Aleppo bishop: ‘1 Minute for Peace initiative important for Syria’


Men and women of goodwill across the globe on Thursday responded to Pope Francis’ call to join in prayer to participate in the “One Minute for Peace” initiative. The Pope’s appeal for prayers and international participation in the initiative came during his Wednesday General Audience when he recalled that the initiative represents a short moment […]

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Letter #15, 2017: Co-Worker of The Truth

May 1, 2017, Monday Reading today, I came across a brief passage from the conversation between Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and German writer Peter Seewald, part of a book which was published in September 2016 as Last Testament. (Here is a link to the book, the passage in question is from pages 240-241.) It is […]

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Pope Francis in Georgia: prayer for peace


Pope Francis is currently on an Apostolic journey to Georgia. He flew into the nation’s capital Tbilisi on Friday 30th of September and his third and last appointment of the day took place at the Chaldean Catholic Church of Simon ‘Bar Sabbae’, dedicated to a tenth century Coptic Saint. There he met with representatives of […]

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The price of the conflict in Syria

SS Francesco - Piazza San Pietro - Angelus - 07-08-2016

 - (Copyright L'OSSERVATORE ROMANO - Servizio Fotografico -

· At the Angelus the Pope denounces the powerful for their lack of will for peace · “It is unacceptable that so many defenseless people — even many children — must pay the price of the conflict” in Syria. The Pope chose strong words at the Angelus on Sunday, 7 August, again denouncing the tragedy […]

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Letter #41, 2016: Concert in Palmyra


May 5, 2016, Thursday — A Russian Concert in Palmyra, Syria, Contains a Message to the West The Diplomacy of Music As I write this, a renowned Russian conductor is conducting an orchestral concert called “Prayer for Palmyra: Music Revives Ancient Ruins” in the ruins of the ancient desert city of Palmyra in war-torn Syria. […]

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6. Father Dhiya Azziz, OFM


The story of the Iraqi Franciscan friar Dhiya Azziz, OFM, the parish priest of the Syrian village of Yacoubieh, with whom all contact was lost on December 23 when he was abducted (he was released in early January), is, characteristically for that area of the world, filled with uncertainty. Fr. Azziz, 41, a native of […]

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Seven Points… and an Eighth

Pope Francis in prayer.

In Rome, prelates prepare to debate the nature of the marital bond, the nature of the family in an age of “familylessness,” at the same time that the family of the faith, the Church, remains divided. The wisdom of Simone. “Two prisoners whose cells adjoin communicate with each other by knocking on the wall. The […]

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Italian Vaticanist Lucio Brunelli on the secret of the tenderness of Pope Francis

“He makes clear and sacrosanct observations: for example, that we make a big fuss over a small dip in the stock markets, but we have lost the capacity to cry over refugees who die at sea, and we merely shrug when homeless people or drug addicts die: these are unwanted scraps of humanity in a world where money rules over all...”

As Pope Francis passed the end of the first year of his pontificate on March 13, at least six books and four television series and films about him appeared. What has changed with the arrival of this “Pope from afar”? And in what areas has he made the greatest impact? Lucio Brunelli, the Italian state […]

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Pope Francis on crucified Christians in Syria

Syrian residents flee their homes following recent clashes between opposition fighters and forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad (CNS photo).

“I wept when I saw reports on the news of Christians crucified in a certain country.” —Pope Francis, homily at morning Mass Friday, May 2, in the Domus Santa Marta chapel in the Vatican, where Francis lives. He was referring to the cruxifixion of two men in Syria by rebel forces.  Pope Francis gave a […]

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Appeal for peace in Syria


Pope Francis’ appeal for peace in Syria at the General Audience – St. Peter’s Square – Vatican City, April 09, 2014 Last Monday, at Homs in Syria, the Reverend Father Frans van der Lugt, a Dutch Jesuit confrere of mine, 75, was killed. He arrived in Syria about 50 years ago, and always did good to everyone, […]

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January Recap

Pope Francis stands with Italy’s President Giorgio Napolitano as he greets staff members and their families during his first state visit to Italy’s Quirinal presidential palace in Rome on November 14 (CNS photo).

Sunday 10 PRAYERS FOR THOSE HIT BY DEADLY TYPHOON During the Angelus with pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square, the Pope expressed his concern and prayers for the estimated tens of thousands of people dead and others affected by Super Typhoon Haiyan, which devastated parts of the central Philippines November 8. “I wish to express my […]

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Vatican Watch – October 2013

      Friday 5 POPE FRANCIS’ FIRST ENCYCLICAL Lumen Fidei (“The Light of Faith”) is a celebration of Christian faith as the guiding light of a “successful and fruitful life,” inspiring social action as well as devotion to God, and illuminating “every aspect of human existence,” including philosophy and the natural sciences. The document […]

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“Where there is suffering, there is Christ”

Msgr. Giampietro Dal Toso, secretary of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, speaks during a briefing on Syria at the Vatican June 5 (CNS photo)

Christians must help the people of Syria because “where there is suffering, Christ is present,” Pope Francis told representatives of Catholic aid agencies working in Syria and with Syrian refugees in neighboring countries. “How much suffering, how much poverty, how much pain; and it’s Jesus who suffers, who is poor, who is thrown out of […]

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