Egyptian election gives hope to Christians, bishop says

Alexandria, Egypt, Jun 3, 2014 / 07:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Egypt's Roman Catholic bishop has welcomed the election of Abdel Fattah El Sisi as the country’s new president, saying his leadership will benefit both Christians and Muslims. “His election gives all Egyptians, Muslims and Christians, cause for hope,” Bishop Adel Zaky, Vicar Apostolic of Alexandria, told Aid to the Church in Need May 30. “His victory gives us Christians security and a perspective for … [Read more...]

Husband of condemned Sudanese woman reiterates commitment

Khartoum, Sudan, May 31, 2014 / 03:55 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The husband of Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese Christian woman sentenced to death for allegedly abandoning Islam, says his wife is standing by her faith despite possible execution. “I know my wife. She's committed,” Daniel Wani told CNN May 30. “Even last week, they brought in Sheikhs and she told them: ‘I’m pretty sure I’m not going to change my mind’.” Ibrahim, 27, gave birth to a … [Read more...]

Pope’s historic prayer deeply moves Jerusalem bishop

Jerusalem, Israel, May 30, 2014 / 04:03 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The auxiliary bishop of Jerusalem described the recent prayer shared between Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew I as a moving event, predicting future blessings from the encounter. “Really, it was moving. It was very moving and emotional,” Bishop William Shomali of Jerusalem told CNA May 25, explaining that he had never witnessed anything like it before. “The humility of the Pope, the friendship which was … [Read more...]

Holy Land: Vandal tries to set fire to Dormition Abbey

Jerusalem, Israel, May 28, 2014 / 01:03 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- As Pope Francis concluded his trip to the Holy Land on May 26, an unknown man attempted to set fire to the Abbey of the Dormition, the place where according to tradition the Virgin Mary fell asleep before being assumed into Heaven. Witnesses told the EFE news agency that an unknown man set fire to a book and placed it on top of a small pile of wooden crosses in between the pews. The fire was immediately extinguished. “We … [Read more...]

Pope Francis recalls birth of Church in Upper Room

Jerusalem, Israel, May 26, 2014 / 09:44 am (CNA/EWTN News).- At the conclusion of his pilgrimage to the Holy Land, Pope Francis focused his homily at Mass on the significance of the Upper Room, held to be the site of the descent of the Holy Spirit upon Jesus' apostles. “It is a great gift that the Lord has given us by bringing us together here in the Upper Room for the celebration of the Eucharist,” said Pope Francis on May 26 in Jerusalem. “Here, where Jesus shared … [Read more...]

At Gethsemane, Pope urges religious to live without fear

Jerusalem, Israel, May 26, 2014 / 08:15 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Religious, priests, and seminarians gathered in the Church near the garden of Gethsemane today to meet with Pope Francis, who urged them to follow Christ with courage. “The Lord in his great goodness and his infinite mercy always takes us by the hand lest we drown in the sea of our fears and anxieties. He is ever at our side, he never abandons us,” the Pope assured those gathered near the site of Jesus' agony in the … [Read more...]

Vatican: Pope’s stop at terrorist memorial not a political move

Jerusalem, Israel, May 26, 2014 / 07:30 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Amid claims that Pope Francis' unscheduled stop at an Israeli memorial for terrorist victims was made under pressure to appease government officials, the Holy See has said that the rumors are false. Stating that he “was not surprised” by the negative reactions some have had toward the Pope’s stop, Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi explained to journalists May 26 that the visit “was against terrorism … [Read more...]