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Current Issue
December, 2017
Volume 43, Number 4
  
13 January 2015
J.D. Conor Mauro




Iraqi refugees take shelter at the Arbat camp in Sulaimaniya, Iraq, on 9 January. (photo: Feriq Ferec/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Millions of Iraqis displaced by Islamic State (Al Jazeera) During 2014, more than two million Iraqis were internally displaced by conflict in northern and western Iraq. According to U.N. and Iraqi officials, most took refuge in the Kurdish regions, Baghdad and the southern provinces. The majority of displaced Iraqis are living in either temporary camps, which were settled by the U.N. mission in Iraq in cooperation with the Iraqi government, or are taking refuge in mosques and schools. The rest are hosted by relatives or volunteer families outside of the conflict zones…

Dispute between El Cajon priest and Chaldean leader in Iraq continues (Los Angeles Times) Intervention by Pope Francis has apparently not solved the schism between a prominent Chaldean priest in eastern San Diego County and the head of the Chaldean Catholic Church in Iraq. At issue is a demand by Patriarch Louis Raphael I that the Rev. Noel Gorgis and several other Chaldean priests in the United States return to Iraq or face, in effect, excommunication. In an interview, the patriarch said that the survival of the church is at stake. “We have been there for 2,000 years,” he said. “We have a mission and a role, and if a future exists for the Chaldean Church, it is not in the diaspora but in Iraq.” Last week Pope Francis appeared to have settled the issue, asserting that Father Gorgis and the others need not accede to the demand. But on Friday, Patriarch Louis Raphael issued a statement that, in effect, said that he does not acknowledge the pope’s authority to overturn his order…

Latin patriarch: Holy Land Coordination visit sign of solidarity (Vatican Radio) The annual pilgrimage of European and American bishops of the Holy Land Coordination is taking place in Jerusalem this week. Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal of Jerusalem says he is pleased that the bishops have come this year to give witness to what he describes as the “dire” circumstances in which the Holy Land is living…

At least six Kiev civilians killed when rocket hits bus (Daily Star Lebanon) At least six Ukrainian civilians were killed and more than a dozen wounded Tuesday when a rocket fired by pro-Russian insurgents hit a bus, Kiev’s military said. A statement issued by the press center of Ukraine’s military campaign in the east said around 20 people were also injured in the incident about 20 miles southwest of the rebel stronghold of Donetsk…

Pope: Religious beliefs must never be abused for violence, war (VIS) The second stage of Pope Francis’ apostolic trip to Sri Lanka was his visit to the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall in Colombo, where he participated in a meeting with representatives of other religious confessions. Following a speech by the Buddhist monk Vigithasiri Niyangoda Thero, the pope gave an address in which he affirmed the church’s profound and lasting respect for other religions, and reiterated that, for the sake of peace, religious beliefs must never be abused to justify violence and war…



Tags: Pope Francis Ukraine Iraqi Christians Iraqi Refugees Chaldean Patriarch Louis Raphael I