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Friday, January 20, 2017
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Pope Francis: Luther's intention was to renew not divide the Church
Pope Francis: Luther's intention was to renew not divide the Church

The intention of Martin Luther five hundred years ago "was to renew the Church, not divide her", Pope Francis said on Thursday, when he met an Ecumenical Delegation from Finland, in the Vatican to take part in the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. The Pope recalled his visit to Sweden last October and said that the "gathering there gave us the courage and strength, in our Lord Jesus Christ, to look ahead to the ecumenical journey that we are called to walk together." The Pope ended his speech with off-the-cuff remarks thanking the bishop leading the delegation for having brought his

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Prayers and protests planned for Trump Inauguration
Prayers and protests planned for Trump Inauguration

Thousands have signed a petition objecting to Washington's Episcopalian National Cathedral, hosting the traditional interfaith prayer service on Saturday morning, as part of the presidential inauguration for Donald Trump and Mike Pence. The service will feature prayers, readings and musical performances. Fr Gary Hall, who served as dean of the Cathedral from 2012 to 2015, said: "I think the faith community should be a centre of resistance against Donald Trump's vision in America." He said that he felt that the service "legitimizes Trump." But the current Dean,

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European Church leaders issue joint message for Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
European Church leaders issue joint message for Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

The history of Christianity in Europe is marked by sorrowful periods of division, mutual condemnation, and even violence. As a number of churches prepare to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the beginnings of the Protestant Reformation, we are reminded anew of our difficult past. Recalling these events and confronting our history is a precious opportunity to renew our commitment to the healing of wounds and overcoming divisions. We turn to Christ, who reconciles all people and all creation to God, to guide us in this work. In humble gratitude for this gift,

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 Poland marks 300th anniversary of Coronation of Our Lady of Czestochowa
Poland marks 300th anniversary of Coronation of Our Lady of Czestochowa

Many events are being planned throughout this year in Poland to celebrate the Jubilee of the crowning of the image of Our Lady of Czestochowa. Last month (15 December) the Polish Parliament adopted a resolution declaring 2017 a Jubilee year. Pope Clement XI canonically crowned the image of Our Lady of Czestochowa on September 8, 1717. The Jubilee began with a special Mass at Jasna Góra monastery, where the Icon is kept, celebrated by Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki on 8 September 2016. On December 8, a plenary indulgence was granted by Pope Francis which can be

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Bishops call for action after fifty years of occupation in the Holy Land
Bishops call for action after fifty years of occupation in the Holy Land

Fifty years of occupation demands action, is the call of the Holy Land Coordination bishops at the end of this year's meeting. Describing the occupation as a scandal that violates the human dignity of both Palestinians and Israelis, the bishops called for an end to the suffering on both sides. While many people in the Holy Land strive for reconciliation, most have now lived their entire lives under occupation, with its polarising social segregation. The bishops implored Christians in their respective countries to recognise their own responsibility for prayer, awareness and action.

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Bishops delegation ends pilgrimage to Holy Land with call for action
Bishops delegation ends pilgrimage to Holy Land with call for action

For fifty years the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza have languished under occupation. An occupation - reads the final communiqué of the Holy Land Coordination 2017 - that violates the human dignity of both Palestinians and Israelis. As the group of Catholic Bishops who make up the 'Holy Land Coordination' finish this year's pilgrimage in support of those enduring the occupation, it is calling for justice and peace in the Holy Land and reminding the rest of us that "it is a scandal to which we must never become accustomed."

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Pope Francis: We look with hope to unity not division
Pope Francis: We look with hope to unity not division

Christian Unity and reconciliation are possible, Pope Francis said, when he greeted an Ecumenical delegation from Germany, during his weekly General Audience with pilgrims in the Paul the VI Hall. Recalling this Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, the Holy Father said we look to "that which unites us - rather than that which divide," and he invited Christians to pray for this week. The Pope also recalled his visit to Lund in Sweden to commemorate the Reformation, saying: "we continue the journey together to deepen our communion and to give it more and more a 'visible form."

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US Bishops urge Congress to 'preserve gains in healthcare coverage'


US Bishops urge Congress to 'preserve gains in healthcare coverage'



As Congress discusses a repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act, the Chair of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, Bishop Frank J Dewane of Venice, is urging members of the House and Senate to provide a replacement plan concurrently so that millions of Americans will continue to have access to vital health care. In a letter sent to members of the US House of Representatives and US Senate on January 18, 2017, Bishop Dewane wrote that repealing the ACA should not be undertaken without simultaneous passage of a replacement plan

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Egypt: Prosecutors drop investigation of attack on elderly Christian woman
Egypt: Prosecutors drop investigation of attack on elderly Christian woman

Prosecutors in Egypt's central governorate of Minya have suspended investigations into the assault on a 70-year-old Coptic Christian woman, Suan Thabet, who was stripped naked and paraded in the streets by a Muslim mob last May. After the attack, President Abdel Fattah al Sisi promised a speedy investigation, and at least eight people were arrested among 14 suspects of having taken part in sectarian violence. But the woman's lawyer announced that on Saturday, January 14 the prosecutors were dropping the case due to "lack of sufficient evidence".

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America: Sisters launch prayer resource for Trump's first hundred days
America: Sisters launch prayer resource for Trump's first hundred days

The Sisters of St Joseph with The Sisters of St Joseph of Orange are launching a prayer resource on the day of the Inauguration of President Donald Trump. It will keep pace with the new administration's first 100 days. The content encourages unity and reconciliation and offers support to people who may be vulnerable to policy changes. They have gathered more than 100 daily prayers that are about 12 words long.

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America: Catholic politician states: Why I will not be at Inauguration
America: Catholic politician states: Why I will not be at Inauguration

Luis V Gutiérrez (District-Illinois) took to the House floor on Tuesday morning to explain why he is not going to attend the inaugural ceremonies on January 20. "The reason I am not going is that I cannot bring myself to justify morally or intellectually the immense power we are placing in that man's hands," he said of Donald Trump. Rep Gutiérrez said he would join his wife Soraida in participating in the Women's March on January 21 in Washington. Standing next to a large photograph of the president-elect, the Congressman cited Trump's caustic rhetoric and outrageous past behaviour, saying:

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Opus Dei begins election process for new prelate
Opus Dei begins election process for new prelate

The process planned for the election and appointment of the prelate of Opus Dei will begin in Rome on January 21. Once he has been confirmed by the Pope, the new prelate will become the third successor of Saint Josemaría Escrivá (1902- 1975), and will take over the position held by Bishop Javier Echevarría, who died in Rome on December 12. The auxiliary vicar of the prelature, Monsignor Fernando Ocáriz, stated: "We are living this period in an attitude of prayer, going especially to the Holy Spirit."

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Caritas Europa: Lone child migrants need all of our support!
Caritas Europa: Lone child migrants need all of our support!

On the occasion of the annual World Day of Migrants and Refugees, Caritas Europa joins Pope Francis in calling everyone to pay attention to the reality of child migrants, "especially the ones who are alone... who in a threefold way are defenceless: they are children, they are foreigners, and they have no means to protect themselves". We urge European Member States to fully comply with the best interests of the child when responding to cases of unaccompanied children seeking protection. "Our older brother was kidnapped by ISIS and we have no news from him.

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Bishop Declan Lang discusses Holy Land Coordination visit - podcast
Bishop Declan Lang discusses Holy Land Coordination visit - podcast

Bishop Declan Lang is leading this year's Holy Land Coordination visit, which began on Saturday, with the aim of meeting and supporting the Holy Land's local Christian communities. The international delegation of bishops started by visiting the small Christian community in Gaza, then took part in the traditional Mass of the Peoples in Jaffa, hosted by the various national communities present in Israel. They will also go to Hebron and East Jerusalem, and delegation members will meet local bishops, students of Bethlehem University and the Mayors of Bethlehem, Beit Jala and Beit

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Greece: Refugees freeze in sub-zero temperatures
Greece: Refugees freeze in sub-zero temperatures

CAFOD is working with its local Greek partner, Caritas Hellas to respond to the deteriorating situation of refugees stranded in the country who are facing life-threatening low temperatures. Thousands of refugees and migrants are sleeping either outside, in camps or abandoned buildings, where the temperatures are well below freezing. "The worst conditions in Greece are in the north," explained Maristella Tsamatropoulou. "There is no heating. People are giving refugees wood to start fires or electric stoves. They burn anything they can to stay warm. It's really dangerous as it could

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Pope calls for special care for migrant children
Pope calls for special care for migrant children

Pope Francis appealed for better treatment of child refugees and migrants during his Angelus address on Sunday. Speaking to pilgrims gathered in St Peter's Square, the Holy Father renewed his call for prayerful and concrete solidarity with minors forced to flee their homelands - especially for the children and adolescents forced to flee on their own, without the company of parents or older relatives. "It is necessary to take every possible measure to ensure protection and defence for migrant children," Pope Francis said, "as well as their integration," into host societies.

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Pope rejects economic system that discards people not considered 'useful'
Pope rejects economic system that discards people not considered 'useful'

"A world economic system that discards men, women and children because they are no longer considered useful or productive according to criteria drawn from the world of business or other organizations, is unacceptable, because it is inhumane, " Pope Francis said his address to the Rome Roundtable of the Global Foundation on Saturday. "Those who cause or allow others to be discarded - whether refugees, children who are abused or enslaved, or the poor who die on our streets in cold weather - become themselves like soulless machines" he added.

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Call for 'encounters of the heart' on Martin Luther King Day
Call for 'encounters of the heart' on Martin Luther King Day

Since the time of the founding fathers, our country has been blessed with citizens who have had the courage to rise above the challenges of their day and call their fellow citizens forward in the unending task of building an ever more just nation. Today, we celebrate such a citizen, Martin Luther King, Jr. His inspiration guides us as we seek to build peace in our communities under the recent strain of division and violence. Recently, USCCB's Task Force for Peace in Our Communities has examined and reported on how the bishops of the United States may improve their own contribution to this ongoing national effort.

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Text: Message of Pope Francis for 2017 World Day of Migrants and Refugees
Text: Message of Pope Francis for 2017 World Day of Migrants and Refugees

"Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me" (Mk 9:37; cf. Mt 18:5; Lk 9:48; Jn 13:20). With these words, the Evangelists remind the Christian community of Jesus' teaching, which both inspires and challenges. This phrase traces the sure path which leads to God; it begins with the smallest and, through the grace of our Saviour, it grows into the practice of welcoming others. To be welcoming is a necessary condition for making this journey a concrete reality: God made himself one of us. In Jesus,

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Pope meets with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas
Pope meets with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas

Pope Francis met with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas at the Vatican on Saturday. Following the audience, the Holy See Press Office issued the following press release: This morning the Holy Father Francis received in audience His Excellency Mr Mahmoud Abbas, president of the State of Palestine, who subsequently met with His Eminence Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, accompanied by His Excellency Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, secretary for Relations with States. During the cordial discussions, the parties evoked the existing good relations between the Holy See and Palestine,

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Paris: Fifth European Orthodox-Catholic Forum
Paris: Fifth European Orthodox-Catholic Forum

The Fifth European Orthodox-Catholic Forum was held in Paris, from 9 to 12 January 2017, on the invitation of Archbishop of Paris, Cardinal André Vingt-Trois. Works were lead by the two Co-Presidents of the Forum, Metropolitan Gennadios of Sassima from the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and, on behalf of the Presidium of CCEE, by Cardinal Péter Erdő, Archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest.
...In their final Message, Participants said: "Catholic and Orthodox Churches proclaim the centrality of the human person and of its dignity created in the image of God.

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 South African Reflection: Education - Do we give a damn?
South African Reflection: Education - Do we give a damn?

While President Jacob Zuma prattled on about fixing the mistakes of the past, unity within the ANC and (ironically) fighting corruption during the party's January 8th birthday celebrations, another crisis loomed: basic education. This week the Gauteng Basic Education Department announced that 58,000 learners are not placed at a school. They blamed late applications for this. Gauteng MEC for Education, Panyaza Lesufi, said that some learners may have to wait until the end of February to be placed. Nothing like losing the first month of school...

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Iraq: IS/Daesh booby-trapped toys to stop Christians returning
Iraq: IS/Daesh booby-trapped toys to stop Christians returning

Extremists driven out of Iraq's the Nineveh Plains "riddled the region with land mines" and "put bombs in children's toys" according to a senior Catholic cleric.Father Luis Montes, Latin Episcopal Vicar for Kurdistan, told Aid to the Church in Need: "Approximately 60 percent of the homes on the Nineveh Plains were burned down. The terrorists not only seized all of their belongings. They riddled the region with land mines." He said that members of Daesh (ISIS) had also "put bombs in with children's toys"

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 US Cardinal appeals for respect for all migrants and refugees
US Cardinal appeals for respect for all migrants and refugees

Cardinal Daniel N DiNardo, President of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has issued the following statement for National Migration Week. The theme of the week this year draws attention to Pope Francis' call to create a culture of encounter. Today, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles played a taped video message from Pope Francis at the end of a Mass as part of National Migration Week celebrations....In the days and weeks ahead, there will be intense debate over immigration reform and refugee policy. Ultimately, the question is this: Will our nation treat all migrants and refugees, regardless

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'Refugees freezing to death while politicians turn a blind eye'
'Refugees freezing to death while politicians turn a blind eye'

Refugees in Serbia are experiencing life-threatening conditions as temperatures in the south of the country have plummeted to -30⁰C. Marija Vranesevic, Programme Manager at Philanthropy - Christian Aid's partner in Serbia, commented: "Refugees are being exposed to life-threatening conditions because of the extremely cold weather we are currently experiencing. They are also at risk of disease, as well as a flu epidemic. "While most refugees are now staying in heated buildings, some are still outside of the camps. These people are particularly vulnerable.

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Displaying Articles 1 - 25 of 7148
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