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(Vatican Radio) Combatting terrorism, promoting peaceful co-existence among peoples and nations and above all responding to the migration crises in Europe and beyond: these themes were at the heart of Pope Francis’ words to the Holy See’s diplomatic corps, gathered in the Vatican on Monday for their annual encounter.In the speech, often dubbed the Pope’s ‘state of the world’ address, the Holy Father spoke of worrying tensions which continue to plague the Gulf and Middle East regions, as well as the Korean peninsula. In this Jubilee year of Mercy, inaugurated in the Central African Republic’s capital of Bangui, the Pope urged the diplomats to help promote a new culture of dialogue, justice and peace.English Archbishop Paul Gallagher is the Holy See’s foreign minister, or Secretary for Relations with States. Following the encounter, he sat down with Philippa Hitchen to discuss some of the central themes of the Pope’s message to the dip...
(Vatican Radio) The World Day of Migrants and Refugees will be celebrated on Sunday 17th January 2016. Pope Francis' message to mark the day was released in October 2015. Based on the theme, “Migrants and Refugees Challenge Us. The Response of the Gospel of Mercy”, the Holy Father recalls what he said in the Bull of indiction of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, Misericordiae Vultus; that is, “at times we are called to gaze even more attentively on mercy so that we may become a more effective sign of the Father’s action in our lives.”He points out that migration continue to grow worldwide as more and more refugees are fleeing from their homes. Although this can challenge traditional ways of life, Pope Francis urges people not to take the suffering of others for granted.“Today, more than in the past,” he says, “the Gospel of mercy troubles our consciences.” He added that migration movements are now a structural realit...
A church building in eastern Pakistan has been set ablaze following a row over the use of its loudspeakers during Muslim prayer times.   The Free Apostolic Church in the Baath neighborhood in Lahore was conducting a healing prayer session under tents outside the church in the evening on Jan. 7.   Sardar Musthaq Gill, a Christian lawyer and head of the Legal Evangelical Association Development, told UCANEWS that Muslim villagers asked Pastor Yaqoob Saroya to turn the loud speaker off, saying that it was the time for Islamic prayers but he refused.   Gill said that night someone broke into the church building, set furniture, tents and other stuff on fire and escaped, leaving behind several burnt copies of the Bible.   Soba Saroya, brother of the local pastor who lodged a police complaint, said local Muslims were cooperating with church officials to help identify the culprits.  There no tension between the two communities, and both sides c...
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis reveals his vision of mercy in a book by the title of “The Name of God is Mercy”.  The book to be released in 86 countries on the 12th of January is the result of a series of interviews with Vatican reporter Andrea Tornielli. Several extracts were made available by the publisher, Piemme, ahead of its official release.Among these there’s one in which the Holy Father recalls how touched he was by the writings of one of his predecessors to the See of Peter, John Paul I, Albino Luciani: “There is the homily when Albino Luciani said he had been chosen because the Lord preferred that certain things not be engraved in bronze or marble but in the dust, so that if the writing had remained, it would have been clear that the merit was only God’s…”Veronica Scarisbrick brings you the exact words quoted by Pope Francis. They were pronounced by  Pope John Paul I during his first weekly general audience wi...
The Catholic bishops of southern India’s Kerala state has slammed the state government for not addressing the issues of farmers.  In a circular, which was read out in Catholic churches in the state on Sunday, the Kerala Catholic Bishops Council (KCBC) urged farmer cutting across religious lines to unite to strengthen the Indian Farmers’ Movement (Infarm), based in Kottayam district.   The Farmer’s Day celebrations conducted by the government were mere shams, the KCBC claimed.  “Apart from the fall in prices of agriculture and cash crops, the issues in fisheries sector, climate changes, bogus environmentalism, debts and disputes over title deeds have posed huge challenges for the survival of farmers.  Both the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) government and officials neglect the farmers who produce food for the entire population and raw materials for industries,” the circular read. The KCBC also flayed ...
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis addressed the members of the Corps of Diplomats accredited to the Holy See on Monday morning on the occasion of his traditional exchange of New Year’s greetings with the ambassadors. The US Ambassador to the Holy See, Kenneth Hackett, visited the studios of Vatican Radio to share his impressions of and first reflections on the Holy Father’s remarks, which this year focused strongly on the issue of migration – a critical global issue that is the cause of and occasion for serious political and social tension in many countries around the world.Ambassador Hackett said Pope Francis challenged the diplomats as a pastor, rather than as a political leader. “Everything is obviously grounded in the Gospel message – and it is that, which is the touchstone, or the jumping-off point for any kind of issue: be it care of the earth, be it migration, be it poverty, sustainable development – it’s all there, with the Gospel as a ...
NEW YORK (AP) -- Thousands of New Yorkers thought it was a hot thing Sunday to strip to their underwear during winter and ride on public transportation, along with pantless crowds in about 60 countries....
LANDOVER, Md. (AP) -- For Aaron Rodgers and the rest of the Green Bay Packers' offense, the first quarter of their playoff game Sunday looked quite similar to the stagnant way their regular season wound down....
NEW YORK (AP) -- David Bowie, the iconic and shape-shifting British singer whose illustrious career lasted five decade with hits like "Fame," ''Heroes" and "Let's Dance," died Sunday after a battle with cancer. He was 69....
LONDON (AP) -- The latest on the death of iconic singer David Bowie. All times local....
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