Current Issue
July, 2019
Volume 45, Number 2
28 January 2013
Greg Kandra

A Syrian boy stands in front of his family’s refugee camp in the Jordanian city of Mafraq, near the border with Syria, on 25 January. (photo: CNS/Muhammad Hamed/Reuters)

Al Quaeda-linked group claims responsibility for Syria blast (AP) An al-Qaeda-linked group fighting alongside Syrian rebels claimed responsibility Monday for a suicide car bombing that reportedly killed dozens of President Bashar Assad’s loyalists last week. Islamic militants have been the most organized fighters battling government troops in the 22-month-old conflict in which more than 60,000 people have been killed. Their growing prominence has fueled fears that Muslim radicals may try to hijack the revolt, and has contributed to the West’s hesitance to equip the opposition with sophisticated weapons...

Special collection in Lebanon for Syrian refugees (Fides) On Sunday, 27 January in convents, shrines and nearly 1,000 parishes of the Maronite Church, funds were collected for the activities supported by Caritas Lebanon in favor of Syrian refugees who have found precarious refuge in the Lebanese territory. The special day of solidarity was called by Cardinal Bechara Boutros Rai, Patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites, with an appeal to all members of the Church led by him...

Russian government wants to amend bill on “religious feeling” (Vatican Radio) The Russian government has asked parliament to amend a bill that would set jail terms for “offending religious feeling.” The measure was proposed by lawmakers after last year’s Pussy Riot protest at a Moscow cathedral. Critics have said it may harm Jews, Muslims and others outside the Russian Orthodox Church. But one of the lawmakers who sponsored the bill, said a phrase seen to favour the Russian Orthodox Church would be removed and the legislation would protect all religions operating legally in Russia...

Latin Patriarch in Jerusalem discusses Day of Prayer for Peace in Holy Land (Vatican Radio) The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, the leader of the Catholic Church in the Holy Land, says Christians of all denominations in Jerusalem are united in prayer, solidarity and communion during the week of Christian Unity and are grateful for the concern of fellow Christians around the world. Calling Jerusalem the “Mother Church” with a “world dimension,” Patriarch Fouad Twal says “the unique way to be grateful is to do our best to fulfil this mission (well because) the Church in the Holy Land (can constitute) a bridge between all the others...”

Ukrainian eparch reflects on the New Evangelization (Vatican Radio) The Catholic university contributes toward the New Evangelization when, in addition to offering quality education, it prays together, fosters the beauty of the liturgy and reaches out to the marginalized, said the new eparch of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in France...

Kerala court rules filmmakers will be charged with defamation ( The makers of a comedy about two petty criminals who dress up as Catholic priests will be charged with defamation, a Kerala court ruled yesterday. Two actors, along with the director, the producer and the screenwriter of the local hit movie ”Romans,” which was released last week, are all named in the suit, brought by a Catholic youth leader in the Kottayam district of the state. “The movie has hurt the sentiments of the faithful,” said petitioner Boban T. Thekkel. “There is a limit to freedom of expression. I can’t tolerate such things...”

Toronto plans World Interfaith Harmony Week (Catholic Register) World Interfaith Harmony Week is coming to Toronto for the first time. The United Nations Initiative, which originated in 2010 and is meant to promote peace, love, tolerance and understanding among followers of all religions, will begin on 1 February at various Toronto locations. The theme for Toronto will be looking for ways to work together. “It’s an important thing, not only for Catholics, but for all Christians to be exposed to and to become more aware of the importance of other religions in the world,” said Fr. Damian MacPherson, director of the Office of Ecumenical and Interfaith Affairs for the archdiocese of Toronto. “In the absence of not knowing, generally suspicion arises...”

Tags: Syria Ukraine Jerusalem Russia Greek Catholic Church