Category Archives: News

From Radio Vatican: 01/07/2015 15:25: The Pope expresses his closeness to Greece in time of crisis


Pope Francis \ Activities

Pope Francis: Christians and Jews, brothers and friends

 

Pope Francis \ Activities

Pope Francis: Christians and Jews, brothers and friends

Pope Francis on Tuesday met with members of the International Council of Christians and Jews. – OSS_ROM

30/06/2015 12:34
 
(Vatican Radio) This week members of the International Council of Christians and Jews have been meeting to discuss “The 50th Anniversary of Nostra Aetate: The Past, Present, and Future of the Christian-Jewish Relationship”, and it was on this theme that Pope Francis addressed the participants on Tuesday in the Clementine Hall in the Vatican.

He told them that Nostra Aetate represented a definitive “yes” to the Jewish roots of Christianity and an irrevocable “no” to anti-Semitism adding, that both faith traditions were no longer strangers, but friends and brothers.

Listen to Lydia O’Kane’s report

The Holy Father said that in celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of this document,  “we are able to see the rich fruits which it has brought about and to gratefully appraise Jewish-Catholic dialogue.  He then added, “ in this way, we can express our thanks to God for all the good which has been realized in terms of friendship and mutual understanding these past fifty years.”

The Pope underlined that despite different perspectives, both Christians and Jews confess one God, Creator of the Universe and Lord of history.  And he, Pope Francis continued, “in his infinite goodness and wisdom, always blesses our commitment to dialogue.”

Elaborating further, the Holy Father explained that both faith traditions, “find their foundation in the One God, the God of the Covenant, who reveals himself through his Word.”  “In seeking a right attitude towards God”, he Pope said, “Christians turn to Christ as the fount of new life, and Jews to the teaching of the Torah.  This pattern of theological reflection on the relationship between Judaism and Christianity arises precisely from Nostra Aetate and upon this solid basis, he noted, can be developed yet further.  

In conclusion, Pope Francis stressed the importance the Holy See places on relations with the Jewish community and praised the International Council of Christians and Jews’ annual meetings, which he said, offer a notable contribution to Jewish-Christian dialogue.  

Greece: imagine how the population in Greece feels about all these! (IMF A threat to every Greek!)


wpid-screenshot_2015-07-01-02-58-32.png

here is the full letter:  BN_070115_9315

The IMF: A threat to Greeks!

Holy Mass with the imposition of the Pallium 2015.06.29


Holy Mass with the imposition of the Pallium 2015.06.29

Researchers discover what powers enzyme that helps cancer grow – UPI.com


Although researchers have long been aware of an enzyme that helps cancer cells to grow, they have just identified a protein that assists it and may be able to find a way to prevent the runaway growth of tumors by blocking the helper protein. Photo by Tatiana Shepeleva/Shutterstock

COPENHAGEN, Denmark, June 29 (UPI) — Researchers have discovered the protein that allows the enzyme ADAM17 to remove molecules from the surface of cancer cells, helping them to grow.

The protein PACS-2 helps ADAM17 transport into and out of the cell. However, if the protein is blocked, the enzyme returns to the cell surface less often, meaning it can’t help cells to grow.

via Researchers discover what powers enzyme that helps cancer grow – UPI.com.

Pool parasite can live in chlorine for ten days – UPI.com


The Centers for Disease Control recommends that swimmers shower before geting in the pool to prevent them from carrying infectious bacteria into the water. Photo: Monkey Business Images/shutterstock

The Centers for Disease Control recommends that swimmers shower before geting in the pool to prevent them from carrying infectious bacteria into the water. Photo: Monkey Business Images/shutterstock

ATLANTA, June 29 (UPI) — The Centers for Disease Control is warning swimmers to shower before going into the pool in order to avoid spreading the chlorine-resistant pathogen cryptosporidium, which has caused several outbreaks in recent years.

While E. coli and norovirus are killed within hours by chemicals used for treating pools, cryptosporidium survives in pools and hot tubs for up to ten days, and can cause gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea.

“This parasite is extremely chlorine-resistant,” Michele Hlavsa, an epidemiologist at the CDC, told CBS News. “Swimmers bring it into the water when they are sick with diarrhea.”

Researchers reviewed data from 2011 and 2012, finding that 90 outbreaks related to recreational water resulted in at least 1,788 cases, 95 hospitalizations and 1 death, according to the CDC’s study, which is published on its website.

Of the outbreaks, 77 percent of them were in treated bodies of water such as pools and spas.

Cryptosporidium was responsible for 52 percent of the treated water outbreaks, and was also responsible for 54 percent of all the outbreaks cause by infectious pathogens.

“Since 1988, the year that the first U.S. treated recreational water-associated outbreak of Cryptosporidium was detected, the number of these outbreaks reported annually has significantly increased,” researchers wrote in the report.

If contracted, the parasite can be cleared from the body in about two to three weeks, however it can be fatal in a person with a weakened immune system, Hlavasa said.

“With these outbreaks, we see they disproportionately affect young children,” Hlavasa told ABC News. “They’re the ones who can go to a pool and young children tend to carry lots of germs.”

The CDC recommends swimmers shower before entering the pool, not swallow the water, and not urinate or defecate in the water while swimming; swimmers are discouraged from entering pools altogether if they have diarrhea.

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via Pool parasite can live in chlorine for ten days – UPI.com.

L’Iran aurait transféré de l’équipement nucléaire au Soudan (WikiLeaks) | i24news – Voir plus loin


L’Iran aurait transféré de l’équipement nucléaire au Soudan (WikiLeaks)

Ryad a mis en garde contre la diffusion de “documents qui pourraient être des faux”

AFPAFP”Centrifugeuses nucléaires Iran”

L’Iran aurait fait parvenir de l’équipement nucléaire, dont des centrifugeuses, vers le Soudan en 2012 selon des diplomates saoudiens, indique un document révélé par WikiLeaks la semaine dernière.

“Des sources de l’ambassade ont fait savoir que des containers iraniens sont arrivés cette semaine à l’aéroport de Khartoum contenant de l’équipement technique sensible dont des centrifugeuses pour enrichir de l’uranium, et un deuxième envoi devrait avoir lieu cette semaine,” explique le document qui date de février 2012 et est qualifié de “très secret”.

Les autorités saoudiennes ont mis en garde samedi contre la diffusion de “documents qui pourraient être des faux” en réponse à la publication la veille par le site WikiLeaks de quelque 60.000 câbles et mémos présentés comme des communications confidentielles de la diplomatie saoudienne.

L’avertissement, diffusé par le ministère des Affaires étrangères sur son fil Twitter, ne conteste pas directement l’authenticité des documents mis en ligne par WikiLeaks, qu’il n’est pas possible de vérifier de source indépendante.

Mais dans un communiqué diffusé dimanche, le porte-parole du ministère, Ossama Naqli, prévient que l’Arabie saoudite “ne permettra pas aux ennemis de l’Etat (…) de partager ou publier” les documents, dont “beaucoup ont été fabriqués de manière très grossière”.

Dans ce texte diffusé par l’agence de presse SNA, il ajoute qu’une enquête est en cours et que le ministère engagera des poursuites contre les personnes impliquées dans cette fuite.

Wikileaks affirme que ces 60.000 documents divulgués comportent des communications d’ambassades, des échanges de courriers électroniques entre diplomates et des notes préparées par d’autres organismes de l’Etat saoudien. Ils contiennent des discussions sur la position de l’Arabie dans les questions régionales ou sur les moyens d’influencer les médias.

WikiLeaks, dont l’initiative est ignorée par les médias saoudiens publics et privés, indique qu’il détient au total un demi-million de notes confidentielles et annonce qu’elles seront mises en ligne.

Le site créé par Julian Assange ne précise pas comment il s’est procuré ces documents mais dans un communiqué de presse, il fait mention d’une déclaration saoudienne remontant au mois de mai relative à un piratage informatique dans le royaume qu’avait revendiqué par la suite un groupe du nom de Yemeni Cyber Army.

(i24news avec Reuters)

via L’Iran aurait transféré de l’équipement nucléaire au Soudan (WikiLeaks) | i24news – Voir plus loin.

Translate this report with:    https://translate.google.com/

Mgr Yousif Mirkis, archevêque de Kirkouk en Irak : « Toute ma vie je n’ai connu que des troubles »


Mgr Yousif Mirkis, archevêque de Kirkouk en Irak : « Toute ma vie je n’ai connu que des troubles »

In Middle East martyrdoms, Pope Francis sees seeds of Christian unity :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)


Vatican City, Jun 20, 2015 / 06:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Meeting with Syriac Orthodox leaders on Friday, Pope Francis decried the continuing martyrdom of Middle East Christians, and gave special mention to two Christian bishops kidnapped in Syria two years ago.

“The blood of the martyrs is the seed of unity in the Church and the instrument of the building up of the kingdom of God, which is a kingdom of peace and of justice,” the Pope said June 19.

“Let us ask the Lord, too, for the grace of always being ready to forgive and of being workers of reconciliation and peace. This is what animates the witness of the martyrs.”

The Roman Pontiff encouraged prayers for the victims of violence in the Middle East. He particularly mentioned Syriac Orthodox Metropolitan Gregorios Ibrahim and Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Paul Yazigi, two archbishops of Aleppo, Syria who were kidnapped together in 2013.

The Pope’s comments came during a meeting with Syriac Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II of Antioch, who was accompanied by a delegation of his Church.

The Syriac Orthodox Church is one of the Oriental Orthodox Churches, which rejected the Council of Chalcedon held in 451. The Church has about 1.2 million members around the world, and its patriarchate is now based in Damascus.

The Roman Pontiff told Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem that the Syrian Church has been “a Church of martyrs from the beginning.” He lamented that the Syriac Orthodox Church, with other Christian communities and other minorities, continues to endure “the terrible sufferings caused by war, violence, and persecutions.”

“So much suffering! So many innocent victims. In the face of all this, it seems that the powers of this world are incapable of finding solutions,” the Pope said.

He added: “in this moment of harsh trial and of sorrow, let us strengthen ever more the bonds of friendship and fraternity between the Catholic Church and the Syriac Orthodox Church. Let us hasten our steps along the common path, keeping our gaze fixed on the day when we will be able to celebrate our belonging to the one Church of Christ around the same altar of Sacrifice and of praise.”

“Let us exchange the treasures of our traditions as spiritual gifts, because that which unites us is much greater than that which divides us.”

The tradition of papal meetings with Syriac Orthodox leaders dates back to 1971 when Blessed Paul VI met with then-Patriarch Ignatius Jacob III. Pope Francis said that at that encounter, both leaders “consciously began what we can call a ‘holy pilgrimage’ toward full communion between our Churches.”

Bl. Paul VI and the Syriac Orthodox Patriarch signed a common declaration of faith that laid a “dynamic foundation” for the journey to unity, Pope Francis said.

He cited Saint Ignatius of Antioch’s Letter to the Magnesians, in which the Church Father prayed for unity among Christians. He also prayed a Syrian prayer that asks for God’s sanctification and prays that Mary’s prayers be “strength for our souls.”

Tags: Syrian Civil War, Church unity, Oriental Orthodoxy, Syriac Orthodox Church

via In Middle East martyrdoms, Pope Francis sees seeds of Christian unity :: Catholic News Agency (CNA).

More HERE

Discover why was this pressed: Will Ukraine upset the odd-couple bond between Putin and the pope? | Crux


By John L. Allen Jr.

Associate editor June 9, 2015

Judging solely on the basis of personality, Pope Francis and Russian President Vladimir Putin may seem an odd geopolitical couple. Francis is a man of compassion and peace, while Putin is quite possibly the single world leader you most wouldn’t want to run into in a dark alley.

Yet when Francis and Putin meet on Wednesday in the Vatican, it will bring together two figures who’ve forged an improbably strong partnership. What remains to be seen is whether the potential fly in the ointment between Rome and Moscow ruins the party: Ukraine.

First, however, consider the areas where Francis and Putin have managed to do business.

Syria

In September 2013, the drums of war were beating as the United States and other major Western powers geared up to deploy military force against the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria, based on claims that Assad had used sarin gas against his own people.

Given Russia’s role as a patron of Syria, Putin was strongly opposed. Yet his position arguably was less consequential than that of Pope Francis, who convened a special day of prayer and fasting for peace in Syria and denounced an expansion of the conflict on multiple occasions.

via Will Ukraine upset the odd-couple bond between Putin and the pope? | Crux.

04/06/2015 Santa Misa del Corpus Christi presidida por el Santo Padre Papa Francisco


 

04/06/2015 Santa Misa del Corpus Christi presidida por el Santo Padre Papa Francisco

Is your health yours, or in the hands of the unregulated food industry? BPA messes with your hormones—and it’s in these canned foods— Mother Jones (@MotherJones)


Just a thought: “If Christians were united…”


 

Mosaic (Jesus) from Hagia Sophia

Mosaic (Jesus) from Hagia Sophia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Just a thought:  George BostIf Christians were united, instead if schismed Hagia Sofia would have remained the jewel of Christianity and so much more! Reunite, on the foundation of rock on which Christ has build his church. Give meaning to our commonality, to our faith as if our spiritual life depended on it: because it does!”

 

 

 

 

Did you know?—This Pressed: New Snowden Documents Reveal Secret Memos Expanding Spying – ProPublica


This story was co-published with the New York Times.

Without public notice or debate, the Obama administration has expanded the National Security Agency’s warrantless surveillance of Americans’ international Internet traffic to search for evidence of malicious computer hacking, according to classified NSA documents.

In mid-2012, Justice Department lawyers wrote two secret memos permitting the spy agency to begin hunting on Internet cables, without a warrant and on American soil, for data linked to computer intrusions originating abroad — including traffic that flows to suspicious Internet addresses or contains malware, the documents show.

googletag.display(‘google-callout’);

The Justice Department allowed the agency to monitor only addresses and “cybersignatures” — patterns associated with computer intrusions — that it could tie to foreign governments. But the documents also note that the NSA sought permission to target hackers even when it could not establish any links to foreign powers.

The disclosures, based on documents provided by Edward J. Snowden, the former NSA contractor, and shared with the New York Times and ProPublica

via New Snowden Documents Reveal Secret Memos Expanding Spying – ProPublica.

Dominus Vobiscum! Pater Noster ( Chant Catholique )



Pater Noster ( Chant Catholique )


Pater noster, qui es in caelis

sanctificetur nomen tuum
adveniat regnum tuum
fiat voluntas tua
sicut in caelo et in terra.

Panem nostrum quotidianum
da nobis hodie
et dimitte nobis debita nostra
sicut et nos dimittimus
debitoribus nostris
et ne nos inducas in tentationem
sed libera nos a malo.

Amen.

 

Vatican Radio: Eastern Catholic Church leaders discuss family in Europe


Vatican Radio:  Eastern Catholic Church leaders discuss family in Europe

Vatican Radio: Eastern Catholic Church leaders discuss family in Europe (click to access site)

(Vatican Radio)  The annual meeting of the Eastern Catholic hierarchs  of Europe is taking place in Prague- Břevnov (Czech Republic), at the invitation of Mgr Ladislav Hučko, Apostolic Exarch for Byzantine Rite Catholics resident in the Czech Republic. The meeting will take place at the Benedictine Archabbey of St Adalbert and St Margaret (Břevnov).

In Břevnov, the bishops representing 14 Eastern Catholic Churches in Europe are discussing issues concerning the family in Europe and the role and mission of the Eastern Catholic Churches.  The discussions are taking place with a view, too, to the upcoming Ordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family this coming October. Participants at the meeting are examining two reports: one on The contemporary family in Europe by Deacon Jaroslav Max Kašparů, a well-known lecturer in the Czech Republic; and one on the “sacramental potential” of the family by Fr Volodymyr Los, a priest of the Greek-Catholic Church diocese of Buchach, Ukraine.

Mgr Ladislav Hučko was expected to illustrate the situation and mission of the Greek-Catholic Church in the Czech Republic.

The meeting will end on Sunday 7 June with the celebration of the Divine Liturgy along with the local community in the Greek-Catholic Cathedral of St Clement.

Participants at the meeting, organised by the Council of European Episcopal Conferences (CCEE), include Mgr Cyril Vasil’, Archbishop Secretary of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, and Mgr Duarte da Cunha, CCEE General Secretary.

#NationalDonutFreeDay: Celebrate your new found health, by eating healthier! Create your health culture!


 

#NationalDonutFreeDay: Celebrate your new found health, by eating healthier! Create your health culture!Screenshot_2

great compositions/performances: Prokofiev – Symphony No.1 Opus 25 “Classical” (Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra, Valery Gergiev)


Prokofiev – Symphony No.1 Opus 25 “Classical” (Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra, Valery Gergiev)

Published on May 1, 2015

Recorded on 15 April 2012 at the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory.

Symphony Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre, St Petersburg / Valery Gergiev – musical director

Sergei Prokofiev – Symphony No.1 Opus 25 “Classical” (15’)
0:35 I. Allegro
5:20 II. Larghetto
9:35 III. Gavotta (Non troppo allegro)
11:17 IV. Finale (Molto vivace)

The Easter Festival is an internationally renowned event among classical music lovers, traditionally opened in Moscow on Easter Sunday. Each year the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra and its musical director Valery Gergiev travel across Russia – for the past 10 years now!
In 2012 we were given an exceptional musical gift: the Mariinsky Theatre Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Valery Gergiev performed the complete cycle of Sergei Prokofiev’s symphonies and piano concerti – a composer with whom Maestro Gergiev and the orchestra seem particularly in tune.

 

From the Hill : ON SUMAC TRAIL


From the Hill : ON SUMAC TRAIL

Saint of the Day for Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015: Saint of the Day for Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015


today’s holiday/commemoration/observance: Uganda Martyrs Day


Uganda Martyrs Day

On June 3, 1886, the country of Uganda‘s first Christian converts were executed in the town of Namugongo. Then known as Buganda, the country had begun attracting the attention of Catholic and Anglican missionaries. Sons of many of the region’s leading families had converted to Christianity. The king of Buganda, Mwanga II, saw this conversion as treachery against his authority. When the converts refused to renounce their faith, they were burned alive. To commemorate the event, Christian pilgrims from all over Uganda journey to Namugongo and the town’s Anglican church. More… Discuss

Basiliscus


Basiliscus

Shortly after seizing control of the Eastern Roman Empire, Flavius Basiliscus alienated his supporters by promoting Miaphysitism—a doctrine which holds that in the person of Jesus there was but a single nature that merged both the human and the divine rather than a dual nature. Consequently, his rule lasted just 20 months. Earlier in his career, Basiliscus led the disastrous invasion of Vandal Africa, one of the greatest military operations in history. How many ships and soldiers were involved? More… Discuss

American voters reject Washington as it is.#uniteblue #BernieSanders— AlterNet (@AlterNet)


Facebook: Flori de Salcam la Casa din Sona Photography


Flori de salcam

Flori de salcam la Casa din Sona

Facebook.

San Gabriel River Bikeway River End Cafe to Liberty Park (Speedified X6)


San Gabriel River Bikeway River End Cafe to Liberty Park (Speedified X6)

NEW AT EUZICASA: Widget: Access The Public Catalogue Foundation (while at it: Please check out some of the 100+ widgets located on the sidebar of my site: Have fun!)


Have your say: please help us improve Your Paintings by filling in our quick and easy survey

Access The Public Cataloggue Foundation:  Your Paintings

Weird Spring Weather in L.A. Is Nearly a 100-Year Anomaly — L.A. Weekly (@LAWeekly)


 

Satul în care o casă costă cât un salariu – Buna Ziua Fagaras


View of Gherdeal (Gürteln) village, Sibiu Coun...

View of Gherdeal (Gürteln) village, Sibiu County, Romania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fiii satului au recunoscut în schimb verdele de Gherdeal, precum albastrul de Voroneţ, pentru că în ciuda timpului, localitatea s-a încăpăţânat să rămână verde. Un verde crud. Chiar mai verde ca altădată. Cătunul este în mijlocul unor dealuri, drumurile n-au văzut asfaltul niciodată, iar acoperişul caselor începe să devină istorie pe multe dintre ele. Aşa încât orice culoare pierde teren în faţa verdelui.

Am plecat din Gherdeal odată cu apusul; nu înainte de a ne promite nouă celor care am fost că vom reveni. Gherdealul mai are poveştile lui încă nespuse, mai are iederă pe ruine de fotografiat și fântâni cu cumpănă de văzut, mai are trei oameni pe care încă nu i-am cunoscut și, mai presus de toate, mai are o investiție măreață în pustietate. E musai de văzut reţeta proprietarului și de scris un ghid despre cum reuşeşti în pustiu.

Foto: Bogdan Manta

Text: Cristina Cornilă

via Satul în care o casă costă cât un salariu – Buna Ziua Fagaras.

+ ICYMI @washingtonpost tally of fatal police shootings includes 49 people who had no weapon — ProPublica (@ProPublica) June 2, 2015


ProPublica: @LizSly senses “new Golden Age of journalism.” Podcast: http://t.co/gbGAqA4fn2


Reveal

 

 

ProPublica Where secrets are revealed

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this pressed: Think you’re important because you have money? Think again, Pope says :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)


PHOTO:  Pope Francis celebrates Mass with new cardinals Feb. 15, 2015. Credit: Lauren Cater/CNA.

Vatican City, May 26, 2015 / 08:21 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In his homily Tuesday Pope Francis cautioned against the “counter-witness” of those who seek to follow both Jesus and worldly temptations, saying that to follow Christ means denying oneself and serving others.

“There are three things, three steps that take us away from Jesus: wealth, vanity and pride,” the Pope told attendees of his May 26 Mass in the Vatican’s Saint Martha guesthouse.

Riches, he said, are dangerous “because they immediately make you vain and you think you are important. And when you think you are important, you build your head up and then you lose it.”

Francis took his cue from the day’s Mark Chapter 10 Gospel reading in which Peter asks Jesus what the disciples will get in return for following him. The scene takes place right after Jesus had told the rich young man to sell all of his possessions and give them to the poor.

Instead of talking about wealth, the Lord gives an unexpected answer when he says that the disciples will gain the Kingdom of Heaven, but only “with persecution, with the cross.”

“When a Christian is attached to (worldly) things, he gives the bad impression of a Christian who wants to have two things: (both) heaven and earth,” the Pope said, explaining that that the daily cross of denying ourselves is the remedy.

From a human perspective following Jesus “is not a good deal” because it means serving others, he said. If the Lord gives you the opportunity to be first you have to act like the one in last place, and the same goes for wealth, he continued.

Pope Francis also indicated the Gospel passage in Matthew when the mother of James and John asks Jesus to secure a place for her sons at his side.

By essentially telling Jesus to “make this one prime minister for me, (and) this one, the minister of the economy,” the disciples’ mother took the worldly path in following Jesus, the Pope noted.

When a person wants to be “with both Jesus and with the world, with both poverty and with riches…this is a half-way Christianity that desires material gain. It is the spirit of worldliness,” he warned.

To follow the Lord freely, he said, “is the answer to the gratuitousness of love and salvation that Jesus gives us.”

Francis observed how the frequently the attitude of worldliness prevails in the Church itself, saying that “it’s sad” to see Christians – laypersons, priests and bishops included – who strive after both heavenly and worldly things.

“(It) is a counter-witness and furthers people from Jesus,” he said, and encouraged attendees to ask the Lord to teach them the “science of service,” which provides a lesson in humility and in placing ourselves last so as to serve our brothers and sisters in the Church.

The Pope closed his homily by telling those present to continue the Mass with both Peter’s question and Jesus’ answer in mind.

“The recompense that (Jesus) will give us is resemblance to Him. This will be our ‘recompense;’ to be like Jesus!”

Tags: Vatican, Pope Francis, Humility, Wealth

via Think you’re important because you have money? Think again, Pope says :: Catholic News Agency (CNA).

New at euzicasa: This Pressed: Catechism – Baltimore Catholic News Agency


 

Catechism :: Catholic News Agency.

Is Islam a religion of war or peace? Both – and Muslims must decide, priest says :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)


 

Rome, Italy, May 21, 2015 / 12:05 am (CNA/EWTN News).-

Following last week’s online release of an audio message from the caliph of the Islamic State, one expert says the group’s understanding of Islam calls on all Muslims to re-evaluate Islamic history.

“The only solution is a radical reform to the internal reading of Islamic history,” Fr. Samir Khalil Samir, an Egyptian-born Jesuit and acting rector of the Pontifical Oriental Institute, wrote May 15 at AsiaNews.

A day prior, the Islamic State had released a recording of its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, saying, “There is no excuse for any Muslim not to migrate to the Islamic State … joining (its fight) is a duty on every Muslim. We are calling on you either to join or carry weapons (to fight) wherever you are.”

The recording also says that “Islam was never a religion of peace. Islam is the religion of fighting. No-one should believe that the war that we are waging is the war of the Islamic State. It is the war of all Muslims, but the Islamic State is spearheading it. It is the war of Muslims against infidels.”

Fr. Samir said al-Baghdadi’s message is “very shrewd because it corresponds to the expectations of

via Is Islam a religion of war or peace? Both – and Muslims must decide, priest says :: Catholic News Agency (CNA).

 

Watch “EU asylum plan presents a threat to our civilisat…” on YouTube


EU asylum plan presents a threat to our civilisation – Nigel Farage

MIssa for Sunday, May 17, 2015: Beethoven – Missa Solemnis – Philharmonia / Karajan


Beethoven – Missa Solemnis – Philharmonia / Karajan

From CNA: A modern-day St Francis? Archbishop works to rebuild Syrian Church amid destruction


.- A four-year civil war in Syria has left a mounting death toll and displaced millions of persons, but one bishop is staying to rebuild the Church in Aleppo, in the northwest corner of the country.

“The Church is living,” Melkite Archbishop Jean-Clement Jeanbart of Aleppo told CNA earlier this month. “Here, I am building, I am restoring, I am maintaining a lively Church in which every stone is a human being and who can be a witness, a testimony to the world.”

“I wondered if I am not copying St. Francis when he was working to rebuild the Church. It was crazy, nobody thought that he would succeed,” the archbishop noted. “And he succeeded because the Lord was with him.”

The four-year Syrian conflict being fought among the Assad regime and various rebel factions has devastated the country. More than 3.9 million refugees have fled to surrounding countries, and around 8 million Syrians are believed to have been internally displaced. The war’s death toll is currently around 220,000.

Outside countries and entities have taken advantage of the civil war, profiting from it through the arms trade or waiting for Syria to collapse so to move in and take power in the vacuum. Pope Francis has spoken out against the arms trade here and has been criticized for it, Archbishop Jeanbart noted.

Aleppo endured a terrible two-month siege by rebel forces last year. Its infrastructure has been devastated, and its residents endure great poverty.

Those who chose to stay face a myriad of challenges. Houses, businesses, schools, and hospitals have been damaged or destroyed in the war, leaving fathers without work, families without shelter, the sick without medical care, and children without education.

Thus it is an uphill battle to convince residents to stay and not re-settle elsewhere, Archbishop Jeanbart admitted. Syrians see the U.S. on television and think it a “paradise,” and want to move there. He has to convince them of the unseen difficulties that such a move might bring.

Words are not enough to convince people, however. The Church must act to help Christians who stay so once peace comes – and it will, the archbishop maintains – a stable Christian community is in place and Christians can have a seat at the peace negotiations.

“We want that we may have our rights,” he said. “We want that everybody may feel comfortable in the country.”

“What we want to do, and what I am looking for,” Archbishop Jeanbart said, “is to go to another position, a position looking positively to the future, trying to give them hope that the future of their country may be good, and will be better if they work and if they prepare themselves.”

The Church in Aleppo is working to meet the local needs. It provides thousands of baskets of food to needy families, 1,000 scholarships for students to attend Catholic schools, stipends to almost 500 fathers who have lost their business in the war, heating to houses in the wintertime, rebuilding homes damaged in the war and medical care for the needy since many government hospitals were destroyed in the fighting.

It’s a daunting task for an archbishop in his seventies. He admitted to initially wondering how he could do it.

“But when I began working on it, I felt that I was 50. Like if the Lord is pushing me to go ahead and helping me to realize this mission,” he said.

“I invest myself entirely. I have decided the consecrate the rest of my life to do that.”

Archbishop Jeanbart has been assisted in his efforts to serve the people of Aleppo by the international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need. The charity has ensured  a six month supply of medical goods for the city, and paid for repairs and fuel costs at the city’s schools, in addition to the rest of its work throughout Syria.

Archbishop Jeanbart maintained that another reason Christians need to stay in Syria is to be a light to people of other religions, especially Muslims. If the Christians leave, no one will be left to preach the Gospel in Syria.

“Perhaps the time has come to tell these people ‘Come, Christ is waiting for you.’ And many Muslims now, I must say, are wondering where should be their place? Are they in the right place? Are they perhaps supposed to rethink and review their choices? It will be wonderful if I told them we may have the freedom and the freedom of faith which would allow anyone to make his own choice freely.”

Critics of the Church in Syria have accused it of not immediately supporting the rebels in the name of freedom and democracy, the archbishop noted, and this is a false mischaracterization.

Christians are wary of regime change because they have seen what has happened in surrounding countries where fundamentalists took power in the Arab Spring and religious pluralism suffered as a result: there is “a feeling among Christians that they are afraid that the government may change and with the change of the government, they may lose their freedom … they are afraid to lose their freedom to express and to live their Christian life.”

He cited the success of the Islamic State, which in the power vacuum caused by the Syrian civil war has established a caliphate in eastern Syria and western Iraq where “many Christians were killed because they were Christian.”

Christians in Syria are, in fact, supportive of freedom and democracy, he said.

“They want to have a democratic regime where they may have all their freedom and where they may live tranquil but at the same time happy in the country,” he said.

“In any settlement,” he maintained, “the Christian must have the rights to be Christian in this country. And they should not become Muslims because the regime will be Muslim.”

“We want to have our rights and to live as free Christians in our country,” he said.

Tags: Syrian Civil War, Aid to the Church in Need, Aleppo, Melkite Archdiocese of Aleppo, Archbishop Jeanbart

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Lone Christian in Iraqi Delegation, a Nun, Denied Visa by Obama State Dept. | The Stream


Read the article “Lone Christian in Iraqi Delegation, a Nun, Denied Visa by Obama State Dept.” here: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/417679/malice-toward-nun-nina-shea

Sister Diana wants to tell Americans about ISIS persecution of Christians in Iraq, but the State Department won’t let her in. Why is the United States barring a persecuted Iraqi Catholic nun — an internationally respected and leading representative of the Nineveh Christians who have been killed and deported by ISIS — from coming to Washington to testify about this catastrophe? Earlier this week, we learned that every member of an Iraqi delegation of minority groups, including representatives of the Yazidi and Turkmen Shia religious communities, has been granted visas to come for official meetings in Washington — save one. The single delegate whose visitor visa was denied happens to be the group’s only Christian from Iraq. Sister Diana Momeka of the Dominican Sisters of Saint Catherine of Siena was informed on Tuesday by the U.S. consulate in Erbil that her non-immigrant-visa application has been rejected.

via Lone Christian in Iraqi Delegation, a Nun, Denied Visa by Obama State Dept. | The Stream.

Iraqi Christians have lost everything – except their faith, nun tells Congress :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)


By Matt Hadro

Photo:  Sister Diana Momeka, OP appeared before the House of Foreign Affairs Committee in Washington D.C. on May 13, 2015. Credit: Matt Hadro/CNA.

Washington D.C., May 13, 2015 / 03:41 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Having lost their homes, their heritage and their sense of dignity, Iraqi Christians victimized by the Islamic State feel abandoned by earthly powers, but their faith in God has only grown, an Iraqi nun told members of Congress May 13.

The faith of homeless Iraqi Christians is “increasing more and more,” Sister Diana Momeka, O.P., told the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Many of the displaced lived in devastating conditions – families taking shelter in containers, parents without jobs and children without an education.

But Sister Diana insisted the spirit of the people has not been broken by the adversity.

“It’s making us stronger,” she said.

“We were displaced, yet we feel that the hand of God is still with us…In the midst of this darkness, this suffering, we see that God is holding us,” she explained, adding that it is a “gift of the Holy Spirit” to be able to stay and have faith through hardship.

Sister Diana was part of the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena, originally from Mosul in Northern Iraq. Islamist militants bombed their convent in 2009, and after the prioress sought protection from the local government and found none, Sister Diana and the community moved to Qaraqosh.

The ISIS onslaught caught up to them last summer. As the Islamic State swept through parts of Iraq and Syria, establishing a strict caliphate, more than 120,000 Iraqis were displaced on the Nineveh Plain, faced with the decision to convert to Islam, stay and pay a jizya tax to ISIS, or leave immediately.

The religious community moved again, this time to Kurdistan. “We were driven out of our homes in a couple of hours,” the nun described, “without any warning.”

Almost no Christians are left in Mosul, Sister Diana said, except for about 100 Christian hostages of ISIS.

Slated to testify before a congressional committee as part of an Iraqi delegation, Sister Diana’s application for a visa was initially denied by the local U.S. Consulate because of her status as an internally-displaced person.

Amid mounting pressure, she was later able to enter the United States and testified before the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee May 13 regarding “ISIS’s war on religious minorities.”

“I am but one, small person – a victim myself of ISIS and all of its brutality,” Sister Diana stated in written testimony before the committee.

“Coming here has been difficult for me – as a religious sister I am not comfortable with the media and so much attention,” she admitted. “But I am here and I am here to ask you, to implore you for the sake of our common humanity to help us.”

The Christians in Northern Iraq lost “most everything” when ISIS destroyed and desecrated churches, shrines, and other sacred sites, she said.

“We lost everything that today, every Christian that’s living in the region of Kurdistan, we feel we don’t have dignity anymore. When you lose your home, you lose everything you have. You lose your heritage, your culture.”

When monasteries that have existed for centuries have been destroyed, it is a sign that “your history is gone, you are nothing anymore,” the Iraqi nun explained.

Children are growing up without proper education and whole families’ lives have “changed tremendously,” she said. “We’re abandoned, that’s how we feel.”

The local and regional authorities have been of little help to the displaced, Sister Diana said in her testimony, calling their reaction to the crisis “at best modest and slow.” The Kurdish government allowed Christian refugees to enter its borders but did not offer any more significant aid.

The Church in Kurdistan has been a big help to Christians, though, providing food, shelter, and other support, she noted.

Ultimately, the displaced want to return home and not to be re-settled elsewhere, witnesses at the hearing insisted.

“There are many who say ‘Why don’t the Christians just leave Iraq and move to another country and be done with it?’“ Sister Diana stated in her testimony. “Why should we leave our country? What have we done?”

“The Christians of Iraq are the first people of the land,” she said. “While our ancestors experienced all kinds of persecution, they stayed in their land, building a culture that has served humanity for the ages.”

“We want nothing more than to go back to our lives; we want nothing more than to go home.”

Tags: Refugees, Faith, ISIS, Iraqi Christians

via Iraqi Christians have lost everything – except their faith, nun tells Congress :: Catholic News Agency (CNA).

 

RIP: “The Thrill Is Gone” BB King


Thrill of a Lifetime (album)

Thrill of a Lifetime (album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From dawn to dusk, as Kathmandu rebuilds— BBC News Asia (@BBCNewsAsia) May 15, 2015


The Black Death


The Black Death

The Black Death was a form of bubonic plague

The bubonic plague described by Athanasius Kircher

The bubonic plague described by Athanasius Kircher (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

that was pandemic throughout Europe, the Middle East, and much of Asia in the 14th century. Thought to have been caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, it killed between one-third and half of Europe’s population and at least 75 million people worldwide. Recently, it has been argued that the Black Death was not caused by bubonic plague, at all, but by what? More… Discuss

A woman says she was fired after she deleted an app that her boss used to track her, 24/7: — CNNMoney (@CNNMoney) May 13, 2015


 

New at the #Vatican: Palestinian Liberation Organization –> State of Palestine.— Religion NewsService (@RNS) May 13, 2015


Vatican decision to recognize Palestine upsets Israeli government, Jewish advocacy groups – Religion News Service


JERUSALEM (RNS) The Vatican’s decision to recognize Palestine as a sovereign state on Wednesday (May 13) angered Israeli officials.

The move comes four days before the first-ever canonization of two Palestinian nuns and it solidifies the standing of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who is scheduled to meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Saturday.

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon told The Times of Israel that the government is “disappointed by the decision. We believe that such a decision is not conducive to bringing the Palestinians back to the negotiating table.”

Israel insists that for the Palestinians to achieve statehood, they must first end their armed struggle against Israel and recognize its right to exist as the homeland of the Jewish people.

Although the treaty codifies the Holy See’s relations with the Palestinian Authority, the Vatican has already referred to the “State of Palestine” in some official documents, including the official program handed out during Pope Francis’ Holy Land pilgrimage last year.

In recent years, the Vatican has stepped up its efforts to support Palestinian Christians in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza as their numbers have dwindled due to emigration spurred by wars and economic hardships.

A majority of Christians in the Holy Land — including Israel — are either ethnic Palestinians or live alongside them in the same towns and villages. Sisters Maria Baouardy and Mary Alphonsine Danil Ghattas, who were both Christian Arabs, are due to be canonized by Pope Francis on Sunday.

William Shomali, the auxiliary bishop of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, said the Vatican’s announcement “was not a surprise” because “the pope called President Abbas the president of the State of Palestine” during his 2014 pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

But David Harris, executive director of the AJC, the leading global Jewish advocacy organization, said the decision was “regrettable“ and “counterproductive to all who seek true peace between Israel and the Palestinians.”

“We are fully cognizant of the pope’s goodwill and desire to be a voice for peaceful coexistence, which is best served, we believe, by encouraging a resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, rather than unilateral gestures outside the framework of the negotiating table,” Harris concluded.

Abraham H. Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, said the action was “premature” and would “undermine the only real solution to the decades-old conflict, which is engaging in direct negotiations.”

YS/MG END CHABIN

Categories: Institutions, Politics

Tags: AJC, Foreign Ministry, Israel, Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, Palestine, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Vatican

via Vatican decision to recognize Palestine upsets Israeli government, Jewish advocacy groups – Religion News Service.

Pope Francis Is Making Saints Out Of Two Palestinian Nuns


VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Francis will bestow sainthood on two Palestinian nuns on Sunday (May 17), a move that’s being seen as giving hope to the conflict-wracked Middle East and shining the spotlight on the plight of Christians in the region.

Sisters Maria Baouardy and Mary Alphonsine Danil Ghattas are due to be canonized by the pontiff along with two other 19th-century nuns, Sister Jeanne Emilie de Villeneuve, from France, and Italian Sister Maria Cristina dell’Immacolata.

The coming canonizations have been described by the Latin patriarch of Jerusalem, Fouad Twal, as a “sign of hope” for the region.

“The canonization of these two Palestinian saints is a spiritual highpoint for the inhabitants of the Holy Land,” he told Vatican Insider.

“The fact that Mariam (Maria) and Marie (Mary) Alphonsine, the first modern Palestinian saints, are both Arabs is a sign of hope for Palestine, for the entire Holy Land and the Middle East: holiness is always possible, even in a war-torn region. May a generation of saints follow them!”

Twal will travel to the Vatican for the canonizations and has invited Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to the ceremony.

Palestinians have waited more than 30 years for the sainthood of Baouardy, following her beatification by St. John Paul II in 1983.

Born into the Melchite Greek Catholic Church in 1846, in a village near Nazareth, Baouardy went on to join the Carmel of Pau in France. Despite being illiterate, she was sent to India where she founded other convents, before moving to Bethlehem where she died in 1878.

Announcing the canonization in February, the Vatican said Baouardy “experienced many sufferings together with extraordinary mystic phenomena” from an early age.

Ghattas, who was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI in 2009, lived a distinctly less international life. Born in Jerusalem in 1843, she entered the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Apparition at the age of 15. She went on to found the Congregation of Sisters of the Most Holy Rosary of Jerusalem and “worked tirelessly to help young people and Christian mothers,” the Vatican said.

The canonization of the two nuns will inevitably draw attention to Palestine and the Middle East, a region that Francis has repeatedly highlighted in recent months.

In his Easter address, the pope said: “We pray for peace for all the peoples of the Holy Land. May the culture of encounter grow between Israelis and Palestinians and the peace process be resumed, in order to end years of suffering and division.”

He additionally called for an end to “the roar of arms” in Syria and Iraq, while also pushing for a stop to “barbarous acts of violence” in Libya and peace in Yemen.

Twal had no doubt that the approaching sainthoods would have a positive impact on the entire region.

“I am sure that it will rekindle the hope of our faithful in the Middle East and encourage them to remain firm in the faith and keep their eyes fixed on heaven,” he said, “especially in these difficult times that Christians are experiencing there.”

via Pope Francis Is Making Saints Out Of Two Palestinian Nuns.

When was the last time you said ‘thank you’ and ‘I’m sorry?’ Pope asks :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)


 

 

By Elise Harris

By Elise Harris

Vatican City, May 13, 2015 / 09:04 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In his general audience Pope Francis focused on the concrete challenges families face in daily life, and said that simply remembering to be grateful and to apologize can go a long way in avoiding conflict.

“Dear brothers and sisters, today’s catechesis is the opening of the door to a series of reflections on family life, real life, daily life,” the Pope told pilgrims present in St. Peter’s Square May 13.

“Above this door are written three words that we have already used other times: May I, thank you, and I’m sorry. They are words linked to good manners, (and) in their genuine sense of respect and desire for good, (they are) far away from any hypocrisy and duplicity,” he said.

Francis’ address was a continuation of his ongoing catechesis on the family, which he began at the end of last year as part of the lead-up to the World Day of Families in September, as well as October’s Synod of Bishops on the Family.

Although the words ’May I,’ ‘thank you’ and ‘I’m sorry’ can be hard to say or put into practice, their absence “can cause cracks in the foundation of the family, which can lead to its collapse,” the Pope said.

However, if families make a habit of including the phrases in their daily lives as a sign of love for one another rather than just a formal expression of good manners, they can strengthen a happy family life, he continued.

The word ‘May I’ is a reminder that we should be “delicate, respectful and patient with others,” he said. Even if we feel like we have the right to something, “when we speak to our spouse or family member with kindness we create space for a true spirit of marital and familial common life.”

Kindness helps to renew trust and respect, and reveals the love we have for others, the Pope noted, saying that we should always imitate Jesus, who stands at the door of our hearts and knocks, waiting for us to open it to him.

He then turned to the second word, noting that to say ‘thank you’ can seem like a contradiction in a distrustful society, which tends to view this attitude as weakness.

Despite this perception, it is through an “education in gratitude” that that social justice and the dignity of persons are upheld, he said.

Gratitude Francis continued, “is a virtue that for believers is born from the same heart of their faith… (it) is also the language of God, to whom above all we must express our gratitude.”

via When was the last time you said ‘thank you’ and ‘I’m sorry?’ Pope asks :: Catholic News Agency (CNA).

today’s birthday: Sir Ronald Ross (1857)


Sir Ronald Ross (1857)

Born and raised in India, English physician Ronald Ross joined the Indian Medical Service after completing medical school and undertook the study of malaria, then a disease that was not well understood. After years of research, he demonstrated the malarial parasite, Plasmodium, in the stomach of the Anopheles mosquito, identifying the disease’s mechanism of transmission. His discoveries earned him a Nobel Prize in 1902. When is World Mosquito Day, instituted by Ross, observed? More… Discuss

Merkava


Merkava

The Merkava series of main battle tanks is developed and manufactured by Israel Military Industries, Ltd for the Israel Defense Forces. It is designed to ensure crew survival, battle perseverance, and quick revival in case of bad damage, though it is still is vulnerable to remotely operated land mines. The heavily shielded engine is placed at the front of the tank, while the crew is able to escape through doors at the rear. When and why did Israel decide to develop the Merkava? More… Discuss

Pope Francis: Spare no effort in defending life, family :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)


 

General audience with Pope Francis on March 18, 2015. Credit: Daniel Ibanez / CNA.

Vatican City, May 12, 2015 / 03:26 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In his meeting on Saturday with the bishops from Mozambique, a southeast African nation, Pope Francis urged support for public policies that promote the family and protect human life.

“Spare no efforts in supporting the family and in the defense of life from conception to natural death,” he said May 9 in the Vatican. “In this sense, remember the options appropriate to one of Christ‘s disciples and the beauty of being a mother, accompanied by the support of the family and the local community.”

“The family must always be defended as the main source of fraternity, respect for others and the primary path of peace.”

The Mozambican bishops – whose country borders Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, South Africa, and the Indian Ocean – were in Rome for their five-yearly ad limina visit, a meeting with the Pope.

The Bishop of Rome cautioned his brother bishops against a worldly sense of success, saying, “the fecundity of our mission … is not measured by the number of collaborators, nor by the prestige of the institution, nor even by the quantity of available resources.”

“What counts is being permeated with Christ’s love, allowing oneself to be led by the Holy Spirit, and grafting one’s own existence onto the tree of life, which is the Cross of the Lord,” he said, adding that “from St. Paul, the insuperable model of the Christian missionary, we know that this means trying to conform to Jesus in his death so as to participate in his resurrection … the paschal mystery is the beating heart of the mission of the Church.”

“If you abide in this mystery, you will be protected both from a worldly and triumphalist vision of the mission, and the disappointment that may arise when faced with trials and failures.”

Pope Francis encouraged the bishops to be particularly solicitous for their priests as well as for the religious communities in their dioceses, and to live among their faithful in the “’existential peripheries’ where there is suffering, loneliness, and human degradation.”

Reflecting on the nature and role of a bishop, he said: “you are spouses of your diocesan community, profoundly tied to it.”

The Pope stated that “the pastors and the faithful of Mozambique need to further develop a culture of encounter,” saying Christ’s only request is “that you go out in search of the neediest.” He mentioned those who suffer from natural disasters, as well as displaced persons and refugees.

“These people need us to share in their suffering, their worries, their problems,” he told the bishops. “They need us to look upon them with love and you must reach out to them, as did Jesus.”

Turning to the challenges facing Mozambique, Pope Francis encouraged investment in education, so as to oppose inequality and social division. He said education “teaches the young to think critically, and offers a path towards maturity in values. In this sense, it is appropriate to raise awareness among leaders in society and to revive pastoral ministry in universities and schools, combining the task of education with the proclamation of the Gospel.”

“The needs are so great that they cannot be satisfied simply through individual initiatives or by a union of individuals educated in individualism. Community networks are needed to respond to social problems.”

He concluded by encouraging the bishops in going to the peripheries, saying, “When we go out to take the Gospel with true apostolic spirit, [Jesus] walks with us. He precedes us, and for us this is fundamental: God always goes before us.”

Tags: Pope Francis, Family, Pro-life, Abortion

via Pope Francis: Spare no effort in defending life, family :: Catholic News Agency (CNA).

On Monday, a little boy asked Pope Francis: ‘What is peace?’ :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)


On Monday, a little boy asked Pope Francis: ‘What is peace?’

By Ann Schneible

Pope Francis meets with children at the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall on May 11, 2015. Credit: Daniel Ibàñez/CNA.

Vatican City, May 11, 2015 / 01:31 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- This question was part of a special question and answer session with the Bishop of Rome touching on a wide range of themes – from the link between greed and war, to arguments with siblings, and the role of religion in promoting peace in the world.

“Religion helps us because it makes us walk in God’s presence,” the Pope said: “it helps us because it gives us the Commandments, the Beatitudes.”

Above all, religion helps us learn “to love our neighbor” – and this is a commandment that all religions have in common, he said.

It is this “love of neighbor” which helps everyone make peace, and “to go forward in peace.”

Pope Francis made these remarks on May 11 during during a encounter with 7,000 children in the Vatican’s Paul VI hall. The meeting was sponsored by the Fabbrica della Pace – the Peace Factory – an initiative which uses education to promote integration, cross-cultural and multi-ethnic understanding.

In prepared remarks, the Pope lauded Peace Factory for its work in building “a society without injustice and violence, in which every child and youth may be welcomed and grow in love.”

Saying there is need for more “peace factories,” the Pope lamented the number of “war factories” in existence.

“War is the fruit of hate, of selfishness, of the desire to possess more and more, and to dominate others.”

In contrast, members of the Peace Factory are committed to “defending the culture of inclusion, of reconciliation and of encounter.”

During the Q&A with the children, the Pope touched on a wide range of subjects, from personal and individual to global.

One little girl asked if the Pope argues with his family like she argues with her sister: He replied that we all argue, but said we should never conclude the day without making peace.

Another asked: “If a person does not want peace with you, what would you do?”

The Pope responded by saying he would respect that person’s freedom, never seeking revenge against him. In fostering peace, he said: “respect for persons is always, always first.”

Pope Francis also spoke about peace in more serious contexts, touching on themes such as greed in countries torn by war and conflict.

“Why do many powerful people not want peace?” the Pope asked, responding to a question posed by an Egyptian child as to why the powerful do not support schools. “Because they live on war!”

Such persons benefit from the sale of weapons – which he described as “the industry of death” – and decried the evil brought about by the greed for more and more money.

“And it is for this reason that many people do not want peace,” he said: “They benefit more from war!”

Pope Francis then touched on the theme of equality, having been asked if everyone is equal today.

“We are all equal – everyone!” he said, but there are those who do not recognize this equality, and that we all have the same rights. A society which does not see this, he said, “that society is unjust… and where there is no justice, there is no peace.”

Tags: Pope Francis

via On Monday, a little boy asked Pope Francis: ‘What is peace?’ :: Catholic News Agency (CNA).

this day in the yesteryear: Victory Day (1945)


Victory Day (1945)

Still celebrated in most of the Soviet successor states, Victory Day marks Nazi Germany‘s capitulation to the USSR in WWII. Signed on the evening of May 8, 1945—May 9 in Moscow’s time zone—the surrender followed Germany’s initial capitulation to the Allies. When the first surrender document was being signed, only one Soviet representative was present, and he had no instructions from Moscow nor any means of immediate contact with Soviet leaders. Was he punished or lauded for deciding to sign it? More… Discuss