9 July 2018
Pope Francis attends an encounter with Catholic and Orthodox leaders on the waterfront in Bari, Italy, on 7 July. The pope met leaders of Christian churches in the Middle East for an ecumenical day of prayer for peace in the region. (photo: CNS/Vatican Media)
In Bari, Pope prays that ’art of encounter’ will prevail in Middle East (Vatican News) Pope Francis addressed the faithful gathered in the square outside of the Basilica of St Nicholas, in the Italian city of Bari, on Saturday after meeting with Catholic and Orthodox leaders. He reflected on the Middle Eastern origins of the Christian tradition, and of the commitment undertaken by the religious leaders to walk, pray, and work together “in the hope that the art of encounter will prevail over strategies of conflict”…
Pope thankful for ecumenical visit to Bari (Vatican News) Pope Francis on Sunday expressed his appreciation for his visit a day before to the Italian city of Bari, where he prayed for peace in the Middle East. The Pope was accompanied during this “special day of prayer and peace in that region” by Patriarchs of Churches of the Middle East and their representatives...
Russia plans evacuation from Syria (Reuters) The Russian military plans to evacuate up to 1,000 people from the south-western de-escalation zone in Syria via a humanitarian corridor near city of Daraa, Interfax news agency reported on Monday, citing Russia’s Centre for Reconciliation in Syria. People will be evacuated to Syria’s northern Idlib province, the center said, Interfax reported…
Russian Orthodox Church, Vatican team up to rebuild sites in Syria (TASS) The Russian Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches have begun implementing a plan aimed at reconstruction of Christian churches and monasteries destroyed during the years of Syrian war, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, the chairman of the Department of External Relations of the Russian Orthodox Church, told TASS on Saturday…
‘Donor fatigue’ among threats to Iraqi Christian refugees in Jordan (America Magazine) Although the war against the Islamic State is drawing to a close, thousands of Christian families from Iraq remain displaced in neighboring Jordan, where the Christian community is struggling through “embassy and donor fatigue” to provide basic pastoral and material services to Iraqi refugees. The Catholic Near East Welfare Association, a papal agency, provides food aid and sponsors educational programs for these refugees in Amman, the capital of Jordan. In a country already coping with millions of Syrian and Palestinian refugees, however, many Iraqi Christians wish to permanently resettle elsewhere…
6 July 2018
Tags: Syria Pope Francis CNEWA Middle East
This week, we offer a poignant interview with CNEWA’s president, Msgr. John E. Kozar, as he reflects on CNEWA’s outreach to children in need.
In a world where hunger, poverty and war are affecting more children — and where migration and displacement are continuing to impact more lives — CNEWA’s mission of love and compassion needs to be remembered and supported. Please keep our work in your prayers.
This video was first produced in 2013, but its message remains as timely and as urgent as ever.
6 July 2018
In Armenia, the Emili Aregak Center provides personalized support and resources for young people, such as this child, with disabilities in and near Gyumri. How does the center do it? Read about A Source of Light in Armenia in the current edition of ONE. (photo: Nazik Armenakyan)
6 July 2018
Pope Francis celebrated Mass at St. Peter's Basilica on Friday to mark the 5th anniversary of his visit to the Italian island of Lampedusa. (photo: Vatican Media)
Pope urges open hearts, doors toward supporting refugees (Vatican News) Pope Francis on Friday mourned the refugees and migrants lost at sea and reminded the world that their blood cries out to the conscience of each one of us. The response to the Lord’s appeal, “Where is your brother? His blood cries out to me”, “even if at times generous, has not been enough, and we continue to grieve thousands of deaths,” the Pope said during the 6 July Mass in Rome’s St. Peter’s Basilica to commemorate the 5th anniversary of his 8 July 2013 visit to the tiny Italian island of Lampedusa…
Church mourns passing of Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran (Vatican News) Created and proclaimed Cardinal by St. John Paul II in the Consistory of 21 October 2003, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran was known to the world for his tireless work to promote peace through inter-religious dialogue. He became a familiar figure also for having announced to the world the election of Pope Francis on 13 March 2013 from the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica. Tauran, who was currently President of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue and Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church, died in the United States where he was receiving treatment for Parkinson’s disease which had afflicted him for many years…
Thousands flee ’earth-shattering’ bombs in Syria (Al Jazeera) Thousands of Syrians from a string of rebel-held towns in eastern Deraa have fled to an area overlooking the Jordanian border, as President Bashar al-Assad and his allies press on with their offensive to capture southwest Syria…
Christian families expelled from eastern India (Crux) Several Christian families have been assaulted and expelled from their village by local extremists for refusing to renounce their faith, drawing protest from an American group who says the attack violates the families’ rights under Indian law…
The day a 1,500-year-old Byzantine church was unearthed in Turkey (Aleteia) It was in February 2016 that archaeologists unearthed a unique rock-carved underground church in Nevsehir, in the central Turkish region of Cappadocia. The church was decorated with never before seen frescoes depicting Jesus’ Ascension, the Final Judgment, Jesus feeding the multitudes, and portraits of saints and prophets…
5 July 2018
Tags: India Pope Francis Refugees Interreligious
Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila, Philippines (center), speaks during an interfaith conference on migrants and refugees at the U.N. headquarters in New York on 3 May (photo: CNS/Gregory A. Shemitz)
In last week’s post on the movement of peoples—mass migrations—taking place in the contemporary world, we looked at the terms which are used to refer to these people and to indicate wherever possible the legal implications these terms might have.
Today, I’ll look at some of the international efforts to deal with the problem of a mass movement of peoples — efforts CNEWA and the Holy See have been involved with in many ways, for many years. It has been clear that since the problem is international in scope, the solutions must also be international. When individual nations attempt to solve the problem in isolation, the result is often merely to intensify the problem in other, surrounding countries.
Despite all the rhetoric and fear-mongering in some quarters, the problem of the mass movements of peoples is really one of a clash of rights.
First, there is the concern over the rights of the refugee (using that term in its broadest sense.). The UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) holds that “Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.” It also holds that “everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution;”
But secondly, there is the sovereign right of states to safeguard their borders, although that right is not absolute; a state, for example, cannot use racism and xenophobia (fear/loathing of foreigners) as reasons to “defend its borders.”
Excluding racism and xenophobia, there is, nonetheless, a true conflict of rights involved. The international community understands this — and understands, as well, that the uncontrolled movements of people can cause chaos and violent conflict. The United Nations, aware of conflict between these rights, speaks of the necessity of a safe, orderly and regular migration.
The UN General Assembly on 19 September 2016 passed the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants. The lengthy resolution outlines the rights and obligations of both migrants and states. The declaration recognizes the magnitude and complexity of the problem as well as the necessity of a comprehensive, international solution. In the second Annex to the Resolution, the UN announced the launch of a “global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration.” The purpose of the global compact is to “set out a range of principles, commitments and understandings among Member States regarding international migration in all its dimensions” (Annex II, I, 2).
In fact, two global contracts have arisen: the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) and the Global Contract on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM). As would be expected, these compacts have been the subject of intense and ongoing negotiations. Several drafts of both compacts have been published for further discussion and negotiations. It is hoped that “final” texts will be ready to submit to the UN General Assembly Session which convenes in September 2018.
In all this, Pope Francis has been very vocal on the need for a just and comprehensive solution to the problem of the mass movement of peoples. He spoke about this just last March, at the Plenary Council of the International Catholic Migration Commission. Recognizing the work of the UN, Pope Francis stated that the church “must encourage countries to coordinate more suitable and effective responses to the challenges posed by issues of migration.”
The Holy See has also engaged in practical efforts to deal with the crisis. Charitable organizations such as CNEWA, CRS, and Caritas Internationalis—to name just a few—are actively working on the ground to alleviate the sufferings of refugees in the Middle East, Africa and around the world. Likewise, the Permanent Observer Mission (Embassy) of the Holy See to the United Nations, under the leadership of Archbishop Bernadito Auza, has been very active in promoting the emerging Global Contracts through significant interventions in the General Assembly and symposia held at UN side events, co-sponsored by the Holy See.
A major side event, sponsored by the Holy See, was Sharing the Journey of Migrants and Refugees: An Interfaith Perspective on the Global Compacts on 3 May 2018. The website of the Mission of the Holy See to the UNmakes available all the statements and side events which the Holy See has sponsored on the problem of the movements of peoples.
The role which the Holy See and its charitable organizations, such as CNEWA, play is crucial. It is not unrealistically idealistic. It fully recognizes the competition, if not conflict, of rights and the incredible international legal and moral complexities involved here — and it attempts to achieve a just solution favorable to both sides. However, it is not merely engaged in abstract negotiations—as important as these are—but is actively engaged on the ground to help those millions of people who have been forcibly displaced from their homes.
5 July 2018
Tags: Refugees United Nations
Sister Martyna of the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate teaches in Zbarazh, outside Lviv. Learn more about how these religious sisters are Giving 200 Percent in the new edition of ONE. (photo: Ivan Chernichkin)
5 July 2018
Tags: Ukraine Sisters Vocations (religious)
Pope Francis meets with Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk at the Vatican. (photo: Vatican Media)
Pope meets with head of Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (Vatican News) Pope Francis met on Tuesday with the Father and Head of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church (UGCC), Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, on the occasion of the 1030th anniversary of the baptism of Rus’-Ukraine. During the audience, Major Archbishop Sviatoslav drew attention to the UGCC’s relations with the other churches that are “heirs to the Baptism by Saint Volodomyr.” Speaking of the Orthodox Churches in Ukraine, his Beatitude spoke of the “painful reality” of divisions. He emphasized that, although the UGCC looks positively on efforts to overcome division, it nonetheless considers such matters internal to the Orthodox Churches, insisting that the UGCC never interferes in or takes part in such efforts…
Syria bombardment resumes after cease fire breaks down (Al Jazeera) The Syrian government and its closest military ally — Russia — have intensified their bombing campaign in the southern province of Deraa, after ceasefire deal between rebels and Russians broke down on Wednesday. Al Jazeera’s Zeina Khodr, reporting from Beirut, said that had airstrikes intensified on Thursday as government troops advanced steadily to recapture lost territory…
Another pope to celebrate liturgy in Rome: Tawadros (Crux) On Friday, the second largest church in Rome will be hosting a papal liturgy, though this time it won’t be the usual suspect celebrating. Tawadros II, the Pope of Alexandria, Egypt, and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark will be officiating at a service for the growing community of Copt-Orthodox Christians in the eternal city…
Wireless in Gaza: kids making code, not war (The Guardian) Tight restrictions on the movement of goods and, vitally, people, have been the death of much industry here. But Gaza’s first coding academy hopes its hi-tech business model — which operates in the virtual rather than real world — will be somewhat immune to physical barriers to trade. ”That’s the reason we started this. It ignores boundaries,” says 31-year-old Ghada Ibrahim, who was in the first class of coders, which started a year ago. ”The blockade is a huge factor. It’s a reason why we have a lot of people who have come to sign up…”
3 July 2018
Tags: Syria Pope Francis Ukraine Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church
With much of North America sizzling through a summer heat wave, now is a good time to stay in and stay cool with the new edition of ONE, just hitting your mailbox.
We have lots of refreshing and inspiring news on tap:
All that and more can be found in our award-winning magazine. Visit this link for more. And check out the video below from our president, Msgr. John E. Kozar, describing what else you can find in its pages.
3 July 2018
Tags: CNEWA ONE magazine
Pope Francis walks with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople during a meeting in the Apostolic Palace at the Vatican on 26 May. The men will meet again this weekend in Bari, Italy. (photo: CNS/Paul Haring)
Pope Francis will be in Bari, Italy, this weekend to pray for peace in the Middle East — and the trip will have a strong ecumenical theme.
From Catholic News Agency:
Taking place on 7 July, the day of prayer and reflection will include leaders of Catholic and Orthodox Churches in the Middle East, and will have an “authentically ecumenical breath,” Archbishop Francesco Cacucci of Bari-Bitonto told Vatican News.
He said the day’s events will “combine the ecumenical vision of the Christian Churches and [give] particular attention to the Middle East, to invoke peace, but also to be close to our Christian brothers, who live in suffering.”
Pope Francis announced 25 April he would hold the day primarily for “prayer and reflection on the dramatic situation of the Middle East which afflicts so many brothers and sisters in the faith.”
Cardinal Louis Raphael I Sako, the Chaldean Patriarch of Babylon, has confirmed he will be in attendance, as will Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople, who leads the Eastern Orthodox Churches. Which other patriarchs will attend has not yet been confirmed.
During his Angelus address 1 July, Pope Francis said he and the other Christian leaders in Bari “will implore with one voice: ‘Peace be upon you,’” as it says in Psalm 122. “I ask everyone to accompany with prayer this pilgrimage of peace and unity,” he said.
Bari is often called the “porta d’Oriente” or the “Eastern Gate” because of its connection to both the Catholic Church and the Orthodox through the relics of St. Nicholas, venerated by members of both Churches.
Historically, many Eastern Churches have been present in the city, Archbishop Cacucci said, but an ecumenical culture was imprinted upon it most strongly after the Second Vatican Council, when the archbishop of the time opened the crypt of the Basilica of St. Nicholas to the Orthodox by creating a small chapel dedicated to them.
For more on St. Nicholas, read Bari’s Borrowed Wonder Worker from the July-August 1997 edition of our magazine, which notes:
[The popularity of St. Nicholas] rests on his compassion for the poor and his passion for the faith.
“The reason for this special veneration of this special bishop, who left neither theological works nor other writings,” writes Leonid Ouspensky, a noted Russian theologian, “is evidently that the church sees in him a personification of a shepherd, of its defender and intercessor.”
3 July 2018
Tags: Pope Francis Ecumenism Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I
Children play outdoors in the Adi-Harush camp in Ethiopia. Learn about how the church is working to help these and others seeking a better life in This, Our Exile in the June 2018 edition of ONE. (photo: Petterik Wiggers)