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#Synod 2014
LIVE BROADCAST: Presentation of the Final Message of the Synod on the Family
October 18, 2014. Presentation of the Final Message of the Synod on the Family.
#Synod 2014
The topic of the second part of the Synod on the Family has been announced
October 13, 2014. The new topic for the second part of the Synod on the Family will be "The vocation and the mission of the family within the Church and in the contemporary world.”

This second part will take place in Rome from October 4-25, 2015. The issues dealt with during the first part of the Synod, which concludes this week, will be further discussed in this second part.

#World
Priest kidnapped in Syria is freed
October 9, 2014. Fr. Hassan Jallouf, 62, has been freed and taken to a convent in Knayeh, Syria. He was kidnapped on the evening of October 5th. Of the 20 other Christians kidnapped that night, 4 women were also freed
#Pope
Pope Francis names new bishops for Italy, Spain & Brazil
October 8, 2014. Pope Francis has named several new bishops today. The Pope named Archbishop Celso Morga Iruzubieta as Coadjutor Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Mérida-Badajoz (Spain). As of now, Archbishop Morga Iruzubieta was secretary of the Congregation for the Clergy

He also named Bishop Fausto Tardelli, from the diocese of San Miniato, as bishop of the Diocese of Pistoia (Italy). Finally, the Pope named a new auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Goiânia (Brazil). He nominated Fr. Levi Bonatto, a priest from the personal prelature of Opus Dei.
#World
Pastor and 20 Christians kidnapped in Syria
October 7, 2014. A pastor and roughly 20 Christians were kidnapped in Knayeh, Syria on the evening of October 5th. Fr. Hassan Jallouf, a 62 year old Franciscan, belongs to the Custody of the Holy Land. Local sources said that a group of armed members of Islamic militant group, Jahbat Al-Nusra, are responsible for the kidnapping. 
#Pope
All cardinals to meet at the Vatican on October 20
October 7, 2014. Pope Francis convoked a Consistory at the Vatican on October 20. All the cardinals will discuss the situation of Chistians in Middle East, especially of those suffering continuous attacks of ISIS.
#Pope
Pope Francis will travel to France in 2015
October 7, 2014.Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi has announced that Pope Francis will visit France in 2015.
During his visit to the Vatican in January, French President Francois Hollande, formally invited the Pope to France. The mayor of Lourdes also extended an invitation.

It is likely that he will visit Lisieux, home of one of the Pope's favorite saints, St. Therese.

The last Pontiff to visit France was Benedict XVI in 2008.


#Pope
Pope Francis: "Happy families are essential for society"
October 3, 2014. Pope Francis asked Christians to pray for the upcoming Synod on the Family via Twitter. He also said that "happy families are essential for society." 


#Vatican
World Communications Day 2015
September 29, 2014. The Vatican announced that the theme for the World Communications Day 2015 will be Communicating the Family: A Privileged Place for Encounter with the Gift of Love

#Pope
Pope's Agenda
September 25, 2014. Pope Francis has several meetings today. He will meet with Miroslava Rosas, Ambassador of Panama to the Holy See, who will present her credentials. 

The Pope will then meet with Cardinal Angelo Scola of Milan and Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jeung of Seoul, South Korea.

He will also meet with the Archbishop Giacinto Berloco, Apostolic Nuncio to Belgium-Luxemburg; Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti, Apostolic Nuncio to Belarus, and Archbishop Ettore Balestrero, Apostolic Nuncio to Colombia.

The Pope's final meeting for the day will be with Mr. Marcos Aguinis, the former Minister of Culture of Argentina.  
#Vatican
Society of St.Pius X meets with Cong. Doctrine of Faith
September 23, 2014. On Tuesday morning, Cardinal Gerhard Muller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, met with the Superior General of the Society of St. Pius X, Bishop Bernard Fellay. According to the Vatican, during their two hour meeting, "it was decided to proceed gradually and over a reasonable period of time in order to overcome difficulties and with a view to the envisioned full reconciliation."



#Pope
Pope Francis visits Basilica of St. Mary Major
Pope Francis visited the Basilica of St. Mary Major this afternoon to give thanks to the Virgin Mary for his visit and safe return from his Apostolic Visit to Albania. The Pope left a bouquet of flowers given to him yesterday evening at the 'Betania' center

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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