visit Greece and Mount Athos from 1-7 June. During his trip, the Patriarch will visit churches and monasteries of the Greek Orthodox Church and meet with its head, representatives of the Greek authorities and ethnic Russians living in Greece, as well as will travel to Thessaloniki and Veria, a spokesman for the Synodal Information Department said on Wednesday…

Young Egyptians rekindle revolution with recall petition (AsiaNews) A new movement of young Egyptians have allegedly collected over 7.5 million signatures to demand an end to the government of Mohamed Morsi and the domination of the Muslim Brotherhood over Egypt. The campaign began on 1 May with the aim of 15 million signatures by 30 June, which marks the first anniversary since Egypt’s first Islamist president took office…

Israel to build 1000 new settlement units in east Jerusalem (Al Jazeera) Israel is preparing to build more than 1,000 new settler homes in east Jerusalem as the United States strives to revive dormant Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, according to an non-governmental organization. Danny Seidemann, director of Jerusalem settlement watchdog Terrestrial Jerusalem, said on Wednesday that contracts for 300 homes in the northeastern settlement of Ramot were signed and another 797 plots were to be offered for sale in the southern Jerusalem settlement of Gilo, near the city of Jerusalem. Both are in largely Arab areas of the holy city…



Tags: Egypt Middle East Christians Syrian Civil War Jerusalem Patriarch Kirill

29 May 2013
J.D. Conor Mauro




Bishop José Raúl Vera López of Saltillo, Mexico, poses outside the diocesan seminary, where he celebrated the 25th anniversary of becoming a bishop on 5 January. Bishop Vera López, a nominee for last year’s Nobel Peace Prize, will be visiting Syria in June. (photo: CNS/David Agren)

Bishop Vera López prepares for humanitarian mission (Fides) Bishop José Raúl Vera López, O.P., of Saltillo, Mexico, will be part of a delegation of 12 observers who will try to enter Syria to collect data and information on the atrocities and human rights violations taking place in the war-torn country. The Dominican bishop was nominated for the Nobel Prize in 2012 for his commitment to the defense of human rights…

Maronite Bishops condemn joining Syria violence (Daily Star Lebanon) On Monday, the Council of Maronite Bishops condemned direct participation in Syrian violence and voiced concern over clashes in the northern city of Tripoli and the southern city of Sidon. “The bishops condemn the direct participation in the Syrian clashes, from whatever side, and consider what is happening as a clear violation of the National Pact and Baabda Declaration,” said the bishops in a statement issued following their monthly meeting. The council, headed by Maronite Patriarch Bechara Peter, also renewed their condemnation to the kidnapping of two bishops in Syria last month and called for their imminent release…

E.U. split over Syria, growing Islamist movements (AsiaNews) The recent session of the European Parliament on the renewal of the arms ban to Syrian rebels has revealed serious divisions within the European Union. According to E.U. sources, as of late April more than 500 European nationals had joined Islamist groups in Syria. In February, they were only a few dozen. France and Britain have said that they are ready to provide military support to the rebels, but are faced with the opposition of other European Union countries. In response to possible British and French support to the rebels, Russia yesterday announced it was sending new anti-aircraft missiles to the regime of Bashar al Assad…

King Abdullah II and Cardinal Sandri to attend university inauguration (Fides) The official opening of the American University of Madaba, affiliated with the University of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem is scheduled for Thursday afternoon, 30 May. King Abdullah II of Jordan, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Fouad Twal and Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, will take part in the inauguration. “Years ago, the early phases of the first school of the Latin Patriarchate … started, in what appeared as a closed and marginal world. Today, that same mission has lead to the creation of a University with high standards … at the service of the people of Jordan, Christians and Muslims together”…

Egypt’s youths feel disenfranchised after revolution (Los Angeles Times) Egypt’s 2011 uprising was often referred to as a youth revolution, but two years after longtime President Hosni Mubarak was forced out of office, many in the younger generation say they feel more politically isolated than ever. Young activists across the political spectrum say they have been sidelined, prevented from participating in the leadership and management of post-Mubarak Egypt by a patriarchal culture that favors the older and supposedly more experienced…

Eritrean refugees protest against the regime in Asmara (Fides) Nearly 3000 Eritrean refugees have started a protest in the camp of Berahle in the Afar region of Ethiopia, a few miles from the border with Eritrea. The protesters aim to draw the attention of the international community on what they call “the genocide committed by the government in Asmara against the minority Afar”…



Tags: Egypt Ethiopia Syrian Civil War Maronite Cardinal Leonardo Sandri





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