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Madrid, Spain, May 18, 2016 / 12:25 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Father Rodrigo Miranda is a priest from Chile. But it was in Syria, among the oppressed Christian community, that he learned what it really meant to be a priest.“They wake us up to the essential and important things in life,” he told the Spanish daily ABC. The witness of the persecuted Christians in Syria is “an antidote for the mediocre and decadent world of our societies.”Fr. Miranda is a member of the Institute of the Incarnate Word. He lived in Aleppo, Syria from March 2011 until late 2014, when he was forced to leave the country. Hundreds of thousands of people have died in the country’s ongoing civil war, while millions have been displaced from their homes.The war has affected church attendance in the outlying areas.“On the weekends we used to have between 250 and 300 people, now we have 15,” the priest said. “More people go to the churches in the center of town because the...
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Americans are of two minds about the economy in the midst of an election race that largely hinges on the issue. They are strikingly pessimistic about the national economy yet comparatively upbeat about their own financial circumstances....
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) -- Massive landslides triggered by torrential rains crashed down onto three villages in the central hills of Sri Lanka, and more than 200 families were missing Wednesday and feared buried under the mud and debris, the Sri Lankan Red Cross said....
QUITO, Ecuador (AP) -- A powerful magnitude 6.7 aftershock early Wednesday rattled Ecuador near the Pacific coast area where a devastating earthquake hit a month ago, knocking out power and scaring still-traumatized residents as they slept but only limited damage was reported....
BOSTON (AP) -- Nearly six decades after 46 people died when the Andrea Doria sank to the sea floor following a violent collision with another ocean liner south of Nantucket, Massachusetts, explorers are preparing to do what 16 people have lost their lives attempting: get a good look at the wreckage....
BEIJING (AP) -- The subject of the photo looks out from behind bars, with newspapers arranged in front of him to prove what day it is. This "proof of life" shot is not a scene from a kidnapping but an effort by the Taipei Zoo to debunk rumors that a prized panda recently died....
Vatican City, May 18, 2016 / 03:04 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In a powerful speech Tuesday at the opening of the Italian bishops' general assembly, Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco of Genoa decried the civil unions bill passed in the nation's parliament last week, emphasizing that Pope Francis himself always advocates for the natural family.The president of the Italian bishops' conference peppered his May 17 speech with several lengthy quotes from the Roman Pontiff, and lamented that the Pope's affirmations of the family are so often ignored in the mainstream.The annual gathering of the Italian bishops is taking place May 16-19 on the topic of “renewal of the clergy.” Pope Francis had begun the assembly with a brief speech on the priesthood on Monday, followed by a closed door question-and-answer session with the bishops.Second to the meeting with the Pope, Cardinal Bagnasco's address will set the tone for the bishops' plenary, and his address focused on the ci...
(Vatican Radio) “Today, the day of Saint John Paul II’s birth, I cordially greet all the Polish persons here present.”Pope Francis marked the 18 May birthday of St John Paul II at this week’s general audience, greeting in particular a group of Polish nationals, including Polish president Andrzej Duda, with soldiers and others who had taken part in a memorial Mass for the fallen held at the Polish cemetery of Montecasino. The Pope also had words for those gathered in Torun for the consecration of the shrine of the “Blessed Virgin Mary, Star of the New Evangelization and St John Paul II.”“These important events are for you an invitation to pray for peace, for the Church in Poland, and for the prosperity of your homeland.”
(Vatican Radio) During this week’s general audience, Pope Francis extended a special greeting to a group of children from Ukraine, who had been brought to the Vatican by the international initiative Children for peace all over the world.Listen to Ann Schneible’s report: “I greet with special affection the children of Ukraine, orphans and refugees as a result of the armed conflict which still continues in the East of the country,” the Pope told the 80 children who were in St. Peter’s Square for the occasion.“For the intercession of Mary Most Holy, I renew my prayer that we may strive for enduring peace, in order that it may relieve the so exhausted population, and offer a serene future for new generations.”The Children for peace all over the world project aims to promote peace in the world – with a particular emphasis on Ukraine – through the use of maps which are then decorated with paper “world peace” doves, on whi...
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis says that to ignore the poor is to despise God and that the Lord’s mercy for us is tightly connected to our own mercy for others.Speaking on Wednesday morning at the weekly General Audience in St. Peter's Square the Pope also decried the inequality and contradictions in the world as he reflected on the parable of the rich man and Lazarus.He noted that the lives of these two people seem to run on parallel tracks; their living conditions are opposite and totally non-communicating: the rich man’s front door is always closed to the poor man who hopes to eat some leftovers from the rich man's table. Every day the rich man – who wears luxurious clothes while Lazarus is covered with sores – fares sumptuously while Lazarus is starving. This scene, the Pope said, reminds us of the harsh words of the Son of man during the final last judgment: “I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,...
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