In new statement, Vatican condemns Libya attack

From the Vatican website this morning: The Holy See Press office director, Fr. Federico Lombardi, issued the following statement to press Thursday morning: “The very serious attack organised against the United States diplomatic mission in Libya, which led to the death of the ambassador and of other functionaries, calls for the firmest possible condemnation on [Read More...]

Backlash in Bahrain over plans to build largest Catholic church in the region

The latest, from the Associated Press: The building of the largest Roman Catholic church in the Gulf was supposed to be a chance for the tiny island kingdom of Bahrain to showcase its traditions of religious tolerance in a conservative Muslim region where churches largely operate under heavy limitations. Instead, the planned church — intended [Read More...]

Growing number of Muslims enrolling in Catholic colleges

Details, from the New York Times: Arriving from Kuwait to attend college here, Mai Alhamad wondered how Americans would receive a Muslim, especially one whose head scarf broadcasts her religious identity. At any of the countless secular universities she might have chosen, religion — at least in theory — would be beside the point. But [Read More...]

A first: anchorwoman appears on Egyptian TV wearing head veil

Details, from the Associated Press: A female Egyptian news presenter appeared on state television wearing a veil for the first time on Sunday after the Islamist-dominated government lifted an effective ban that had been in place for decades under secular-leaning regimes of the past. The ban on female news readers wearing the Islamic veil had [Read More...]

Saudis move to ban .catholic web address

Details:  The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has attempted to block a Vatican bid to create new web addresses ending in .catholic, arguing that it “cannot demonstrate that it possesses a monopoly over the term ‘Catholic’”. The objection is one of more than 160 sent by the Saudis to ICANN, the body in charge of web [Read More...]

Study: younger Muslims less religiously committed

Sound familiar? Details:  Nearly all Muslims can agree on the basic beliefs of Islam: There is one God, Muhammad is God’s prophet, Muslims should fast during the holy month of Ramadan and give alms to the poor. Yet beyond these central pillars of the faith, Muslims worldwide vastly differ as religious convictions are shaped by [Read More...]

Can Syria’s Christians survive?

It’s a question being examined in this morning’s Wall Street Journal: Near the Syrian city of Aleppo, the Church of St. Simeon the Stylite commemorates the 5th-century ascetic who became an ancient sensation by living atop a tall pedestal for decades to demonstrate his faith. Krak des Chevaliers, an awe-inspiring castle near Homs, was a [Read More...]

Amid concerns over religious freedom, Catholic vicariate leaves Kuwait

Details:  Bahrain will take over from Kuwait as the headquarters of the Vicariate of Northern Arabia for the Roman Catholic Church. Bishop Camillo Ballin will continue to lead the Vicariate, a statement said. “After thoughtful consideration and the completion of a new Roman Catholic Church in the Kingdom, Bahrain will host Vicariate as a testament [Read More...]

What can Catholics learn from Ramadan?

A priest offers some insight, via CNS:  The Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which started July 20 in many countries, is a time of fasting, prayer and repentance, when Muslims distance themselves from worldly activities in an effort to align their lives more closely with God and his laws. According to the Vatican’s point man [Read More...]

Ramadan isn’t Lent —and a few other things you should know

My colleague at CNEWA, Fr. Elias Mallon, last year wrote a superb essay on how Muslims observe Ramadan. (Among other things, his piece was honored last month with a Catholic Press Association Award).  We’ve excerpted part of it over at CNEWA’s award-winning blog, “One-to-One”, in honor of the start of the holy season.   In [Read More...]


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