onetoone
one
Current Issue
September, 2017
Volume 43, Number 3
  
22 March 2013
J.D. Conor Mauro




Parishioners pray in the St. Elijah Church in Ain Kawa, Iraq, a mostly Christian neighborhood outside Erbil, Kurdistan’s capital and largest city. In the November 2011 issue of ONE, we reported that much of Iraq’s Christian population had found a haven in the Kurdish-controlled north. In the time since, poor economic conditions have caused many to relocate once again. (photo: Safin Hamed/Metrography)

Pope Francis accepts Chaldean patriarch’s invitation to Iraq (AsiaNews) As St. Francis traveled to the East where he met Sultan Malik al Kamil, so we hope Pope Francis “may come to Iraq to confirm us our faith and give our small community in the land of Abraham courage and hope,” said His Beatitude Mar Louis Raphael I during an audience with the pontiff this morning in the Vatican. “Yes,” answered the pope, “with joy.” The patriarch himself told AsiaNews about his meeting with the Holy Father before leaving this afternoon for Baghdad. The head of the Chaldean Church was in Rome for the pope’s inaugural Mass in St. Peter’s Square last Tuesday. The prelate said that he was “struck by the pope’s simplicity and spontaneity.” He was very moved when the two talked about the tragic fate of Iraqi Christians…

Pope emphasizes the importance of ‘table time’ (CNS) Pastors and theologians involved in ecumenical dialogue emphasize the importance of “table time” — sharing meals — along with serious theological discussions, shared prayer and joint action. Pope Francis spoke about his ecumenical vision on 20 March and prayed with delegates from Orthodox and other Christian communities at his inaugural Mass on 19 March. Since 17 March, he’s also had breakfast, lunch and dinner with the Orthodox representatives who came to Rome for his inauguration. Pope Francis is still living at the Domus Sanctae Marthae, the Vatican guesthouse where the Orthodox delegates also were staying. They all eat together and greet each other in the common dining room…

Moscow patriarchate optimistic about relations with pope (Interfax) The Moscow Patriarchate attaches great importance to promoting relations with the Catholic Church in many areas, including social service, support for the poor and the deprived and protection of people suffering from persecution, said Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s department for External Church Relations. Pope Francis met with metropolitan archbishop at the Vatican on Wednesday…

In pope, other religions see a friend (Washington Post) “In the maximum leader of the Christian world,” said Guillermo Borger, president of the Argentine Israeli Mutual Association, “we have an ally.” The secretary general of the Islamic Center of the Argentine Republic, Sumer Noufouri, said he regularly attended an annual Mass convened by the then-archbishop to celebrate Argentina’s Independence Day, alongside the country’s Jewish leaders. “He is a person who listens and who knows Islam,” said Noufouri, who described the new papacy as “an opportunity for a fresh start in relations between Islam and the Catholic Church.” The interfaith relationships built by Pope Francis in Argentina underscore his approach to religious diversity — one that has given him a reputation for tolerance and peaceful cohabitation with non-Catholics…

Indian religious excited about ‘charism of religious life’ in pope (Fides) “History has repeatedly demonstrated that the charism of religious life can bring about change and growth of the church in terms of holiness and effectiveness of its mission. With Pope Francis the Holy Spirit indicates this direction,” said a statement by the Conference of Religious of India, which brings together more than 130,000 monks and nuns of several orders. The conference expressed “communion of heart and mind” with Pope Francis…

India’s economic miracle bypasses poor (Der Spiegel) Unlike in China, India’s economic miracle has failed to benefit the poor. Instead, the rich are getting richer in this notoriously divided land, and government support fails to reach those in need. An analysis by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development finds that the blatant gap between poor and rich is growing in India almost faster than anywhere else on the globe…



Tags: India Pope Francis Iraqi Christians Ecumenism Chaldean Church

21 March 2013
J.D. Conor Mauro




Pope Francis will carry forward a tradition he kept in Buenos Aires: celebrating Holy Thursday’s Mass of the Lord’s Supper in a prison, a hospital or a shelter for the poor and marginalized. He is expected to wash the feet of inmates in a ritual highlighting humility, service and love. (video: Rome Reports)

Pope Francis to celebrate Holy Thursday Mass in prison (CNS) Pope Francis has decided to celebrate the Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper in a Rome juvenile detention facility and wash the feet of some of the young detainees. It marks a change in venue of the previously scheduled 28 March Holy Week event — normally held in either St. Peter’s Basilica or the Basilica of St. John Lateran — to Rome’s Casal del Marmo prison for minors. As archbishop of Buenos Aires, Pope Francis used to celebrate the Mass of the Lord’s Supper in prisons, hospitals or shelters for the poor and marginalized. “With the celebration at Casal del Marmo, Pope Francis will continue that practice, which must be carried out in a context characterized by simplicity,” the Vatican said in a 21 March statement. The Mass of the Lord’s Supper highlights “the commandment of love” and service through the ritual of washing the feet of others, the statement said…

Ecumenical patriarch’s inaugural attendance: First time in history? (Archon News) One of the most intriguing recent developments was Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I's decision to attend Pope Francis’ installation as bishop of Rome. The occasion is being presented in the media as something that has not happened since the ecclesiastical schism that separated Christian East and Christian West in the eleventh century. But that characterization is almost certainly wrong — this is quite likely the first time in history that a bishop of Constantinople will attend the installation of a bishop of Rome. And this is a profoundly bold step in ecumenical relations between the Orthodox and the Roman Catholics, one that could have lasting significance…

Full text of Pope Francis’ interfaith discourse available (Vatican Radio) On Wednesday, 20 March 2013, Pope Francis received several dozen representatives of the various Christian churches and other world religions, who attended his inauguration. Among them were several leaders from the Orthodox Church, Orthodox Oriental Church, the Anglican Communion, and various Protestant churches, including the Lutheran, Baptist and Methodist churches. Representatives from the Jewish and Muslim faiths were also present. Please find below Vatican Radio’s translation of the pope’s discourse…

Middle East Christians in danger, Melkite patriarch warns (AKI) Christian minorities in the Middle East are under threat, especially in conflict-wracked Syria. His Beatitude Gregory III, Melkite Greek Catholic patriarch of Antioch, has conveyed this concern to Pope Francis, Adnkronos International (AKI) has learned. “The crises in the Middle East, particularly in Syria, are endangering Christians present in the region,” Patriarch Gregory III said, quoting a letter he said he has written to the pope. As Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Pope Francis was responsible for the Catholic community in the Middle East and was a point of contact for immigrants from Lebanon, Syria and all the countries in that region. “I hope that the pope will ensure a better future for all Arab countries and their peoples,” concluded the Syrian-born patriarch…

Patriarch emeritus has low expectations for U.S. diplomatic visit (Fides) “All the great people in the world come to visit us. They arrive and depart, and our reality does not change. We are in the same situation,” says Latin Patriarch Emeritus of Jerusalem Michel Sabbah, commenting on U.S. President Barack Obama’s first visit to Israel, the Palestinian territories and Jordan. “Regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, no external pressure can really change things. Only Israel can decide to proceed on the path of peace or to maintain the status quo. No one can change this situation from the outside. Everything is in the hands of Israel…”

Gaza may face severe water crisis (Al Monitor) Figures issued by public and private institutions suggest the Gaza Strip is in imminent danger of a water crisis. Fresh water for domestic and agricultural use has become scarce. Moreover, according to Omar Shabat, the technical director of the Coastal Municipalities Water Utility, 90 to 95 percent of underground water for domestic consumption is contaminated to varying degrees. This portends the spread of diseases among locals and could make the sector unlivable…



Tags: Pope Francis Gaza Strip/West Bank Ecumenism Israeli-Palestinian conflict Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I

20 March 2013
J.D. Conor Mauro




Archbishop Chrysostomos II of Nea Justiniana and All Cyprus, 71, was elected and enthroned as head of the Cyprus Orthodox Church in November 2006. (photo: Cyprus Orthodox Church)

Cyprus Orthodox Church offers to help bail out state (CBS News) The head of Cyprus’ influential Orthodox church, Archbishop Chrysostomos II, says he will put the church’s assets at the country’s disposal to help pull it out of a financial crisis, after lawmakers rejected a plan to seize up to 10 percent of people’s bank deposits to secure an international bailout. It wasn’t immediately clear what the total value of the church’s assets would be, or how much of that value the church was actually willing to lend the government…

Pope ‘determined’ to continue toward unity (AsiaNews) Pope Francis has a “strong desire” to continue the ecumenical journey towards the “noble cause” of Christian unity. He has also stated his confidence that the “fraternal dialogue” with the Jewish people will continue. Further, he expressed his appreciation for the presence of Muslims at the ceremony marking the beginning of his pontificate. This morning’s meeting with 33 delegations from churches and religious denominations, Christian and non-Christian, who attended the inaugural mass of the new Pope was an insight into this pontificate’s line regarding relations with other Christians and religions, and even those who “do not even belong to any religions but who feel close to the truth and beauty.” The Pope responded to the warm greetings of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, calling him Andrew — the name of the apostle founder and patron of the patriarchate. “Yesterday morning,” he said, “during Holy Mass, through your presence, I recognized the spiritual presence of the community you represent. In this manifestation of faith, the prayer for unity among believers in Christ seemed even more urgent to men and together somehow to see prefigured this full realization, which depends on the divine plan and our sincere cooperation...”

Catholic commission writes to U.S. president in honor of visit (Fides) On the occasion of U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit in the Middle East, which began with his arrival in Israel today, Wednesday, 20 March, the Justice and Peace Commission of the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land has written the president a letter. The missive is intended to draw his attention to some major problems that affect the presence of Christians in the region. “The Palestinian people,” reads the letter, are living their “46th year under occupation. And the plight of Palestinian Christians is the same as experienced by the Palestinian people as a whole…”

Pope Francis calls pope emeritus to wish him happy feast day (Vatican Radio) Pope Francis called Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI to wish him well on the feast of St. Joseph, 19 March. The Argentine pope, who placed the call to his German predecessor shortly after 5 p.m. Rome time, Tuesday, once again expressed gratitude to the pope emeritus for his long service to the church. Since his resignation on 28 February, Pope Benedict has been staying at the papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo, in the countryside of Rome, until restoration work on his new residence in the Vatican is completed…

Lebanon’s Catholics fear incursion of Islamic fundamentalism (Global Post) Even though Beirut is no longer cleaved into Muslim and Christian sides by the Green Line — the five-mile long, overgrown barricade erected during Lebanon’s 1975-1991 civil war — some Christians still feel like their presence here is not guaranteed. An influx of refugees from the civil war in neighboring Syria has Christians in Lebanon anxious that religious violence against them could reappear here. A swath of leaders, from U.S. President Barack Obama to Pope Benedict XVI, have identified post-war Lebanon as a model for the world. Archbishop Paul Sayah, the vicar general of the Maronite patriarch and the Maronite Church’s second-ranking clergy member, believes that the survival and continuity of Lebanon’s Christians carries global implications. “If this formula does fade in Lebanon, the message to the world is that religions can’t live together, cultures can’t work together, and the alternative is war of religions,” says Archbishop Sayah. “This is the importance of Lebanon”…



Tags: Pope Francis Pope Benedict XVI Holy Land Cyprus President Obama

19 March 2013
Greg Kandra




Pope Francis greets the crowd before celebrating his inaugural Mass in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican on 19 March. (photo: CNS/Paul Haring)

Pope begins his ministry with a Mass rich in symbolism (CNS) Although attempts were made to simplify the ceremony, Pope Francis officially inaugurated his ministry as pope and bishop of Rome in a liturgy filled with biblical symbolism and signs of the universality of his mission. But before the solemn rites began on 19 March, Pope Francis — known for choosing public transport over chauffeur-driven limousines — took his first spin in the popemobile, blessing the tens of thousands of people who arrived in St. Peter’s Square as early as 4 a.m. to pray with him. He waved and, at one point, gave a thumbs-up to the faithful. He also kissed three babies held up to him by the chief of Vatican security, Domenico Gianni, and other officers. But he climbed out of the open jeep used as a popemobile to kiss a severely disabled man…

Below is video of the pope receiving his pallium and ring:



Homily of Pope Francis at inaugural Mass (Vatican Radio) The full text of the Holy Father’s homily…

While in Rome, patriarch meets with Lebanese leaders (Fides) Today consultations are continuing in Rome between the Maronite Patriarch Bechara Peter of Antioch and political leaders of the Lebanese delegation, who arrived in the city to attend the opening Mass of the Petrine ministry of Pope Francis. Discussions will focus on the impasse on the electoral law that is paralyzing the political life in Lebanon, while there is a growing risk that the Syrian conflict destabilizes Lebanon…

Syria rebels, regime blame each other for first alleged chemical weapons attack (CBS News) Syrian state media accused rebels of firing a chemical weapon for the first time on Tuesday in the north of the country, killing at least 15 people in the war-torn Aleppo province. Rebels quickly denied the report and accused regime forces of firing a chemical weapon on a long-range missile…

Car bombs strike Iraq on 10th anniversary of US invasion (Reuters) Car bombs and a suicide blast hit Shiite districts of Baghdad and south of Iraq’s capital on Tuesday, killing at least 50 people on the 10th anniversary of the invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein. Sunni Islamist insurgents tied to al Qaeda have stepped up attacks on Shiite targets since the start of the year in a campaign to stoke sectarian tension and undermine Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki’s government. Tuesday’s car bombs exploded near a busy Baghdad market, close to the heavily fortified Green Zone and in other districts across the capital…



Tags: Iraq Pope Francis Lebanon Syrian Civil War Maronite Patriarch Bechara Peter

18 March 2013
J.D. Conor Mauro




Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople, pictured above in a 2009 photo, will be attending the inauguration of Pope Francis — the first time an ecumenical patriarch has done so since the Great Schism. (photo: CNS/Larry Downing, Reuters)

Ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople to attend pope’s inauguration (AsiaNews) In an unprecedented gesture, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I will attend Pope Francis’s inaugural Mass. The Ecumenical Patriarchate Press Office informed AsiaNews about the decision, noting that this is the first time such an event has occurred since the Catholic-Orthodox split in 1054 — an important sign for Christian unity. Relations between Catholics and Orthodox have been improving since the Second Vatican Council through mutual visits, acts of friendship and theological dialogue…

Palestinians hope new pope will continue Vatican support for them (Al Monitor) Palestinians and peoples of the Middle East have been searching hard in the new pontiff’s history to try and figure out where he will stand on the issues that are of concern to them. Two issues were prominently talked about in this regard. The Jesuit background of the new pope was quickly seen as a good sign; in the Middle East, Jesuits are known to have established schools of higher education and other projects supporting the poor. His status as a non-European also ensures, many believe, a more international perspective at the Vatican. The Vatican has generally been supportive of Palestinian rights and the need to end the occupation of Palestine. But, equally, the leaders of the Catholic Church have placed tremendous efforts to improve relations with Israel…

Patriarch: Serbs must return to Kosovo (B92) “One of the first … items in the talks, today and tomorrow, a condition and request we need to set is the return of a large number of Serbs to Kosovo and Metohija,” Serbian Orthodox Patriarch Irinej said at a ceremony marking the ninth anniversary of the March Pogrom in Kosovo. Patriarch Irinej noted that 240,000 Serbs had been expelled from Kosovo and that it was the country’s obligation to help those who still lived in Kosovo and the displaced to return to their homes. “If we survived five centuries under Turks, we will survive this as well. We must not despair”…

Bulgarian Orthodox Church nominated for Nobel Peace Prize (Novinite) The Bulgarian Orthodox Church has been nominated by for the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize by MP Lachezar Toshev. The occasion is the 70th anniversary of Bulgaria rescuing its Jews from deportation to Nazi concentration camps during World War II. Toshev says he wants to make the above fact more popular and globally known, stressing the involvement of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church in the rescue of Jews is unprecedented on international scale and must be recognized…

After two years of Syrian violence, religious sisters continue aid (EWTN) While the world marks the second anniversary of demonstrations that began what is now the Syrian civil war, the Sisters of Charity of Besancon continue to help the poor of the country’s capital. “Everybody is afraid. They don’t know how long they have to live,” Sister Marie-Joseph Chanaa told Aid to the Church in Need on 13 March. “When someone goes to work he doesn’t know if he’ll come home again.” Sister Chanaa and five other Sisters of Charity work and pray in Damascus to care for their neighbors, who are caught in the midst of war. She said that they pray daily for peace and she encourages those she helps to maintain hope…



Tags: Pope Francis Syrian Civil War Palestinians Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I Bulgarian Orthodox Church

15 March 2013
Greg Kandra




Newly elected Pope Francis breaks the seal to enter his residence at the Vatican on 15 March. (photo: CNS/L’Osservatore Romano)

Pope meets with College of Cardinals (CNS) Never give in to the devil’s pessimism, discouragement and bitterness, Pope Francis said; Christians need to share the Gospel message with joy and courage because it will truly answer people’s deepest needs. Young people also need the wisdom and knowledge of older people, whose insight is like “fine wine that gets better with age,” he told the College of Cardinals on 15 March. His remarks came during a meeting in the Clementine Hall in the apostolic palace with all the cardinals who were present in Rome, including the non-elector cardinals who were over the age of 80 and did not vote in the conclave…

Pope reaches out to Jews (Associated Press) Like his predecessor, Pope Francis reached out to Rome’s Jewish community at the very start of his pontificate, pledging to continue to strengthen the increasingly close ties between Catholics and Jews. Just hours after he was elected the first non-European pope in history, Pope Francis sent a letter to Rome’s chief rabbi, Riccardo di Segni, saying he hoped to “contribute to the progress that relations between Jews and Catholics” have seen since the 1962-1965 Second Vatican Council. Jewish leaders welcomed the election of a pontiff seen as an ally when he was archbishop of Buenos Aires. Israeli President Shimon Peres said the pope would be a “welcome guest in the Holy Land” while Ronald Lauder, the president of the World Jewish Congress, said the new pope “always had an open ear for our concerns”…

Pope will meet with Eastern rite delegates (VIS) Announcing the pope’s schedule for next week, the Vatican notes: “On Wednesday, 20 March, he will hold an audience with fraternal delegates representing the heads of the various Eastern-rite churches, so there will not be a General Audience”…

Egyptian Christians look to new pope for comfort (Euronews) In Egypt, which has one of the largest Christian communities in the region, our reporter asked Bishop Krikor Augustinos Coussan, primate of the Armenian Catholic community there, what Christians were hoping from Pope Francis: “We ask the pope to use all his power to bring a comprehensive and equitable peace especially in the Middle East, the country of Jesus and the apostles who carried the Gospel of Christ and his teachings to the whole world”…

A humanitarian perspective on the new pope (Vatican Radio) One organisation that has warmly welcomed the new Holy Father is CAFOD, the official aid agency for England and Wales. It said that, “This choice of pope puts service to the poor and tackling injustice at the forefront of the church’s mission in the world.” Speaking to Lydia O’Kane about the new pope, Tom O’Connor, CAFOD’s director of communities, said: “There’s a real tangible sense of enthusiasm…”



Tags: Pope Francis Middle East Christians Middle East Ecumenism Catholic-Jewish relations

14 March 2013
Greg Kandra




Newly elected Pope Francis, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, waves after praying at the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome on 14 March. At right is Cardinal Agostino Vallini, papal vicar for Rome. (photo: CNS/Alessandro Bianchi, Reuters)

Pope Francis makes visit to Marian basilica in Rome (Vatican Radio) Pope Francis, elected in the conclave Wednesday evening, made his first and officially unscheduled visit to the Rome Basilica of Saint Mary Major early Thursday, surprising residents and children on their way to a nearby school…

(You can watch a video of his visit below.)



Who is Jorge Mario Bergoglio? Read his official biography (VIS) Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, S.J., Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Ordinary for Eastern-rite faithful in Argentina who lack an Ordinary of their own rite, was born on 17 December 1936 in Buenos Aires. He studied as and holds a degree as a chemical technician, but then chose the priesthood and entered the seminary of Villa Devoto…

India welcomes Pope Francis as ‘a man of dialogue and charity’ (Fides) “All the people of India, Hindus and Christians, welcome with joy Pope Francis. We believe he will be a man of dialogue and charity,” says Msgr. Felix Machado, Bishop of Vasai, expressing the feelings of the Indian Church. The bishop says the received a large number of phone calls and messages of congratulations from Christian faithful, priests, and nuns. He also received messages from Hindus, he says, noting “The first to call and congratulate me was a well-known Hindu religious leader who said ‘We also prayed for the new pope, we are happy with you, he is also our pope’ ”…

Missionary world celebrates the election of a pope who is close to the poor (Fides) “Pope Francis is a man of great pastoral ability of strong faith, a man of prayer and very close to the priests, the elderly, the poor, and above all, a man who emphasized the missionary commitment of the Church in our community and in our city.” This is what the Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires, Msgr. Joaquín Sucunza points out in a note sent to Fides Agency…

Russian Orthodox Church welcomes election of new pope (Voice of Russia) The Russian Orthodox Church welcomes the election of the new pontiff, Pope Francis. The 76-year-old Argentinean, Archbishop of Buenos Aires Jorge Mario Bergoglio, was elected by a Conclave of 115 voting cardinals after five ballots. The head of the press-service of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill, Deacon Alexander Volkov said that “the Russian Orthodox Church welcomes the decision of the conclave of cardinals of the Roman Catholic church, and, as before, hopes that relations between the Orthodox and Catholic churches will develop in a positive spirit”…

Peres: New pope brings spirit of hope and peace (Jerusalem Post) President Shimon Peres on Thursday welcomed the announcement of the new pontiff, saying Pope Francis brings with him “a spirit of hope and peace.” Peres made his remarks to a delegation of 14 Polish bishops who are rounding up a weeklong spiritual renewal in Israel. “The new pope will be welcomed in the Holy Land with love and appreciation by Jews, Muslims and Christians as one,” Peres said…

Patriarch Sviatoslav on Pope Francis: ‘He knows our Tradition very well’ (Religious Information Service of Ukraine) RISU correspondent in Rome, Oksana Shkodziska, took the following comments of Ukrainian Greek Catholic Patriarch Sviatoslav Shevchuk about Pope Francis: “The newly-elected Pope Francis was mentored by one of our priests, Stepan Chmil who is now buried in the basilica of St. Sophia in Rome,” the patriarch said. “Today’s pope, during his time as a student of the Salesian school, awoke many hours before his classmates to concelebrate at our Divine Liturgy with Father Stepan. He knows our Tradition very well, as well as our Liturgy. The last time I had an opportunity to see him was as I was preparing to leave Argentina for Ukraine. I asked him to bear witness to the process of beatifying Father Stepan Chmil, to which, he gladly agreed. The Holy Father very well knows not only of our Church, but also our liturgy, our rites, and our spirituality…”

Report: Iran stepping up weapons lifeline to Syria (Reuters) Iran has significantly stepped up military support to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in recent months, solidifying its position alongside Russia as the government’s lifeline in an increasingly sectarian civil war, Western diplomats said. Iranian weapons continue to pour into Syria from Iraq but also increasingly along other routes, including via Turkey and Lebanon, in violation of a U.N. arms embargo on Iran, Western officials told Reuters on condition of anonymity. Iraqi and Turkish officials denied the allegations…

70,000 Indian children exploited in coal mines (Fides) From a bamboo ladder, children descend into humid wells up to 60 feet deep. They crouch to get into a hole and crawl in the mud before starting their long day of work in extracting coal. We are talking about children of the state of Meghalaya in northeast India who work as miners, that every day are faced with death and live in fear of that the place where they are forced to work in inhuman conditions might collapse and bury them alive…



Tags: India Pope Francis Vatican Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church Russian Orthodox Church

13 March 2013
J.D. Conor Mauro




Black smoke emits from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican shortly before noon on 13 March to signify that a new pope was not elected. (photo: CNS/Paul Haring)

More black smoke on morning of conclave’s first full day (CNS) More black smoke poured from the chimney on the roof of the Sistine Chapel at 11:40 a.m. on 13 March, which seemed to indicate the 115 cardinal electors failed to elect a pope on their second and third ballots. The cardinals had voted once on 12 March without electing a pope. According to the schedule published before the conclave, the cardinals were to take two votes in the morning of their first full day in the Sistine Chapel and return to their residence at 1 p.m. for lunch if the voting was unsuccessful. Ballots are burned a maximum of twice a day: White smoke would pour out of the chimney at mid-morning or mid-afternoon if one candidate received the 77 votes needed to be elected pope; and black smoke would puff out at midday or late evening if the two morning or two evening ballots were unsuccessful…

Chaldean patriarch says church institutions must be fair and transparent (Fides) On Tuesday, 12 March, Patriarch Louis Raphael I — who celebrated his inaugural Mass on Wednesday, 6 March — issued a statement calling on all responsible institutions linked to the Chaldean Church to follow principles of fairness and transparency in the management of financial resources. He recommended everyone to follow the procedures laid down by the laws on accounting, setting aside discretionary practices. The intent of the provisions set out in the statement is to “preserve the reputation and credibility of the church”…

Gaza’s Orthodox church celebrates 1,606 years (Al Monitor) In the only Orthodox church in Gaza, surrounded by saints’ icons hanging on the walls, young and old churchgoers join Greek Orthodox Bishop Alexios in hymns, hold candles and burn incense, filling the place with an air of serenity. They pray in celebration of the 1,606th anniversary of the founding of St. Porphyrius Church in Gaza City, which was built in the year 407 A.D. While today Christians in the Gaza Strip number around 1,500 people — mostly Greek Orthodox — in the mid-1990s there were as many as 5,000 Christians…

U.N., Jordan to tackle crime in Syrian refugee camp (Daily Star Lebanon) The U.N. refugee chief says his agency is working with Jordan to bolster security at a camp for Syrian refugees where reports of drug trafficking, prostitution and other crimes have emerged. Antonio Guterres says the Zaatari camp near the Jordanian-Syrian border now is de facto Jordan’s fourth-largest city, with a “complex” environment. Jordan currently hosts 450,000 Syrian refugees…

Interfaith dialogue held in Cochin (New Indian Express) The Cochin-based International Interfaith Dialogue India (IIDI) held a seminar to discuss “Religion and Human Values” this weekend. “The aim of all religions is the striving for justice, peace and co-operation,” said Shri Prasanna Venkatachariar Chaturvedi Swamy, the founder of the Sri Ramanuja Mission Trust, Tamil Nadu. “Through one’s faith one should help the needy, irrespective of religious barriers.” The messages of Justice V. R. Krishna Iyer, the chief patron of the IIDI, and Cardinal Mar George Alencherry, the major archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, were presented via video…



Tags: Gaza Strip/West Bank Jordan Vatican Syro-Malabar Catholic Church Chaldean Church

12 March 2013
J.D. Conor Mauro




Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals, presides over the Mass for the election of the Roman pontiff in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican on 12 March. Concelebrating were some 170 cardinals, including 115 under 80 who were to enter the conclave in the Sistine Chapel that afternoon. (photo: CNS/Paul Haring)

In pre-conclave sermon, Cardinal Sodano calls for unity (CNS) Hours before the start of the conclave that will choose the next pope, the dean of the College of Cardinals celebrated the papacy as a source of unity among Catholics and of evangelization and charitable service to the world. Christ “has established his apostles and among them Peter, who takes the lead, as the visible foundation of the unity of the church,” Cardinal Angelo Sodano said in his homily at St. Peter’s Basilica March 12. “Each of us is therefore called to cooperate with the successor of Peter, the visible foundation of such an ecclesial unity.” Cardinal Sodano’s homily included words of thanks for the “brilliant pontificate” of Pope Benedict XVI, which prompted more than 30 seconds of applause. The cardinal quoted the retired pope’s description of charity as a “constitutive element of the church’s mission and an indispensable expression of her being”…

Coptic Catholic leadership enthroned in Cairo, voting in Rome (Fides) After a period of spiritual retreat, His Beatitude Ibrahim Isaac Sidrak, elected Coptic Catholic patriarch of Alexandria on 15 January, has taken possession of his patriarchal see. The enthronement liturgy occurred today in the Coptic Catholic Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin, in Cairo. At the same time, in Rome, the Pro Eligendo Roman Pontiff Mass began at the Basilica of St. Peter, presided by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals. The liturgy in Rome will also be attended by the Egyptian Cardinal Antonios Naguib, Coptic Catholic patriarch emeritus of Alexandria, who in January had to give up the exercise of his patriarchal ministry for health reasons…

Iraq’s new Sunni awakening (Al Monitor) Protesters in Iraq are calling for an end to sectarian discrimination by the Iraqi government and unfair treatment of Arab Sunnis. Osama al Nujaifi, the speaker of parliament and a leader of the largest government coalition, told Al Jazeera in an interview that Iraqi Sunnis are a majority in Iraq, denying the Shiite claims of the same. Ahmed Abu Risha, the former leader of the “Awakening group” that allied with the US army in the battle against al Qaeda in Anbar, maintained in another TV interview that Baghdad is a Sunni city. The protesters’ calls last February to “march on Baghdad” symbolized the emerging Sunni narrative in which Baghdad is presented as the “promised land” that must be redeemed by its original owners…

Islamists continue push for a puritanical Egypt (L.A. Times) The brother of al Qaeda leader Ayman Zawahiri is an unflinching man with a graying beard whose aim, as a Salafi, is to impose Islamic law on the divided country that has emerged since the overthrow of secular autocrat Hosni Mubarak two years ago. Seated at a rooftop cafe as dusk draped the Nile, traffic screeching and lights flickering in the ancient city below, he wagged a finger in the air and spoke of an “epic battle” to scour Egypt of corruption and immorality. “God’s teachings must be carried out,” said Mohammed Zawahiri, an engineer who was acquitted by a military court last year after being imprisoned for more than a decade on charges of attempting to overthrow the state. Once at the edges of Egypt’s political spectrum, puritanical Islamists known as Salafis have been emboldened by the nation’s revolution…



Tags: Iraq Egypt Vatican Coptic Catholic Church Papacy

11 March 2013
Greg Kandra




In this image from last December, a blind man walks past cars and buildings damaged in fighting in the old city of Aleppo, Syria. (photo: CNS/Ahmed Jadallah, Reuters)

Few civilian areas remain untouched by Syrian war (Reuters) Few civilian areas in Syria remain untouched by the country’s two-year civil war and more than 2.5 million people have been displaced internally, according to the United Nations Independent Commission of Inquiry on Syria. Over the past two months, there has been a dramatic erosion of areas inside Syria where civilians are able to live unaffected by the violence and destruction caused by the conflict,” the panel told the Human Rights Council in Geneva today, according to an advance copy of its presentation. In its latest report, the commission said the collapse of Syria’s economy has crippled citizens’ access to basic economic and social rights...

UN: Syrian refugees top one million (Vatican Radio) The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) says number of Syrians who have fled the conflict to other countries has now reached the one million mark. The agency says about half of the refugees are children, the majority under the age of eleven...

Timetable announced for conclave (VIS) During the course of the briefing for journalists on Saturday in the Press Office of the Holy See, Fr. Federico Lombardi, SJ, outlined a timetable for the ceremonies and proceedings on the first days of the upcoming Conclave...

Egyptian Christian reportedly dies in Libyan custody (Associated Press) An Egyptian Foreign Ministry official says a man suspected of trying to spread Christianity in Libya has died in prison there. The diplomat says Ezzat Atallah, who suffered from diabetes and heart ailments, likely died of natural causes. He spoke anonymously Sunday in line with regulations. Atallah was among five Evangelical Christian Egyptians detained in Libya for allegedly proselytizing in the predominantly Muslim nation...



Tags: Syria Egypt Refugees Pope Benedict XVI Libya





1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55 | 56 | 57 | 58 | 59 | 60 | 61 | 62 | 63 | 64 | 65 | 66 | 67 | 68 | 69 | 70 | 71 | 72 | 73 | 74 | 75 | 76 | 77 | 78 | 79 | 80 | 81 | 82 | 83 | 84 | 85 | 86 | 87 | 88 | 89 | 90 | 91 | 92 | 93 | 94 | 95 | 96 | 97 | 98 | 99 | 100 | 101 | 102 | 103 | 104 | 105 | 106 | 107 | 108 | 109 | 110 | 111 | 112 | 113 | 114 | 115 | 116 | 117 | 118 | 119 | 120 | 121 | 122 | 123 | 124 | 125 |