“We cannot resign ourselves to thinking about the Middle East without Christians”

Pope Francis delivered that comment this morning. From Vatican Radio:   Pope Francis convened a Consistory of Cardinals on Monday morning in the Vatican. Originally scheduled in order to proceed with the causes of candidates for beatification, the Holy Father expanded the agenda of the meeting to include discussion of the ongoing crisis in the [Read More...]

Finding light in darkness: love and endurance in an Iraqi refugee camp

A sister helps Ghanaem Yadago, who is blind, find his way to his room at a refugee shelter set up for the sick and disabled in Erbil, Iraq. (photo: Don Duncan/CNEWA) A moving account of one family’s struggles in Erbil, from the CNEWA blog, One-to-One:  While Ghanem Yadago, his wife Waheeda and his two sons Wissam [Read More...]

UPDATE: Kidnapped priest released

From The Catholic Herald:  A Catholic priest kidnapped by Islamists in Syria has been released, according to the Custody of the Holy Land. Fr Hanna Jallouf, a Syrian, was taken captive in Tuesday by the al-Qaeda linked al-Nusra front, along with 20 parishioners. In a statement the Custody of the Holy Land, the head of [Read More...]

Parish priest, 20 Christians kidnapped in Syria

From Reuters:  A parish priest and a number of Christians have been kidnapped from a Syrian village near the border with Turkey, the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem said on Tuesday. The Latin Patriarchate, which oversees Latin Church Catholics in Israel and neighbouring countries, said Father Hanna Jallouf had been kidnapped on the night of Oct. [Read More...]

Off the hookah: owner explains why he named his bar “ISIS”

As you can imagine, it’s causing him all sorts of problems. Now this Queens Coptic Christian is going to the media to clear things up. From the In My Backyard Desk, via the New York Daily News:   Despite its menacing name, there are no beheadings on the menu at this Queens smoke spot. The [Read More...]

“We believe in the sanctity of life…and counteract the abuse of religion to justify oppression, violence and conflict”

From the Vatican’s news site:  The King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue, based in New York, U.S.A., yesterday published a declaration of principles, signed by the foreign ministers of Austria, Saudi Arabia and Spain, as well as by Fr. Miguel Angel Ayuso Guixot, M.C.C.J., secretary of the Pontifical Council for [Read More...]

“Let us pray this evening for reconciliation and peace…”

“And God saw that it was good” (Gen 1:12, 18, 21, 25). The biblical account of the beginning of the history of the world and of humanity speaks to us of a God who looks at creation, in a sense contemplating it, and declares: “It is good”. This, dear brothers and sisters, allows us to enter [Read More...]

Horror: ISIS releases video it says shows beheading of British hostage

Details:  The Islamic State has released a video claiming to show the beheading of British captive David Haines. The father-of-two, an aid worker, was abducted by militants in Syria last year. He appeared at the end of a video showing the beheading of US journalist Steven Sotloff earlier this month. In the video, which has [Read More...]

Pope sends condolences to family of Steven Sotloff

From Vatican Radio:   Pope Francis has expressed his sorrow for the death of slain US journalist Steven Sotloff, urging people everywhere to reject violence, aggression and lack of compassion. His words came in a telegram of condolences addressed to Sotloff’s family and signed by Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin on behalf of [Read More...]

A sister writes from Iraq: “The sisters and priests are a sign of hope among the people”

 Sister Maria Goretti Hanna, O.P., and Good Shepherd Sister Marie-Claude Naddaf meet with workers creating shelters for refugees in Erbil, Iraq. (photo: CNEWA) From CNEWA’s blog, One-to-One,  a letter from a nun in Iraq paints a picture of what they are confronting: St. Paul says in the first letter to the Corinthians, “And when I [Read More...]