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Current Issue
September, 2019
Volume 45, Number 3
  
21 January 2014
J.D. Conor Mauro




A pro-European Union protester throws an object during clashes with Ukrainian riot police in Kiev, Ukraine, on 19 January. Ukrainian Catholic Church leaders appealed for calm as violent protests escalated after a government crackdown. (photo: /Valentyn Ogirenko, Reuters)

Ukrainian Major Archbishop calls for peace (Vatican Radio) The head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, is calling on Ukrainians to join in prayers for peace and unity as they celebrate the Divine Liturgy on 22 January — the anniversary of Ukrainian independence in 1918. “With great dismay and sadness we witness the events taking place at the moment in Kyiv,” he said, “In view of these exceptional circumstances I would like to appeal to all the faithful of the church, the Ukrainian people, and to all people of good will. In the name of God, stop the bloodshed! Violence was never the way to build a free and independent state! Bloodshed will never reconcile hearts or bring a positive outcome.” The call comes in response to the recent episodes of violence surrounding the once-peaceful protests in the streets of Kiev. Police and protestors have clashed over the past two nights as government forces attempted to break up protests and dismantle barricades leading to government offices. Monday’s riots followed a night of violence that already left as many as 130 people injured. Protesters threw rocks and stun grenades, while police responded with tear gas…

No shrines in Maaloula untouched by war (Pravoslavie) A radical Islamist group that occupied the small Christian town of Maaloula in Syria late in 2013 desecrated absolutely all shrines of the town, reports Al Hadas portal with the reference to materials of the Al Akhbar Lebanese newspaper. According to eyewitnesses who fled Maaloula during the latest warfare in the region, members of Al Nusra completely destroyed some churches and damaged or ransacked others. The extremists blew up the statue of Christ the Savior, which had stood at the entrance of the Monastery of St. Tekla, as well as the statue of the Virgin Mary…

Alleged Syrian detainee torture photos called a ‘smoking gun’ (Christian Science Monitor) A team of former war crimes prosecutors claim to have found a “smoking gun” that proves that the regime of Syrian President Bashar al Assad tortured and killed its opponents. In a report released Monday to the Guardian and CNN, the prosecutors said they found “direct evidence” of “systematic torture and killing,” based on the analysis of over 26,000 images smuggled out of Syria by a defector who says he was a military police photographer. The pictures show thousands of dead prisoners, many of whom appeared to be emaciated, strangled, or beaten. “Ultimately, the validity of our conclusions turn on the integrity of the people involved,” said Sir Desmond de Silva, chair of the panel assigned to investigate the images. “We, the team, were very conscious of the fact there are competing interests in the Syrian crisis — both national and international. We were very conscious of that. We approached our task with a certain amount of skepticism, bearing that in mind…”

Deadly suicide bombing hits Shia suburb in Beirut (Al Jazeera) A suicide bomber killed four people Tuesday in a southern Beirut suburb known for its support of the Shiite military and political group Hezbollah, security sources said, as violence continues to spill across the border from Syria and inflame tensions between Lebanon’s Sunni and Shiite communities. The target of the attack was not immediately clear. The bomb went off on a busy street with small shops and restaurants in the Haret Hreik area of Beirut’s largely Shiite southern suburbs, near an area where a similar bombing killed five people earlier this month. Tensions from the nearly three-year-old conflict in neighboring Syria have increasingly affected Lebanon, which is still recovering from its own 1975-1990 civil war and has been without a fully functioning government since March…

Cardinal Koch on Christian Unity and Jewish-Catholic relations (Vatican Radio) The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is being celebrated by many Churches in the northern hemisphere from 18-25 January, focusing this year on a provocative question from St. Paul to the early Christian community in Corinth: “Has Christ been divided?” Resources for this annual event have been developed by an ecumenical group of Christians in Canada and are available on the websites of both the Vatican’s Council for Christian Unity and World Council of Churches…

Report: Egypt’s Sisi to quit post in a few days to run for president (Jerusalem Post) Egypt’s military chief, General Abdel Fattah al Sisi, plans to resign from his post in the coming days in order to run for president with the army’s backing, an Arab newspaper reported on Tuesday. General Sisi came to the decision “in light of wide popular demands, in addition to signs of Arab approval, especially from the Gulf,” an informed source told the London-based Al Hayat newspaper. The source also said that Sisi made his decision after carefully studying expected “Western reactions, especially American,” to his potential candidacy, and saw that the Pentagon welcomed the move. The presidential election would be held in March, the report speculated…

Durocher struck by Christian-Muslim relations in Holy Land (Catholic Register) The president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops said instead of signs of hope in the Holy Land, he found hope-filled people serving despite the difficulties. “The situation itself is quite, in many ways, depressing, and seems unsolvable,” said Archbishop Paul-André Durocher. “In spite of that men and women, Christians, Catholics, continue to be involved, gather, celebrate and do good to the people around them. I was particularly impressed by the openness of relationships with Muslims they share living conditions with, and the great respect many Muslims have for the Christians who are a tiny minority but do incredible good there. … Continually, the refrain was: ‘Do not forget us, and pray for us.’ ” The archbishop was among a delegation of bishops from Europe, South Africa and North America who participated in the annual Holy Land Coordination meeting mandated by the Holy See 11-16 January…



Tags: Syria Egypt Ukraine Beirut Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk