Feeds Media Cova - a network of artists and artisans building Catholic culture http://www.mediacova.com/news/feeds.html Fri, 25 Jul 2014 03:37:10 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Pope Francis prays for peace in the Middle East http://www.mediacova.com/news/feeds/3740-pope-francis-prays-for-peace-in-the-middle-east.html http://www.mediacova.com/news/feeds/3740-pope-francis-prays-for-peace-in-the-middle-east.html

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Sunday expressed his concern for the plight of Christian communities in the Iraqi town of Mosul and in other parts of the Middle East.

Speaking after the Angelus in St. Peter’s Square, the Pope turned his thoughts to those Christians who are now persecuted in the lands they have lived since the beginning of Christianity, offering - he said - a precious contribution to the good of society.

Listen to the report by Linda Bordoni...

“Today our brothers are persecuted” – the Pope said – "they are banished from their homes and forced to flee without even being able to take their belongings!”

And, assured them of his closeness and constant prayer he said: “My dear brothers and sisters who are persecuted, I know how much you suffer; I know that you are deprived of all. I am with you in faith in He who conquered evil”.

The Pope then appealed to all – to those present in the Square and far beyond – to persevere in praying for peace in all situations of tension and conflict in the world, and he especially mentioned the Middle East and Ukraine.

“May the God of peace” – Francis said – “arouse in all an authentic desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence cannot be overcome with violence. Violence is overcome with peace!”

The Pope’s appeal followed his Sunday address to the crowds gathered in the Square for the recitation of the Angelus prayer.

Taking his cue from the Gospel reading of the day, the Pope reflected on the parable that tells of the man who sowed good seed in his field while his enemy sowed weeds. But when the man’s servants offer to pull up the weeds, the man stoped them saying “if you pull up the weeds you might uproot the wheat along with them”. 

This parable – Pope Francis explained – speaks to us of the problem of evil in the world and it highlights God’s patience.

The devil – he said – plants evil where there is good, trying to divide people, families and nations. But God – he continued – knows how to wait. He looks into the ‘field’ of each person with patience and mercy: he sees the dirt and the evil much better than we do, but he also sees the seeds of good and patiently awaits their germination.

God – Pope Francis said – is a patient father who waits with an open heart to welcome us and to forgive us. But – he pointed out – His patience does not mean He is indifferent to evil. One must not confuse good and evil. And at the end, at the time of the harvest, Jesus will judge us all separating those who have sown good seed from those who have sown weeds. And – Francis said – we will be judged with the same meter with which we judged others; we will be shown the same mercy we showed towards others.

Let us ask Our Lady – Pope Francis concluded – to help us grow in patience and in mercy.


(From archive of Vatican Radio)]]>
Feeds Mon, 21 Jul 2014 12:49:35 +0000
Christians invited to pray for end to Gaza conflict http://www.mediacova.com/news/feeds/3741-christians-invited-to-pray-for-end-to-gaza-conflict.html http://www.mediacova.com/news/feeds/3741-christians-invited-to-pray-for-end-to-gaza-conflict.html

(Vatican Radio)  Christians around the world are invited this Sunday to join in prayers for peace in the Holy Land where an Israeli ground offensive is underway in Gaza to root out Hamas militants responsible for rocket fire into Israel.  The conflict, which has entered its 13th day, has claimed hundreds of Palestinian lives and those of several Israelis.

Not long into the conflict, leaders of the Catholic Church in the Holy Land, the Catholic Ordinaries, issued a strong statement condemning the hostilities, the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory and the series of injustices they say lay at the root of the unrest.

The Director of Caritas Jerusalem, Fr. Raed Abusahliah asks Christians everywhere to join him Sunday to pray for an end to the conflict and explains that in their statement, the Catholic Ordinaries offer a Christian perspective…

Listen to the report by Tracey McClure...  


(From archive of Vatican Radio)]]>
Feeds Mon, 21 Jul 2014 12:49:35 +0000
CARDINAL SANDRI TO THE ORIENTAL CHRISTIANS: YOUR TEARS AND HOPES ARE OURS http://www.mediacova.com/news/feeds/3742-cardinal-sandri-to-the-oriental-christians-your-tears-and-hopes-are-ours.html http://www.mediacova.com/news/feeds/3742-cardinal-sandri-to-the-oriental-christians-your-tears-and-hopes-are-ours.html

Vatican City, 21 July 2014 (VIS) – Yesterday Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, celebrated Mass in the Maronite Cathedral of Our Lady of Lebanon in Los Angeles, United States, on the occasion of the festivity of Sts. Charbel and Elias, commemorated by Lebanese Maronites all over the world on the third Sunday of July. Around four hundred faithful of the Oriental Churches participated in the celebration.

According to a communiqué from the dicastery, the cardinal spoke in his homily of the immense suffering caused by the desperate fate of many innocent people and remarked that, while the Christians in Mosul in Iraq and Aleppo in Syria are the most afflicted, the entire area is in a state of insecurity, unfortunately maintained by widespread indifference. He also made reference to those affected by current events in Palestine, “who are in tears, unable to be men and Christians in serenity and dignity. We tell them that their tears are ours, nonetheless we share the same hope, and its name is Christ; and Jesus Christ is faithful. For this, we persevere together in the same journey”.

After reading the appeal in support of persecuted Christians, launched by Pope Francis during yesterday's Angelus, the Cardinal invited the faithful to pray in silence and emphasised the Church's closeness to the Patriarchs, the bishops and the people of the Syro-Catholic and Chaldean Churches. He emphasised the Church's participation in their suffering and urged them to persevere in the defence of human rights and religious freedom, “particularly where Christians have been living for two thousand years since the beginning of Christianity” to the benefit of society, and where they may continue to offer their contribution to the human community.

Feeds Mon, 21 Jul 2014 06:33:00 +0000
Pope prays for Malaysia Airlines victims in Ukraine http://www.mediacova.com/news/feeds/3743-pope-prays-for-malaysia-airlines-victims-in-ukraine.html http://www.mediacova.com/news/feeds/3743-pope-prays-for-malaysia-airlines-victims-in-ukraine.html

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis is praying for the victims of the deadly incident in Ukraine involving a Malaysia Airlines passenger plane. A statement from the Press Office of the Holy See reads: "The Holy Father, Pope Francis has learned with dismay of the tragedy of the Malaysian Airlines aircraft downed in east Ukraine, a region marked by high tensions. He raises prayers for the numerous victims of the incident and for their relatives, and renews his heartfelt appeal to all parties in the conflict to seek peace and solutions through dialogue, in order to avoid further loss of innocent human lives."

(From archive of Vatican Radio)]]>
Feeds Sun, 20 Jul 2014 09:38:36 +0000
Pontifical Dialogue Council sends Ramadan Message http://www.mediacova.com/news/feeds/3744-pontifical-dialogue-council-sends-ramadan-message.html http://www.mediacova.com/news/feeds/3744-pontifical-dialogue-council-sends-ramadan-message.html

(Vatican Radio) The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue has sent a Message to Muslims to mark the conclusion of the month of Ramadan. The theme of the Message is: Towards a Genuine Fraternity between Muslims and Christians. “Our contemporary world faces grave challenges which call for solidarity on the part of all people of good will,” writes the Council’s President, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, noting threats to the environment, the crisis of the global economy and high levels of unemployment – particularly youth unemployment – as some of those challenges.

Click below to hear our report

The Message goes on to cite also the problems faced by so many families which have been separated, leaving behind loved ones and often small children. “Let us work together,” writes Cardinal Tauran, “to build bridges of peace and promote reconciliation especially in areas where Muslims and Christians together suffer the horror of war,” and, “may our friendship inspire us always to cooperate in facing these many challenges with wisdom and prudence.”

The Message concludes with an appeal, saying, that facing such challenges effectively will help to diminish tension and conflict, and advance the common good, as well as demonstrate that religions can be a source of harmony for the benefit of society as a whole. “Let us pray,” the Message closes, “that reconciliation, justice, peace and development will remain uppermost among our priorities, for the welfare and good of the whole human family. Together with Pope Francis, we are happy to send you our cordial best wishes for a joyful celebration and a life of prosperity in peace.”

(From archive of Vatican Radio)]]>
Feeds Sat, 19 Jul 2014 02:48:34 +0000
The Holy Father telephones Shimon Peres and Mahmoud Abbas: seek an end to hostilities http://www.mediacova.com/news/feeds/3745-the-holy-father-telephones-shimon-peres-and-mahmoud-abbas-seek-an-end-to-hostilities.html http://www.mediacova.com/news/feeds/3745-the-holy-father-telephones-shimon-peres-and-mahmoud-abbas-seek-an-end-to-hostilities.html Vatican City, 18 July 2014 (VIS) – Following last Sunday’s heartfelt appeal for continued prayer for peace in the Holy Land, this morning the Holy Father Francis personally telephoned President Shimon Peres of Israel and President Mahmoud Abbas of Palestine to share his very serious concerns regarding the current situation of conflict involving in particular the Gaza Strip which, in a climate of growing hostility, hatred and suffering for the two populations, is claiming many victims and giving rise to a serious humanitarian emergency.

As during his recent pilgrimage to the Holy Land and on the occasion of the invocation for peace on 8 June, the Holy Father assured them of his ceaseless prayer, and that of all the Church, for peace in the Holy Land. He reminded the presidents, whom he considers to be men of peace and seekers of peace, of the need to continue to pray and endeavour to ensure that all the interested parties and those who hold political office at local and international level work to bring an end to hostilities, making efforts to promote truce, peace and reconciliation in the hearts of those involved.

Feeds Fri, 18 Jul 2014 06:13:00 +0000
Pope calls for protection of unaccompanied child migrants http://www.mediacova.com/news/feeds/3734-pope-calls-for-protection-of-unaccompanied-child-migrants.html http://www.mediacova.com/news/feeds/3734-pope-calls-for-protection-of-unaccompanied-child-migrants.html

(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis has sent a message to the “Mexico/Holy See Colloquium on Migration and Development”, urging protection for tens of thousands of unaccompanied children who are migrating North from Central America and Mexico in increasing numbers. 

The Holy Father’s letter was read to conference participants by Apostolic Nuncio Christophe Pierre.  The conference was also attended by the Vatican's secretary of state Cardinal Pietro Parolin. 

Emer McCarthy reports:

In his message Pope Francis writes that globalization has rendered migration a “hallmark” of society today.  Despite this it is still seen as an emergency or as a circumstantial phenomenon.   

Above all, the Pope’s thoughts go to “the tens of thousands of children who migrate alone, unaccompanied, to escape poverty and violence”.  He says, “this is a category of migrants …who cross the border with the United States under extreme conditions and in pursuit of a hope that in most cases turns out to be vain”. He notes that the numbers of children undertaking this hazardous journey “are increasing day by day”. 

Pope Francis calls for "the international community to pay attention to this challenge" and for measures to be taken by the countries involved. These include policies to inform the public of the dangers of the trip north and to promote development of the migrants' countries of origin.

US authorities have detained some 57,000 unaccompanied minors since October, twice the number from the same period a year ago. Mexican authorities have picked up 8,000 child migrants in the first five months of the year, and more than half of them were traveling by themselves.

Addressing the Colloquium, Cardinal Parolin stated: "Whether they are traveling because of poverty, or violence, or with the hope of reuniting with relatives on the other side of the border, it is urgent to protect them and help them because their vulnerability is greater and they are defenseless against any abuse or misfortune”.


Below please find a Vatican Radio translation of the Holy Father’s Message:


Papal message on the occasion of  

Mexico Holy See colloquium on human migration and development

Mexico City, 14 July 2014



I would like to extend my greetings to the organizers, speakers, and participants in the "Mexico Holy See colloquium on human migration and development".

Globalization is a phenomenon that challenges us, especially in one of its principal manifestations which is emigration. It is one of the "signs" of this time that we live in and that brings us back to the words of Jesus, "Why do you not know how to interpret the present time?" (Lk 12,57). Despite the large influx of migrants present in all continents and in almost all countries, migration is still seen as an emergency, or as a circumstantial and sporadic fact, while instead it has now become a hallmark of our society and a challenge.

It is a phenomenon that carries with it great promise and many challenges. Many people forced to emigrate suffer, and often, die tragically; many of their rights are violated, they are obliged to separate from their families and, unfortunately, continue to be the subject of racist and xenophobic attitudes.

Faced with this situation, I repeat what I have affirmed in this year’s Message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees: "A change of attitude towards migrants and refugees is needed on the part of everyone, moving away from attitudes of defensiveness and fear, indifference and marginalization – all typical of a throwaway culture – towards attitudes based on a culture of encounter, the only culture capable of building a better, more just and fraternal world".

I would also like to draw attention to the tens of thousands of children who migrate alone, unaccompanied, to escape poverty and violence: This is a category of migrants from Central America and Mexico itself who cross the border with the United States under extreme conditions and in pursuit of a hope that in most cases turns out to be vain. They are increasing day by day. This humanitarian emergency requires, as a first urgent measure, these children be welcomed and protected. These measures, however, will not be sufficient, unless they are accompanied by policies that inform people about the dangers of such a journey and, above all, that promote development in their countries of origin. Finally, this challenge demands the attention of the entire international community so that new forms of legal and secure migration may be adopted.

I wish every success to the laudable initiative of the Mexican government’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in arranging a colloquium of study and reflection on the great challenge of migration and cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing to all those present.

(From archive of Vatican Radio)...]]>
Feeds Tue, 15 Jul 2014 02:05:34 +0000
Cardinal Parolin in Mexico to tackle migration issues http://www.mediacova.com/news/feeds/3735-cardinal-parolin-in-mexico-to-tackle-migration-issues.html http://www.mediacova.com/news/feeds/3735-cardinal-parolin-in-mexico-to-tackle-migration-issues.html

(Vatican Radio) The Vatican’s Secretary of State is in Mexico to discuss issues related to emigration, “A huge challenge – “he says – which is currently facing the entire human family”.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin arrived in Mexico City on Sunday to participate in a seminar entitled “Colloquium Mexico-Holy See on International Migration and Development”.

Listen to the report by Linda Bordoni... 

In an address today to the President of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, Parolin emphasized the fact that the Vatican considers the issue of migration as an extremely important one, and appreciates the efforts made by Mexico, both at a national and at an international policy level.

Parolin specifically mentioned the Mexican Immigration Reform that was ratified in 2011 and its underlying principles that uphold the rights of immigrants.  

He said the Church supports policies which protect the dignity and rights of all migrants. And, from a pastoral point of view, Parolin expressed the Pope’s gratitude for the many initiatives the Mexican government has embraced in aid of migrants and in the effort to meet their needs.

The aim of the seminar is to find ways to coordinate a joint programme between the Mexican government and the Holy See, on the issue of migration. During the meeting participants will exchange ideas and identify areas of interest on issues related to international migration, social inclusion, human rights, respect for the dignity of migrants and the contribution of migration to the development of the countries of origin and destination.

Parolin’s schedule includes meetings with the Mexican Foreign Minister, with federal authorities and lawmakers, and with the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. 

The Vatican Secretary of State was invited by President Peña Nieto during his official visit to the Vatican last June. It is an occasion to continue working on a shared agenda, especially in multilateral fora, and to make the protection of individuals, their welfare and development into a core issue.

The seminar comes at a time during which the Mexican government is dealing with a humanitarian crisis which sees thousands of migrant children traveling alone to the United States. 

All Central American countries are reportedly involved in this forced exodus, and the Catholic Church is in the forefront of the nation’s humanitarian response as almost all hostels for migrants in Mexico are run by Catholic organizations.
An official Mexican communiqué states that Mexico and the Holy See established diplomatic relations in 1992 and work in coordination on various issues of common interest, on the basis of mutual respect.

(From archive of Vatican Radio)]]>
Feeds Tue, 15 Jul 2014 01:59:38 +0000
US Bishops host national migration conference http://www.mediacova.com/news/feeds/3736-us-bishops-host-national-migration-conference.html http://www.mediacova.com/news/feeds/3736-us-bishops-host-national-migration-conference.html

(Vatican Radio) The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops was host and principal sponsor of a major conference on migration this week in the US capital, Washington, DC. With the USCCB’s Migration and Refugee Services, the 2014 National Migration Conference was co-sponsored by the Catholic Legal Immigration Network and Catholic Charities USA. 

The purpose of the four-day event that opened Monday was to build the capacity of the Catholic Church and society to advance the life and dignity of the human person in the sponsor organisations’ work with immigrants, migrants, refugees, unaccompanied migrant children, victims of human trafficking, and other vulnerable people on the move.

Click below to listen

The chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Migration, Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, auxiliary of Seattle, Washington, told Vatican Radio the Church’s advocacy in behalf of migrants is a response to a Gospel imperative. “We do what we do because we are Christians and disciples of the Lord, Jesus Christ,” He said. “It is not because we have a political agenda,” he explained, adding, “it is something we are impelled to do.” The US bishops are currently appealing to US federal legislators, calling for action toward comprehensive reform of US immigration law. 

Click here to learn more about the US Bishops' migration advocacy

(From archive of Vatican Radio)]]>
Feeds Mon, 14 Jul 2014 09:50:38 +0000
Prayer for peace is never in vain - Pope Francis' concerned appeal to break the spiral of violence in the Holy Land http://www.mediacova.com/news/feeds/3737-prayer-for-peace-is-never-in-vain-pope-francis-concerned-appeal-to-break-the-spiral-of-violence-in-the-holy-land.html http://www.mediacova.com/news/feeds/3737-prayer-for-peace-is-never-in-vain-pope-francis-concerned-appeal-to-break-the-spiral-of-violence-in-the-holy-land.html “Now, Lord, help us! Grant us peace, teach us peace, guide us toward peace. Open our eyes and our hearts and grant us the courage to say: 'no more war!'; 'with war all is destroyed'!. Instill in us the courage to perform concrete actions to build peace.... Make us willing to listen to the cry of our citizens who ask that our arms be transformed into instruments of peace, our fears to trust and our tensions to forgiveness”. This, on Sunday, 13 July, was Pope Francis' prayer for peace in the Holy Land. Once again the Pontiff prays and asks that others pray for peace, despite the fact that the language spoken in those lands still have the acrid taste of hate, of violence, of the blood of many innocent people.

To all the faithful gathered for the Angelus in St Peter's Square, he stated “I direct a concerned appeal to all of you to continue to pray with persistence for peace in the Holy Land, in light of the tragic events of these last days”.

And, recalling the encounter of 8 June with Patriarch Bartholomaios, President Peres and President Abbas, “with whom we invoked the gift of peace together and heard the call to break the spiral of hate and violence”, he reaffirmed forcefully that, although one could think “ that this meeting was in vain”, it is in fact “prayer which helps us not to allow ourselves to be defeated by evil, nor to accept violence and hate prevailing over dialogue and reconciliation”.

Thus he made a double appeal. He called upon the interested parties and all local and national political leaders “not to spare prayer or any effort to end every hostility and seek the desired peace for the good of all”; and to the faithful: to follow the example of the Virgin Mary, of her silent prayer. And the Square responded with an eloquent silence.

Shortly before Pope Francis had recalled the the parable of the sower who sows seed in whichever type of soil, but only one of them bears fruit. It is important to continue sowing good seed, then the soil will bear fruit. This soil, however, needs to be tilled.

Feeds Mon, 14 Jul 2014 07:33:49 +0000