Feeds Media Cova - a network of artists and artisans building Catholic culture http://www.mediacova.com/news/feeds.html Thu, 28 Aug 2014 06:51:29 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Former Pakistani Minister Paul Bhatti meets Pope Francis http://www.mediacova.com/news/feeds/3776-former-pakistani-minister-paul-bhatti-meets-pope-francis.html http://www.mediacova.com/news/feeds/3776-former-pakistani-minister-paul-bhatti-meets-pope-francis.html

(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis met briefly Wednesday with Dr. Paul Bhatti, former Pakistani Minister for National Harmony and Minorities.  Dr. Bhatti attended the weekly General Audience where he and his mother, both Catholics, had an opportunity to speak with the Pope.  Bhatti, whose brother Shabhaz was assassinated by Islamic extremists as Pakistan’s first Minister for Minority Affairs in 2011, says Pope Francis is a father figure for the world’s persecuted Christians.  Bhatti and his mother invited Pope Francis to visit Pakistan’s small Christian community and said their meeting with the Pope was a special moment.

Listen to Tracey McClure’s extended interview with Dr. Paul Bhatti:

In the interview, Bhatti criticizes the international community's complacency in speaking out against persecution against Christians and says the root causes of religious extremism and terrorism must be identified and dealt with.  He also speaks about the courage of some Muslims who come to the defense of Christians and condemns the “abuse of children” who are sometimes “brainwashed” as early as the age of 6 to kill.

 

(From archive of Vatican Radio)]]>
Feeds Wed, 27 Aug 2014 11:12:53 +0000
Pope Francis: Christian unity not division http://www.mediacova.com/news/feeds/3777-pope-francis-christian-unity-not-division.html http://www.mediacova.com/news/feeds/3777-pope-francis-christian-unity-not-division.html

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Wednesday said that in a Christian community division is one of the worst sins because it comes not from God. He made the comment during weekly General Audience on Wednesday in St Peter’s Square.

Listen to this report by Lydia O’Kane 

The importance of unity was at the heart of Pope Francis’ catechesis at his weekly General Audience on Wednesday, telling the estimated ten thousand pilgrims and tourists present in St Peter’s Square that “ while we, the members of the Church, are sinners, the unity and holiness of the Church arise from God and call us daily to conversion.

The Holy Father said that the sins against unity, such as jealousy, envy, and  antipathy come about when we place ourselves at the centre and even occur even in our parish communities. 

Then the Pope underlined that in a Christian community division is one of the worst sins because it comes not from God but from the Devil.

God’s will, stressed Pope Francis “is that we grow in our capacity to welcome one another, to forgive and to love, and to resemble Jesus.” 

Giving an example of Christ’s unity and Holiness at work, Pope Francis recounted a story he had heard about an elderly woman who, all her life worked for her parish. She was a women who never gossiped, never spoke ill of anyone and always had a smile on her face. This is the kind of woman, said the Pope that could be “canonized tomorrow”. This, the Holy Father noted, is the holiness of the Church – “to recognize the image of God in one another”.

Concluding his Catechesis, the Holy Father asked that we all examine our consciences and look for forgiveness “for the times when we have given rise to division or misunderstanding in our communities and may our relationships mirror more beautifully and joyfully the unity of Jesus and the Father.”

 

(From archive of Vatican Radio)]]>
Feeds Wed, 27 Aug 2014 11:12:51 +0000
Iraq, Nigeria: Abp Tomasi– stop persecution by Islamic extremists http://www.mediacova.com/news/feeds/3778-iraq-nigeria-abp-tomasi-stop-persecution-by-islamic-extremists.html http://www.mediacova.com/news/feeds/3778-iraq-nigeria-abp-tomasi-stop-persecution-by-islamic-extremists.html

(Vatican Radio) The Holy See’s Permanent Observer to the United Nations in Geneva, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi has renewed his appeal to the international community to stop Islamic State militants from persecuting and exterminating Christians and other minorities in Iraq and other parts of the region. Speaking to Vatican Radio’s Italian Service, Archbishop Tomasi said,  “In this tragic context of violence, the Church ‘s job is difficult but continuous.  The example of the Holy Father is clear: he continues to appeal to the international community and to all of us believers, to pray that the path to peace will be found, inviting everyone to negotiate and inviting the countries that are capable of stopping the aggressor - through the mechanisms of the United Nations -  (to take action).”

“Local bishops, the Patriarchs, Orthodox and Catholics of various rites – the Syriac, Chaldean, Melkite – met a few days ago and clearly formulated important plans of action.  First, to ask for help from the international community to stop the violence and the killing not only of the Christians but also of the Yazidis and other groups.  We think that Christians are being decapitated and from the photos, you can see the heads are put on hooks like wall or gate decorations.  These things are unheard of, truly unacceptable!

“Second, they ask that there is an international presence that guarantees the return of the Christians to their villages and to their homes.  It is not right that the international community accepts that automatically, the Christians are condemned to exile.  They have the right to live at home, where they’ve lived for 1,700 years, since before the arrival of Islam, so that they can continue (to live there) not only because it is their natural right, but also because they are a presence that is a benefit to the Islamic community and which helps diversify the social context which can slowly favor a democracy that respects the identity of every person and each group.”

Asked if he is concerned about the actions of the Islamic militant group Boko Haram which has terrorized and recently proclaimed a caliphate in Nigeria, Archbishop Tomasi said,  “the violence used by Boko Haram is worrying.  The fact that the systematic use of violence against innocent civilians – particularly Christians - is a form of power-grabbing poses the question to the international community: how will it react?  Nigeria is still doing its best to find a solution to this fundamentalist sect that disguises its thirst for power with religious language but in reality, what is at the root of this movement is (its desire for) domination and control of the territory. So, the international community needs to condemn (Boko Haram) and make it clear that the methods used by these people are completely unacceptable. In whatever manner deemed useful,  it must also support the Nigerian government to fulfill its efforts to reject this group.”

(From archive of Vatican Radio)]]>
Feeds Wed, 27 Aug 2014 11:12:50 +0000
Pope Francis at weekly General Audience http://www.mediacova.com/news/feeds/3779-pope-francis-at-weekly-general-audience.html http://www.mediacova.com/news/feeds/3779-pope-francis-at-weekly-general-audience.html

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis greeted thousands of pilgrims and tourists in St Peter's Square on Wednesday for his weekly General Audience. During his catechesis the Holy Father stressed the importance of unity in the Church and in our lives.

Below are the Pope's English language remarks read out during the General Audience

Dear Brothers and Sisters, We affirm in the Creed that the Church is one and that she is holyOne because she has her origin in the Triune God, mystery of unity and full communion.  Holy since she is founded by Jesus Christ, enlivened by his Holy Spirit, and filled with his love and salvation.  While we, the members of the Church, are sinners, the unity and holiness of the Church arise from God and call us daily to conversion.  We have an intercessor in Jesus, who prays, especially in his passion, for our unity with him and the Father, and with each other.  Unfortunately, we know well the sins against unity – jealousy, envy, antipathy – which come about when we place ourselves at the center and which occur even in our parish communities.  God’s will, however, is that we grow in our capacity to welcome one another, to forgive and to love, and to resemble Jesus.  This is the holiness of the Church – to recognize the image of God in one another.  May we all examine our consciences and ask forgiveness for the times when we have given rise to division or misunderstanding in our communities, and may our relationships mirror more beautifully and joyfully the unity of Jesus and the Father.

I offer an affectionate greeting to all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present at today’s Audience, including those from England, Malta and Canada.  May Jesus Christ confirm you in faith and make you witnesses of the holiness and unity of the Church.  May God bless you all!

 

(From archive of Vatican Radio)]]>
Feeds Wed, 27 Aug 2014 04:53:50 +0000
Iraqi Patriarch appeals to world: do not remain indifferent to our suffering http://www.mediacova.com/news/feeds/3780-iraqi-patriarch-appeals-to-world-do-not-remain-indifferent-to-our-suffering.html http://www.mediacova.com/news/feeds/3780-iraqi-patriarch-appeals-to-world-do-not-remain-indifferent-to-our-suffering.html

(Vatican Radio) "The international community, and in particular the European Union and the United States cannot remain indifferent" to the "humanitarian catastrophe" unfolding at the hands of Islamic State militants. Those, the words of the Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans, Raphael Louis Sako I who has renewed his urgent appeal on behalf of Christians and other persecuted minorities in Iraq. In an open letter released Sunday, the Chaldean Catholic Church leader calls into question the West’s "moral and historical" responsibility towards religious minorities but also those of the Muslim community.

Below, we publish the English version of Patriarch Sako’s appeal:

To the conscience of the world. Iraq's Christians, a double catastrophe

 (24.8.2014) It has become obvious that Iraqi Christians along with other minorities have received a fatal blow at the core of their lives and their existence whether through displacing more than a hundred thousand Christians by force, or looting their possessions, money, and documents, or occupying their houses for just being Christian! I visited the camps of the displaced persons in the provinces of Erbil and Dohok and what I saw and what I heard is beyond any imagination! Since the 6th August until now there is not yet an immediate concrete solution for  the crisis we are facing. On the other hand the flow of funds, arms and fighters continues to the Islamic State. Despite the fact that we are living an organized campaign of elimination from Iraq, the world conscience is not fully awake to gravity of the situation. Now, the second phase of the calamity has already begun, which is  the migration of these families to the different parts of the world, thus dissolving the history, heritage, and identity of these people into void.

Displacement and migration have their great impact on us, both on Christians and Muslims. Iraq is losing an irreplaceable component of its society, the Christian one; hence begins the vanishing of a genuine tradition!

The international community, principally the United States and European Union, due to their moral and historic responsibility towards Iraq, cannot be indifferent. While acknowledging all that is being done to solve this crisis, it seems that the decisions and actions undertaken until now have made no real change in the course of events  and the fate of these affected people is still at stake, as if these people are not part of  the human race! 

The same is true with regard to the Muslim community, whose statements about the barbaric acts in the name of their religion practiced against the life, dignity and freedom of Christians were not according to our expectation, knowing that  Christians have contributed and fought for this country, living in partnership with their Muslim brothers alongside the Islamic civilization.

Religious fundamentalism is still growing in its power and force, creating tragedies, and making us wonder when the Islamic religious scholars and the Muslim intellectuals will critically examine this dangerous phenomenon and eradicate it by educating a true religious consciousness and spreading a genuine culture of accepting the other as brother and as an equal citizen with full rights. 

What has happened is terrible and horrific, therefore, we need an urgent and effective international support from all the people of good will to save the Christians and Yezidis, genuine components of the Iraqi society, from extinction, knowing that   silence and passivity will encourage ISIS fundamentalists to commit more tragedies! The question is who will be the next.

Many of these displaced persons wish to return to their towns and houses in the Nineveh Plain, and hope to see it safe under international protection. But the full safety of this zone cannot be achieved without the cooperation of the International Community along with the joint action of the Central Government and the Regional Government of Kurdistan. These innocent people deserve to live in peace and  dignity after the terror afflicted on them by the ISIS and after being looted by their own neighbors.

The Church: Certainly we are proud of the faith of our sons and daughters and their steadfastness and courage in the face of this calamity for the sake of their belief. We invite them to live this crisis in a real communion with all the people around them without any distinction. What we need is not exhausting statements but real  communion with others which we experienced during the visit of the delegation of French bishop's conference, Personal Envoy of Pope Francis and Patriarchs. This crisis is empowering us for a spiritual, moral and material reconstruction of our communities. We do respect the decision of those who wish to migrate, but for those  who wish to remain, we underline our long history and deeply rooted heritage in this land. God has his own plan for our presence in this land and invites us  to carry the ]]> Feeds Tue, 26 Aug 2014 09:28:50 +0000 Pope Francis: Jesus builds the Church on faith http://www.mediacova.com/news/feeds/3781-pope-francis-jesus-builds-the-church-on-faith.html http://www.mediacova.com/news/feeds/3781-pope-francis-jesus-builds-the-church-on-faith.html

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis based his weekly Angelus address on Sunday’s Gospel account of St Peter’s profession of faith in Jesus as “the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Our Lord responds to this confession by re-naming Simon “Peter,” a name meaning “rock.” But, the Pope said, Jesus gives Simon this name “not for his own personal qualities or his human merits, but on account of his genuine and firm faith, which comes from on high.”

Simon’s faith is a gift from God the Father, a dependable, trustworthy faith upon which our Lord can build His Church – His community, the Pope said, that is, all of us. Our Lord founds His Church on faith, on a relationship with Himself, a relationship of love and trust. When He began His Church, Jesus was looking for a solid faith from His disciples — that was the reason for His question in the Gospel, “Who do you say that I am?”

“What happened in a unique way in Saint Peter,” the Pope said, “also takes place in every Christian who develops a sincere faith in Jesus the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” Addressing the crowd, Pope Francis asked, “What does your faith look like?” Is it a firm, rock-like faith? Or is it sandy, that is doubtful, mistrustful, unbelieving? The Lord, he said, is searching for faith in our hearts – not necessarily a perfect faith, but a sincere, genuine faith. When He finds it, the Pope said, our Lord “will see in us, too, the living rocks on which He builds His community.” Jesus is the unique cornerstone, while Peter, the rock, is the visible foundation of the unity of the Church… but, the Holy Father reminded us, every baptized person is called to offer to Jesus his or her own faith, poor but sincere, so that He can continue to build His Church today, in every part of the world.

Pope Francis concluded his address by recalling the Jesus’ question to St Peter: “Who do you say that I am?” That question, he said, is addressed to each of us today. How will we answer that question? We must think about the answer, but even more, the Pope said, we must pray to God the Father, that He might give us the answer, that He might give us the gift to respond with sincere hearts.

This, he said, "is a confession of faith, this is the creed” – and the Pope, the Successor of Peter, echoing the faith of Peter, lead the crowd in the profession of faith: “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”

Below, please find Vatican Radio’s translation of Pope Francis’ Angelus address for Sunday, 24 August 2014, the Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time.

The Gospel of this Sunday (Mt 16:13-20) is the celebrated passage, central to Matthew’s account, in which Simon, in the name of the Twelve, professes his faith in Jesus as “the Christ, the Son of the living God”; and Jesus calls Simon “blessed” for his faith, recognizing in it a special gift of the Father. He says to [Simon], “You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church.”

Let us pause for a moment on this point, on the fact that Jesus bestows on Simon this new name, “Peter,” that in Jesus’ language [Aramaic] was “Kepha,” a word meaning “rock.” In the Bible, this name, this term, “rock,” referred to God. Jesus attributes this name to Simon not for his own personal qualities or his human merits, but on account of his genuine and firm faith, which comes from on high.

Jesus feels a great joy in His heart, because He recognizes in Simon the hand of the Father, the action of the Holy Spirit. He recognizes that God the Father has given Simon a “dependable” faith, upon which He, Jesus, can build His Church, that is, His community, that is, all of us. All of us. Jesus intend to give live to “His” Church, a people founded not on offspring, but on faith, that is to say, on a relationship with Himself, a relationship of love and trust. Our relationship with Jesus builds the Church. And so to begin His Church Jesus needs to find in His disciples a solid faith, “dependable” faith. This is what He must confirm at this point in the journey, and this is why He asks the question.

The Lord has in mind the image of building, the image of the community as an edifice. And so, when He hears Simon’s frank profession of faith, He calls him “rock,” and makes clear His intention of building His Church on this faith.

Brothers and sisters, what happened in a unique way in Saint Peter, also takes place in every Christian who develops a sincere faith in Jesus the Christ, the Son of the living God. Today’s Gospel challenges each of us: How is your faith? Let each of us answer in our heart. How is your faith? How is it? What does the Lord find in our hearts: a firm heart, like a rock? Or a heart like sand, that is, doubtful, mistrustful, unbelieving? It would do us good to think about this throughout the day. If the Lord finds in our hearts a faith – I won’t say perfect, but sincere, genuine, then He will see in us,...]]> Feeds Mon, 25 Aug 2014 09:12:03 +0000 Church mourns death of Cardinal Edmund Szoka http://www.mediacova.com/news/feeds/3770-church-mourns-death-of-cardinal-edmund-szoka.html http://www.mediacova.com/news/feeds/3770-church-mourns-death-of-cardinal-edmund-szoka.html

(Vatican Radio) The Archdiocese of Detroit has announced the death of Cardinal Edmund Casimir Szoka, at age 86.

Cardinal Szoka served as Archbishop of Detroit from 1981-1990, and went on to oversee the government of Vatican City State under Pope St John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI.

Below, please find the complete text of the press statement from the Archdiocese of Detroit on the death of Cardinal Edmund Casimir Szoka:

With sadness and great hope in the Resurrection we share news of the death of Cardinal Edmund Casimir Szoka, who served as Archbishop of Detroit from 1981 until 1990 and went on to oversee the government of the Vatican City State under Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI.

"We mourn the loss of a dedicated shepherd," said current Detroit Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron, who had served as a priest under Cardinal Szoka in the 1980s. "For sixty years Cardinal Szoka gave himself totally to his priestly service of Christ and his Church.  He has gone home to the Heavenly Father with our prayers. May the Lord give him the reward of his labors."

Following his retirement from active ministry in 2006, Cardinal Szoka had been living in Northville. He died last night, August 20, of natural causes at Providence Park Hospital in Novi. He was 86.

Funeral arrangements will be made public as they become available.

Edmund Casimir Szoka was born Sept. 14, 1927, in Grand Rapids to Polish immigrants Casimir and Mary Szoka. His father had immigrated from what is now Belarus; his mother from Poland.

Cardinal Szoka was celebrating his 60th anniversary as a priest this year, having been ordained by Bishop Noa on June 5, 1954, to serve the Diocese of Marquette.

He had served as chancellor in the Diocese of Marquette until being named the first bishop of the newly created Diocese of Gaylord in June of 1971. After establishing the Diocese of Gaylord, Pope John Paul II named him Archbishop of Detroit. He was installed to the post in May 1981.

The pope then made him a cardinal in June of 1988. Shortly thereafter, he was appointed to oversee economic affairs at the Vatican City State, in April of 1990, and was succeeded in Detroit by Archbishop (Cardinal) Adam J. Maida.

Cardinal Szoka oversaw the Vatican City State under both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. He was made President of the Governatorate of Vatican City State in 1997, and president of the Vatican City State in 2001.

A day after his 79th birthday in 2006, Pope Benedict XVI accepted Cardinal Szoka's resignation.

(From archive of Vatican Radio)]]>
Feeds Thu, 21 Aug 2014 12:50:37 +0000
Slavery to be theme of 2015 World Day of Peace http://www.mediacova.com/news/feeds/3771-slavery-to-be-theme-of-2015-world-day-of-peace.html http://www.mediacova.com/news/feeds/3771-slavery-to-be-theme-of-2015-world-day-of-peace.html

(Vatican Radio)  The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace has announced the theme selected by Pope Francis for the upcoming World Day of Peace.  The theme, “Slaves no more, but brothers and sisters” will be the title of the Message for the 48th World Day of Peace, celebrated on 1 January 2015.  It will mark the second time Pope Francis celebrates the Day of Peace since he has risen to the papacy.

A note from the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace provides details about why the theme is relevant today: 

Many people think that slavery is a thing of the past. In fact, this social plague remains all too real in today’s world.  Last year’s Message for 1 January 2014 was dedicated to brotherhood: “Fraternity, the Foundation and Pathway to Peace”. Being children of God gives all human beings equal dignity as brothers and sisters.
 
Slavery deals a murderous blow to this fundamental fraternity, and so to peace as well. Peace can only exist when each human being recognizes every other person as a brother or sister with the same dignity.
 
Too many abominable forms of slavery persist in today’s world: human trafficking, trade in migrants and prostitutes, exploitation, slave labour, and the enslavement of women and children.
 
Shamefully, individuals and groups around the world profit from this slavery. They take advantage of the world’s many conflicts, of the economic crisis and of corruption in order to carry out their evil.
 
Slavery is a terrible open wound on the contemporary social body, a fatal running sore on the flesh of Christ!
 
To counter slavery effectively, the inviolable dignity of every person must be recognized above all. Moreover, this acceptance of dignity must be anchored solidly in fraternity. Fraternity requires us to reject any inequality which would allow one person to enslave another. It demands instead that we act everywhere with proximity and generosity, thus leading to liberation and inclusion for everyone.
 
Our purpose is to build a civilization based on the equal dignity of every person without discrimination. To achieve this will also require the commitment of the media, of education and of culture to a renewed society pledged to freedom, justice and therefore peace.
 
The World Day of Peace, initiated by Pope Paul VI, is celebrated each year on the first day of January. The Holy Father’s Message is sent to all the world’s Foreign Ministers and also indicates the Holy See’s diplomatic line during the coming year.
(From archive of Vatican Radio)]]>
Feeds Thu, 21 Aug 2014 12:50:36 +0000
Iraq: Caritas Intl President appeals for end to atrocities http://www.mediacova.com/news/feeds/3772-iraq-caritas-intl-president-appeals-for-end-to-atrocities.html http://www.mediacova.com/news/feeds/3772-iraq-caritas-intl-president-appeals-for-end-to-atrocities.html

(Vatican Radio) The President of Caritas Internationalis, Cardinal Oscar Andrés Rodriguez Maradiaga S.D.B. has written a letter to Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako and to the President of Caritas Iraq, Bishop Shlemon Warduni to express his concern for the safety of their communities and for the wellbeing of “all the people of Iraq.”

Alarmed at the “atrocities” being committed by Islamic State militants against minority Christians, Yazidis, Kurds, Shabaks, Madaeans, and others, Cardinal Maradiaga observed with dismay “the massive displacement of 1.2 million people, many of them civilians trying to escape appalling atrocities in the hope of saving their own lives and those of their families.”

“With great dismay we see images of people who literally have been robbed of every last possession and now have no means to buy food or attend to their basic needs.” Many, including 40 children who died from lack of water, have perished as they flee the violence.

The Cardinal reflected that humanity has not learned from the historical atrocities of the Twentieth century: “How can members of the same family inflict such atrocities on their own people in the name of religion? Or is it rather the manipulation of ruthless greed for power that inflicts such ruthless violence on so many innocent people?” He wondered .

Cardinal Maradiaga appealed to the militants of the Islamic State “to cease inflicting atrocities on their brothers and sisters and to work towards building peaceful societies, where all human persons, whether in minority or majority communities can live together in peace and where everyone can flourish.”

He expressed “deep concern” that the surge in violence “may push back advancements in the Christian – Muslim dialogue and destroy the peaceful coexistence…enjoyed by many Muslims and Christians in all parts of the world, but most especially in the Middle East.”

Concluding his letter, Cardinal Maradiaga offered Caritas’ solidarity with the courageous religious, lay and Caritas aid workers “who provide practical help in local communities to alleviate the suffering, giving food and shelter or healing trauma.”

The text of Cardinal Maradiaga's letter follows:

My dear brothers in Our Lord Jesus Christ,
 
On behalf of the Caritas Internationalis Confederation I send you fraternal greetings and assure of my deep concern for your safety and wellbeing and, most especially of my prayers for you and all the people of Iraq. 
 
It is with great sadness, that, once again, we are forced to witness destructive violence in the region and, in particular in your beloved country of Iraq. It is with aching hearts that we observe the massive displacement of 1.2 million people, many of them civilians trying to escape appalling atrocities in the hope of saving their own lives and those of their families. 
 
With great dismay we see images of people who literally have been robbed of every last possession and now have no means to buy food or attend to their basic needs. We know that many of them have lost their lives while in flight, as recently happened with 40 children who died from lack of water.
Despite advances in recognizing the rights of minorities within the international community, the atrocities in your country concern these very same groups: Christians, Yazidis, Kurds, Shabaks, Madaeans, and others.
 
When will our global human family begin to learn from history? The forced imposition of the sign “N” on the doors of Christian homes brings to mind another atrocity that occurred during the last century and that led to terrible suffering and death of millions of people. As our Holy Father Pope Francis says: “Violence is never defeated by violence. Violence is conquered by peace." 
 
How can members of the same family inflict such atrocities on their own people in the name of religion? Or is it rather the manipulation of ruthless greed for power that inflicts such ruthless violence on so many innocent people?
 
Caritas Internationalis, which witnesses, through its name and every action, to “love across the nations,” calls for one human family in which no one should die of hunger or thirst, nor lose their lives as a result of hatred and violent aggression. We work to advance a human family that lives together in peace and harmony, in charity and justice. 
 
We call upon the militants of the Islamic State to cease inflicting atrocities on their brothers and sisters and to work towards building peaceful societies, where all human persons, whether in minority or majority communities can live together in peace and where everyone can flourish.  We share a deep concern that this most recent surge of violence may push back advancements in the Christian – Muslim dialogue and destroy the peaceful coexistence and conviviality that is enjoyed by many Muslims and Christians in all parts of the world, but most especially in the Middle East.
Feeds Thu, 21 Aug 2014 12:50:36 +0000
Pope on Korea trip: memory, hope, witness http://www.mediacova.com/news/feeds/3773-pope-on-korea-trip-memory-hope-witness.html http://www.mediacova.com/news/feeds/3773-pope-on-korea-trip-memory-hope-witness.html

(Vatican Radio) Memory, hope, witness: these are the three key terms in which Pope Francis placed his recent visit to Korea, when he reflected on the trip with pilgrims and tourists gathered in Paul VI Hall at the Vatican on Wednesday for the weekly General Audience. After renewing his sentiments of gratitude and esteem for the bishops of Korea and for the civil authorities who hosted him, the Holy Father began to focus on the Church he discovered during his voyage.

“The Republic of Korea,” said Pope Francis, “is a country that has had a remarkable and rapid economic development,” which he attributed in large part to the industry and discipline of the Korean people. “In this situation,” he continued, “the Church is the custodian of memory and hope: a spiritual family in which adults pass the torch of faith that they themselves have received from the elderly on to the young people,” of the new generation, so that, “the memory of the witnesses of the past becomes new testimony in the present and hope for the future.”

The Holy Father went on to say that the beatification of 124 Korean martyrs and the celebration of the sixth Asian Youth Day were concrete signs of this dynamic at work in Korea and all throughout Asia. “Dear brothers,” he said, “in the history of the faith in Korea we see that Christ does not erase cultures, does not suppress the pilgrimage of peoples, who, through the centuries and millennia, seek truth and practice love for God and neighbor. Christ does not abolish what is good, but brings it to fulfillment.”

The Pope also addressed the particular role of lay people in bringing the Gospel to Korean shores and fostering the growth of the Church in the country. “The Church took root in Korea and grew largely because of lay people, who saw the attractiveness of the Gospel and sought to live like the first Christians, in equal dignity and solidarity with the poor,” said Pope Francis in the English-language remarks read following his principal Italian-language address.

The Holy Father concluded with a prayer: that the Korean people might continue to grow in faith and love, overcome every division and look forward to a future of reconciliation and hope.

(From archive of Vatican Radio)]]>
Feeds Thu, 21 Aug 2014 12:50:34 +0000