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(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis will travel to the Greek island of Lesbos on Saturday, April 16.A communiqué from the Vatican Press Office has confirmed next week’s papal visit which aims to show support and solidarity for refugees in the front line of Europe’s migrant crisis.The press release says the Pope has accepted the invitations of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, His Holiness Bartholomew, and of the Greek President.It says Pope Francis will meet with the refugees on the island together with the Ecumenical Patriarch and with His Holiness Jerome II, Archbishop of Athens and all Greece.  Hundreds of thousands of refugees, many fleeing the war in Syria, have poured onto the Aegean island over the past year.This is a particularly delicate moment for them as, under a contested plan, the European Union started returning newcomers to neighbouring Turkey this month.Pope Francis has repeatedly appealed for support for migrants and refugees.His fi...
(Vatican Radio) A rare copy of a first edition of William Shakespeare's collected plays has been found at a stately home on the Isle of Bute in Scotland. Experts consider the First Folio, as such editions are known, the definitive text for 36 plays written by the playwright.They include "Macbeth" and "Twelfth Night".The nearly 400-year-old edition found at Mount Stuart was authenticated by Emma Smith, professor of Shakespeare Studies at Oxford University.Listen:  Speaking to Lydia O’Kane, she gave her reaction to this rare find saying, “These are amazing charismatic books, I’ve seen quite a number of them, but to see one we didn’t know we had and to be involved in authenticating it was a real thrill.”She also said that without this folio half of Shakespeare’s work would have been lost.“We wouldn’t have Macbeth, or The Tempest, or Antony and Cleopatra or Twelfth Night; lots of plays would have been lo...
When a person goes through the teenage years, it can be...
(Vatican Radio) The national vocations commission in Scotland has launched a new novena as the Church prepares for Good Shepherd Sunday.Priests for Scotland in association with the Pontifical Scots College in Rome have asked Catholics throughout the country to join with the bishops, clergy and seminarians as they pray for an increase in vocations to the priesthood in all dioceses of Scotland.Vatican Radio’s Ryan Black spoke with the President of Priests for Scotland, Bishop John Keenan.Listen:  The President of the commission, Bishop John Keenan of the Diocese of Paisley, explained that Good Shepherd Sunday provides all members of the Church with an opportunity to reflect on the gift and the mystery of the priesthood.The commission has decided to retrieve the medieval tradition of praying a novena, in which the faithful are asked to pray a specific series of prayers over nine consecutive days. The commission has written particular prayers for each of the nine days, rela...
(Vatican Radio) At his daily Mass on Thursday, Pope Francis said it is “the saints of ordinary life, and the martyrs of today that carry the Church forward.” They do so, he said, “with their consistent and courageous witness to the Risen Christ, thanks to the working of the Holy Spirit.”The Christian “puts his life on the line” by giving a true witnessThe first Reading taken from the Acts of Acts of the Apostles, speaks of the courage of Peter, who, after the healing of the crippled man, preached the Gospel before the leaders of the Sanhedrin. Enraged at his boldness, they wanted to put Peter to death. They had already forbidden the Apostles to preach in the Name of Jesus, but Peter continued to proclaim the Gospel – because, as he said, “We must obey God rather than men.” This “courageous” Peter, the Pope said, has nothing in common with “Peter the coward” who denied Christ three times on the night of H...
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Thursday met with members of the World Methodist Council, the Methodist Council of Europe, and the Methodist Church in Britain.The representatives of the Methodist community are in Rome to mark the opening of the new Methodist Ecumenical Office in Rome.Below, please find the full text of Pope Francis’ prepared remarks for the meeting:Meeting of His Holiness Pope Franciswith Members of the World Methodist Council,the Methodist Council of Europe, andthe Methodist Church in BritainThursday, 7 April 2016Dear brothers and sisters,I offer warm greetings to you in this Easter season, as we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord who enlightens the whole world. We come together united in the faith that Jesus is Lord and that God has raised him from the dead. This baptismal faith makes us truly brothers and sisters. I greet also the bodies that you represent: the World Methodist Council, the Methodist Council of Europe and the Methodist Church in Britai...
(Vatican Radio)  On Thursday 7th April for World Health Day, the World Health Organisation has called for action against diabetes which has seen the number of adults suffering with the disease nearly quadruple to 422 million since 1980.The charity, HelpAge International, is encouraging older campaigners in more than 50 countries to call for earlier diagnosis and treatment of diabetes through screening, testing, treatment and education.Vatican Radio’s Georgia Gogarty spoke to the charity’s Health and Care Policy Advisor, Rachel Albone, who highlights the risks of diabetes within aging communities.Listen to the full interview:  Current Challenges: Lack of DataAlbone notes that many surveys exclude data regarding the number of diabetics in aging communities, making them ‘invisible’. Many studies into diabetes do not disaggregate by age, or even go as far as to not assess those over the age of 64.Preventing and Managing DiabetesOne of the key issues f...
(Vatican Radio)  The European Union is facing another political crisis after an overwhelming majority of Dutch voters participating in a referendum rejected a far reaching EU trade and political deal with Ukraine. The main national broadcasters and news agency in the Netherlands said 61.1 percent of voters rejected the agreement while just 38.1 percent supported it. However turnout was low with just 32.2 percent participating in the referendum, just above the threshold of 30 percent needed to validate the vote.Listen to Stefan Bos' report: "The democratic revolution has begun...And the bar is open" said leading Dutch journalist and writer Thierry Baudet of the Forum for Democracy group. He is pleased that most voters rejected the EU Association Agreement with Ukraine.Baudet and other campaigners view the far reaching economic and cooperation deal as another example of the expanding undemocratic European Union. They also say it could lead to eventual EU memb...
(Vatican Radio) Turkey and Germany said Wednesday an agreement put in place Monday to stem the flow of migrants to the Greek islands was showing signs of success, but many were still trying to cross the sea and the route remains far from closed. The influx of migrants and refugees has increased pressure on an already struggling Greek economy. Greek unions have announced strikes in many sectors against plans to overhaul the country’s pension system which could be finalized this week in talks with bailout negotiators.Listen to John Carr's report: Much of Greece’s public sector grinds to a halt today, in a 24-hour general strike called to protest planned cuts to pensions and benefits.Aviation authorities said there will be no flights in and out of Greek airports today, limited public transport, and no news about any of it, as journalists, too, are joining the walkout.  Greece’s unions fear that the government will soon be forced to make more auste...
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- When Donald Trump came to St. Louis last month for a raucous rally with thousands, Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt was more than 130 miles away, announcing a Missouri Farm Bureau endorsement to a few dozen company employees and two news reporters....
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