Mosul and the villages of the plain of Nineveh are liberated from Daesh. But while the foreign fighters have fled, most of their Iraqi collaborators have merely shaved off their beards and melted back into the local population. The atmosphere in the whole country is thick with fear and insecurity.
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After several failed attempts, the prelate of Marawi was able to visit his desecrated cathedral this week, almost three months after the five-month conflict in the southern Philippine city ended.
Jesus’ invitation to the kingdom—to a personal relationship with God here and now—was in no way restricted to the special few. In the parable, when the original guests declined, the host ordered: “Go out into the highways and along the hedges, and compel them to come in” (Luke 14:23). The invitation was not restricted to the already righteous: “It is not the healthy who need a physician but those who are sick” (Matthew 9:12).
Just-completed surveys of young Africans and young Americans have highlighted the challenges facing the Church’s Youth Synod taking place in October this year, and the contrasting views and experiences that young people will bring to the synod, entitled “Young People, Faith and Vocational Discernment”.
Speaking to members of the Diplomatic Corps on Monday, Pope Francis devoted this New Year's address to the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights which was adopted 70 years ago. The Pope told the dignitaries gathered that from a Christian perspective, there was a significant relationship between the Gospel message and the recognition of human rights in the spirit of those who drafted the document.
The leader of the Irish Church has said he is “deeply troubled” by the recommendations of the Parliamentary Committee on the Eighth Amendment which call for a repeal of the pro-life constitutional article and unrestricted abortion up to 12 weeks.
Do not forget those who suffer from war and disasters. This was Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle’s message to a sea of Black Nazarene devotees during a pre-dawn Mass in Manila on Jan. 9. The Archbishop of Manila told Catholics to remember those displaced by war in the southern Philippine city of Marawi and who suffered devastation from typhoons in the Mindanao and Visayas regions.
Armenia is a small country in south-west Asia with a population of only 3 million people. But it has a sizable place in spiritual history: most historians believe that in 301 AD, it became the first country in the world to adopt Christianity.
Entrusting the needs of migrants and refugees to the maternal concern of Mary, the pope led the crowd in reciting a traditional Marian prayer: "Under thy protection we seek refuge, holy Mother of God; despise not our petitions in our needs, but from all dangers deliver us always, Virgin, Glorious and Blessed."
Archbishop Justin Welby has sent a personally signed copy of his ecumenical Christmas letter to the Pope, who has said that his message for World Communications Day will call for studying the causes and consequences of baseless information and will promote "professional journalism" as opposed to fake news.
This Christmas, those who can rely on warmth and shelter are perhaps especially ready to give thanks. For the bleakness of life has encroached on an ever greater number of their neighbours. In Britain, the number forced to live on the streets is rising as is the number of families that rely on food banks.
The Rohingya, people of the medieval Arakan kingdom, have been complaining of persecution in their own homeland due to ethnic, religious, and cultural differences with the predominantly Buddhist people of Myanmar. The kingdom became a province of the then Burma in 1784. The Rohingya people have been living in western Myanmar since ancient times. In 1982, however, the government stripped them of citizenship, leading to the growing persecution they are experiencing now.
"On the Brexit discussions, once again I would urge caution," Archbishop Martin added. "We talk a lot about hard borders and soft borders economically, but sometimes the language we use, the positions, the moral high ground we take on either side can be inflammatory when it comes to people on the ground."
For 94-year-old Joseph Tran Minh Nhu helping ethnic villagers in remote mountainous areas of northwest Vietnam learn about Catholicism is one of the most satisfying things in his life. With his gentle sense humor, Nhu regularly visits villages in Yen Bai province providing villagers with Catholic material and invitations to attend Mass.
Pope Francis has gone a step further and is keen for the Church to take a more active role internationally in trying to rid the world of nuclear arms. Pope Francis outright condemnation of nuclear weapons today marks an evolution in the Catholic position on this topic.
Pope Francis celebrated a two-hour open-air Mass for at least 150,000 people in Yangon early on Nov. 29, preaching forgiveness and praising the efforts of small churches across the country. The service, the largest single crowd for an organized event in Myanmar, included about 150 cardinals, bishops and priests on stage. English, Burmese, Latin and Italian were used during Mass.