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Pope Francis

Pope Francis' complete schedule for Colombia trip

June 23, 2017. He will go to Colombia September 6-11.
Vatican

Bruno Marie Duffé, new secretary of the Department for Integral Development

June 16, 2017. Thepope has named French priest Bruno Marie Duffé, from Lyon, number two of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. He will be in charge of one of the key offices in the Vatican Curia.
Pope Francis

Angela Merkel to meet with pope on June 17

June 9, 2017. The Vatican has confirmed that on Saturday, June 17, German Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet with Pope Francis. Both have previously met in Rome in May 2016, February 2015 and May 2013, two months after Pope Francis was elected pontiff.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis to meet with Venezuelan bishops on June 8

June 5, 2017. Pope Francis will meet with Venezuelan bishops next Thursday to discuss the situation their country is facing.
Vatican

New secretary of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life

May 31, 2017. The Brazilian priest Alexandre Awi Mello, the National Director of Brazil's Schönstatt Movement, will serve as the new secretary. He was born Rio de Janeiro in 1971, and ordained a priest in 2001.
Pope Francis

Pope sends condolences and solidarity to Cairo after bus attack

May 26, 2017. Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, wrote a letter to His Excellency Abdel Fattah Al Sisi after the bus attack Friday in Cairo, which left close to 30 Coptic Christians dead, including children, and many others injured.

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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