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Pope sends his condolences for the passing of Carmen Hernández

July 21, 2016. Pope Francis sent a message to Kiko Argüello after the passing of Carmen Hernández. He said he was close in spirit to her family and everyone involved with the Neocatechumenal Way, a itinerary of faith which she started, and also to the people who witnessed and appreciated her apostolic work, one of permanent education in faith. The Pope also thanked Hernández's testimony of faith and prays that "the Divine Goodness” welcomes her into the joy of eternal rest and that those involved in the Neochatecumenal Way keep the flame of her evangelizing spirit alive.
Pope Francis

Vatican condemns terrorist attack in Nice, France that has killed at least 84 people

July 15, 2016. The terrorist used a large truck to plough through a crowd during the Bastille day celebration.
Pope Francis

Pope sends condolences for the victims of Italian train accident

July 12, 2016. Pope Francis sent a telegram with his condolences for the victims of the train accident that occurred in southern Italy. The Pope says he shares the pain of the families affected by this tragic incident, which resulted in at least 20 deaths and more than 50 wounded. Pope Francis prays for the dead and for the speedy recovery of the injured.
Vatican

Pope approves martyrdom of laic that refused to enroll in the SS, and of other future saints

July 8, 2016. The Pope has approved the enactment of several decrees for causes of beatification. (Continue reading)
Vatican

Vatileaks 2: Two main defendants condemned. Both journalists and Vallejo's secretary acquitted.

July 7, 2016. Fr. Angel Lucio Vallejo Balda has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for the Vatileaks case. The Vatican Tribunal also condemned his main collaborator, Francesca Chaouqui, to 10 months in prison, with a five-year suspended application of the sentence. The third person involved, Nicola Maio, has been completely cleared of all charges. Citing freedom of press, the court says it does not have jurisdiction over and is unable to prosecute the two journalists who obtained classified information, Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi.
Vatican

Vatileaks II: Vallejo Balda and Chaouqui's defense ask for acquittal on all charges

July 5, 2016. The lawyers for the two main defendants, Vallejo Balda and Francesca Chaouqui, have called for an acquittal on all charges after the prosecutors petitioned for the sentencing of both accused. The Spanish priest was accused of conspiracy and disclosing classified documents while Francesca Chaouqui, is considered the main conspirator of the events that eventually unfolded. On Wednesday, the lawyers for the other three defendants Nicola Maio, Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi will present their findings.
World

New archbishop in Dominican Republic

July 4, 2016. The Pope has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Nicolas de Jesus Lopez Rodriguez as archbishop of the Archdiocese of Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) due to his age. The Pope has appointed in his place Bishop Francisco Ozoria Acosta. Pope Francis has also accepted a resignation from the auxiliary bishop of the same archdiocese, Monsignor Amancio Escapa Aparicio, because of his age as well.

Conference on Religious Freedom: Once you attack Christians... Muslims are next

2014-01-19

The Arab Spring led to civil action, empowerment and political accountability. But as the Middle East goes through this transition, it's also bringing about some negative elements that are raising concerns. 

MARIZ TADROS
Middle East Expert 
"With the rise of new political freedoms in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and Yemen, they have been using those political freedoms in order to encroach on others freedom.”  

Mariz Tadros is an expert on the Middle East. 

In a recent Georgetown University conference, titled Christianity and Freedom: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives, she talked about some of the dangers and consequences of limiting diversity between Christians and Muslims, in such a delicate transition period.

While attacks on churches are usually  publicized, she says there's another wave of discrimination that perhaps isn't as visible.  It can be seen on every day life, affecting all levels of society, including perhaps even local vegetable sellers. 

MARIZ TADROS
Middle East Expert 
"Suddenly losing her regular customers of women who used to buy from her, because these women are being told 'don't buy from a Christian vegetable seller.' It affects your life.” 

With the rise of radical Islamic groups, it's not just Christians who are being targeted. She says even Sunnis who are also Muslim, but follow their own rituals,  have been attacked by other Muslim groups. 

MARIZ TADROS
Middle East Expert 
"They have been attacked by the Salafi groups in Egypt. Their shrines have been desecrated and they have been demonized. When you start attacking Christians you almost always know that some groups of Muslims are next.” 

So whether it's through direct violence or passive aggression, Tadros says if left unchecked, these  challenges could have direct consequences on Middle Eastern society, be it ten or 15 years down the line. That's why she says it's imperative that these issues are addressed now. 


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