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Pope Francis visits churches destroyed by Islamic militants in northern Iraq

ON his historic visit to war-ravaged Iraq, Pope Francis journeyed to the country’s north that was held by Islamic State (IS) militants. Christians were among those targeted by IS when they seized the region in 2014, carrying out human rights abuses. The Pope prayed among ruined churches in Mosul, visiting Church Square to pray for the victims of the war ... Read More »

Living the beatitudes can change the world, pope says in Iraq

POPE Francis told Iraqi Christians that when they suffer discrimination, persecution or war, the Eight Beatitudes are addressed to them. “Whatever the world takes from us is nothing compared to the tender and patient love with which the Lord fulfills his promises,” the pope told the congregation sitting inside and outside the Chaldean Catholic Cathedral of St. Joseph last night ... Read More »

Hostility, violence are ‘betrayals’ of religion, pope says in Iraq

TRAVELLING to the birthplace of Abraham, Pope Francis urged believers to prove their faith in the one God and father of all by accepting one another as brothers and sisters. From a stage set on a dusty hill overlooking the archaeological dig at Ur, Abraham’s birthplace about 10 miles from modern-day Nasiriyah, Francis called on representatives of the country’s religious ... Read More »

French clergy abuse was more extensive than thought, says commission head

CATHOLIC clergy in France perpetrated more than three times as many sexual abuse offenses as previously thought, said the head of a bishops’ commission whose report is due out later this year. Jean-Marc Sauve, 71, a lay Catholic and head of the French Institute of Administrative Sciences, has presented new data from the Independent Commission of Sexual Abuse in the ... Read More »

Francis’ trip to Iraq aims to build peace and unity

DESPITE the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing security concerns, Pope Francis is determined to visit Iraq to pay homage to Christian and other minorities persecuted for their faith and to strengthen the commitment of the overwhelming majority of Iraqi Muslims to creating a future of peace and harmony. During his visit from March 5-8, Francis will visit churches that were destroyed ... Read More »

El Salavador’s President Bukele set to increase power after election win

El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele has emerged as the big winner in his country’s elections held last Sunday. While vote counting continues, President Bukele’s party and its allies look set to take control of the national legislature at a moment when critics fear the country is sliding toward authoritarian rule. About 40,000 police, soldiers and international observers were deployed to ... Read More »

Amidst escalating violence, a solitary nun stands her ground.

A solitary, distressed nun stands her ground begging Myanmar police not to shoot at protesting civilians – one of the latest, confronting images shared on social media by the country’s leading Catholic figure, as street clashes claim a rising toll of deaths and injuries. Sister of Francis Xavier, Nu Thawng, appears alone in front of heavily-armoured riot police, in several ... Read More »

Amidst ongoing attacks, Francis prepares for Iraq visit

AN Iraqi priest says Pope Francis’ visit to Iraq next week is an act of bravery and also madness. “The country is burning, but he is still going,” Fr Naim Shoshandy told the respected Catholic newspaper CRUX. “It’s an act of bravery, for him to go to Iraq, the land of Abraham, as an apostle.” An act of bravery, Fr ... Read More »

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