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Winter, 2016
Volume 42, Number 4
  
23 July 2015
J.D. Conor Mauro




Major Archbishop George Alencherry, who leads the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, offers the Rev. Joseph Kodakallil a sign of his office as bishop of the Eparchy of Satna. (photo: M.L. Thomas, CNEWA)

New bishop for Syro-Malabar Eparchy of Satna (Vatican Radio) The pope has named the Rev. Joseph Kodakallil as bishop of the Syro-Malabar Eparchy of Satna in Madhya Pradesh, India. The announcement was made on 22 July 2015 simultaneously by Pope Francis at the Vatican and Major Archbishop George Alencherry, head of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, at the Indian church’s headquarters at Kakkanad…

Water cuts in Aleppo threaten children amid intense heat wave (UNICEF) The restoration of water supplies to the city of Aleppo has come as a relief to residents whose taps have run dry in recent weeks due to the fighting and frequent power cuts. The disruption to piped water supplies —in some cases deliberately implemented by parties to the conflict — increased the risk of water-borne disease especially among children. “These water cuts came at the worst possible time, while Syrians are suffering in an intense summer heat wave,” said Hanaa Singer, UNICEF Representative in Syria. “Some neighborhoods have been without running water for nearly three weeks, leaving hundreds of thousands of children thirsty, dehydrated and vulnerable to disease…”

What will happen to the children of Syria? (Middle East Eye) Eid ul Fitr, a religious holiday directly after Ramadan, is supposed to be a joyous occasion — especially for children, who could always expect new clothes, toys, fun games and extra pocket money. Not so for the children of Aleppo, many of whom have already lived through four wartime Eids, and spent this one hauling plastic containers of water from nearby wells to their homes. The water and power supply had been cut to the city for three weeks, and the only way to get water was to queue up outside communal wells in the sweltering summer heat, a job mostly left to minors as the adults were too exhausted by their ritual fast…

Patriarch calls lives of Middle East Christians ‘bad’ and ‘less bad’ (National Catholic Reporter) Christians in the Middle East are facing difficulties ranging from “bad” to “less bad,” said Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal of Jerusalem. While describing the condition of the Palestinians in the West Bank as “bad,” he said their situation is better than the challenges faced by Christians in Syria and Iraq, especially those who have been forced to flee homes. The patriarch pushed again for an end to hostilities throughout the Holy Land and the Middle East. “We condemn those who sell [military] arms to help [maintain the war] in Syria,” he told Catholic News Service in July. “It is a pity. We have never reached this level of violence. We preach, we hope, we weep. In all of the Middle East it is not a normal life…”

Group: Israel advances Jewish settlement plans in West Bank (Daily Star Lebanon) An Israeli settlement watchdog group says Israel has advanced plans to build or retroactively approve 1,065 housing units in West Bank Jewish settlements. Peace Now said on Thursday that an Israeli military committee retroactively approved 24 housing units in the Beit El settlement, though Israel’s Supreme Court ordered them demolished by the end of July because they were built on private Palestinian lands…



Tags: Syria India Children Syro-Malabar Catholic Church United Nations

22 July 2015
J.D. Conor Mauro




Residents of the St. Ann Nursing Home in northeastern Hungary, which opened its doors in 1997, go for a walk together. To learn more about how Hungarian Greek Catholic sisters have affected the lives of the local elderly, read A Sister’s Act, from the July 2007 edition of ONE. (photo: Tivadar Domaniczky)



Tags: Sisters Eastern Europe Caring for the Elderly Hungary Hungarian Greek Catholic

22 July 2015
J.D. Conor Mauro




A Christian couple sits inside a tent erected on the grounds of St. Elijah Church in Erbil, in December 2014. (photo: Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Is this the end of Christianity in the Middle East? (New York Times) The future of Christianity in the region of its birth is now uncertain. “How much longer can we flee before we and other minorities become a story in a history book?” says Nuri Kino, a journalist and founder of the advocacy group Demand for Action. According to a Pew study, more Christians are now faced with religious persecution than at any time since their early history. “[ISIS] has put a spotlight on the issue,” says Anna Eshoo, a California Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives, whose parents are from the region and who advocates on behalf of Eastern Christians. “Christianity is under an existential threat…”

Law requested against conversion of Christian minors without parental consent (Fides) Mikel Munir — a Copt, and the founder and leader of the liberal political party Al Haya — addressed a public appeal to Egyptian authorities to ensure the personal status law under review should include a clause that prevents the change of religion for Christians minors without the consent of their parents…

Iraqi government orders Nineveh Plain forces to Baghdad (Fides) The Iraqi central government has ordered to transfer to Baghdad 4,000 soldiers and police who previously worked in the north provinces of Iraq — including the province of Nineveh — and this has provoked strong reactions on behalf of organizations and Christian politicians…

Syrian refugees in Lebanon face mental health crisis (Al Monitor) Hunger, thirst, lack of hygiene and lack of medical care are not the only problems for Syrian refugees in Lebanon. They also suffer from depression, anxiety and stress, due not only to their displacement, but also to their precarious existence…

Nationalists rally against Ukraine’s government (Vatican Radio) Thousands of supporters of a right-wing, nationalist paramilitary group in Ukraine have protested against government policies amid a deadly standoff between the nationalists and Ukrainian security forces in the country’s western region, near the border with Hungary…

Pope to stress interfaith ties during NYC visit, Cardinal Dolan says (AM New York) Pope Francis will seek to emphasize the importance of interreligious relations during his September visit to New York City and will hold up the city as a prime example of harmony among faiths, Cardinal Timothy Dolan said Sunday…



Tags: Syria Iraq Egypt Refugees Middle East Christians

21 July 2015
J.D. Conor Mauro




Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky led the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in the tumultuous period of both world wars and the early Soviet era. (photo: CNS)

CNS reports Pope Francis has declared Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky “venerable,” the second stage along the process of canonization in the Catholic Church:

The pope July 16 signed the decree recognizing that Metropolitan Sheptytsky heroically lived a life of Christian virtue. The recognition is an initial step in the sainthood process; the Vatican would have to recognize a miracle attributed to his intercession in order for a beatification ceremony to be scheduled.

Metropolitan Sheptytsky led the Ukrainian Catholic Church from 1901 until his death in 1944. During his leadership Ukraine and its people were ruled by seven different regimes: Austrian, Russian, Ukrainian, Polish, Soviet, Nazi and, finally, the Soviets again. …

The Rev. Peter Galadza, acting director of the Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies at St. Paul University in Ottawa, Ontario, also mentioned the metropolitan’s efforts to save Jews during the Holocaust — including by personally sheltering them — and his efforts to promote reconciliation among Ukrainians, Russian and Poles.

Decades ago, the Rev. Romanos V. Russo wrote a profile of the late metropolitan for the Autumn 1982 edition of our magazine:

Archbishop Andrew was a Moses to his people. As Moses was an outspoken defender and liberator of his people, blessed Vladyka (bishop) Andrew strove to aid his Ukrainian flock in developing a sense of national identity.

As Moses himself was an “outsider,” raised an Egyptian and exiled among the Midianites, Archbishop Sheptitsky grew up in a family that had become more Polish and Latin Catholic than the Ukrainian Greek-Catholics they were by tradition.

Moses was the great liturgist that decreed the paths of piety, holding what is the Lord’s in honor. Vladyka Andrew preserved the numbers of his secular clergy and increased the religious ministering to his people and waged a life-long battle to purify and ennoble their liturgical life.

Moses led his people in their bitter wandering through the desert. Shiptitsky burned with zeal for the members of his flock scattered throughout the New World in search of another promised land.

Moses brought his flock to the brink of the Holy Land but was not granted to lead them in. Metropolitan Andrew exhausted himself in striving for the unity of the Eastern Churches but was not to see the fruit of this labor in his lifetime.

Moses and Andrew both pointed the way to Christ: of the former Scripture says “There has never yet risen in Israel a prophet like him,” (Dt. 34:10) The faithful prayerfully hope that the last word to be said of their revered Vladyka will be: Saint.

Read the rest here.



Tags: Pope Francis Ukraine Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church Saints Eastern Catholic Churches

21 July 2015
J.D. Conor Mauro




Uruguayan schoolchildren and Syrian refugee children chat on their first day in school in Uruguay. (photo: Miguel Rojo/AFP/Getty Images)

Uruguay says more Syrian refugees welcome (Rudaw) Uruguay will continue welcoming Syrian refugees who are fleeing from civil war, the foreign minister said Monday, overriding concerns about the South American country’s budget. “We know it obviously costs money. But I appeal to the sensibility and solidarity of Uruguayans to understand the drama being lived by these families — a true hell on earth…”

Archbishop becomes ‘almost-mayor’ of Hassake (Fides) In the Syrian city of Hassake, where the counter-offensive of the Kurdish forces and the Syrian army has retaken the outlying suburbs from ISIS, public health and food emergencies that affect the civilian population have pushed Syriac Catholic Archbishop Jacques Behnan Hindo to assume a role not unlike that of a public official. The archbishop says he has become responsible for waste removal, pest control and numerous other services relating to public health…

Priest says situation in Gaza continues to deteriorate (CNS) One year after a war with Israel that turned daily life here into a nightmare, a Catholic priest in Gaza said the situation in this besieged Palestinian territory has deteriorated even further. “Compared with a year ago, we’re worse off. Although a truce stopped the war, the blockade of Gaza by Israel has grown more intense. This has direct consequences for the population,” said the Rev. Jorge Hernandez, pastor of Holy Family Catholic Parish in Gaza City…

West Bank villagers deliver final plea to save homes (Al Monitor) Residents of the Palestinian village of Khirbet Susiya say that their repeated requests for construction permits were rejected by Israel, which has instead decided to demolish their homes…

Migrants on the Greek-Macedonian border seek new life (Al Jazeera) Recently, Macedonia allowed refugees and migrants to transit through the country for three days. Hoda Abdel-Hamid reports…



Tags: Syria Refugees Gaza Strip/West Bank Migrants Macedonia

20 July 2015
J.D. Conor Mauro




On Saturday, CNEWA President Msgr. John E. Kozar participated in a pilgrimage to Zarvanytsia, Ukraine, as part of his pastoral visit to the country. There, he shared a message with thousands, conveying greetings from those suffering in this time of war:

Msgr. John Kozar offered his thanks for the invitation to take part in the pilgrimage. He conveyed greetings from Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York, and the faithful of the Catholic Church of America and Canada: “I offer to you this solidarity in prayer, and in suffering, of millions of faithful [who] have been forced to flee their homes, and even their homelands,” said Msgr. Kozar. “Here today before Mary, the mother of our savior, and our mother, we humbly seek her comfort and security. … Your presence these days at this holy place reminds us that we, too, are a holy people.”

Watch the whole video of his address below:



Tags: Ukraine CNEWA Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church Msgr. John E. Kozar

20 July 2015
J.D. Conor Mauro




Kima Atoian lives with her children and six grandchildren in Armenia’s northernmost town of Ashotzk, where poverty and unemployment are prevalent. Villagers often use cow manure as stove fuel, lacking the means to afford gas. To learn more about life in Armenia’s northern reaches, read Armenian Winter, from the March 2009 edition of ONE. (photo: Justyna Mielnikiewicz)



Tags: Armenia Poor/Poverty Eastern Europe Economic hardships

20 July 2015
J.D. Conor Mauro




The Rev. Moner Shaded translates as two Syrian women speak with journalists at Warsaw Airport after over 150 Christian refugees from Syria arrived in Poland seeking asylum on 10 July. (photo: Wojtek Radwanski/AFP/Getty Images)

For Syrian refugees, 1,500-mile journey of hope and hardship (Christian Science Monitor) It was 10 a.m., and the smuggler told them it was time to go. The two young Syrian men thought he wasn’t serious — surely they would wait to cross the Aegean Sea at night, wouldn’t they? All their hopes rested on this journey, and now they feared this smuggler was going to ruin it all by sending them across the channel, from Turkey to Greece, in the glare of day…

Syrian Christians trying to rebuild between hope and fear (Pravmir) Homs had had a large Christian community before the Syrian war broke out. Many Christians lived in the old part of the city with its many churches in particular. The Christian presence here goes right back to the first century. But in February 2012 the increasingly brutal Syrian war also reached the strategically important city of Homs…

Syrian government, Kurds join forces to take Hassake (AINA) In two districts of Syria’s city of Hassake, Kurdish fighters and government forces rest before returning to battle the Islamic State group, a shared enemy being fought jointly for the first time. Although the two forces are fighting in different parts of the northeastern city, where control is divided between the Kurds and the government, both are necessary to defeat the jihadists. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, army forces and Kurdish fighters have almost totally encircled ISIS in the southern part of Hassake…

Blast in Turkish town near Syria kills 28, wounds nearly 100 (Los Angeles Times) A blast killed at least 28 people Monday in a Turkish town near the country’s border with Syria, officials said. The detonation targeted an event held at the Amara Cultural Center in the town of Suruc, located just six miles from the border near the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobane, site of long-running battles between ISIS and Kurdish fighters…

Venerable Andrey Sheptytsky, a spiritual leader for his people (Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Thursday approved the publication of decrees recognizing the heroic virtues of eight servants of God, including Ukrainian Archbishop Andrey Sheptytsky, who led his flock during World War II. “Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky was a very important church leader in central and eastern Europe in the first half of the twentieth century,” says the Rev. Athanasius McVay, a scholar specializing in early 20th-century church history…



Tags: Syria Refugees War Turkey Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church

17 July 2015
J.D. Conor Mauro




Sister Ayelech Gebeyehu prepares food for students in the kitchen of the Blessed Gebremichael Catholic School in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia. To learn more about Sister Ayelech’s life and work, read her letter from Ethiopia, which appears in the Spring 2015 edition of ONE. (photo: Petterik Wiggers/Panos Pictures)



Tags: Ethiopia Children Sisters Education Catholic education

17 July 2015
J.D. Conor Mauro




Syrian children play at a playground during Eid ul Fitr in Aleppo, Syria, on 17 July. (photo: Getty Images/Anadolu Agency)

Eid ul Fitr 2015: Syrian children in Jordan’s Zaatari camp celebrate (Yahoo! News) Syrian children living in temporary homes in Jordan’s Zaatari camp celebrated the first day of Eid on 17 July, amid the harsh conditions of living. The holiday marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, when Muslims fast from dawn to dusk. Dressed in their best clothes, children visited the main market to stock up on sweets and toys, then headed to the playground…

Archbishop confirms the kidnapping of Syrian priest (Fides) “I can confirm that Father Antoine Boutros and his collaborator Said Al Abdun, who have been missing since last Sunday, were actually stopped and seized by one of the several armed rebel groups that are in the area,” said Melkite Greek Catholic Archbishop Nicolas Antiba of Bosra and Hauran. “Since their disappearance we have not received any news or demands from the kidnappers…”

Egypt: Six killed in clashes amid Brotherhood protest (BBC) At least six people have been killed in clashes between Islamist protesters and police in Egypt’s capital Cairo. The violence broke out during demonstrations in support of ousted President Muhammad Morsi and the banned Muslim Brotherhood after prayers at the end of the holy month of Ramadan…

Holocaust survivor saved by Christians returns the favor (Israel Today) At the age of 19, Arthur George Weidenfeld was among the many Jews whom British Christians successfully rescued from Nazi-controlled Austria just as Adolf Hitler and his cohorts were putting the “Final Solution” into action. Seventy-seven years later, now a British lord, Weidenfeld is looking to return the favor by rescuing Syrian and Iraqi Christians under mortal threat…

Archaeologists find Assyrian tablets in Turkey, some about women’s rights (Al Arabiya) Ancient Assyrian tablets, dictating social arrangements including women’s rights, dating back to 4,000 years have been excavated in the Central Anatolian province of Kayseri, a local newspaper reported Thursday. He said the tablets revealed detailed information about the Assyrians, spanning from commercial trade to the nitty-gritty of the local social life…

Architect of Syro-Malankara Catholic Church remembered (UCANews) An unprecedented 20,000 people concluded a five-day “walking pilgrimage” to remember Servant of God Mar Ivanios, who helped bring a section of the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church to the Catholic fold…



Tags: Syria Egypt Turkey Islam Syro-Malankara Catholic Church





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