The turbulent week of reforms begins on Monday: Eight counsellor cardinals are to meet with the Pope from Monday February 17 to Wednesday February 19, coordinated by Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga. The order of the day includes the first concrete proposals for the future organisation of the Vatican Congregations and the Secretary of State, topics already discussed at previous meetings, but also the beginning of a long and arduous examination of the Pontifical Councils.
For decades, the Christians in the Middle East remained "the invisible or neglected victims" throughout the region, and in best cases the United States only made humble interest in indigenous Christians who lived in the Middle East for centuries whether in Palestine, Syria, Iraq or Egypt. They currently suffer from problems and threats that force them in most cases to pack their bags and leave home.
Fifty years ago on January4, 1964, Paul VI's visit to the Holy Land began, and then concluded on the evening of the Epiphany with the embrace and lights of one million Romans' enthusiastic and moving welcome home of their bishop. The visit lasted a few short hours but it changed the face of the papacy. Since then, the successors of the Apostle Peter have resumed all over the world the path that the fisherman from Galilee and the first followers of the Teacher of Nazareth had obscurely taken, trusting only in his word.
“The Pope is the Holy See’s number one diplomatic “agent”. He proved himself to be a vigorous diplomat in the Syrian crisis. This made him an authoritative and sought-after voice internationally,” the Vatican Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin said during an interview with Italian Catholic news daily Avvenire.
With the return of the Palestinians and the Israelis to the negotiations table under the auspices of the US, everyone wonders how serious and feasible the talks will be and what their outcome will be--at a time when they themselves expect their failure before their onset. We feel that they went to the talks under US pressure to avoid any blame. We also wonder what the proper Christian attitude towards the peace process is.
It is the first Arabic-language book on Pope Francis' march, issued by Monsignor
Pious Qaseh of Baghdad.
The book contains a dedication which reads: To the poor man coming from afar,
and from the streets of life enquiring about man being a child or old, poor or
discarded… it is the face of God. He adds: Poor among the poor for a poor church and for the poor… He is Pope Francis.
Over the past five years, based on my work as a journalist specialised in religious ecclesiastic media affairs through the Catholic Centre for Studies and Media and Lebanese NourSat satellite station, I accompanied several ecclesiastic delegations as well as organised and furthermore participated in conferences and workshops most of which discussed the issues of dialogue, solidarity, reconciliation, man's dignity and rights, as well as issues of justice, peace and prosperity. All these values support human causes which incorporate pain, suffering, displacement, murder and death.
Life is not easy in Egypt for Christians. Beyond the reports of churches burned and homes attacked, there is a more subtle hardship affecting ordinary families. While not universal, mistreatment and discrimination are unfortunately common.
“Every day we leave our house, not knowing what will happen,” says Girgis, an Egyptian Catholic from Helwan—a city south of the Egyptian capital of Cairo—who prefers not to use his real name. “But this is the Christian way, to take things day by day,” he adds.
<p>Gunmen of Al Qaeda-affiliated "Islamic State of Iraq and Al Sham (ISIS)” have burned down the Church of the Holy Cross, located in the area of Tal Abyad in Raqqa Province, northeast of Syria, on October 27, 2013.<br />Insurgents also took down the cross off the roof of the Armenian Church in the region.<br />Since the outbreak of armed clashes between the Syrian army and the opposition, dozens of churches were burned or destroyed in several areas in Syria which threatens the future of peaceful coexistence between the various communities in the count