- Wednesday, 01 December 2010 19:46
The Catholic News Service reported tonight that…
Benedict XVI met privately Dec. 1 with two dozen Iraqis who were injured when
their cathedral in Baghdad was attacked Oct. 31. In early November, the Italian
foreign ministry arranged for 26 injured Iraqis — including three children —
and 21 accompanying family members to fly to Rome. The injured were treated at
the Gemelli Hospital and their family members were housed in apartments
belonging to the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, which operates the
hospital. Nicola Cerbino, hospital spokesman, said Dec. 1 that only two of the
injured were still hospitalized, but they were well enough to travel with their
family members to the Vatican for the brief audience with the pope. The entire
Iraqi group — close to 50 people — will remain guests of the university until
mid-December, Cerbino said. After that, the Italian foreign minister will help
them return home or settle elsewhere, he said. Fifty-eight people died in the
attack on the Syrian Catholic church in Baghdad Oct. 31 after military
officials tried to end a terrorist siege of the church.
- Friday, 19 November 2010 11:33
Communion and Liberation follows the call of the
Italian bishops to pray Sunday, November 21 for the Christians of Iraq, “who
are suffering the tremendous trial of blood witness to the faith” (Final
communiqué of the Assembly of the Italian Episcopal Conference, November 11, 2010).
Movement invites all its members to participate in Mass according to the
intentions of Benedict XVI, who the day after the grave attack in the Syrian
Catholic cathedral of Baghdad that left dozens dead and wounded, said, “I pray
for the victims of this absurd violence, all the more savage because it struck
defenseless people gathered in God’s house, which is a house of love and
reconciliation. I also express my affectionate closeness to the Christian
community, struck once again, and encourage the pastors and faithful to be
strong and steady in hope. In the face of the heinous episodes of violence that
continue tearing the populations of the Middle East to pieces, I renew my
grieved call for peace: it is the gift of God, but also the result of the
efforts of people of good will, of national and international institutions. May
everyone join their strengths to put an end to all violence! (Comments after
the Angelus, November 1, 2010).
Addressing all members of Communion and
Liberation, Fr. Julián Carrón said that “participation in Sunday Mass according
to the intentions of the Pope and the bishops is a gesture of real communion
and charity because we feel that the Christians of Iraq are our friends, even
if we do not know them directly.”
As Fr. Giussani said, “If the sacrifice is
accepting the circumstances of life, as they happen, because they make us
correspondent, participants in the death of Christ, then sacrifice becomes the
keystone of all life […] but also the keystone for understanding the history of
man. The entire history of man depends on that man dead on the cross, and I can
influence the history of man – I can influence the people who live in Japan
now, the people in danger at sea now; I can intervene to help the pain of the
women who lose their children now, in this moment – if I accept the sacrifice
that this moment imposes.” (L. Giussani, Is It Possible to Live This Way? Book
3: Charity, McGill-Queen’s University Press, pp. 74-75.)
For this reason, added
Carrón, “if a gesture of prayer can influence the change of people in Japan, it
can also change something in Iraq. May the sacrifice we make for the Christians
of Iraq and Sunday’s prayer be a gesture with which we invoke, implore from God
protection for them.”
The Communion & Liberation Press Office
November 18, 2010
- Tuesday, 16 November 2010 15:24
The privilege of having the relics of one’s patron coming to your home is a singular experience. Friends who are seminarians at Saint Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary welcomed their patron’s relics in solemn ceremony this past weekend.
An 11th century saint, Saint Vladimir is known in the Orthodox Church as the Holy and Great Prince Vladimir, Equal-to-the-Apostles who first experienced a dramatic conversion to Christ. He is credited with bringing Christianity to various places in Russia.
Saint Vladimir’s feast is commemorated in both the Orthodox and Latin Churches on July 15.
Thanks to Deacon Dustin Lyon for the photos.
- Saturday, 13 November 2010 11:00
As a way of
showing solidarity with our Christian brothers and sisters in Iraq who faced
such horrible circumstances because of their faith Jesus Christ, I am extendiing
an invitation to all of us: writing letter(s) of fraternal solidarity with our
brothers and sisters through the Chaldean Catholic Patriarch, His Beatitude, Patriarch Emmanuel III Delly. He’s the head of the Conference of Catholic Bishops in Iraq.
An initiative of solidarity is proposed by members of Communion and Liberation
Our many friends
in the lay Catholic movement, Communion and Liberation have also moved by the
plight of Iraqi Christians has organized a gesture of solidarity with the Iraqi
Christians in the form of a letter campaign. One of our friends spoke with the Apostolic
Nuncio (the Pope’s ambassador) at the UN, Archbishop Francis Assisi Chullikatt who
said he’d be very happy for our initiative and offered his diplomatic pouch
(direct mail) to reach the Nunciature in Iraq.
So, if you are inclined to write an email in solidarity, you
may send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
and the email will be printed and hand-delivered to Archbishop
Chullikatt on Tuesday, November 16.
Messages ought to be addressed to His Beatitude, Patriarch Emmanuel
III Delly, Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans.
- Saturday, 13 November 2010 09:48
The pain and suffering endured but not consumed by some people is an extraordinary testimony to Grace. The AP news stories about the Mass prayed in the church assaulted by the slayings of Syrian Christians on October 31 brings tears to my eyes especially when I read that the walls retained the blood and flesh of the victims. No doubt poignant relics of the witnesses of humanity and Christ. I bet you no one entered Our Lady of Salvation Church expecting to lay down their life in such a dramatic manner.
Our Lady of Salvation Church has become the School of the Cross and Resurrection in which new life is being formed and born. The Christian response is exactly what Jesus taught his followers: pray for your enemies and those persecute you for love of Me. The priest who celebrated the Divine Liturgy the other day told his congregants that “We will perform a strange kind of prayer because Christ tells us: ‘Love your enemies.'” Father Mukhlis also said that “We will pray for those who assaulted our church and shed the blood of our martyrs.”
Father Mukhlis recalled for his people that one of the murdered priests, Father Thair, said to his attackers: “Kill me, not the families and children.”
Have the Syrian Catholics become 21st century icons of love? How have we changed since hearing of these brutal deaths? What does Christ want us to learn from these events?