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Current Issue
December, 2017
Volume 43, Number 4
  
13 April 2017
Greg Kandra




Pope Francis raises the Book of the Gospels as he celebrates Holy Thursday chrism Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican on 13 April. He will celebrate a special liturgy in memory of “new martyrs” next weekend. (photo: CNS/Paul Haring)

Pope to celebrate liturgy for ‘new martyrs’ (Vatican Radio) Pope Francis will celebrate a special Liturgy of the Word in memory of the “New Martyrs” of the 20th and 21st centuries on Saturday, 22 April. A communique from the Holy See Press Office said the prayer will take place in the Basilica of St. Bartholomew on the Tiberian Island, which is located in the heart of Rome on the Tiber River...

U.S. strike on Syria raises moral questions (CNS) The U.S. cruise missile strike on a Syrian air base days after chemical weapons were dropped on civilians in rebel-controlled territory further endangers innocent people, observers familiar with the just-war theory said. If anything, the observers told Catholic News Service, the unilateral U.S. response could embolden Syrian President Bashar Assad to undertake future attacks, exposing more lives to harm — including those of people fleeing the violence...

Confronting suffering and hope in Syria (CNS/CNEWA) Fifteen Franciscan friars continue to live and work in Syria; two of the friars minister in towns controlled by Islamic State forces. The Rev. Michael Perry, minister general of the Franciscans, visited most of the friars the first week of April, but he could not enter areas controlled by Islamic State or by forces opposed to the government of President Bashar Assad...

Egypt names suicide bomber at Coptic church (Reuters) Egypt has named the suicide bomber who attacked a cathedral in Alexandria, describing him as a fugitive with links to militant cells that carried out previous strikes in the country. Mahmoud Hassan Mubarak Abdullah detonated his explosives at the entrance to Saint Mark’s Cathedral, the historic seat of the Coptic Pope, on Palm Sunday, killing 17 people as mass was being conducted...

Packed Iraq morgue reveals toll of Mosul conflict (Reuters) The stench hits you long before you reach the morgue where the latest casualties of war between Islamic State militants and Iraqi forces are kept. Doctor Mansour Maarouf dons a surgical mask as he approaches the morgue refrigerator and pauses before pulling open the door to an icy blast. “In the name of God,” he says out of respect for the dead. Inside, around two dozen corpses lie on the floor: some in body bags, several wrapped in blankets and a few so torn to pieces they come in sacks...

Christians prepare for Easter in Russia (Asia News) This year Russian Catholics and Orthodox Christians are preparing together in Easter services. As happens every five or six years, in 2017 the date of Easter coincides for all Christian denominations. The Great and Holy Week — as it is called in the Byzantine Rite (also the title of “Authentic Week” or “Passion”) — began three days ago with crowds of faithful gathered with the willow branches (the olive tree does not grow in Russia) in procession around the Orthodox churches, but also Catholic ones (about 300 across the country)...