Current Issue
September, 2019
Volume 45, Number 3
5 November 2012
Greg Kandra

This photograph of the interior of Kevork Church in Aleppo was captured after clashes between Free Syrian Army fighters and forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad on 30 October. (photo: CNS/George Ourfalian, Reuters)

Bishops’ delegation to Middle East warns of Syrian refugee crisis (U.S.C.C.B.) In a press conference on 1 November, members of a U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (U.S.C.C.B.) delegation to the Middle East warned of a worsening Syrian refugee crisis and urged more international support for Syrian refugees in the region. “Without more international support, the humanitarian situation, both inside and outside Syria, could reach a breaking point in the not so distant future,” said Bishop Anthony Taylor of Little Rock, Arkansas, a member of the U.S.C.C.B. Committee on Migration and head of the delegation. “The international community, led by the United States, must do more to provide assistance to the refugees in order to avert a humanitarian crisis,” he added.

Egypt’s Coptic Christians choose a new pope (Wall Street Journal) Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church chose a new pope Sunday, in a ceremony that will mark a new chapter in the relationship between the Arab world’s largest Christian minority and the country’s new Islamist leadership. The name of Bishop Tawadros, bishop of the Nile River delta region of El Beheira, was drawn by a blindfolded young boy from a crystal chalice containing the names of three candidates. The ceremony unfolded in front of a cheering crowd at Egypt’s main Coptic cathedral in downtown Cairo.

Egyptian Catholics welcome election of new Coptic pope (Fides) The election of Patriarch Tawadros II, new head of the Coptic Orthodox Church, is stirring reactions of joy and enthusiasm in the Catholic community in Egypt. “We are all delighted,” says Anba Kirillos William, Coptic Catholic bishop of the Diocese of Assiut. According to the current vicar of the Coptic Catholic Church in Egypt: “The three candidates for the succession of Pope Shenouda III were all worthy people. But with regards to ecumenical relations and cooperation between the Christian churches, we hoped that Bishop Tawadros would be elected — an open-minded and balanced person.”

Holy Sepulchre bank account blocked over water bill (Associated Press) A clergyman from the church built on the site where Jesus Christ is said to have been crucified said Friday that its bank account has been frozen as the result of a long-standing dispute with an Israeli water company. Greek Orthodox priest Isidoros Fakitsas said that the move has impaired the Church of the Holy Sepulchre to pay bills and salaries. As a result, the church is considering closing for a day in protest, shutting the doors to one of Christianity’s most popular pilgrimage sites.

Church in India cautious about reports of crucifix dripping with blood (Fides) “The Catholic Church has never claimed that the phenomenon of droplets of blood or water found on the crucifix in Irla is a miracle. In these cases, the church is always prudent. Every special event is carefully studied, expert advice is asked and strict standards before delivering a judgment is observed.” So says an official statement sent to Fides Agency by the Archdiocese of Bombay, where a phenomenon known as “supernatural” is making a stir in the Christian and civil community.

Tags: Egypt Syrian Civil War Indian Christians Patriarchs Coptic Orthodox Church