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(Vatican Radio) Turkey has recalled its ambassador to Germany to protest against the German Parliament's decision to declare the massacre of Armenians during World War I a "genocide". The vote heightens German-Turkish tensions amid an ongoing refugee crisis.   Listen to Stefan Bos' report: "An example of ignorance and disrespect". That was how Turkey described the decision by German legislators to overwhelmingly adopt a resolution Thursday declaring the killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks in 1915 a genocide.Armenians say up to 1.5 million of their mainly Christian people died in the atrocities of 1915. Turkey says the toll was much lower and rejects the term "genocide".Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said the resolution would seriously affect relations with Germany, and that the government would consider further measures in response to the vote. "I have recently consulted the prime minister and we have agreed on...
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis celebrated Holy Mass for the conclusion of the Jubilee for Priests on Friday, the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.In his homily for the feast, the Holy Father reflected on “two hearts: the Heart of the Good Shepherd” and the hearts of priests.“The Heart of the Good Shepherd is not only the Heart that shows us mercy, but is itself mercy,” the Pope said. He reminded priests that “the Heart of the Good Shepherd reaches out to us, above all to those who are most distant.”The contemplation of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Heart of the Good Shepherd, is an invitation to priests to reflect on the question, “Where is my heart directed?” Priestly ministry, the Pope said, is often caught up in “plans, projects, and activities.” While this is necessary, the Holy Father invited priests to consider that the Heart of Jesus is directed to two treasures: the Father and ourselves. Jesus’ day...
(Vatican Radio) Monsignor Janusz Urbanczyk, the Permanent Representative of the Holy See to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), has encouraged member-states to cooperate “in advancing the participation of national minorities in social, economic and political life.”He was speaking on Thursday after a report was presented by the OSCE’s High Commissioner for National Minorities.“Violence does not appear out of nowhere,” – Msgr. Urbanczyk said – “It is the tragic consequence of that slippery slope that so often begins with mockery or other forms of social exclusion or bigotry, that in turn leads to acts of discrimination – sometimes even enshrined in legislation – and unleashes an intolerance that turns to violence.” The full statement by Msgr. Urbanczyk is below STATEMENTBY MONSIGNOR JANUSZ URBANCZYKPERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF THE HOLY SEE,AT THE 1102 MEETING OF THE OSCE PERMANENT...
(Vatican Radio) A conference looking at the career of Irish leader Hugh O’Neill opened this Friday morning at the British School here in Rome. Hugh O’Neill led the Irish resistance to the English conquest of Ireland at the time of Queen Elisabeth the first at the end of the 16th century.The conflict known as the Nine Years War took place in Ireland from 1594 to 1603 and was fought mainly in the northern province of Ulster, although there was also conflict in other parts of the country.The war ended in defeat for O’Neill and other Irish leaders which led to their exile in what was called the Flight of the Earls.In April 1608, the earls including O’Neill ended up in Rome where they were greeted by Pope Paul V.So just how did the Holy See view the situation in Ireland at the time?One of the organisers and speakers at the conference is Dr Hiram Morgan from University College Cork, he explains that, “the problem was that at this time the resistance to...
(Vatican Radio) On Friday 3 June, Pope Francis celebrated Holy Mass with priests in St Peter's Square as part of a special Jubilee of Mercy for Priests.Please find below the prepared text for the Holy Father's Homily:             This celebration of the Jubilee for Priests on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus invites us all to turn to the heart, the deepest root and foundation of every person, the focus of our affective life and, in a word, his or her very core. Today we contemplate two hearts: the Heart of the Good Shepherd and our own heart as priests.            The Heart of the Good Shepherd is not only the Heart that shows us mercy, but is itself mercy. There the Father’s love shines forth; there I know I am welcomed and understood as I am; there, with all my sins and limitations, I know the certainty that I am chosen and loved. Contemplating that heart, I renew my...
(Vatican Radio) There are a great many hymns written in honour of the Sacred Heart. These hymns make a strong appeal to the emotions. One reason perhaps why the devotion grew so fast was that it counteracted an overemphasis on rationalistic religion. Monsignor Philip Whitmore...Listen to a musical meditation presented by Monsignor Philip Whitmore and produced by Veronica Scarisbrick:
You've probably seen some of the commercials for trucks where....
(Vatican Radio) The theme of the Pope’s third meditation at a spiritual retreat held on Thursday at the Papal Basilica of St. Paul's Outside the Walls was “the good odour of Christ and the light of his mercy.”Listen to the report by Lydia O'Kane: At the heart of his reflection were the Works of Mercy saying as priests, “being merciful is not only “a way of life”, but “the way of life”, adding,  “there is no other way of being a priest.”Drawing from the passage of the Lord’s encounter with the woman caught in adultery, the Pope explained that when Jesus says “Go and sin no more”, “his command has to do with the future, to help her to make a new start and to “walk in love”.  Such is the sensitivity of mercy, the Holy Father continued. “ it looks with compassion on the past and offers encouragement for the future.” Focusing his attention of the Sacrament ...
(Vatican Radio) The European Union has issued a formal warning to Poland saying it is threatening the rule of law, a move that could lead to sanctions, prompting the Polish right-wing government to say it wants urgent talks with the EU and the opposition.Listen to the report by Stefan Bos: The European Commission, the EU's executive arm, says Poland's government is not following the rule of law as required the 28-nation European Union. That official warning could lead to member state Poland being stripped of its EU voting rights.Yet, Commissioner Frans Timmermans has defended that decision. "As you know the European Union is build upon a common set of values, enshrined in the treaty. These values include respect of the rule of law," he said.That's how this organization functions, that's how our member states ensure the equal application of EU law across the European Union. Making sure that the rule of law is preserved is a collective responsibility of the...
The Scalabrini Institute for Human Mobility in Africa (SIHMA) reports that a roundtable meeting on Policy and legislative changes to the Refugee Act was recently held in Johannesburg, South Africa.  The discussion brought together SACBC’s Pastoral Care for Migrants and Refugees office; the Bienvenu Shelter; Jesuit Refugee Service; Scalabrini Centre of Cape Town, and the Justice and Peace Department in the Archdiocese of Johannesburg. Also participating in the meeting were officials of the South African Government.According to the Institute, the Archbishop of Johannesburg, Bhuti Tlhagale in his capacity as the Liaison Bishop of migrants and refugees at the Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference (SACBC) gave the opening address.In his opening remarks, the Archbishop gave a historical perspective on refugees in South Africa. He pointed out, for example, that the beginning of the Archdiocese of Johannesburg is closely linked to its first migrants from Ireland. He...
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