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Current Issue
December, 2017
Volume 43, Number 4
  
23 February 2015
J.D. Conor Mauro




Armenian Apostolic Catholicos Karekin II of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin celebrates the Christmas liturgy on 6 January 2011. (photo: Tigran Mehrabyan/AFP/Getty Images)

St. Gregory of Narek, doctor of the church (VIS) On Saturday, 21 February, Pope Francis received in audience Cardinal Angelo Amato, S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. During the audience he confirmed the proposal by the cardinals and bishops, members of the plenary session of the congregation, to concede the title of doctor of the universal church to St. Gregory of Narek, priest and monk, who was born in Andzevatsij (then Armenia, present-day Turkey) in 1005 and died in Narek (then Armenia, present-day Turkey) around 1005.

Ukraine’s front-line fighters balk at peace (Al Jazeera) Today, the ceasefire is a truce in name only. With the capture of Debaltseve a few days ago, the Minsk II agreement has gone the way of its predecessor as fighting continues to rage along the front. “No one believes in this truce. No one believes [Russian President Vladimir] Putin will honor it,” one soldier said. The bigger problem for Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is not that his soldiers do not trust Mr. Putin, but that they do not trust him, their leader…

Egypt’s grand mufti says Islamic State attack against Copts un-Islamic (Ahram Online) Grand Mufti Shawki Allam, the Egyptian state’s authority responsible for issuing religious edicts, said on Monday in a statement that the Islamic State executing 21 Egyptian Copts in Libya was an act empty of the “great tolerance of Islam.” He insisted that the militant group has no understanding of the meaning of the Holy Quran. He added that the group’s attribution of certain sayings to Prophet Mohamed was erroneous…

Coptic Catholics consecrate first-ever church in Sinai (Aid to the Church in Need) The same day the Islamic State released gruesome video of the execution of Copts in Libya, 15 February 2015, Egypt’s Coptic Catholic Church celebrated the consecration of its first-ever church in Sinai: Our Lady of Peace, in the community of Sharm al Sheikh. The name had been chosen by Suzanne Mubarak, wife of the ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Mrs. Mubarak, who was educated by Catholic sisters, ensured that construction of the church could proceed after years of delay and opposition by local political leadership. Patriarch Ibrahim Isaac, head of the 200,000-member Coptic Catholic Church, presided over the consecration ceremony…

Gazans forced to sell their belongings (Al Monitor) The harsh economic crisis that has been worsening in the Gaza Strip has forced Gazans to sell their belongings to avoid begging for money. Asked about these crises, economist Samir Hamattu explained that these result from various political and economic conditions, including the Israeli blockade, the war on Gaza, the closure of border tunnels with Egypt, the closing of the Rafah border crossing, Hamas-Fatah political differences and the financial crisis currently plaguing the Palestinian Authority’s institutions…

Syria insists on cooperation in fight against antiquities theft (New York Times) The world will have to cooperate with Syria to halt the trade in looted antiquities that helps fund jihadist groups, Syria’s culture minister said, putting the onus on Turkey to stop the smuggling across their shared frontier. Culture minister Issam Khalil said a U.N. Security Council resolution that aims to stop groups including Islamic State from benefiting from the illicit antiquities trade would not be effective without the help of Damascus, a pariah to many Arab and Western states since Syria’s war erupted in 2011…



Tags: Syria Egypt Ukraine Gaza Strip/West Bank Armenia