Pope Francis's pivotal role in a landmark breakthrough in US-Cuba relations was the latest coup for a pontiff whose personality and popularity have made him an influential player on the global stage. As the world digested news of the historic rapprochement, it emerged that the Vatican had played a central role in bringing together the global capitalist superpower and the tiny communist island.
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The Conservative party is seeking to avert one of its biggest rifts with the Church of England for decades as an all-party report on food banks warns that Britain is stalked by hunger caused by low pay, growing inequality, a harsh benefits sanctions regime and social breakdown.
Young men and women involved in the fight against human trafficking will be making their voices heard in the Vatican this weekend at a youth symposium on the best ways of preventing and supporting victims of this widespread phenomenon.
It is relentless, the news about the wars. The pictures that stream into our living rooms and coffee shops through televisions and tablets are of beheadings, masked men ranting, 200,000 Syrians murdered, millions displaced fleeing for their lives under the cover of dust and horror. Filipinos and Fijians in the UN peacekeeping forces briefly figure in the news when they are attacked on the buffer zone between Israel and Syria.
The director of Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) in Afghanistan was abducted on Monday afternoon by a group of unidentified men from Sohadat village outside Herat, according to Jesuit Provincial of South Asia Fr Edward Mudavassery.
"You (the Chinese communists) can tie me up, can take me away, chop my head off, but not as a slave," said the cardinal in an online radio program yesterday evening. Hong Kong people should "not succumb to fate but maintain one's own dignity," the cardinal said.
The persecution of Christians “has increased over the last 10 to 15 years,” said Ed Clancy, director of evangelization and outreach at Aid to the Church in Need, in an interview with CNA last month, adding that “persecution has many faces, unfortunately, and many places.”
An Observer and Guardian investigation set out to track the traffickers from Assam to the national capital, Delhi. At least 21 people were rescued in a series of raids. The results can be seen in a GuardianInvestigations documentary.
The head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales has warned that Christianity could become extinct in the Middle East. The Archbishop of Westminster, the Most Reverend Vincent Nichols, said that it was "probably true" that the religion could cease to exist in the area, which has seen an exodus of Christians according to some reports.
The life of Archbishop Oscar Romero’s is relevant to modern Britain, Fr Timothy Radcliffe has said at a speech in Westminster Abbey. At his Romero Lecture the former master-general of the Dominicans drew a comparison between the Salvadorean regime of the late 1980s and the anti-poor mood in Britain today.
At its heart is the challenge to heal the wounds of history, wounds of conflict, wounds of division, North-south, poverty, rich, poor, but—and that still remains a big part of what many of its partners do—but also it’s about learning to live with difference and to celebrate the diversity that is built into our human relationships.
“Each one of you, dear friends, carries with you the story of a life riven by the drama of war, by conflicts often linked to international politics”, remarked the Holy Father. “But each of you carries above all a human and religious richness; a wealth to be welcomed, not feared."
As speculation mounted about Western air strikes on Syria, a committee of U.S. bishops called for a political solution, and Catholic leaders in Europe warned military intervention could lead to an escalation of hostilities.
A resolution passed by the Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly is being lauded as an important – although limited – recognition of religious and conscience rights in the public sphere. “The important step with this resolution is the mention of the right to conscientious objection and the enlargement of its scope of application,”
Since the banking crash and in the face of the restructuring of our national debt many from the churches have had a lot to say about the future of capitalism and the morality of our economy. At St Paul’s Cathedral the “Occupy” demonstrators made a good deal of noise. Archbishop Vincent Nichols launched an important initiative to encourage business leaders to discuss the ethics of their firms and the Anglican Church will be using its shareholdings in banks to block excessive bonuses.
The Ministry of External Affairs confirmed that Rizana Nafeek, who was imprisoned at Saudi Arabia's Dawad-mi Prison since 2005, was executed around 11:40 am local time yesterday. Before her execution, Nafeek retracted a confession that she said was made under duress, and said the infant died from choking while feeding from a bottle.