Mexican bishops’ ministry urges action after derailment kills migrants
MEXICO CITY (CNS) -- The Mexican bishops' ministry for people on the move called for prayer, reflection and action after a train carrying northbound Central Americans derailed in southern Mexico, killing 11 migrants. "Let us act so that this situation may be resolved; that people have the right to free transit; sufficient security to reach their destination; (and) ... in their own nation, possibilities for development, security and peace," said the statement, signed by Bishop Guillermo Ortiz Mondragon of Cuautitlan, director of the ministry.
With future uncertain for Syria, U.S. cardinal says prayer is needed
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- As threats of military intervention against Syria escalate and the country's future remains uncertain, a U.S. cardinal said that, no matter what transpires, prayer is urgently needed. Cardinal Edwin F. O'Brien, grand master of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre, said that "whatever happens, if there is going to be peace in Syria and anywhere, prayer has to be a part of it."
Lebanon’s Maronite bishops: Intervention in Syria poses ‘grave dangers’
BEIRUT (CNS) — Lebanon’s Maronite Catholic bishops warned against military intervention in neighboring Syria. “The bishops denounce the use of chemical weapons in Syria, but they call for being aware of the risks of a potential military strike,” the bishops said in a statement following their monthly meeting Sept. 4. The bishops said foreign intervention […]
Pope’s Syria appeal has special urgency for Catholics in Mideast
JERUSALEM (CNS) -- Pope Francis' appeal to pray for peace in Syria has a particular urgency for Catholics in the region, who say their countries are most likely to suffer the brunt of any attacks on Damascus. In Bethlehem, West Bank, Father Marwan Di'ides said parishioners at St. Catherine Church would offer special prayers of peace during all eight Masses over the weekend of Sept. 7.
Romanians flock to beatification of ‘major apostolic vagabond’
BUCHAREST, Romania (CNS) -- A pavilion designed for trade fairs became Eastern Europe's biggest church when more than 10,000 people participated in the beatification of Msgr. Vladimir Ghika, tortured to death at age 80 in 1954. As believers from across the country flowed into the massive, round hall, volunteers greeted each with a scarf to wear, printed with the martyr's serene face and signature white beard.
Pope Francis to lead prayer vigil for peace in Syria
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- On the evening of Sept. 7, days before U.S. lawmakers vote on President Barack Obama's proposal for a military attack on Syria, Pope Francis will lead thousands in St. Peter's Square in a prayer vigil for peace.
Reverting to tradition, pope names veteran diplomat as Vatican’s No. 2
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Although Pope Francis has not hesitated to break with convention during his brief pontificate, in appointing a seasoned member of the diplomatic corps as the top Vatican official, he resumed a long-standing tradition. The pope appointed Archbishop Pietro Parolin, 58, a longtime official in the Vatican secretariat of state and nuncio to Venezuela since 2009, to be his secretary of state.
Pope, Jordanian king say dialogue is only hope for peace in Syria
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- As Western leaders expressed strong convictions that the Syrian government carried out a chemical weapons attack against its own citizens and vowed to take action, Pope Francis met at the Vatican Aug. 29 with Jordan's King Abdullah II and Queen Rania. Jordan borders Syria and hosts hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees who have fled the fighting that began in March 2011 in an attempt to oust President Bashar Assad.
Western church leaders warn against intervention in Syria
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- As speculation mounted about Western air strikes on Syria, a committee of U.S. bishops called for a political solution, and Catholic leaders in Europe warned military intervention could lead to an escalation of hostilities.
Many of Egypt’s Christians think U.S. has aligned with the wrong side
CAIRO (CNS) --Two weeks after the churches he used to pray in were ransacked and burned to the ground in the Egyptian port city of Suez, Istafanos Youssif sat "searching for God" in a Cairo convent. He said he hoped to get over the pain, and that he understood who was behind the church burnings. What he said he could not understand was the U.S. position toward his country, Egypt.