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Pope Francis

Pope will not be able to travel to Israel on Friday to attend the funeral of Shimon Peres

September 28, 2016. Despite the rumors that Pope Francis will travel to Israel to attend Shimon Peres funeral, the Vatican has issued a statement officially announcing a confirmation for the pope's scheduled visit to Georgia and Azerbaijan will remain as planned on Friday. The pope spoke warmly about the former leader and sent out a telegram of condolences:
Pope Francis

Pope's schedule during his trip to Sweden

September 27, 2016. Pope Francis will travel to Sweden next October 31 and November 1, for the occasion of the Lutheran–Catholic Common Commemoration of the Reformation.This will be the 17th trip of his pontificate.
World

Third priest found dead in Mexico

September 26, 2016.Mexican priest, Alfredo Lopez Guillen, was found dead this weekend on a rural road about 350 km east of Mexico City, after being allegedly abducted and assaulted in his parish on Monday September 19. This is the third case of violence against priests in Mexico in just one week. On Monday, September 19, Fr. Nabor Jiménez and Fr. José Alfredo Juarez were also kidnapped in the church of Our Lady of Fatima. Hours later they found them lifeless in a ditch in Poza Rica, Veracruz. The Catholic Church wants clarification on the murders, because it is not yet known who could be the alleged perpetrators.
Pope Francis

Holy See adopts UN Convention against Corruption

September 23, 2016. Pope Francis has asked the Vatican to be exemplary in the fight against corruption and meet the set international standards in this regard. Therefore, the Secretary of State has announced that the Holy See will conform to the Merida Convention against Corruption. This requires countries to implement anti-corruption measures concerning its laws, institutions and practices. From now on, the Roman Curia and the Vatican City State will review its administrative procedures to align them to the standards set by the Convention. Through this compliance, the Vatican says it hopes to contribute to increased transparency and proper management of public affairs in the international community.
Pope Francis

Cardinal Parolin to preside at liturgy before peace signing between Colombia and FARC

September 20, 2016. Colombia's government has invited the Vatican Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, to preside over a liturgy before the ceremony to unite representatives from the Colombian government and the FARC, in Cartagena de Indias. The liturgy will take place before the ceremony related to agreements of Havana between the Colombian government and the FARC. It will be next Monday, September 26, and dozens of heads of state are scheduled to attend. In the liturgy, Parolin will "ask God to enlighten each Colombian to work conscientiously and with complete freedom, so that in a responsible and informed way, they can participate in making decisions that concern the common good of the entire country, which is so dear to Pope Francis."
Pope Francis

Pope Francis pays tribute to Father Jacques Hamel

September 13, 2016. Pope Francis will celebrate Mass for Jacques Hamel, the priest murdered in France by two terrorists on July 26 in the church of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray. It will be held on Wednesday, September 14 at 7 a.m inside the chapel of his residence in Casa Santa Marta. The bishop from Diocese of Rouen along with 80 pilgrims from the same diocese will be present.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis' calendar from September to November

SEPTEMBER Sunday 25, 26th Sunday of Ordinary Time: At 10.30 a.m. in St. Peter’s Square, Holy Mass and Jubilee of Catechists. Friday 30 to Sunday 2 October: Apostolic trip to Georgia and Azerbaijan. OCTOBER Saturday 8: At 5.30 p.m. in St. Peter’s Square, Marian vigil. Sunday 9, 28th Sunday of Ordinary Time: At 10.30 a.m. in St. Peter’s Square, Holy Mass and Marian Jubilee. Sunday 16: 29th Sunday of Ordinary Time: At 10.15 in St. Peter’s Square, Holy Mass and canonisation of Blesseds Salomone Leclercq, José Sanchez del Rio, Manuel González García, Lodovico Pavoni, Alfonso Maria Fusco, José Gabriel del Rosario Brochero, and Elisabeth of the Holy Trinity. Monday 31 to Tuesday 1 November: Apostolic trip to Sweden to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. NOVEMBER Friday 4: At 11.30 in the Vatican Basilica, Holy Mass for the souls of cardinals and bishops who died during the year. Sunday 6, 32nd Sunday of Ordinary Time: At 10 a.m. in the Vatican Basilica, Holy Mass and Jubilee of Prisoners. Sunday 13, 33rd Sunday of Ordinary Time: At 10 a.m. in the Vatican Basilica, Holy Mass and Jubilee of the Homeless. Sunday 20, Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe: At 10 a.m. in St. Peter’s Square, Holy Mass for the conclusion of the Jubilee of Mercy.

Iraqi Archbishop: The Islamic State is a cancer that needs to be stopped

2015-07-19

It was just over one year ago...On June 10th, the Islamic State took over the Iraqi city of Mosul, the second largest in the country. 

Locals were given three options: covert to Islam, pay a fine for being Christian or thirdly-death. In a matter of hours, thousands decided to flee from their homes, refusing to convert or to pay a 250 dollar fine for being part of a religious minority. 

Many took refuge in Kurdistan, an autonomous region of Iraq, where residents live in relative peace. Archbishop Bashar Warda is from Erbil, which is the capital. He witnessed Christians come in day in and day out, looking for refuge. He saw their tears and heard stories of the violent atrocities they endured. 

ARCH. BASHAR WARDA
Archbishop of Erbil (Kurdistan)
"To be honest, I feel tired. I've seen so many people in such situation and the increase of demands that's occurring every day. People are knocking on the doors of the church of my diocese, looking for help and shelter, education, operations... different needs.” 

Even though one year has passed, the situation is far from over. The Archbishop says Muslim leaders need to publicly condemn the attacks and the actions of the Islamic State. 

ARCH. BASHAR WARDA
Archbishop of Erbil (Kurdistan)
"Unless the statements of Muslim leaders, revolve around the victims, there is no possibility that Muslims will know what's going on. What is happening is not about harm to the reputation of Islam. It is that they are destroying the lives of many innocent people.”

The Islamic State controls roughly 40 percent of Iraq's territory and about half of Syria. The Archbishop describes the terrorists as a cancer that needs to be stopped. 

ARCH. BASHAR WARDA
Archbishop of Erbil (Kurdistan)
"I do believe Daesh is like a cancer. The first act you really take against cancer is to stop and terminate this disease. Because there is no other way. There is no way of negotiating or reaching any solution.”

Along with military action, he believes part of the solution lies in the reconciliation of Iraqis-from  majority to minority groups. He also thinks the international community needs to respond with political and humanitarian action

He adds that refugees and religious minorities don't want to leave Iraq. Rather, they just want to go back home. But he says that is becoming increasingly difficult as days go by...



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