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December, 2017
Volume 43, Number 4
  
19 February 2015
J.D. Conor Mauro




On Monday, 16 February, Metropolitan Seraphim of Glastonbury of the British Orthodox Church — a jurisdiction of the Coptic Orthodox Church — appeared on a BBC news broadcast to speak on the recent killing of Copts by the Islamic State in Libya. (source: British Orthodox Church YouTube channel)

Jerusalem’s Copts mourn Egyptian Christians beheaded in Libya (Jerusalem Post) Just days after Islamic State militants released a video showing the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians in Libya, dozens of Coptic Christians attended a prayer service in Jerusalem’s Coptic Orthodox church located near the Church of the Holy Sepulchre on Wednesday to mourn the victims…

Russian Orthodox patriarch extends condolences to Copts (Russian Orthodox Church) Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia sent condolences to the president of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Mr. Abdel Fattah al Sisi, and Pope Tawadros II over the murder of more than 20 Coptic Christians in Libya…

Ukrainian Orthodox Church patriarchates at odds over Ukraine conflict (AsiaNews.it) Representatives of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate said they were “concerned” that Metropolitan Filaret, head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kiev Patriarchate, had given encouragement to the government to continue the fight in Donbass. In an interview, Metropolitan Filaret rejected the charges against him…

Indian bishops call for “concrete action” to back prime minister’s words (Vatican Radio) “Words to be followed by concrete action.” With this remark, the Catholic bishops of India responded to a statement by India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, who promised commitment on the part of his government to protect religious minorities…

Migration Congress recommendations released (Vatican Radio) The final document of the 7th World Congress for the Pastoral Care of Migrants was made public on Thursday, and called for those charged with the mission of teaching within the church to make an effort to broaden their knowledge and turn theory into practice at the local level. The full text of the document is below…



Tags: India Ukraine Violence against Christians Copts Libya

18 February 2015
J.D. Conor Mauro




A boy looks at his flooded home in the village of Mifol, Albania, on 3 February. Floods caused by heavy rains forced the evacuation of hundreds of villagers. (photo: Gent Shkullaku/AFP/Getty Images)

Orthodox Church of Albania aids areas hit by flooding (Orthodox Church of Albania) The massive rainfalls at the beginning of February caused flooding in many parts of Albania. The area most affected was southern Albania, where many villages suffered severe damage to households and, in some cases, agricultural production and livestock. The Albanian Orthodox has responded by shipping boxes of food and clothing to the local areas affected…

Chaldean patriarch’s call for prayer for unity (Vatican Radio) Chaldean Patriarch Louis Raphael I urged prayer, reflection, discernment and examination of conscience in a message commemorating the beginning of the Lenten season. The patriarch lamented the sin of division and invited all Muslim brothers and sisters to join Christians in fasting for the intention of peace, stability and dignity…

‘Guantanamo of the East’: Ukraine locks up refugees at EU’s behest (Der Spiegel) Most migrants reach Europe through Italy or Greece. Many die on the way. A broad coalition, with voices ranging from Pope Francis to German President Joachim Gauck, is demanding better protection for refugees on Europe’s southern border and the United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR, describes the route across the Mediterranean as the world’s deadliest. But when it comes to the eastern route, and the fate of migrants like Hasan Hirsi — who describes how Ukrainian security forces robbed, beat and tortured him — interest has thus far been limited…

Syrian army gains ground in Aleppo offensive (Al Akhbar) The Syrian army and its allied forces continue to fight in neighborhoods under the control of the opposition in the city of Aleppo, and to break the siege around the towns of Nubl and Al Zahraa in the city’s northern countryside…

War separates lovers in Aleppo (Al Monitor) Twenty-three-year-old Louay was not alone on Valentine’s night, but he wasn’t with his girlfriend, either. He and some lovesick friends gathered by candlelight for an intimate evening. Louay arranged candles in the shape of the letter R and told his friends about the last time he saw his girlfriend, Rama. More than 13 months have passed since Louay and Rama’s last meeting. In February 2014, regime forces closed the only crossing that connected the two parts of Aleppo — the eastern side under opposition control, and the western side under the regime. As a result, the city has been divided and families separated. All of Louay’s friends have their own love stories to tell, all marked by the same kind of suffering — a lost future, a divided country and a distant lover because of the raging war…



Tags: Ukraine Refugees Aleppo Chaldean Patriarch Louis Raphael I Albania

17 February 2015
Greg Kandra




In the video above, Pope Francis offers prayers for the Coptic Christians slain over the weekend.
(video: Rome Reports)


Pope offers Mass for slain Copts (Vatican Radio) Pope Francis offered Mass Tuesday morning for the repose of the souls of the twenty-one Coptic Christians martyred for their faith in Christ. The Mass was attended by the Pope’s personal secretary, Abuna Yoannis Lahzi Gaid, who is Coptic Catholic...

Statement by Coptic Orthodox Church (via Facebook and St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church) The Coptic Orthodox Church headed by Pope Tawadros II lays in the hands of God - in this critical time — its innocent martyrs, assured that their great homeland will not rest until the evil perpetrators are justly punished for their evil crime...

Patriarch: slain Copts were “martyrs of the faith” (Fides) At the news of the massacre of 21 Egyptian Copts decapitated in Libya by jihadists affiliated with the so-called Islamic State (IS), the Patriarch of Alexandria of Coptic Catholics, Ibrahim Isaac Sidrak, “offers his condolence to all the families of these martyrs who gave their lives for the faith, and at the same time expresses his gratitude to President Abdel Fattah al Sisi and all the institutions of the Egyptian government for giving an immediate response to this act of terrorism...”

Muslims and Christians condemn execution of Copts in Libya (L’Osservatore Romano) The barbarity shocked not only the Egyptian Christian community, but the more numerous Muslim authorities have also harshly condemned the beheading of 21 Coptic Christian Egyptians who had had been held hostage for weeks by Libyan jihadists affiliated with the so-called Islamic State. Video of the execution was broadcast on the internet throughout the day on Sunday...

Pope creates 20 new cardinals (L’Osservatore Romano) “The more we are ‘incardinated’ in the Church of Rome, the more we should become docile to the Spirit”. This was Pope Francis’ recommendation to the 20 Cardinals created in the Ordinary Public Consistory held on Saturday, 14 February, in the Vatican Basilica. Benedict XVI was also present at the Consistory...

Ethiopian cardinal: “A total surprise and a humbling experience” (Vatican Radio) Speaking just before the ceremony to Vatican Radio’s English Service for Africa, the new Cardinal of Addis Ababa, Berhaneyesus Souraphiel described his nomination as a total surprise. “This nomination came as a total surprise to me... We did not know it. You see, in the former days these nominations were done through the Apostolic Nunciature. This time, this was done directly by Pope Francis himself. So it was a total surprise and a very humbling experience that the Holy Father has thought it fit to ask me to help him in his great responsibility of governing the universal Church,” Cardinal Berhaneyesus said...

Leaders seek to end fighting in eastern Ukraine (Vatican Radio) The leaders of Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany have agreed that fighting should end around a railway hub in eastern Ukraine where clashes continue despite a ceasefire accord...

Patriarch to Christians in India: churches are doorways to peace (The New Indian Express) Christian churches are the doorways to peace, said Patriarch of Antioch, supreme head of the Syrian Orthodox Church, Ignatius Aphrem-II. Speaking after inaugurating the 40th annual celebrations at the Thuruthissery Valiyapalli at Nedumbassery on Monday, the Partriarch said, “a real Christian is a person who is able to love all human beings equally without any discrimination based on caste, creed or religion. Peace will reign only in a society that understands the love of God,” he said. The Patriarch was accorded a grand reception at the Thuruthissery Church...



Tags: Egypt Pope Francis Ethiopia Muslim Coptic Christians

13 February 2015
Greg Kandra




Ukrainians attend a funeral in Kiev on 2 February for a serviceman killed in the eastern Ukrainian conflict with Russia. (photo: CNS/Sergey Dolzhenko, EPA)

New accord raises hopes for peace in Ukraine (Vatican Radio) The United States and the European Union have expressed caution about a new Ukraine peace agreement reached during talks in Minsk between the Russian, Ukrainian, French and German leaders. Thursday's accord includes a ceasefire starting Sunday, followed by the withdrawal of weapons, the establishment of a demilitarized zone and the exchange of prisoners...

Ukrainian Catholic bishops in the U.S. issue appeal for prayers for peace (Pennsylvania Catholic Conference) The Ukrainian Catholic Bishops in the United States have issued an appeal to clergy, religious and faithful for meditation and fasting for Ukraine. In their letter, the bishops state “The bishops of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in Ukraine with Patriarch Sviatoslav Shevchuk have asked their faithful to fast and to pray daily for various intentions, among them, for the President and elected officials of Ukraine, for the conversion of the aggressors, for the Ukrainian army, for those who protect citizens, for the souls of the deceased, and for unity and independence of Ukraine. Let us join them in holy prayer and fasting...

AP: High civilian death toll in Gaza strikes (AP) The Associated Press examined 247 airstrikes that — according to witness accounts and site visits — hit residential compounds, out of the some 5,000 Israeli strikes during the conflict. Its reporters compiled a detailed casualty count, determining 844 dead in those strikes. The review found that 508 of those dead — just over 60 percent — were children, women and older men, all presumed to be civilians. Hamas says it did not use women as fighters in the war, and an Israel-based research group tracking militants among the dead said it has no evidence women participated in combat...

Report: Islamic State plans to execute kidnapped Copts (Fides) The 21 Copts kidnapped in Libya in early January are in the hands of the jihadists of the Islamic State, who in an article published online foreshadow their execution by presenting it as a revenge against the alleged “violence” suffered in the past by Egyptian Muslim women on behalf of the Coptic Church...

In Armenia, towns without men as migrants leave to find work (The Washington Post) Winter is wedding season in Lichk because as soon as the snow melts, all the adult men here — and in the nine other towns served by its little church — leave to work in Russia. For years, these villages have been like countless others in former Soviet republics, where able-bodied men are lured to Russia by seasonal work and higher wages. But stiffer laws for foreign workers and Russia’s worsening economy are making many migrant laborers reconsider their annual journey. For the men of Lichk — and other Armenian workers, who as members of the Eurasian Economic Union don’t need special work permits in Russia — it has meant working abroad longer but sending less money home...



Tags: Egypt Ukraine Gaza Strip/West Bank Armenia Copts

12 February 2015
J.D. Conor Mauro




Pope Francis addresses cardinals and bishops at the opening of the papal consistory to discuss the reform of the Roman Curia at the Vatican on 12 February. (photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP/Getty Images)

Pope Francis opens consistory with call to unity (Vatican Radio) Pope Francis says the end goal of the reform of the Roman Curia is to harmonize work among the Vatican offices, to achieve a more effective collaboration and promote collegiality. The pope spoke Thursday morning to the College of Cardinals at the opening session of the extraordinary consistory for the creation of new cardinals on Saturday…

Chaldean bishops rally to defend Christians persecuted in Iraq (AINA) Bishops of the Chaldean Church have agreed to unite and face the rising threat of persecution of Middle East Christians, vowing that the church hierarchy will continue to care for families tormented by violent extremists. At the conclusion of the Special Synod of the Chaldean Church, Baghdad Patriarch Louis Raphael I expressed confidence that the church would be able to weather the challenges it is currently facing…

Two metro Detroit Chaldean priests to be ordained bishops (Detroit Free Press) As Christians increasingly face persecution in Iraq, two Detroit Iraqi-American Catholic priests will be promoted to bishop Friday in Iraq. One will serve in Iraq, where he was kidnapped in 2006…

Metropolitan Onufry of Kiev and All Ukraine calls for end to war (Pravmir.com) “On behalf of the 1,000-year-old Ukrainian Orthodox Church, I am urging everyone who calls himself a Christian to stop killing one another immediately. Because dozens of totally innocent civilians, women, elderly people and, most horribly, sinless children become victims of hostilities on a daily basis,” the metropolitan said in an appeal released on the occasion of the anniversary of the events at Maidan Square in Kiev…

Jacobite, Orthodox flocks yearn for peace (Manorama Online) Followers of the Syriac Orthodox Church and the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church are waiting for a new era of peace and cooperation after the ice-breaking statements by their supreme leaders, Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II and Catholicos Baselios Mar Thoma Paulose II. The disputes between the two factions have a history of more than a century. Despite a short-lived truce the differences led to litigation and humiliating arguments. The followers, however, nursed a dream of peaceful coexistence because they keep the same faith…

Egypt orders release of Al Jazeera reporters (Al Akhbar) An Egyptian court ordered the release of two jailed Al Jazeera journalists on Thursday pending retrial, after they spent 411 days in prison in a case that sparked worldwide outrage. Muhammad Fahmy, a Canadian whose family hoped he would be deported, must meet a bail of 250,000 Egyptian pounds ($33,000), while his colleague, Egyptian national Baher Muhammad, was freed on his own recognizance along with other defendants. The next court session was set for 23 February, the court said…



Tags: Egypt Pope Francis Chaldean Church Syriac Orthodox Church Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church

11 February 2015
J.D. Conor Mauro




A pro-Russian rebel stands next to damaged buses in Donetsk on 11 February. Shelling hit a central bus station in Donetsk and killed at least four people, according to a local official. (photo: Vasily Maximov/AFP/Getty Images)

As leaders gather to discuss Ukraine peace, war intensifies (Washington Post) Pro-Moscow rebels and Ukrainian forces waged intense battles over strategic ground Wednesday as leaders gathered for high-stakes talks seeking to quell the escalating conflict. The leaders of Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France agreed to meet in Minsk, Belarus, after days of preliminary discussions, raising the prospect of a deal with the rebels in eastern Ukraine…

Delhi archbishop: Indian election result ‘a vote for change’ (Catholic Herald) The Archbishop of Delhi has said the Indian government failed to deliver on its promises following the victory of an anti-corruption party in the state elections. Speaking to AsiaNews, Archbishop Anil Joseph Thomas Couto claimed the election had been marred by anti-Catholic violence after churches were vandalised and a peaceful protest was broken up by heavy-handed police…

Ethiopian Orthodox patriarch visits Sudan (Sudan Vision) Patriarch Abune Mathias of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church is in Sudan accompanied by a number of priests and the ambassador of Ethiopia to Sudan. The patriarch was received by the undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Abdalla Hamad al Azraq. The two discussed the situation of the Ethiopian community and churches in Sudan as well as the firm historic ties between the Sudanese and Ethiopian peoples…

Aleppo’s displaced find refuge in Kurdish regions (Al Monitor) Sheikh Maksoud, located in the northwest of Aleppo, is considered a safe haven for the displaced. Arab and Kurdish families alike go there to escape the shelling in the eastern neighborhoods under the opposition’s grip. Hundreds of families from Kobane sought shelter there in the wake of the battles between the Islamic State and the Kurdish forces…



Tags: India Ukraine Ethiopia Aleppo Sudan

10 February 2015
Greg Kandra




Ukrainians walk past symbolic crosses set up by protesters in front of the Russian embassy in Kiev, Ukraine, on 1 February (photo: CNS/Sergey Dolzhenko, EPA)

Holy See “following attentively” situation in Ukraine (Vatican Radio) The head of the Holy See Press Office, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, SJ, on Tuesday spoke about the situation in the Ukraine. “The See is following attentively the situations of crisis in various parts of the world, including the eastern regions of Ukraine. In the presence of an escalation of the conflict that has claimed many innocent victims, the Holy Father Francis has renewed his appeal for peace on several occasions,” Father Lombardi said...

Catholic, Orthodox leaders urge “unity against aggression” in Ukraine (CNS) Catholic and Orthodox archbishops in Ukraine appealed for national unity against pro-Russia separatists as calls mounted for the United States to help arm Ukrainian forces. Citing constant danger to Ukraine, the church leaders called the war “a crime against life” that brings “suffering and death, grief and injustice” in a 4 February statement...

Jordan deploys thousands of troops at border with Iraq (NBC News) Jordan has deployed “thousands” of troops at its border with Iraq as it ramps up a campaign against ISIS militants who set a pilot ablaze, two Jordanian government officials told NBC News on Tuesday. The troops were sent to prevent the infiltration of ISIS fighters into Jordan and as a show of force, according to the sources who spoke on condition of anonymity...

Suicides on the rise in Gaza (Al-Monitor) Committing suicide by hanging, poisoning or setting oneself on fire is now more common for those who have completely lost hope. For them, it is the easiest way to find eternal rest and to escape from the political, economic and social injustice they are subject to. The Gaza Strip, besieged for the past eight years and suffering the misfortunes of isolation, is witnessing the new phenomenon of suicide that is plaguing its streets, just like Tunisia and Egypt...

Mumbai Christians protest attacks on churches in Delhi (Times of India) Several hundred Christians led by community NGOs gathered at Azad Maidan Monday afternoon to protest the recent attacks on churches in New Delhi. The speakers held up US president Barack Obama’s recent comments about “growing religious intolerance” in India to express their concerns about the saffron brigade’s ‘ghar wapsi’ programme. However, they denounced the Anti-Conversion Bill which seeks to ban religious conversions by all groups...



Tags: Iraq India Ukraine Gaza Strip/West Bank Jordan

9 February 2015
J.D. Conor Mauro




Ethiopian Orthodox clergy chant the psalms in the ancient rock-cut churches of Lalibela, Ethiopia.
(photo: Carl Hétu)


Egypt uses church to bolster ties with Ethiopia (Al-Monitor) At a time when the Egyptian government officially acknowledged that obstacles re-emerged in the negotiations with Ethiopia over the Renaissance Dam — which is threatening the Egyptian share of the Nile’s waters — Egypt is seeking to take advantage of the rapprochement between the Egyptian and Ethiopian Coptic churches. This was shown during the last visit of the Ethiopian patriarch to Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria at Christmas. Egypt is trying to benefit from these ties to improve bilateral ties, drawing on historical relations that have linked both churches since the 14th century until their separation in 1959...

400 rabbis urge Netanyahu to end Palestinian house demolitions (Christian Today) More than 400 rabbis and cantors from Israel and around the world have signed a petition addressed to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, urging him to stop the practice of demolishing Palestinian homes...

Synod of Chaldean Bishops: join forces to liberate the lands occupied by jihadists (Fides) The Iraqi national government and the regional Kurdistan government must “allocate the necessary funds to support families that Daesh expelled from their homes and deprived their property”. In addition, all “national and international forces” must “unite their intent to liberate the occupied territories as soon as possible and put in place the necessary measures to protect Christians and other Iraqis, so they all return to their homes and live in safety and with dignity”. These are the appeals launched by the Extraordinary Synod of the Chaldean Bishops, summoned by Patriarch Louis Raphael I at the patriarchal seat of Baghdad on Saturday, 7 February...

Catholicos Baselios Paulose II welcomes dialogue with the Syriac Orthodox Church (The Orthodox Church) Baselios Paulose II Patriarch — Catholicos on the Apostolic Throne of St Thomas and Malankara Metropolitan — has welcomed dialogue with the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch and All East. The Catholics stated that he is pleased to wholeheartedly cooperate with the peace initiatives of Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II...

ISIS pulls some forces and hardware from Aleppo (The Daily Star) ISIS has withdrawn some of its insurgents and equipment from areas northeast of the Syrian city of Aleppo, rebels and residents say, adding to signs of strain in the Syrian provinces of its self-declared caliphate...



6 February 2015
J.D. Conor Mauro




An Indian Christian woman holds a rosary during a protest outside the Sacred Heart Cathedral following recent attacks on churches in New Delhi on 5 February 2015. (photo: Sajjad Hussain/AFP/Getty Images)

Police drag protesting priests, nuns, children into buses (NDTV) A large number of policemen swooped down on a protest in Delhi against church attacks, and dragged activists, including priests and nuns into buses. Some alleged that they were attacked with batons. Christian groups were protesting outside the Sacred Heart cathedral in central Delhi when the police arrived. Scores of protesters were manhandled and bundled into buses, their bags, shoes and other belongings left scattered on the road. Father Dominic Emanuel, the spokesperson of the Delhi Catholic Archdiocese, was also forced into a bus and taken away. An elderly woman, who lay on the road, was picked up by four policewomen and thrown into a bus…

India government official promises security to churches (Fides) Rajnath Singh, India’s minister of Home Affairs, has ordered an inquiry into the recent attacks on Catholic churches in the last two months, starting from the desecration of St. Alphonsa church. The minister communicated the decision to a delegation of Christian leaders who met him after the demonstrated organized by Christians on 5 February in Delhi to protest against the inaction of the government. During the protest, police forced demonstrators onto buses…

Moscow concerned over tension on Armenia-Azerbaijan contact line (Azernews) Russia has called on the parties to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to avoid actions leading to escalation on the contact line. Armenia and Azerbaijan should take effective measures aimed at reducing tension, said Alexander Lukashevich, Spokesperson for Russian Foreign Ministry, reported Tass, a Russian media outlet. He said the very difficult situation on the frontline has resulted in an intensification of a large number of ceasefire violations, clashes and actions of sabotage groups. The data provided by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s monitoring commission revealed that 12 people were killed and 18 others wounded in wake of the skirmishes in January, noted Lukashevich. Armenia has held Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent territories under occupation for over two decades…

ISIS threatens Assyrians in Syria, women and children evacuated (AINA) Two days ago ISIS ordered Assyrians in the region of Hassake to remove the crosses from their churches and to pay a jizya (a tax on non-Muslims), warning residents that if they failed to pay they would have to leave or else be killed. On Sunday ISIS entered the village of Tel Hormizd and forced residents to remove the cross from the church. After ISIS left the town, the women and children were evacuated to the town of Um Gargen, directly north across the river, while the Assyrian men, who are armed, stayed to defend their town. Kurdish fighters from the YPG have also entered the town to protect it…

‘4,000-strong’ Christian militia formed to fight ISIS (Newsweek) Iraqi Christians have established their own militia and are training to fight the Islamic State (ISIS) in the Nineveh Plains of northern Iraq. Many Christian towns were captured by ISIS when they marched across the country last summer and approximately 30,000 Christians have since fled the Nineveh Plains for fear of falling into the hands of the radical Islamists. According to British newspaper the Catholic Herald, the Nineveh Plains Protection Units (NPU) have 3,000 Christian men registered to be trained, while another 500 are already training for combat and 500 volunteers from the group are already situated in Assyrian villages in northern Iraq. Newsweek was not able to independently verify these claims…

New apostolic nuncio to Egypt appointed (Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has nominated 66-year-old Italian Archbishop Bruno Musarò to be the new Apostolic Nuncio to Egypt and Delegate to the League of Arab States. Archbishop Musarò was formerly the Apostolic Nuncio to Cuba from August 2011 to 5 February 2015…



Tags: Iraq India Armenia Indian Christians Azerbaijan

5 February 2015
Greg Kandra




Jordanians line the streets between Amman and Queen Alia airport waiting to greet King Abdullah II upon his arrival at the airport near Amman on 4 February, in Amman, Jordan.
(photo by Jordan Pix/Getty Images)


Jordan king vows “relentless” war against ISIS (Voice of America) Jordan’s King Abdullah has vowed to take tough action against Islamic State militants following the group’s gruesome killing of a Jordanian pilot captured after his plane went down during a mission targeting the militants in Syria. The murder of pilot Muath al-Kaseasbeh triggered international condemnation and prompted Jordanian authorities to execute two Iraqi prisoners, failed suicide bomber Sajida al-Rishawi and al-Qaida operative Ziad al-Karbouly. King Abdullah stressed that Jordan would be “relentless” in the war against Islamic State...

Secretary of State Kerry says peace in Ukraine is up to Russia (CNN) U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry put the ball squarely in Russia’s court Thursday for finding a peaceful end to the devastating conflict in eastern Ukraine, saying the biggest threat Ukraine faces is “Russia’s continued aggression” there. Speaking alongside Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Kiev, Kerry called on Russia to take three steps he said would enable a diplomatic solution “that is staring everyone in the face.” Those are pulling back heavy weapons beyond the range of civilian populations, removing foreign troops and heavy equipment from Ukraine, and closing the Russia-Ukraine border...

Patriarch Kirill praises Vatican’s balanced view on Ukraine crisis (Interfax) Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia has criticized the policies pursued by the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and has thanked the Vatican for its balanced approach toward the Ukrainian crisis. “Today, fresh conflicts in Ukraine in light of the latest political events in the country are causing concern in our relations with the Roman Catholic Church,” the patriarch said in Moscow. “At the same time, I would like to note with satisfaction that the Holy See itself has always pursued a balanced stance toward the situation in Ukraine and has avoided any lop-sided assessments, but has called for peace talks and an end to armed clashes,” he said...

Vatican officials reportedly denied visas for India visit (Vatican Radio) The Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI) alleged that two key Vatican officials who were to address the 27th National Assembly of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI) in Bengaluru which began on 3 February had been denied visas. Archbishop Arthur Roche, Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, and Archbishop Protase Rugambwa, President of Pontifical Mission Societies and Adjunct Secretary to the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, were key resource persons for the week-long conference...



Tags: India Ukraine Jordan Russian Orthodox





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