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Pope prays for victims of flooding in Thailand, Italy

October 31st, 2011 Posted in International News Tags: , , ,

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By Carol Glatz

Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI expressed his concern for those hit by extreme flooding in Thailand and parts of Italy.

“I wish to express my closeness to the people hit by serious flooding in Thailand, as well as in Italy” where heavy rains caused extensive damage in parts of Liguria and Tuscany, he said after praying the Angelus with those gathered in St. Peter’s Square Oct. 30.

“I assure them of my prayers,” he said.

As of Oct. 31, more than 380 people were confirmed dead in Thailand as a result of flooding that began in the North in early August. The flooding has affected an estimated 2.8 million households.

Italy declared a state of emergency Oct. 28 after torrential rains killed at least nine people. Storms along the northwestern coast of Liguria and Tuscany triggered mudslides and flooding, which caused significant damage, news reports said.

 

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British monarchs to be allowed to marry Catholics

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MANCHESTER, England — The law that bans a British monarch from marrying a Catholic is to be lifted after more than 300 years.

The reforms were announced following the unanimous agreement of the 16 nations that have Queen Elizabeth II as their constitutional head of state.

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Among Assisi participants, a sense of wider crisis in society

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Catholic News Service

ASSISI, Italy — A common thread ran through many of the speeches and invocations of this year’s “prayer for peace” encounter in Assisi: the uneasy sense that the world is facing not merely conflicts and wars, but a much broader crisis that affects social and cultural life in every country.

Environmental damage, the rich-poor divide, erosion of cultural traditions, terrorism and new threats to society’s weakest members were cited as increasingly worrisome developments by speakers at the interfaith gathering in the Italian pilgrimage town Oct. 27.

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Manila’s new archbishop able to laugh at himself

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IMUS, Philippines — On a recent Sunday morning, Nemie Anciado squinted against the searing sun shining on the doorway of the crowded Our Lady of the Pillar Cathedral.

Anciado, in his 60s, has been a longtime custodian at the cathedral, where Archbishop Luis Tagle served as bishop from 2001 until his recent appointment to his new post as head of the Manila Archdiocese.

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London Benedictines investigated over abuse cases

October 26th, 2011 Posted in International News Tags: , , ,

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LONDON — At the request of the Vatican, a bishop has conducted a review of child protection procedures at a Benedictine abbey following a number of high-profile child abuse cases.

Auxiliary Bishop John Arnold of Westminster and Abbot Richard Yeo, president of the English Benedictine Congregation, conducted the apostolic visitation at Ealing Abbey and the neighboring St, Benedict’s School during September.

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Pope asks Christians to help world’s migrants

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Christians need to offer migrants special care, ranging from prayer and concrete aid to promoting policies that uphold immigrants’ rights and dignity, Pope Benedict XVI said.

Modern migration represents “an unprecedented mingling of individuals and peoples, with new problems not only from the human standpoint but also from ethical, religious and spiritual ones,” he said.

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Catholic students at Jesuit house help Thai flood victims

October 25th, 2011 Posted in International News Tags: , , ,

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BANGKOK — Catholic university students and staff used the Jesuit residence, Xavier Hall, as a base for relief efforts for flood victims on the outskirts of the capital.

About 30 students from the Catholic Undergraduate Center of Thailand joined hundreds of other volunteers at two relief centers in Don Muang and Chatuchak sections of the city, reported the Asian church news agency UCA News.

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Catholics recall Gadhafi’s brutality, look to future

October 24th, 2011 Posted in International News Tags: , , ,

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BEIRUT — Catholic leaders said they could not rejoice at the death of Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi, but they recalled some of his more brutal moments and speculated on the future of Christians in the region.

“Gadhafi brutalized people for 42 years. He lived by the sword and, therefore, it’s not surprising that he would die by the sword,” said Habib Malik, associate professor of history at the Lebanese American University, Byblos campus.

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‘Arab spring’ leaders must respect religious freedom, patriarch says

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Catholic News Service

NEW YORK — Unless Middle Eastern countries support religious freedom and respect human rights, the “Arab spring” movement will devolve into an “Arab winter,” said Maronite Patriarch Bechara Rai.

Patriarch Rai said the “Arab spring” movement holds much promise, but its leaders must “adopt a separation between religion and state.” He said such a system exists in his native Lebanon and “respects all religions and all values of each religion.”

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Vatican: Gadhafi’s death ends harsh regime

October 21st, 2011 Posted in Featured, International News, Vatican News Tags: , , , ,

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Catholic News Service

VATCAN CITY — The Vatican said the death of Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi marked the end of a “harsh and oppressive regime” that was based on power instead of human dignity.

It expressed hope that the bloodshed would end in the North African country, and that the new Libyan government would open a rebuilding phase based on “a spirit of inclusion” and social justice.

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