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Vatican

Vatican comments on situation of missing Chinese Bishop Shao Zhumin

June 26, 2017. Bishop Peter Shao Zhumin, from Wenzhou in Continental China, was taken into custody by Chinese police on Easter weekend 2017. While recognized as a bishop in the Catholic Church, he is an unofficial bishop or "underground” in China, since the Chinese government does not recognize him as religious.
Pope Francis

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

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

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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.

Syrian priest kidnapped by ISIS: The rosary kept me going for my 84 days as prisoner

2015-12-19

What happened to this man is unusual. And that he is alive and free is almost a miracle. The Syrian priest Jacques Mourad visited Rome to share his story of being kidnapped by the Islamic State.

FR. JACQUES MOURAD
Syrian-Catholic Priest
"September 1st was our quote, 'Liberation.' That day, the head of the Islamic State sent five or six people from Iraq to get Christians from  Qaryatyn to sign an agreement with the Islamic State.”

The condition was that they never left their city, Qaryatayn. Together with the priest, 25 other Christians were released. However, they had to escape the area anyway, as it was terrorized by violence from the Islamic State, and constant bombing. Father Mourad explained that the city simply didn't have food. He strongly denounced the world's indifference toward refugees.

FR. JACQUES MOURAD
Syrian-Catholic Priest
"Europe, the West, does not see its responsibility to the hordes people fleeing war, bombings, and massacres. They are thrown into the sea and die there because they are fleeing death and war in Syria. This cannot be. It is illegal. How can these countries accept that people die in this way without doing anything?”

Mourad was taken from his monastery on May 21st by members of the Islamic State. They transferred him to Raqqa, the capital of the caliphate. He said that two things kept him going.

FR. JACQUES MOURAD
Syrian-Catholic Priest
"There are two things that helped me during my captivity. First, praying the rosary. Mary, Our Lady, was always present and she helped keep me going from the first moment. Every time I prayed the rosary, I felt an extraordinary peace in my heart. I cannot explain it. FLASH The second thing that helped me was the prayer of  Charles de Foucauld, who was a victim of violence but decided to devote his life in a monastery to dialogue with Islam.”

Thanks to that strength, he was able to resist a constant threat he received during his 84 days of captivity: Convert to Islam or be decapitated.

Despite all this, he said that he continued to believe that all people are children of God and that God does no wrong. With that same hope, he said he believes peace will someday come to Syria.


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