Meeting the Pope was ‘glorious,’ recounts Korean altar boy

Seoul, South Korea, Aug 14, 2014 / 02:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A young altar server and his sister who presented flowers to Pope Francis during the welcoming ceremony for his arrival to South Korea reveal that they could hardly contain their excitement. “It was very glorious. I thought ‘this is the last time to meet the Pope, and this is the first time.’ So I was very happy,” Choi Woo-jin told CNA Aug. 14. Choi, who is in the 6th grade, was selected along with his … [Read more...]

Korean journalist seeks to spread Pope’s message of peace

Seoul, South Korea, Aug 14, 2014 / 12:00 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A journalist with South Korea’s leading radio and television network has voiced her joy at covering the papal visit, as well as her desire for his message of peace to lead the nation to a more hopeful future. “South Korea is (a) divided nation, so I think the Pope’s visit is important for us because he always cares about the people who are poor or in conflict,” Charlotte Huh told CNA Aug. 14. “If he … [Read more...]

Vatican diplomacy focuses on humanitarian intervention in Iraq

Vatican City, Aug 13, 2014 / 05:21 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The persecution of Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq and Syria by the Islamic State has pushed Vatican diplomacy to add strong calls for international humanitarian intervention to its prayers for the situation. The past week has seen the appointment of a papal enjoy to Iraq, a strongly worded open letter from the Vatican's dicastery for interrreligious dialogue, and an urgent appeal from Pope Francis himself to the … [Read more...]

En route to Korea, Pope prays for journalists killed in Gaza

Aboard the papal plane, Aug 13, 2014 / 12:23 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Aboard the papal flight to South Korea today, Pope Francis led an impromptu moment of silence to pray for a photojournalist who was killed in Gaza, and thanked journalists for their work. Simone Camilli, a 35-year-old Italian working for the Associated Press, and his freelance Palestinian translator, Ali Shehda Abu Afash, died Aug. 13 along with four Gazan bomb disposal offficers who were trying to dismantle an Israeli … [Read more...]

Pope Francis urges United Nations to intervene in Iraq

Vatican City, Aug 13, 2014 / 10:31 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis wrote United Nations general secretary Ban Ki-moon, asking him to act to end the humanitarian tragedy now underway in Iraq. The letter, received by Ban Aug. 13, is the latest of the Pope’s interventions to stop the plight of Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq. In it, Pope Francis writes that he has been following “the dramatic events of these past few days in Northern Iraq” with … [Read more...]

Vatican official calls for military protection of Iraqi Christians

Vatican City, Aug 13, 2014 / 08:44 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Holy See's permanent observer to the United Nations on Saturday urged the international community to provide humanitarian assistance and military and political protection for Christians persecuted by the Islamic State. “We hope the voice that is surging from different Christian and religious communities, from moderate Muslims, from people of good will around the world, may find the response of concrete humanitarian … [Read more...]

Vatican newspaper remembers Robin Williams

Vatican City, Aug 12, 2014 / 12:18 pm (CNA).- L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, published a brief Aug. 12 article on the death of Robin Williams, calling the comedian and actor an “unforgettable clown with a heart of gold.” The beloved actor was found dead Aug. 11 in his northern California home. According to the local coroner's office, the probable cause of death was suicide by asphyxiation. Williams had recently been battling “severe depression,” … [Read more...]