Pope urges Ban Ki-moon to take action to end humanitarian tragedy in Iraq

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 08/14/2014 - 03:25

“I place before you the tears, the suffering and the heartfelt cries of despair of Christians and other religious minorities of the beloved land of Iraq.” Just before Francis left for Korea and after sending Cardinal Fernando Filoni to Iraq in light of the escalating violence, Pope Francis wrote to the UN’s South Korean General Secretary, Ban Ki-moon, “with a heavy and anguished heart”, to ask the international community “through the norms and mechanisms of international law, to do all that it can to stop and to prevent further systematic violence against ethnic and religious minorities.” P

"The Assyrian civilisation is deeply rooted in the land of Iraq"

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 08/13/2014 - 12:46

Iraq's Yazidi and Christian minorities have made vital contributions to Arab-Islamic civilisation and are integral to the fabric of Iraqi society, intellectuals and artists told Al-Shorfa.

These contributions include preserving the Kurdish language and giving the country some of its key scientific innovations and its most treasured art and literature, they said.

Parolin: “Papal visit to Korea is an initiative for Asia’s future”

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 08/13/2014 - 01:45

In an interview with the Vatican Television Centre (CTV), the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, talked about the issues Pope Francis will be focusing on during his visit to Korea: evangelization in Asia, the Asian youth gathering, the beatification of 124 Korean martyrs who are examples of lay saints and he Pope’s call for dialogue and reconciliation between the two Koreas.

Iraqi Christians ‘dying in crowded refugee camps’

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 08/12/2014 - 21:43

Iraqi Christians driven from their homes by Islamic State fighters are beginning to die in crowded camps, witnesses have claimed.

Sahar Mansour, 40, who lectured in chemistry at the University of Mosul before she fled the city in June, said newborn babies, the sick and the elderly in the Ankawa refugee camp on the outskirts of Irbil are dying from diseases, thirst and malnutrition. Mansour now resides in the camp.

Holy See calls on Muslim leaders to denounce violence in Iraq

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 08/12/2014 - 21:10

In a declaration issued today, August 12, the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue called for “a clear and courageous stance on the part of religious leaders, especially Muslims, as well as those engaged in interreligious dialogue and all people of good will,” on the violence Jihadists of the self-proclaimed Caliphate are inflicting violence on Christians, Yazidis and other religious minorities in Iraq.

Catholic Iraqi refugees in Lebanon recall horror of militant attacks

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 08/12/2014 - 15:07

The memory of that brutal June evening in his home near Mosul, Iraq, brought 48-year-old Joseph, now a refugee in Lebanon, to tears.

"These people know no limits of humanity, decency, or respect for human life," he said of the Islamic State fighters.

Meeting with Catholic News Service August 8 at the Caritas Lebanon Migrant Center in Beirut, he and other Catholic Iraqi refugees asked that their real names not be used to protect their identities as they shared the traumatic experiences that led to their exodus.

“The Pope wanted to be there with the people of Iraq in person,” envoy Filoni

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 08/11/2014 - 20:51

“The Holy Father would probably have liked to be there with those poor people,” Cardinal Fernando Filoni told the Vatican Television Center. The Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples met Francis in St. Martha’s House at 6:00pm on Sunday,August 10, ahead of his departure which could be today, but there have been some logistical hick-ups. Cardinal Filoni is being sent to Iraq as a papal envoy to express the Church’s solidarity to the people.

Assyrians in US fear US airstrikes in Iraq are too late

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 08/11/2014 - 14:08

One of the biblical readings at the Sunday Mass at Our Mother of Perpetual Help Syriac Catholic Church here contained a passage from Ephesians, complete with the warning "do not leave room for the devil."

The passage had a particular poignancy for the 300-plus parishioners attending the overflow Mass because, as one parishioner explained, "The devil is loose in our homeland."

All but a handful of the parish families are recent immigrants from Iraq. A church service in Arabic and Aramaic makes them feel more at home in their new country.