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Pope Francis

Pope Francis: No people is criminal and no religion is terrorist

February 17, 2017. Pope Francis has sent an important message to the Meetings of Popular Movements that is taking place in Modesto (California). The pope denounces the "moral blindness of this indifference”: "under the guise of what is politically correct or ideologically fashionable, one looks at those who suffer without touching them. But they are televised live; they are talked about in euphemisms and with apparent tolerance, but nothing is done systematically to heal the social wounds or to confront the structures that leave so many brothers and sisters by the wayside”.
World

The government of the Order of Malta will elect in April the successor of the Grand Master

February 15, 2017. On 29 April the Council Complete of State, the Order’s constitutional body, will elect the next Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Malta (or, as provided for in the Constitution, a Lieutenant of the Grand Master, to hold office for a year).
Pope Francis

Pope names a Special Envoy for Medjugorje

< style> February 11, 2017. Pope Francis has asked Henryk Hoser, S.A.C., bishop of Warsaw-Prague (Poland), to go to Medjugorje as Special Envoy of the Holy See. According< g> the Vatican, "the mission has the aim of acquiring a deeper knowledge of the pastoral situation there and above all, of the needs of the faithful who go there in pilgrimage, and on the basis of this, to suggest possible pastoral initiatives for the future”.
Vatican

Pope Francis advances eight new causes of sainthood

January 23, 2017. On January 20, Pope Francis met with Cardinal Angelo Amato, the prefect for the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to announce the publication of decrees for the advancement of eight causes of sainthood.

Challenges faced by Christians living in the Middle East

2012-09-12

According Marta Petrosillo, discrimination against Christians in the Middle East range from the workplace to physical attacks. Often times, Christians are treated as second class citizens.

MARTA PETROSILLO
Aid to the Church in Need

"There is a widespread understanding among citizens of the region's division.  On one side there is the community of Muslims. Secondly there are those who fall under the 'protected' category.  They include Christians and Jews, since the Koran describes them as 'believers of the Book'. This means that Christians are second-class citizens, even though many constitutions call for the protection of this Christian minority, but then when it comes to daily life, it's not always the case.”

The Middle East is home to about 20 million Christians, which is about 5.6 percent of the population. But recent tensions have increased their exodus to other countries. Nevertheless Lebanon and Egypt remain the countries with most Middle Eastern Christians.

The recent increase in violence in Syria has further complicated the situation of Christians living there.

MARTA PETROSILLO
Aid to the Church in Need

"Before the fighting began in March 2011, Syria and Lebanon were among the countries where Christian communities could feel safe, because they were supervised. The Assad regime represented a minority, so a greater freedom was guaranteed to that  Christian minority.”

But it's here that much of the confusion comes from. Because the Assad regime protected Christians, many see that minority as sympathizers of the regime. Since the conflict erupted last March an estimated 20,000 people of all creeds have died. The tensions have increased on the border with Lebanon as many people try to flee and escape the violent conflict.

MARTA PETROSILLO
Aid to the Church in Need

"Hopefully the Pope's visit can calm these tensions. Surely the political forces are working to resolve the problems as soon as possible. I hope the Pope's visit can help, just as it did when he visited the Holy Land back in 2009.”

During that trip, the Pope will also deliver the conclusions of the Synod of Middle East, where again, the main focus will be a message of peace and co-existence.


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