Home » Archive by category 'International News'

Pope leads 11,000 pilgrims praying rosary for Italy’s earthquake victims

By

Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Hearing the mayor of Amatrice in central Italy say his town no longer exists and knowing there were children who died Aug. 24 in the earthquakes that struck the region, Pope Francis turned his weekly general audience into a prayer service.

A man walks amid rubble following an earthquake in Amatrice, Italy, Aug. 24. (CNS photo/Remo Casilli, Reuters)

A man walks amid rubble following an earthquake in Amatrice, Italy, Aug. 24. (CNS photo/Remo Casilli, Reuters)

Beginning the audience in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis said he had prepared a normal audience talk on how the merciful Jesus is close to people, but given the devastation in central Italy, he decided to lead the recitation of the sorrowful mysteries of the rosary.

Italy’s National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology reported the first quake, which registered a magnitude 6.0, struck at 3:36 a.m. with an epicenter about 100 miles northeast of Rome between the towns of Accumoli and Amatrice. The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude was 6.2 and the epicenter was closer to Norcia, the birthplace of St. Benedict.

Smaller quakes — at least two of which registered more than 5.0 — continued for several hours after the main quake. By early afternoon, the death toll had reached 38 but was expected to rise.

As emergency workers began digging people out from under the rubble of collapsed buildings and the number of verified deaths climbed, Pope Francis arrived in St. Peter’s Square for his general audience.

“Hearing the news of the earthquake that has struck central Italy and devastated entire areas, leaving many dead and wounded, I cannot fail to express my heartfelt sorrow and my closeness” to everyone in the earthquake zone, especially those who lost loved ones and “those who are still shaken by fear and terror,” the pope said.

“Having heard the mayor of Amatrice say, ‘The town no longer exists,’ and knowing that there are children among the dead, I am deeply saddened,” Pope Francis said.

The pope thanked all the volunteers and emergency workers who were trying to rescue victims people trapped under the rubble.

Assuring the people in the region of the prayers and “the embrace of the whole church,” the pope asked the estimated 11,000 pilgrims and tourists in St. Peter’s Square to join him in praying that “the Lord Jesus, who is always moved by human suffering, would console the brokenhearted and give them peace.”

At the Benedictine monastery in Norcia, a community growing in fame because of its prayer life and brewery, the 15 monks and five guests were already awake when the first quake hit, Benedictine Father Benedict Nivakoff told Catholic News Service. Aug. 24 is the feast of St. Bartholomew and “on feast days we get up earlier” to pray, he said.

“All of the monks and the monks’ guests are safe,” he said. But the Basilica of St. Benedict suffered “considerable structural damage,” and the monastery will need repairs as well.

Within a half hour of the first quake, Father Nivakoff said, the square outside the monastery was filled with people “because it is the safest place in town, around the statue of St. Benedict.”

While no buildings collapsed, it is obvious that many homes are no longer habitable, he said. The monks have set up a reception desk to help meet their neighbors’ needs.

The basilica, he said, is closed pending an inspection by civil engineers, who were to arrive the afternoon of Aug. 24. However, Father Nivakoff said, “the facade seems to have detached” from the rest of the building and major repairs are likely.

Assisi is just 45 miles from Norcia and, according to Franciscan Father Enzo Fortunato, the quake was felt strongly at the convent and basilica that suffered major damage from an earthquake in 1997.

Father Fortunato told the Italian news agency ANSA that the quake woke all the friars, many of whom ran to the Basilica of St. Francis. No damage was visible, he said.

Comments Off on Pope leads 11,000 pilgrims praying rosary for Italy’s earthquake victims

Order of Malta in Lebanon: Seeing the face of God in the disabled

By

CHABROUH, Lebanon — In a pristine mountain setting in Lebanon, a female volunteer gently takes hold of the hands of Mohammed, a disabled adult who has trouble communicating. She gazes into his eyes, still shaded in heart-shaped sunglasses from the dress-up activity a few hours earlier, as she engages him in a dance to the rhythm of the music playing in the background.

Smiling contentedly, Mohammed bows his head to kiss her hand, and she responds with a kiss on his forehead.

A man identified only as Charbel engages with his volunteer, Jack Straker of England, during a camp at the Order of Malta Lebanon's center in Chabrouh, Lebanon, July 5. The Order of Malta Lebanon brings together disabled people from institutional settings and volunteers to spend a week together for a camp. (CNS photo/courtesy Sandra Fayad, Order of Malta Lebanon)

A man identified only as Charbel engages with his volunteer, Jack Straker of England, during a camp at the Order of Malta Lebanon’s center in Chabrouh, Lebanon, July 5. The Order of Malta Lebanon brings together disabled people from institutional settings and volunteers to spend a week together for a camp. (CNS photo/courtesy Sandra Fayad, Order of Malta Lebanon)

“By showing acts of love, we are demonstrating that everyone is made in the image and likeness of God,” Anton Depiro, a 30-year-old Catholic volunteer from London, said during a recent camp for people with disabilities, run by the Order of Malta Lebanon.

As Depiro affectionately put his arm around Mohammed, he introduced his middle-aged guest like a proud brother, saying, “He’s very shy and quiet.” He said they were “working together slowly and getting to know each other, and we’re finding ways we can interact.”

The issue of disability is still somewhat of a taboo in Lebanon, and families often experience shame when they have a child with a disability. Because the Lebanese government does not offer support for people with disabilities, many families resort to putting their family member into an institution, where there is little connection with the outside world.

The Order of Malta Lebanon addresses this inadequacy by bringing together disabled people from institutional settings and volunteers to spend a week together at its center in Chabrouh for a camp. Each disabled camper is paired with a volunteer for complete care and attention.

One of the aims of the Order of Malta Lebanon camp is to give guests “the love and respect they deserve and to give them back their humanity,” Patrick Jabre, project director for the Chabrouh camp, told Catholic News Service. Jabre was among the first volunteers when the organization hosted its first camp there in 1997.

Depiro said volunteering with the guests can be challenging, for example, waking them to wash and get dressed for the day.

“But it’s simply about sharing love with our brothers and sisters. After a while, you find the guest starts to look after you,” he said.

The motto at Chabrouh is, “Our guests are our lords, and we are here to serve them.”

So, if a guest signals to the volunteer a desire not to participate in the group activity in progress, the pair might instead play a quiet game, or just sit together and hold hands while taking in the spectacular views from the camp. Chabrouh, which is near Faraya, a popular skiing destination, is 6,200 feet above sea level.

Camp activities include hiking, olive picking, theatre plays, “Olympic” games as well as an outing to the beach.

Jack Straker, 25, a Catholic volunteer from England, said his guest, Charbel, who is mute, “has ups and downs all day.” Middle-aged Charbel sometimes makes sounds of approval or disapproval. That morning, Charbel especially enjoyed washing up.

“Charbel likes to receive kisses. He goes up to people and presents his cheek,” Straker added.

“To see the face of God in the face of the guest helps to renew a lot of people’s faith,” Straker said, referring to the Chabrouh camp experience as a “silent evangelization.”

Each day begins and ends with a group prayer. Mass is celebrated most days, and confession and the anointing of the sick are available.

Melkite Father Romanos Bou Assi, director of the center, said the daily schedule “is always engulfed in the grace of the Lord.”

Although the volunteers come from different paths and an active Christian spiritual life is not a prerequisite, the camp experience encourages them to “think deeply about the meaning of their lives,” Father Bou Assi said. Such reflection, while working closely with the disabled, the priest explained, also can help the volunteers to understand “the things that sometimes cripple us in life” and the importance of having a relationship with God.

Chabrouh underwent an extensive renovation and expansion, whereby two buildings were joined and a new building added in time for the 2016 camps. Cardinal Bechara Rai, Maronite Catholic patriarch, will consecrate the center Sept. 3.

This year’s schedule at Chabrouh included Order of Malta volunteers from four European countries as well as from Lebanon for 18 separate weeklong camps, including two at Christmastime. In all, about 650 volunteers and 500 guests, 15-20 percent of whom are Muslim, will participate. The organization also hopes to receive delegations from North and South and America for future camps.

After each camp, volunteers with the Order of Malta Lebanon visit the former guests where they reside.

The order also sponsors a course for college students, who spend 10 months in Lebanon learning about the region, faith and coexistence, while working daily with the disabled in institutions across the country.

Marwan Sehnaoui, president of the Order of Malta Lebanon, fondly refers to the Chabrouh camp as a little family and a “house to learn how to love.”

“When you look around you and see the state of the world, you understand that something is missing,” Sehnaoui said, citing murder, suicide and bloodshed rampant in the world today. “So we decided that the spirituality of this house is to teach how to love. Because a world without love cannot work.”

Sehnaoui stressed that the experience of the camp instills in volunteers a hope that “together, they can join hands for a better world through loving the disabled.” At the same time, the guest also discovers a capacity to love.

“Christ resides in these suffering people, and Christ, through these disabled people, is an instrument of peace and coexistence,” Sehnaoui said, adding that in Lebanon, “all this is being done on a holy land.”

— By Doreen Abi Raad

 

Comments Off on Order of Malta in Lebanon: Seeing the face of God in the disabled

Priest finds hope amid violence that has killed millions in Congo

By

Catholic News Service

This story contains a description of a horrible act of violence

QUEBEC CITY — For Father Gaston Ndaleghana Mumbere, the feast of the Assumption represents his hope for better tomorrows for Congo.

Father Gaston Ndaleghana Mumbere poses for a photo in Quebec City Aug. 10. In his recently published book, this 35-year-old Assumptionist priest describes the violence that plagues his home country. (CNS photo/Philippe Vaillancourt, Presence)

Father Gaston Ndaleghana Mumbere poses for a photo in Quebec City Aug. 10. In his recently published book, this 35-year-old Assumptionist priest describes the violence that plagues his home country. (CNS photo/Philippe Vaillancourt, Presence)

In his recently published book, this 35-year-old Assumptionist priest describes the violence that plagues his home country. But mostly, he writes to allow a people used to crying from under the rubble of chaos to speak once again.

Father Mumbere is from North Kivu, a Congolese province that, for 20 years, has been at the heart of a conflict that has killed up to 8 million people in the East African nation.

Sent to Quebec City by his religious order in 2009 to study theology, he eventually took up writing to tell of the Congolese drama. His French-language book, “La cloche ne sonnera plus a l’eglise de Butembo-Beni” (“The Bell Won’t Ring Anymore at Butembo-Beni’s Church”), is written like a series of letters addressed to his Aunt Assumpta, a fictitious name that serves two purposes: to protect her identity, and to have a constant reference to the feast of the Assumption.

“Mary has walked the path that awaits us: the path of the Resurrection,” said Father Mumbere. “The path toward the Father. She’s like a model that encourages us, that tells us it’s possible to make it. Stay strong. Mary is not the path. Jesus is.”

In this sense, he said, the Assumption is not just a devotion, “It’s something real, alive.”

Father Mumbere bases his Marian reflection on the Bible, and he used it as a basis for preaching in August at the Sanctuary of the Sacred Heart, also known as the Canadian Montmartre. He said the New Testament tells of how Mary feels the pain of others.

“It’s at this moment that this woman is a model, an inspiration. Mary becomes important, not because I must venerate her, but because she shows me how I must care for the others, for what is lacking in their lives.”

He said he wanted his book to rely on this path of the Assumption to tell about the harsh Congolese reality.

“For me, the first thing, the urgency, is to liberate the word,” he said in French, giving his sentence a double meaning, since it could translate as “to speak freely” or as “to free the Word of God.”

“It’s not enough to say: ‘Bah, 8 million people died in Congo and that’s it.’ I vouch for the word. The muffled word.”

The priest compared the Congolese people to victims stuck under rubble. They cannot talk; they can only cry out, hoping someone will hear them.

Father Mumbere reminded people that in a context of terror, such as in North Kivu, it is difficult to speak freely.

Without delving in all the atrocities, Father Mumbere’s book tells of the dehumanizing violence, such as an incident with his grandmother’s neighbors, when armed men raped the mother and her daughters, before forcing the husband and sons to rape them as well to have their lives spared.

“I wish free speech for them,” said the priest. “We must speak ‘for’ these raped women, and not ‘of’ them. I wish the readers to enter the dynamic of also speaking for these women. For me, it’s biblical. To speak for the others is like a place of salvation.”

Among the victims he wants to speak for, Father Mumbere remembers his Assumptionist friends, kidnapped Oct. 19, 2012. Fathers Jean-Pierre Ndulani, Anselme Wasukundi, and Edmond Bamutupe were all ministering at the Mbau parish, in the Butembo-Beni Diocese, when they were taken. Although many people think the priests have been killed, their fate remains unknown.

“It was a motivation to speak out. I cannot just stay in my sacristy. My prayer, I want it to be active. To pay tribute to these priests is to speak of the chaotic situation in Congo,” he said.

“They give me the energy to write, to speak. And if they’re dead, I think they pray for Congo. They pray for the Assumption. For the church. If they’re alive, it will be a great joy to see them again,” he added, his voice stifled with emotion.

“And to speak with them.”

Vaillancourt is editor-in-chief of Presence info based in Montreal.

Comments Off on Priest finds hope amid violence that has killed millions in Congo

Olympian Biles keeps rosary, a gift from her mom, close when she competes

By

RIO DE JANEIRO — U.S. Olympic gymnast and gold medalist Simone Biles says when she travels, she sometimes takes with her a statue of St. Sebastian, the patron saint of athletes, and she also carries a rosary her mother gave her. Read more »

Comments Off on Olympian Biles keeps rosary, a gift from her mom, close when she competes

Philippine church leaders feel powerless to stop extrajudicial killings

By

 

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine Catholic leaders say they are powerless to stop a growing number of extrajudicial killings that have come with President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.

Relatives of an alleged Filipino drug dealer killed by police mourn at a cemetery in Manila Aug. 7. Catholic leaders say they are powerless to stop a growing number of extrajudicial killings in the Philippines that have come with Duterte's war on drugs. (CNS photo/Francis R. Malasig, EPA)

Relatives of an alleged Filipino drug dealer killed by police mourn at a cemetery in Manila Aug. 7. Catholic leaders say they are powerless to stop a growing number of extrajudicial killings in the Philippines that have come with Duterte’s war on drugs. (CNS photo/Francis R. Malasig, EPA)

“What I predicted is happening, and the church is powerless to stop the killings,” Redemptorist Father Amado Picardal, head of the Philippine bishops’ Commission for Basic Ecclesial Communities, told ucanews.com. He said the killings are “already unstoppable,” adding that some church leaders are losing hope.

Father Picardal, who has linked the president to a death squad allegedly responsible for the killings of more than 1,400 people, warned of “dark prospects” for the Philippines following Duterte’s election in May.

During his campaign for the presidency, Duterte vowed to stop criminality, especially the illegal drugs trade, and corruption in the first six months of his term, warning that his administration would be a bloody one. Ucanews.com reported estimates of more than 600 people killed since Duterte was elected in May; 211 of those were murdered by unidentified gunmen.

Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan, president of the bishops’ conference, appealed to Filipinos’ sense of humanity amid the killings. He said he was “in utter disbelief,” adding that the killings “are too much to swallow.”

“There is a little voice of humanity in us that I believe is disturbed by the killings,” the archbishop said in a statement read in churches in his archdiocese in early August. He said the “voice of disturbed humanity is drowned out by the louder voice of revenge or silenced by the sweet privileges of political clout.”

“In our dream to wipe out drug addiction, are we not becoming a killing fields nation?” he asked.

“I don’t have to be a bishop to say this. I do not have to be a Catholic to be disturbed by the killings that jar us every time we hear or watch or read the news,” Archbishop Villegas said.

“From a generation of drug addicts, shall we become a generation of street murderers? (Can) the do-it-yourself justice system assure us of a safer and better future?” he said.

After three drug suspects were found murdered in the city of Tacloban in early August, Father Virgilio Canete of Palo Archdiocese said the killings are “out of control.”

The victims, two of them women, were shot several times. A crude sign that said “I am a pusher, Lord I am sorry” was placed next to the bodies.

On Aug. 3, six people linked to a drug syndicate were killed in a police operation in the small town of Albuera in Leyte province.

“Only the police and the president can stop the killings by declaring a moratorium,” said Father Canete.

“The church cannot do anything now,” said the priest. “It had already warned of the consequences. Only those who started these bloodbaths can stop it.”

Comments Off on Philippine church leaders feel powerless to stop extrajudicial killings

Retired bishop of Derry, known as a peacemaker, dies

By

Catholic News Service

DUBLIN — Bishop Edward Daly of Derry, known for his tireless advocacy for peace and reconciliation during decades of sectarian tension in Northern Ireland, died in a hospital in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, Aug. 8.

Bishop Daly, who retired in 1993 due to ill health after suffering a stroke, was 82. He had suffered from cancer.

He first came to prominence in a photograph from Bloody Sunday in 1972, when 14 civil rights protesters were shot dead by the British army in Londonderry. For decades, the victims were accused of being terrorists. However, in 2010, an independent inquiry ruled that all the victims and the injured, had been unarmed and that those killed had been killed unlawfully.

Bishop Daly worked tirelessly with the families to clear their names and ensure that an independent inquiry would overturn the allegations that they were terrorists.

Irish President Michael D. Higgins expressed great sadness at news of Bishop Daly’s death.

“Edward Daly will be remembered by many for his peaceful, compassionate, humanitarian and courageous actions during the appalling events of Bloody Sunday,” he said. “This was but one part of the great contribution that was his life of service to the citizens of Derry, including as it did his leadership in the tasks of regeneration and his work with the hospice movement in the later part of his life.”

After Bishop Daly was named to the Diocese of Derry in 1974, he campaigned for the British authorities to build houses for the Catholic community and frequently denounced injustices suffered by Catholics at the hands of the authorities. At the same time, he denounced paramilitary violence aimed at British troops and the police in Northern Ireland.

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin said Bishop Daly’s bravery was “apparent in his lived conviction that violence from any side during the Troubles was futile and could never be morally justified.

“He was courageous in speaking out against injustice and took many personal risks for peace and reconciliation,” Archbishop Martin recalled.

Bishop Donal McKeown of Derry said his predecessor “served, without any concern for himself, throughout the traumatic years of the Troubles, finding his ministry shaped by the experience of witnessing violence and its effects; through this dreadful period he always strove to preach the Gospel of the peace of Christ.”

“Bishop Daly provided an example of priestly ministry which was exemplary, inspired by service of God and the people he encountered,” Bishop McKeown said.

At a national level, Bishop Daly was a key member of the Irish bishops’ conference and served as its spokesman for many years. In 1975 he established the first Catholic Communications Office. He also helped organize the 1979 papal visit of St. John Paul II.

Pastorally, he took a particular interest in the welfare of prisoners and their families and was a frequent visitor to jails.

Archbishop Martin said that as a “gifted spiritual leader and communicator, his words touched the hearts of many people, but his ministry was not confined to preaching. He walked with his people in their struggles and joys and was most at home out in the streets, parishes and communities of his diocese.

“Bishop Edward will be remembered as a fearless peacebuilder,” the archbishop said.

In retirement, Bishop Daly continued to work, ministering in the Foyle Hospice, where he served as chaplain until 2015.

He also published two books of memoirs. He provoked debate in 2011 when he wrote in his latter volume of memoirs that “there will always be a place in the church for a celibate priesthood, but there should also be a place for a married priesthood in the church.”

Comments Off on Retired bishop of Derry, known as a peacemaker, dies

Pakistani church deplores deadly suicide blast at hospital

By

NEW DELHI — The Catholic Church in Pakistan has condemned a suicide blast at a hospital in Quetta, Pakistan, where at least 70 people, many of them lawyers and journalists, were killed and more than 120 injured.

First responders and volunteers transport an injured man away from the scene of a bomb blast in Quetta, Pakistan, Aug. 8. (CNS photo/Naseer Ahmed, Reuters)

First responders and volunteers transport an injured man away from the scene of a bomb blast in Quetta, Pakistan, Aug. 8. (CNS photo/Naseer Ahmed, Reuters)

The Aug. 8 blast was carried out at the entrance of the emergency department of the hospital when the body of Bilal Anwar Kasi, president of Balochistan (provincial) Bar Association, was being taken after he was shot by two unidentified gunmen while on his way to court.

“Killing innocent people is (an) inhuman act and totally unacceptable,” said the National Commission for Justice and Peace, a rights-based organization of the Pakistan Catholic Bishops’ Conference, in a statement condemning the “tragic killing.”

“The commission and the Catholic Church stand firmly with the people of Balochistan in this hour” and asked the government “to bring the perpetrators of this heinous crime to justice,” said the church statement signed by justice and peace officials, including Bishop Joseph Arshad of Faisalabad, chairman.

“This tragic incident has caused bereavement throughout the country,” the statement said, offering prayers for peace and condolences to the families of the victims.

Pope Francis also offered his prayers and condemned the blast as a “senseless and brutal act of violence.”

In a message the Vatican said was sent to church and civil authorities in Pakistan, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, said the pope offered his “heartfelt condolences to the relatives of the deceased, to the authorities and to the entire nation.”

Pointing out that Balochistan province has experienced more than 1,400 incidents of violence and targeted killing over the past 15 years, the Pakistani church statement urged the government of Pakistan to improve security measures.

“This is terrible,” Cecil Shane Chaudhry, executive director of the justice and peace commission, told Catholic News Service from Lahore. “The atmosphere is getting frightening. Lawyers and journalists are targeted like this.”

While Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif expressed his deep grief and anguish over the killing, lawyers and journalists held protest demonstrations across several cities. According to local media reports, the slain Quetta Bar Association chief had condemned the early August killing of a lawyer and announced a two-day boycott of court sessions to protest the death.

On Aug. 8, 2013, gunmen shot dead a police official in Quetta, and a suicide blast at the funeral claimed the lives of nearly 30 people, including several police officials.

— By Anto Akkara

Comments Off on Pakistani church deplores deadly suicide blast at hospital

Pope Francis praises members of Refugee Olympic Team

By

Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — In a personal message addressed to each of the 10 members of the new Refugee Olympic Team, Pope Francis wished them success in their events and thanked them for the witness they are giving the world.

The new Refugee Olympic Team arrives for the opening ceremony in Rio de Janeiro Aug. 5. In a personal message addressed to each of the 10 members of the new Refugee Olympic Team, Pope Francis wished them success in their events and thanked them for the witness they are giving the world. (CNS photo/David Gray, Reuters)

The new Refugee Olympic Team arrives for the opening ceremony in Rio de Janeiro Aug. 5. In a personal message addressed to each of the 10 members of the new Refugee Olympic Team, Pope Francis wished them success in their events and thanked them for the witness they are giving the world. (CNS photo/David Gray, Reuters)

Naming each of the team’s athletes from South Sudan, Syria, Congo and Ethiopia, Pope Francis said he had read some of the interviews with team members “so that I could get closer to your lives and your aspirations.”

“I extend my greetings and wish you success at the Olympic Games in Rio, that your courage and strength find expression through the Olympic Games and serve as a cry for peace and solidarity,” he said in the message, signed in late July.

The 2016 Summer Games marked the first time a refugee team officially participated in the Olympics. Team members marched under the Olympic flag and, in the event a team member wins a medal, the Olympic anthem was to be played instead of the national anthem of the athlete’s home country.

Pope Francis expressed his hope that through the team “humanity would understand that peace is possible, that with peace everything can gained, but with war all can be lost.”

“Your experience serves as testimony and benefits us all,” the pope told team members.

Yusra Mardini, 18, was the first member of the team to compete in Rio. The swimmer is ranked 41st among women swimmers competing in the 100-meter butterfly; Mardini finished first in her initial heat Aug. 6.

Like tens of thousands of Syrians, Mardini fled her war-torn country through Lebanon and Turkey. She found a space on a rubber dingy to make her way to Lesbos, Greece, but the motor stalled. She, her sister and another woman, the only people on the boat who could swim, pushed the boat to shore.

From Greece, Mardini traveled on to Germany, where she was given official refugee status in March and continued her training as a competitive swimmer.

Five of the athletes, including Rose Nathike Lokonyen, 23, the team’s flag bearer for the opening ceremony, are South Sudanese refugees who were living in the huge Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya.

The national Olympic committees of the refugees’ host countries, the U.N. Refugee Agency and the International Olympic Committee chose the team members. The IOC provided the athletes uniforms and is covering their costs and those of the team’s coaches and staff.

 

Follow Wooden on Twitter: @Cindy_Wooden.

Comments Off on Pope Francis praises members of Refugee Olympic Team

Displaced Iraqi Christians are weary of waiting to go home

By

Catholic News Service
AINKAWA, Iraq (CNS) — Abu and Um Sabah had to trade a tent anchored in a soft, grassy patch in a park for a roughly hewn, five-story unfinished cement building as they sat out their forced displacement by Islamic State militants for a second year.
A colorful rug tapestry of the Last Supper dominated the bare concrete room they called home, with a small picture of the Mary on another wall to keep their spirits lifted. A son, his wife and three young children shared another room close by in the complex located in this Christian enclave on the edge of Irbil. Read more »

Comments Off on Displaced Iraqi Christians are weary of waiting to go home

At Rio’s Christ the Redeemer statue, cardinal blesses Olympic torch

By

Catholic News Service
RIO DE JANEIRO (CNS) — High above the city, beneath the statue of Christ the Redeemer, Rio Cardinal Orani Tempesta blessed the Olympic torch, held by Brazil’s former Olympic volleyball player, Maria Isabel Barroso Salgado.
“This is the moment for us to surpass our difficulties and work together as a team, making our country and our world safer, less unequal, and putting love in the hearts of all,” the cardinal told reporters.
From there, the Olympic torch was carried on the last leg of its 95-day Brazilian journey toward Maracana Stadium, where the opening ceremony was to be held the evening of Aug. 5. Read more »

Comments Off on At Rio’s Christ the Redeemer statue, cardinal blesses Olympic torch
Marquee Powered By Know How Media.