Current Issue
September, 2019
Volume 45, Number 3
20 March 2013
J.D. Conor Mauro

Archbishop Chrysostomos II of Nea Justiniana and All Cyprus, 71, was elected and enthroned as head of the Cyprus Orthodox Church in November 2006. (photo: Cyprus Orthodox Church)

Cyprus Orthodox Church offers to help bail out state (CBS News) The head of Cyprus’ influential Orthodox church, Archbishop Chrysostomos II, says he will put the church’s assets at the country’s disposal to help pull it out of a financial crisis, after lawmakers rejected a plan to seize up to 10 percent of people’s bank deposits to secure an international bailout. It wasn’t immediately clear what the total value of the church’s assets would be, or how much of that value the church was actually willing to lend the government…

Pope ‘determined’ to continue toward unity (AsiaNews) Pope Francis has a “strong desire” to continue the ecumenical journey towards the “noble cause” of Christian unity. He has also stated his confidence that the “fraternal dialogue” with the Jewish people will continue. Further, he expressed his appreciation for the presence of Muslims at the ceremony marking the beginning of his pontificate. This morning’s meeting with 33 delegations from churches and religious denominations, Christian and non-Christian, who attended the inaugural mass of the new Pope was an insight into this pontificate’s line regarding relations with other Christians and religions, and even those who “do not even belong to any religions but who feel close to the truth and beauty.” The Pope responded to the warm greetings of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, calling him Andrew — the name of the apostle founder and patron of the patriarchate. “Yesterday morning,” he said, “during Holy Mass, through your presence, I recognized the spiritual presence of the community you represent. In this manifestation of faith, the prayer for unity among believers in Christ seemed even more urgent to men and together somehow to see prefigured this full realization, which depends on the divine plan and our sincere cooperation...”

Catholic commission writes to U.S. president in honor of visit (Fides) On the occasion of U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit in the Middle East, which began with his arrival in Israel today, Wednesday, 20 March, the Justice and Peace Commission of the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land has written the president a letter. The missive is intended to draw his attention to some major problems that affect the presence of Christians in the region. “The Palestinian people,” reads the letter, are living their “46th year under occupation. And the plight of Palestinian Christians is the same as experienced by the Palestinian people as a whole…”

Pope Francis calls pope emeritus to wish him happy feast day (Vatican Radio) Pope Francis called Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI to wish him well on the feast of St. Joseph, 19 March. The Argentine pope, who placed the call to his German predecessor shortly after 5 p.m. Rome time, Tuesday, once again expressed gratitude to the pope emeritus for his long service to the church. Since his resignation on 28 February, Pope Benedict has been staying at the papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo, in the countryside of Rome, until restoration work on his new residence in the Vatican is completed…

Lebanon’s Catholics fear incursion of Islamic fundamentalism (Global Post) Even though Beirut is no longer cleaved into Muslim and Christian sides by the Green Line — the five-mile long, overgrown barricade erected during Lebanon’s 1975-1991 civil war — some Christians still feel like their presence here is not guaranteed. An influx of refugees from the civil war in neighboring Syria has Christians in Lebanon anxious that religious violence against them could reappear here. A swath of leaders, from U.S. President Barack Obama to Pope Benedict XVI, have identified post-war Lebanon as a model for the world. Archbishop Paul Sayah, the vicar general of the Maronite patriarch and the Maronite Church’s second-ranking clergy member, believes that the survival and continuity of Lebanon’s Christians carries global implications. “If this formula does fade in Lebanon, the message to the world is that religions can’t live together, cultures can’t work together, and the alternative is war of religions,” says Archbishop Sayah. “This is the importance of Lebanon”…

Tags: Pope Francis Pope Benedict XVI Holy Land Cyprus President Obama