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In Vancouver, Catholics adapt ancient Lunar New Year traditions

February 16th, 2018 Posted in International News

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia — For Asian Catholics in North America, marking the Lunar New Year can be tricky when the traditional feast falls during Lent, because part of the traditional celebrations include large family meals.

This year, Lunar New Year begins Feb. 16, a Friday in Lent. In the greater Vancouver area, home to more than 400,000 people of Chinese origin, Archbishop J. Michael Miller granted a special dispensation to the city’s Asian Catholics, but asked them to keep in mind the Lenten spirit of charity and to pray for ongoing talks between the Vatican and China.

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Olympic image of Korea is better together than at odds

February 14th, 2018 Posted in International News Tags:

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In ancient Greece, warring sides would sign a truce for the duration of the Olympic Games so athletes could safely join the sporting festival. That ideal, sport as a bridge to peace, still endures despite the modern games being darkened so often by scandal.

So it was encouraging on Jan. 26 when 12 female hockey players from North Korea stepped off a bus to receive flowers and cheerful introductions to their new teammates from South Korea. It was a truce in the spirit of the ancient games that few saw coming.

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U.N. officials, church leaders decry escalating situation in Syria

February 13th, 2018 Posted in International News Tags:

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Catholic News Service

ZAATARI REFUGEE CAMP, Jordan — As Syria’s war soon enters its eighth year, many decry the recent dangerous escalation in the conflict, whether in the country’s north, between Turkey and the Kurds, or in the south, between Iran and Israel.

Speaking from the sprawling Zaatari Refugee Camp housing 80,000 Syrians near Jordan’s border with Syria, the head of the U.N. refugee agency condemned the recent Israeli-Iranian confrontation over Syria, which threatens to open a new and unpredictable front in the war.

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Cardinal Cupich: Pope’s view of faith calls for changing underlying ideas

February 9th, 2018 Posted in International News Tags:

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CAMBRIDGE, England (CNS) — Pope Francis is inviting Catholics to take a more holistic approach to their faith, and that requires a change in underlying assumptions, said Chicago Cardinal Blase J. Cupich.

The pope is not offering the new approach in a vacuum, but is basing it on church teaching, including documents of the Second Vatican Council, Cardinal Cupich said in a lecture at Cambridge University Feb. 9.

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Two priests killed in Mexico in region dominated by drug trade

February 6th, 2018 Posted in International News Tags:

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MEXICO CITY — Two priests were gunned down as they returned from Candlemas celebrations in a corner of Mexico rife with drug cartel violence and increasingly lethal for prelates.

Fathers Ivan Anorve Jaimes and Germain Muniz Garcia were killed early Feb. 5 as they drove between the cities of Taxco and Iguala in Guerrero state, some 100 miles south of Mexico City.

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Mali’s Catholic church works to free abducted Franciscan nun

February 4th, 2018 Posted in International News Tags: ,

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Catholic News Service

OXFORD, England — Mali’s Catholic Church said it hopes to obtain the release of a kidnapped Franciscan nun after her Islamist captors released a video showing her pleading with the pope to help save her life.

“Although we’ve had no contact so far, we’ve set up a special office, with telephone and WhatsApp connections, hoping her abductors will explain how she can be freed,” said Msgr. Noel Bernard Coulibaly, Caritas director in Mali’s southern Sikasso Diocese.

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IOC invites Vatican to take part in Winter Olympics ceremonies

February 2nd, 2018 Posted in International News Tags: , ,

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Catholic News Service
VATICAN CITY — For the first time, the International Olympic Committee has invited a Vatican delegation not only to take part in the opening ceremony of the Winter Games, but also to attend its general meeting as an official observer.

The delegation was to be led by Msgr. Melchor Sanchez de Toca Alameda, undersecretary of the Pontifical Council for Culture and head of its “Culture and Sport” section.

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U.S. bishops get close-up look at Gaza struggles

January 29th, 2018 Posted in International News Tags: ,

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BEIT SAHOUR, West Bank — Retired Bishop Placido Rodriguez of Lubbock, Texas, remembers the smell of woodworking and the feel of wood in his hands from when he was a child in his family furniture factory in Celaya, Mexico.

“Here they are working with olive wood; in Mexico we worked with cedar. We see the connection with our brothers here,” Bishop Rodriguez said as he walked through the small family-run Odeh Factory, which produces traditional olive wood statues and souvenirs to sell to pilgrims and tourists. “I see the effort that is needed, and the talent, (to do this work) as a way to support and feed their families. I can see this is the work of Christians. I don’t have to be told that, you can see it in their work.”

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Congo protests end in six deaths as new elections are demanded

January 22nd, 2018 Posted in International News Tags:

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KINSHASA, Congo — Security forces in Congo violently dispersed protesters who were demanding that President Joseph Kabila hold fresh elections.

A spokesman for the U.N. Stabilization Mission said the organization had recorded six deaths, dozens of injuries and more than 240 arrests in Kinshasa when demonstrations were staged after Masses Jan. 21. The church’s lay coordinating committee organized the demonstrations.

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Pope Francis leaves Chile, Peru with consistent message of unity, dialogue

January 22nd, 2018 Posted in International News Tags: , ,

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Catholic News Service

LIMA, Peru — Pope Francis tackled politically charged issues during his weeklong visit to Chile and Peru, decrying human trafficking, environmental destruction, corruption and organized crime in speeches before audiences that included political leaders.

At the same time, he called for unity, dialogue and coexistence in each of the two countries, which have been marked by political tension and sometimes-violent conflicts. Invoking Mary, he called for compassion, which he also demonstrated as he blessed a Chilean prisoner’s unborn baby and consoled people who lost their homes in devastating floods a year ago on Peru’s northern coast.

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