Pope on Christian-Muslim dialogue: Saying ‘yes’ to everything is a way of deceiving

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When it comes to dialogue between Christians and Muslims, there are still challenges that need to be overcome. Progress has been made said the Pope, but more work needs get done. This was the Pope’s message as he addressed the Pontifical Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies. The Saturday meeting was a way to promote dialogue between both faiths. POPE FRANCIS “We must try to avoid conciliatory connections that are empty. We must avoid the comfortable approach of saying yes to everything, to merely avoid confrontation. This is just a … Continue reading

VIDEO – Pope Francis pleads for peace in Niger: You can’t wage war in the name of God

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During his weekly general audience, Pope Francis made a plea for peace in Niger. After the recent publication of cartoons depicting Prophet Muhammad, violent protests have erupted against Christians in the country. At least 10 people have been killed and 45 churches destroyed. POPE FRANCIS’ FULL APPEAL Dear Brothers and Sisters, I would like for us to pray together, for the victims of the protests that erupted these last few days in Niger. Children and churches have been targets of brutal acts of violence. Let’s ask the Lord for the … Continue reading

What is the Pope doing to stop radical Islam?

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The world looked on as Pope Francis held a massive prayer gathering to stop military intervention in Syria. Privately, he helped re-establish diplomatic ties between the U.S and Cuba. Now one of his greatest challenges is stopping Islamic extremists and the violence they are waging. CARD. ZENON GROCHOLEWSKI Prefect, Congregation for Catholic Education “It’s either war or dialogue. Right now the greatest priority for the Pope is for us to embrace dialogue. It’s the only solution. We have seen results, but not as many as we would like. So we … Continue reading

Papal Envoy: Iraqi Christians Might Be Able to Return Home This Year

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Says Both Church and Political Leaders Hoping for a Visit From Pope Francis ROME, January 21, 2015 (Zenit.org) – This report is contributed by Oliver Maksan of Aid to the Church in Need. The Vatican’s diplomatic representative in Iraq, Archbishop Giorgio Lingua, is cautiously optimistic that the Christians driven out of northern Iraq by the Islamic State might be able to return to their homes sometime this year. He told international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, however, that the process will be most challenging—even aside from the … Continue reading

Audience with Pope Francis

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Fr. Jorge Cortés, IVE missionary in Iraq, was received, together with Fr. Carlos Walker, Superior General of the IVE, in a private audience by the Holy Father on Saturday, November 15th. Fr. Jorge recounted about the meeting: “The Pope greeted us standing, very close to the door through which we had entered. After we had genuflected and kissed his ring, he thanked us for the work that we are doing in Iraq. I said that we were the ones who were thankful; we thanked him for his concern and interest … Continue reading

No more war and violations of human rights!

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“At stake are fundamental principles such as the value of life, human dignity, religious freedom and the harmonious and peaceful coexistence between persons and between peoples.”   Vatican City, October 06, 2014 (Zenit.org) | 81 hits Here below is a press release issued by the Vatican on the Oct. 2-4 meeting of the Apostolic Nuncios in the Middle East with some superiors of the Roman Curia. *** No more war and violations of human rights! At the wish of the Holy Father, the Papal Representatives present in the Middle East … Continue reading

Pope Francis meets with Middle East Nuncios to discuss Jihadist violence

 

Pope Francis is still concerned about violence in the Middle East. He called the Apostolic Nuncios and other pontifical representatives in the region to meet him at the Vatican. For two days, they will discuss how the Church can continue to help Christians and other persecuted minorities in the area.

The Presidents of the Dicasteries involved with the region also attended the meeting, along with the permanent observers of the Holy See to the UN and the Apostolic Nuncio to the European Union.

Pope Francis greeted them one by one. He then listened to all the information brought by the representatives of Syria and Iraq. The President of the Pontifical Council ‘Cor Unum’, Guinean Cardinal Robert Sarah, explained how the Church is trying to tackle the suffering of the refugees.

Terrorism worries Pope Francis. He pointed out that arms trafficking may be one of its roots.

This round of meetings will finish on Saturday October 4. Their theme is ‘The Presence of Christians in the Middle East.’

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The Pope listens to two survivors of Communist persecution in Albania

The memory of those Christians who gave their lives during the Communist persecution in Albania was very present during the meeting of Pope Francis with the Albanian priests and religious people.

“Our martyr died crying ‘Long live the Pope!’ and we also want to cry it out together.”

A 84-year-old Albanian priest told Pope Francis how he faced hard labor in a concentration camp for 27 years. A nun who had to live in clandestinity also gave her testimony, and couldn’t help getting emotional when she greeted Pope Francis.

The Pope himself set aside his written speech and improvised another one. He made a comment on the Gospel of the day, that talked about the consolation that God brings to his people.

For the Pope, the priest and nun that shared their experiences were living examples of martyrdom. He explained how they survived religious persecution.

POPE FRANCIS
“We can ask them: how did you survive so much suffering? And they will answer what we read on on this passage of the Second Epistle to the Corinthians: God is a merciful Father and a God of comfort. It was Him who comforted us.”

Pope Francis also highlighted that they could overcome such hard times thanks to the prayer of a lot of Christians. In a friendly way, he asked Christians not to look for comfort far from God.

POPE FRANCIS
“I don’t want to scold you today, eh? I don’t want to play the executioner part here. But pay attention, eh? If you look for comfort somewhere else, you’ll never be happy.”

The Pope admitted that he wasn’t aware of the ferocious the Communist persecution was until he had studied it carefully in the last two months. He also confessed that was surprised to see how much suffering the Albanian people had undertaken.

Before leaving St. Paul’s cathedral in Tirana, the Albanian bishops gave a cross that had pictures of martyrs, as well as an icon of Our Lady of Good Counsel, Patroness of Albania.

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Pope: Migrants and refugees have a privileged place in the heart of the Church

Pope Francis released his message for next year’s World Day of Migrants and Refugees entitled “Church Without Frontiers, Mother to All”.

It reflects on the hardships faced by migrants and refugees, and encourages the Church to “take on new commitments of solidarity, communion and evangelization”.

Cardinal Antonio Maria Vegliò, president of the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Refugees, spoke on the significance of the Pope’s message in this time, where immigration and the plight of refugees has affected the world on a global scale.

 

CARD. ANTONIO MARIA VEGLIÓ
Pontifical Council for Migrants and Refugees
“The message has two aspects, two points on which it focuses on: the world of immigration and the world of refugees.”

The message also stresses that while cooperation is necessary to provide more humane conditions for migrants, greater efforts must be made to improve conditions that compel people to leave their homeland.

Cardinal Vegliò highlighted Pope Francis’ call to migrants and refugees to not lose their faith and hope in the midst of difficulties.

CARD. ANTONIO MARIA VEGLIÓ
Pontifical Council for Migrants and Refugees
“This is very beautiful, despite the difficulties that we recognize of this problem. The Pope says clearly that they have a privileged place in the Church. Precisely because they are those who are most in need, because they are the most vulnerable.”

The Cardinal also said that upcoming Synod on the Family will discuss the difficulty of reuniting families who have been separated due to migration.

CARD. ANTONIO MARIA VEGLIÓ
Pontifical Council for Migrants and Refugees
“The reunion, the reunification of the family is truly a tragedy. When the husband leaves for example, it is difficult for the family to remain united. So, the problem of reunification will be examined. ”

The World Day of Migrants and Refugees will be held on January 18th, 2015.

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Pope to Christians in Iraq: The Church is proud to have you as sons and daughters

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As the Pope led his general audience, he prayed for persecuted Christians in Iraq. He highlighted his spiritual closeness, adding that the Church is proud to have them as sons and daughters. POPE’S ADDRESS TO PERSECUTED CHRISTIANS “Today, I want to reassure my closeness to Christians, to the defenseless and persecuted. You are in the heart of the Church. The Church suffers with you and the Church is proud of you. It’s proud to have sons and daughters like you. You are its strength and you offer a concrete and … Continue reading