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How Pope Benedict XV and Holy See Tried to Stop Armenian Genocide (3124)

German author and researcher Michael Hesemann discusses the Vatican’s efforts to bring an end to the killings of Armenian Christians carried out by the Ottoman Empire.

06/25/2016 Comments (10)
Bohumil Petrik/CNA

Michael Hesemann

– Bohumil Petrik/CNA

Did Pope Benedict XV and the Holy See try to stop the Armenian Genocide? Well-known German historian Michael Hesemann says the Vatican Secret Archives have provided clear evidence that they did so.

The German author of more than 40 works just had his book, The Armenian Genocide — According to Unpublished Documents from the Vatican Secret Archive on the Greatest Crime of World War I, published by Herbig-Verlag, Munich. He also co-authored My Brother, the Pope with Msgr. George Ratzinger.

Hesemann has spent more than two years locating and studying more than 2,000 pages of never-before published documents on the events of 1915-1916 — the “persecution of the Armenians,” as it was referred to...READ MORE

Filed under armenia, armenian genocide, deborah lubov, michael hesemann, ottoman empire, pope benedict xv, pope francis

Pope Francis in Armenia: ‘Spirit of Ecumenism’ Helps Promote Christian Witness (1425)

The Pope reflected on the nation’s Christian legacy, saying he thanked God “for the light of faith kindled” in Armenia, which has given it a “particular identity and made it a herald of Christ among the nations.”

06/25/2016 Comment
EWTN screenshot

Pope Francis speaks in Armenia on June 24.

– EWTN screenshot

YEREVAN, Armenia — Praying at the main cathedral of the Armenian Apostolic Church at the start of his three-day visit to the Caucasus nation, Pope Francis praised the “spirit of ecumenism,” and its role in promoting human dignity against “grave forms of material and spiritual poverty.”

“We offer to the world — which so urgently needs it — a convincing witness that Christ is alive and at work, capable of opening new paths of reconciliation among the nations, civilizations and religions,” the Pope said Friday. “We offer a credible witness that God is love and mercy.”

The Pope made these remarks during his visit to the Etchmiadzin Cathedral at the invitation of Karekin II, the supreme head...READ MORE

Filed under armenia, pope francis

What the Pope Says All Humanity Can Learn from Armenian Genocide (312)

On the first day of his visit to Armenia, Pope Francis delivered remarks for Armenian president Serzh Sargsyan and other political and civil leaders, touching on the 'Great Evil' that struck their people.

06/24/2016 Comment
L'Osservatore Romano via CNA

Pope Francis visits Armenia Apostolic Church on June 24.

– L'Osservatore Romano via CNA

YEREVAN, Armenia — The catastrophe of the Armenian genocide is a lesson for all humanity, the Pope said June 24, the first day of his visit to Armenia.

After arriving at Yerevan’s Presidential Palace on Friday Pope Francis delivered remarks for Armenian president Serzh Sargsyan and other political and civil leaders. He recalled the solemnities in St. Peter’s Basilica last year attended by the president and leading Armenian churchmen including Catholicos Karekin II, head of the Armenian Apostolic Church.

“The occasion was the commemoration of the centenary of the Metz Yeghérn, the ‘Great Evil’ that struck your people and caused the death of a vast multitude of persons,” the Pope said....READ MORE

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Jesuit Father Thomas Reese Appointed Chair of U.S. International Religious Freedom Commission (1069)

First appointed to the commission by President Obama in 2014, Father Reese succeeds Robert George as its chairman.

06/24/2016 Comments (11)
Courtesy of USCIRF

Jesuit Father Thomas Reese

– Courtesy of USCIRF

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom has a new chairman, and for the first time, the position will be held by a Catholic priest.

Jesuit Father Thomas Reese was first appointed to a two-year term as a member of the commission by President Barack Obama in 2014, and re-appointed in 2016.

Now he will take over as the chair of the organization, an independent, bipartisan commission that monitors and reviews religious freedom violations around the world, and makes policy recommendations to the Secretary of State, Congress and the president.

“I am honored to serve as USCIRF's Chair and work with my fellow Commissioners in support of freedom of religion or belief,”...READ MORE

Filed under catholic news agency, father thomas reese, religious freedom, robert george, u.s. commission on international religious freedom

Britain Needs More Than Brexit (3470)

COMMENTARY: Yesterday’s vote will enhance British democracy, but only a spiritual revival can successfully address the major issues confronting the U.K. and other Western nations.

06/24/2016 Comments (21)
Shutterstock/Nerthuz

– Shutterstock/Nerthuz

As Britain voted whether to leave the European Union or remain, rain lashed down across London, flooding main railway lines and parts of the London Underground. The previous day had been warm and sticky, with massive thunderstorms overnight.

Midsummer can be a strange season: June 24 dawned warm and faintly sunny, as people woke to the news that a majority had voted “Brexit,” Prime Minister David Cameron was about to resign and a new chapter had opened in political history.

For weeks, TV, the Internet, newspapers and house-to-house leaflets bombarded the nation. Leading figures in banking and show business — together with the official government spokesmen — urged us to vote “Remain.”...READ MORE

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Archbishop Wenski: ‘Religious Freedom Has Foundation in Dignity of the Human Person’ (1124)

Miami archbishop’s homily at ‘Fortnight for Freedom’ opening Mass hailed Sts. Thomas More and John Fisher — and criticized ‘religious blame’ in the aftermath of the Orlando massacre.

06/24/2016 Comments (6)
@ThomasWenski Facebook page

– @ThomasWenski Facebook page

Archbishop Thomas Wenski preached this homily at the opening of the “Fortnight for Freedom” Mass at Little Flower Church in Coral Gables, Fla., on June 19 (edited to conform with Register style).

 

The Church of the Little Flower is blessed today to receive relics of two great English saints: One, St. Thomas More, was a statesman, an intellectual, a Catholic layman, who took his baptism seriously; the other was a bishop who also took his office as bishop seriously.

Both were martyred by King Henry VIII because they would not consent to his making himself the head of the Church in England, which he did because the Pope would not allow him to divorce his wife. In order to have his way, he...READ MORE

Filed under archbishop thomas wenski, fortnight for freedom, orlando massacre, religious freedom, saints, sts. thomas more and john fisher

Pope Francis Post-Brexit: ‘Ensure Well-Being and Coexistence’ (852)

En route to Armenia, the Holy Father said the historic vote to leave the European Union reflects the ‘will of the people.’

06/24/2016 Comments (1)
Edward Pentin photo

Pope Francis answers questions June 24 en route to Armenia.

– Edward Pentin photo

YEREVAN, Armenia — Pope Francis has said the result of the United Kingdom’s referendum to leave the European Union reflects the “will of the people” and that there is now a “great responsibility” to ensure the well-being of people in the U.K. and peaceful coexistence on continental Europe.

Addressing reporters on the papal plane to Armenia, the Holy Father said he had only read basic information about the result of the vote just before leaving Rome, but said he felt it was “the will of the people.”

“It demands great responsibility on our part,” he said, “to ensure the well-being of the people in the United Kingdom and the coexistence of the people on the European continent, as I expect.”...READ MORE

Filed under armenia, brexit, colombia, edward pentin, pope francis

New Jesuit Priests Enjoy Bonds of Brotherhood (2760)

As the Society of Jesus’ numbers in the U.S. and Canada stabilize, a new generation of Millennial priests is coming into its own.

06/24/2016 Comments (7)
Fathers Strand, Steve Donisch; Father Valadao, Rajah Bose and Christopher Anderson

HOLY ORDERS. Above, Father Vincent Strand distributes Communion on his ordination day; below, Father Strand with his biological brothers, who are also priests. Also below, Father Marc Valadao on his ordination day.

– Fathers Strand, Steve Donisch; Father Valadao, Rajah Bose and Christopher Anderson

Lying face down on the linoleum floor, his arms and legs outstretched in the form of the cross, the newly ordained Jesuit Father Vincent Strand was comforted as he listened to the chanting of the Litany of Saints — invoking the intercession of holy men and women he counts as his friends — in Milwaukee’s Church of the Gesu, and priests came forward to pray for their new brother.

For Father Strand — and the 19 other Jesuit priests ordained this year for the U.S. and Canada between May 26 and June 11 — ordination marks the completion of a 10- to 12-year journey they began in the Society of Jesus.

They also represent a new generation of Jesuits, Gen-Xers and Millennials, who are coming into...READ MORE

Filed under jesuits, jesus, new priests, ordinations, peter jesserer smith, priesthood, priestly vocations, society of jesus

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