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U.S. Catholic agencies seek funds to help minorities in Iraq, Syria

Members of the Yezidi religious minority who fled from violence in Mosul, Iraq, receive humanitarian aid Aug. 21 in Dohuk province, in the northern part of the country. Catholic relief agencies are trying raise more money for additional aid in the region. (CNS photo/EPA) Posted on August 28th, 2014

The Catholic Near East Welfare Association, Jesuit Relief Service, Knights of Columbus, Catholic Relief Services and Aid to the Church in Need are among Catholic agencies that have launched appeals to fund assistance to Christians and other religious minorities displaced in the Middle East.

Just-war theory reemerges in light of Islamic State and past Iraqi wars

A handout picture made available by the U.S. Department of Defense Aug. 27 shows a U.S. Air Force fighter jet refueling over northern Iraq Aug. 21. Catholic experts are debating the just-war theory in light of the current threat from the Islamic State and past Iraq wars. (CNS photo/Staff Sgt. Shawn Nickel, courtesy U.S. Department of Defense, via EPA) Posted on August 28th, 2014

Catholic scholars are following Pope Francis’ lead in debating the use of force in the region. Should the U.S. go in alone or with a coalition of nations? Is the U.N. the “competent authority” in this matter? Does the Pottery Barn rule — “you break it, you bought it” — apply to Iraq today?

He’s living with epilepsy, and on a mission

Dan Dougherty of St. Luke Parish in Glenside, Montgomery County, raises awareness for the neurological condition of epilepsy. (Sarah Webb) Posted on August 28th, 2014

Dan Dougherty of St. Luke Parish in Glenside lives a full, active life as he works through the difficulties of epilepsy and other challenges that help him see God’s plan for his life.

Middle East patriarchs meet diplomats, call for wiping out terrorists

Syriac Catholic Patriarch Ignace Joseph III Younan, left, speaks to other Christian leaders during an Aug. 20 visit to Iraqi refugees in Irbil, Iraq. (CNS photo/Mychel Akl, courtesy Maronite Patriarchate) Posted on August 28th, 2014

Catholic and Orthodox patriarchs of the Middle East denounced attacks on Christians and lamented the indifference of Islamic authorities and the international community. The prelates called on the world’s major powers to deprive extremist groups of resources by compelling countries financing them to stop their support.

Force alone cannot stop ‘religious cleansing’ in Mideast

Members of the Yezidi religious minority who fled from violence in Mosul, Iraq, receive aid Aug. 21 in Dohuk province, in the northern part of the country. The Franciscan custos of the Holy Land said that while tolerance between some groups seems to have disappeared, new signs of caring for and protecting one another can be seen in almost every community. (CNS photo/EPA) Posted on August 28th, 2014

Economic and military intervention will be needed to protect the Christian and other minority communities of the Middle East, said the Franciscan custodian of sites in the Holy Land. But their survival will depend on the courage of the region’s inhabitants to love and protect one another.

Panic spreading faster than Ebola among quarantined West Africans

Liberian police in protective clothing control residents of Monrovia's West Point neighborhood waiting for food rations to be handed out Aug. 21. (CNS photo/Ahmed Jallanzo, EPA) Posted on August 28th, 2014

Hunger and panic are spreading among people unable to work because of restrictions aimed at containing the spread of Ebola in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, say church workers there. More than 2,600 people in West Africa have been infected with Ebola since March. More than 1,400 people have died from the virus.

Taney Dragons’ glory days end with parade and party with Phillies

Tai Shanahan tips his cap as he is introduced along with his Taney Dragons teammates at a special ceremony Aug. 27 at Citizens Bank Park before the Phillies-Nationals game. (Photos by John Knebels) Posted on August 28th, 2014

Tai Shanahan, a parishioner and student at St. Francis de Sales Parish and School in West Philadelphia, joined his teammates again yesterday at Citizens Bank Park, where they threw out the first pitch to Phillies players. “We have a lot to be thankful for,” he said.

Syriac patriarch calls Islamic State actions ‘attempted genocide’

A woman who fled the violence in the Iraqi town of Sinjar sits with a child inside a tent at a camp in Syria's northern town of Qamishli Aug. 17. (CNS photo/Rodi Said, Reuters) Posted on August 27th, 2014

BEIRUT (CNS) — Returning from a six-day visit to the Kurdish region of Iraq, Syriac Catholic Patriarch Ignace Joseph III Younan called the Islamic State invasion “religious cleansing.”

Israeli-Hamas cease-fire holding up as aid groups send help

Palestinian civil defense officers in Beit Lahiya, Gaza Strip, inspect the rubble of a destroyed tower shortly after the cease-fire was announced Aug. 26. Catholic aid organization officials say they hope the Egyptian-brokered Israeli-Hamas cease-fire proposal will hold. (CNS photo/Mohammed Saber, EPA) Posted on August 27th, 2014

JERUSALEM (CNS) — Catholic aid organizations are hopeful that the most recent cease-fire between Israel and Hamas will hold as they assess the needs in Gaza after 50 days of war. The agreement calls for the easing of the Israeli-enforced embargo to allow humanitarian aid and construction material into Gaza.

Cleveland Diocese’s newspaper to end print publication in 2015

Posted on August 27th, 2014

The Catholic Universe Bulletin began in 1874 as a weekly newspaper, converting to biweekly in 1982. Circulation has dwindled to about 35,000. Bishop Richard G. Lennon of Cleveland said he would begin exploring an alternative means of reaching Catholics in northeast Ohio.

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