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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”.

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

February 15, 2017. On April 29, 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”.

Syrian priest kidnapped by Islamic State: "Evil will never win"


In 2015, the 500th anniversary of St. Teresa of Avila was celebrated. That same year, Fr. Jacques Mourad was abducted for 84 days by the Islamic State in Raqqa, the capital of the self-proclaimed Caliphate. During his captivity, this Syrian priest found consolation in the words of the Spanish saint.

Syro-Catholic Priest
"One night during the abduction I was trying to sleep. I was angry, desperate ... I woke up singing "nothing troubles you, nothing scares you" in Arabic. So spontaneously - I do not know how. I did not understand anything at the time, but then I experienced a comfort and a peace inside me that made me forget I was in that prison."

Each day during his captivity he thought it would be his last of life. He was held in inhumane conditions, along with 250 Christians from his parish of Qaryatayn in Syria. However, he says that despite fear, he experienced God at his side more than ever. 

Syro-Catholic Priest
"That was the miracle; that in the hardest and darkest moments, those with noise, as St. Teresa says, God is still present. I remember that from the first moment the jihadists entered the monastery and kidnapped me, when they put me in the car and took me to the desert, I clearly felt the presence of the Virgin Mary at my side.” 

Despite what he experienced, he says there are signs of hope on the horizon. His monastery at Mar Elian was an open house until the jihadists blew it up to eliminate any signs of Christianity. However, the most valuable object managed to survive the bombs. 

Syro-Catholic Priest
"I discovered from a photograph that the relics the monastery guarded are intact. It was a huge surprise. Knowing that the relics have not disappeared has given me much courage and hope that one day I will be able to return, God willing. Everyone together back to my parish that has lost everything and whose houses have been destroyed. To rebuild our village, the monastery and be a source of protection, comfort, courage and a witness of faith, coexistence and collaboration between Muslims and Christians in the region."

Fr. Mourad has not yet been able to return to Syria. He lives in Iraqi Kurdistan waiting to return and rebuild what acts of hatred took from him.

Syro-Catholic Priest
"Evil will never win. Evil will end some day. The war is going to end and will end. We always live with that hope."

In order to accomplish this, there must be action. The priest asked Christians from the Western world not to turn a blind eye to the suffering of Syrians or close their doors to those who are fleeing from bombs. He calls for rulers to be honest, more humane and compassionate in order to stop this war, that for six years has been targeting Christianity.