"Al-Bushra"

Seeking truth and justice

Russia funding reconstruction work in Bethlehem

Posted on May 11, 2017

Russia is funding the reconstruction work in the historic center of the city of Bethlehem, where Jesus was born.

Bethlehem

Sputnik | May 11, 2017

The Russian government has allocated $4 million to Palestine for reconstruction work in the historic center of the city of Bethlehem, where Jesus was born, the head of the Russian Representative Office to the Palestinian National Authority told Sputnik Thursday, May 11.

“The reconstruction of Star Street in the historic center of Bethlehem is a Russian project implemented jointly with the foreign and finance ministries of Palestine and the Bethlehem mayoral office,” Aydar Aganin said.

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Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby visits Cremisan

Posted on May 11, 2017

Photo credit: The British Consulate in Jerusalem


The Archbishop of Canterbury, His Grace Justin Welby visited Cremisan in Beit-Jala, on Monday the 8th of May 2017, receiving the latest updates on the case and witnessing the drastic damages incurred in the area since constructing the annexation wall.

His Grace Justin Welby started his visit by a legal briefing at the Salesian sisters’ Convent by the Society of St. Yves – Catholic Center for Human Rights, addressing legal aspects of the case and its most recent developments in the legal battle that lasted nine years in the Israeli courts.

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Christians and Jews today: “Encounter must be face to face”

Posted on May 10, 2017

 

Rabbi David Meyer

Interview with Belgian Rabbi David Meyer, lecturer at the “Cardinal Bea” Center for Judaic Studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University. Rabbi Meyer has taught in various countries, from Belgium to Peru, from China to Italy. In this interview he tells us about the approach to the other in Jewish tradition and the complexity of interreligious dialogue in the Holy Land in addition to his personal experience of dialogue.

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Archbishop Pizzaballa welcomed by the Arab American Community in California

Posted on May 9, 2017

 

During the ceremony, the Apostolic Administrator awarded the Gold Medal of the Holy Sepulcher to Msgr. Labib Kopti, in appreciation for his long years of service to the Arab Catholic communities in California and the founding of two Arabic-speaking Catholic communities: one at St. Joseph Parish in Pomona (southern California), and St. Thomas More Parish in San Francisco.

Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem

USA – On Friday, May 5, 2017, Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa met with Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles and Vice President of the US Catholic Conference of Bishops, Vice Governor General Patrick Powers of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem and Knights and Ladies of the USA Western Lieutenancy.

On May 6, 2017, the Archbishop met with the Arab Catholic community in Redlands and conferred the Sacraments of Holy Communion and Confirmation to the children in Pomona. On May 7, 2017, Archbishop Pizzaballa met with the Arab Catholic community in San Francisco. He conferred the Sacraments of Holy Communion and Confirmation to the children at St. Thomas More Church. in the presence numerous faithful and some Knights and Ladies of the Holy Sepulcher of the Northwestern Lieutenancy.

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Brighten the Future of Gaza’s Children

Posted on May 9, 2017

Brighten the Future of Gaza's Children

Donna Baranski-Walker, Founder & Executive Director, Rebuilding Alliance, writes:

Recently, the Gaza Power Plant entirely shut down, leaving 1.2 million people in total darkness, and this isn’t the first time. I am writing to ask your help because your action now can give Gaza’s children light and hope.

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The first network of Islamic and Christian university institutes in the Arab world

Posted on May 8, 2017

The first permanent liaison network between Islamic and Christian university institutions and centers in the Arab countries has been inaugurated in Amman. The initiative took place during the conference promoted from May 3 to 6 in Amman by the Kaiciid International Dialogue Center and the Diyar Consortium.

The crucial role of university institutions in countering or fomenting the manipulations of theological and doctrinal content has long been called into question by the work of political leaders and analysts who are questioning how to get out from sectarian conflicts that torment the region.

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Controversy regarding the political representation of Christians and the future of the Nineveh Plain

Posted on May 8, 2017

 

GV | Agenzia Fides, 5/5/2017

Baghdad – A delegation of Christian politicians belonging to various Iraqi political groups wanted to meet the country’s top institutional representatives to focus their attention on proposals and requests for the reconstruction of North-Iraqi areas freed from the self-proclaimed Islamic State (Daesh), and especially regarding the future political and administrative structure of the Nineveh Plain.

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Protecting the cultural heritage of Middle Eastern refugees

Posted on May 7, 2017

Hana Slewa Mosaky, who fled with other Christians from the Iraqi city of Qaraqosh in August 2014, has embroidered images of her homeland on a wraparound dress - RV

Hana Slewa Mosaky, who fled with other Christians from the Iraqi city of Qaraqosh in August 2014, has embroidered images of her homeland on a wraparound dress – RV

 

Vatican Radio – On Easter Sunday, Pope Francis condemned an attack on Syrian civilians escaping from the civil war there, calling it “the latest vile attack on fleeing refugees”. During his Urbi et Orbi’ address, to the city of Rome and to the world, the Pope prayed for peace throughout the Middle East, decrying especially the bus bombing which killed dozens near the Syrian city of Aleppo.

Stephanie Saldaña is a writer and teacher who is currently spearheading a project called ‘Mosaic Stories, seeking to protect the endangered heritage of refugees, especially those fleeing from the conflicts in Syria and Iraq. She has lived for many years in the Middle East and is passionate about the need to protect the cultures and languages that are disappearing as towns and villages across the region are destroyed.

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Two Scenes from Pope Francis’s Revolution of Tenderness

Posted on May 7, 2017

Last week, Pope Francis brought his message of solidarity to the ancient world and the new.PHOTOGRAPH BY GREGORIO BORGIA / POOL / REUTERS

By James Carroll | The New Yorker | May 1, 2017

Five decades ago, in an essay in The New York Review of Books, Hannah Arendt described an exchange she had had with a “Roman chambermaid” about Pope John XXIII. The beloved pontiff had died, of stomach cancer, two years earlier, not long before the Second Vatican Council, which he convened, transformed the liturgy and the spirit of the Catholic Church. “How could it happen that a true Christian would sit on St. Peter’s chair?” the chambermaid asked, apparently referring to the succession of venal company men who had held the office over the centuries. “Didn’t he first have to be appointed Bishop, and Archbishop, and Cardinal, until he finally was elected to be Pope? Had nobody been aware of who he was?”

A version of the same question has often been asked about Pope John’s current successor, Francis.

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Ceremonial Communion for Children of Mor Aphrem Center – Tabbaleh

Posted on May 5, 2017

Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch | April 21, 2017

His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II celebrated the Holy Qurobo at St. George Patriarchal Cathedral in Bab Touma, Damascus.

His Eminence Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury, Patriarchal Vicar in the Patriarchal Archdiocese in Damascus, assisted His Holiness in the Holy Qurobo.

During the Holy Qurobo, 25 children of Mor Aphrem Christian Education Center in Tabbaleh celebrated the ceremonial Communion.

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Christians in the Middle East: a guide

Posted on May 5, 2017

Maronites, Copts, Melkites, Chaldeans … It is not easy to navigate among the various Christian communities in the Middle East, and explanations about their origins and differences are often unclear and confusing. This overview tries to instill some order

Synod for the Middle East (2010): the bishops gathered around the tomb of St. Peter

Synod for the Middle East (2010): the bishops gathered around the tomb of St. Peter

by Martino Diez | Oasis | 04 May 2017

About 15 million Christians, among the native and immigrant faithful, are estimated to live in the Middle East today. In some countries, they are in sharp decline (Iraq and Syria), if not on the verge of disappearing – in others they face growing difficulties, while they are increasing in the Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula, mainly due to the arrival of Asian and European workers.

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Jordan: New speech therapy service for children with disabilities in Anjara

Posted on May 5, 2017

by Claire Guigou | Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem

ANJARA – On March 15, the Anjara branch of Our Lady of Peace Center opened a new speech therapy service for children, which completes the physiotherapy service established at the end of 2008. Thanks to the support of benefactors, “Our Lady of the Mount” Center can now provide free care for children with mental and physical disabilities in this particularly poor region of Jordan.

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Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa on a pastoral visit to the USA

Posted on May 5, 2017

USA –May 5-17, 2017, Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, will travel to the USA for a pastoral visit, to meet with Priests, Knights of the Holy Sepulcher, some political and business leaders.

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Terra Santa News | May 5, 2017

Posted on May 5, 2017

Pope Francis’ trip to Egypt, his meeting with a Palestinian family, the day of the consecrated life, the discovery of a precious photographic archive on Jerusalem and the musical notes of the Palestinian pianist Rima Tarazi.

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Why Pope Francis’ approach to Islam breaks the mold of Benedict and previous popes

Posted on May 4, 2017

Francis’ approach to Islam is characterized by a willingness to “cross over to the other side”

Pope Francis greets Al-Azhar's Grand Imam Ahmed al-Tayeb during a meeting in Cairo on April 28, 2017. Photo courtesy of Reuters/Mohamed Abd El-Ghany

Pope Francis greets Al-Azhar’s Grand Imam Ahmed al-Tayeb during a meeting in Cairo on April 28, 2017. Photo courtesy of Reuters/Mohamed Abd El-GhanyChristopher Lamb | Religion News Service | America the

Christopher Lamb | Religion News Service | America, the Jesuit Review

The global growth of Islam and in particular the rise of Islamic extremism have forced recent popes to set out, with increasing urgency, a strategy for engaging the religion.

As Pope Francis’ brief trip to Egypt over the weekend demonstrated, the most recent pontiffs have come up with starkly different approaches—though it’s not yet clear if one is better than the other, or if either will be effective.

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Trump Deletes Arafat from Accord Signing

Posted on May 3, 2017

Photo: Wikipedia

by James M. Wall | Wallwritings

It is a well-known fact of history that to the victor belongs the spoils.

And one of those spoils is the ability to reshape history. Donald Trump has won the presidency. He is now busy reshaping history.

On Wednesday, President Trump met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the White House.  The usual “we want peace” talking points were exchanged. The word “justice” was not included.

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Visitors Not Welcome: Israel Taking Border Control to New Extremes with Tourist Bans

Posted on May 2, 2017

 By preventing overnight stays in Bethlehem – a major destination for Christian pilgrimage tours to the Holy Land – this directive could deal a deadly blow to the industry.

St. Vincent Guest House is situated in Bethlehem, 10 km from Jerusalem.. The guest house is managed by the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincenzo de Paoli to support La Crèche (“the Cradle”), the orphanage next door.

 

by Judy Maltz

An important long article by Haaretz worth reading in regard to the Border Control issue.

Visitors Not Welcome: Israel Taking Border Control to New Extremes with Tourist Bans

Tour operators say Israel increasingly doesn’t want you here if you plan to spend a night in Bethlehem, oppose the settlements or have the wrong stamp in your passport.

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Pope Francis in-flight presser after Egypt visit

Posted on Apr 30, 2017

Pope Francis talks to journalists during an inflight press conference on his return from Egypt - EPA

Pope Francis talks to journalists during an inflight press conference on his return from Egypt – EPA

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Saturday evening, during his return from Egypt, held his traditional inflight “press conference” with journalists onboard the Papal plane touching on a wide range of issues.

Amongst the topics elaborated upon, he spoke of his concern for the North Korea crisis for which he urged diplomatic mediation, of the phenomenon of populism in Europe and across the world and of the dramatic situation of forced migrants and refugees in many refugee camps.

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Pope Francis in Cairo: impromptu exchange with young people

Posted on Apr 30, 2017

Pope Francis greets young people gathered in front of the Nunciature in Cairo, 28 April 2017

Pope Francis greets young people gathered in front of the Nunciature in Cairo, 28 April 2017

(Vatican Radio) Friday evening saw an unscripted moment between Pope Francis and a group of some three hundred young people gathered in the small square before the entrance to the Apostolic Nunciature in Cairo, where the Holy Father stayed the night between Friday and Saturday.

After supper, the Holy Father went to greet the young people gathered the square, saying, “Good evening to you all, I’m glad to find you!”

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Pope to Egypt’s priests and religious: be sowers of hope and dialogue

Posted on Apr 30, 2017

Pope Francis meets with priests, religious and seminarians in Cairo at the conclusion of his April 28th-29th visit to Egypt - RV

Pope Francis meets with priests, religious and seminarians in Cairo at the conclusion of his April 28th-29th visit to Egypt – RV

 

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Saturday told Egypt’s priests, religious and seminarians to be sowers of hope, builders of bridges and agents of dialogue, despite the many difficulties they face.

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Catholics and Copts must speak “the common language of charity”

Posted on Apr 30, 2017

Pope Francis meets with Coptic Pope Tawadros II, calling for closer cooperation between the two Churches - RV

Pope Francis meets with Coptic Pope Tawadros II, calling for closer cooperation between the two Churches – RV

(Vatican Radio) In a meeting with Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox leader Pope Tawadros II on Friday, Pope Francis said the two communities must oppose violence and work more closely together to witness to Christ in the world.

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Pope Francis: Egypt’s unique role in the Middle East

Posted on Apr 30, 2017

Pope Francis shakes hands with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sissi, in Cairo - AP

(Vatican Radio) In his address to leaders of government and civil institutions in Egypt, Pope Francis focused on the country’s role in seeking solutions to the complex issues that face the Middle East.

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WCC sees signing of baptism agreement between Pope Francis and Coptic Pope Tawadros II as ‘sign of hope’

Posted on Apr 30, 2017

News from the World Council of Churches

WCC sees signing of baptism agreement between Pope Francis and Coptic Pope Tawadros II as ‘sign of hope’

Apr 30, 2017

Pope Francis and Pope Tawadros II of the Coptic Orthodox Church in Egypt have taken a significant ecumenical step by signing a common declaration that Roman Catholics and Copts recognize each other’s baptisms. The agreement is, in the eyes of the World Council of Churches (WCC), a “sign of hope”.

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Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land: Prisoners’ Hunger Strike

Posted on Apr 29, 2017

COMMISSION JUSTICE AND PEACE
ASSEMBLY OF CATHOLIC ORDINARIES OF THE HOLY LAND

PRISONERS’ HUNGER STRIKE

He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives. (Lk 4: 18)
I was in prison and you came to see me. (Mt 25: 36)

More than 1500 (out of 6500) Palestinian political prisoners have begun an open hunger strike, initiated on April 17,2017. The aim of this desperate act is to shed light, both locally and internationally, on the inhuman conditions in which they are detained by the Israeli Authorities. They plead for the respect of their human rights and dignity as recognized by international law and the Geneva Convention, and the end of administrative detention.

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Pope Francis draws 15,000 to open-air Mass in Egypt weeks after deadly attacks on country’s churches

Posted on Apr 29, 2017

Good Morning America

by Morgan Windsor,Terry Moran, and Clark Benton | GMA | April 29, 2017

Pope Francis drew a crowd of 15,000 to an open-air Mass in Egypt on his last day visiting the overwhelmingly Muslim nation, where Christians and their churches have been the target of recent attacks by Islamic militants.

Francis led the Mass on Saturday in Cairo at the country’s Air Defense Stadium, which has a capacity of 25,000. In his homily, Francis urged attendees to be good to their fellow Egyptians and not be hypocritical in their faith, saying “the only fanaticism believers can have is that of charity.”

It was Francis’ first papal visit to Egypt, where Catholics haven’t seen a pope on their soil since St. John Paul II visited in 2000.

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Piety, Power, and Politics in Turkey

Posted on Apr 28, 2017

Young women take selfie photographs in front of the New Mosque by the Bosphorus strait in Istanbul, Turkey January 12, 2016.

Young women take selfie photographs in front of the New Mosque by the Bosphorus strait in Istanbul, Turkey January 12, 2016.

by Nick Danforth | Foreign Affairs

On display at the Smithsonian’s Sackler gallery earlier this year was “The Art of the Qur’an: Treasures from the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts.” The exhibit featured a number of lavishly decorated Korans collected by the Ottoman Empire during its six-century rule over much of the Muslim world. One, seized by Suleiman the Magnificent from the tomb of a long-dead Mongol ruler, has sprawling gold medallions set amidst lines of multi-colored calligraphy. Another, read with unknowable results for the salvation of Selim the Second’s soul, features whimsical foliage-like shapes interlocked above a deep lapis lazuli background.

But beyond the beauty of the books on display, their history is also illuminating. Whereas commentators frequently describe modern Turkey as torn by a rivalry between secularism and Islamism, this exhibit inadvertently reveals the complex ways in which the two ideologies always co-existed. In Turkey, as elsewhere, religion has always been important to even the most secular governments, and power remains important to even the most religious.

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Galilee: Sacramental preparations for marriage well underway

Posted on Apr 28, 2017

Photo: A. K.

Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem | Nazareth

Just before Holy Week, a group of engaged couples from Nazareth attended a meeting with Bishop Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo, Patriarchal Vicar in Israel, as part of their marriage preparations. The bishop spoke with them on the “Theology of Marriage.”

Everyone knows the excesses that the modern family can encounter and experience. Everyone also knows the efforts being undertaken by the Church to seriously prepare engaged couples, especially after the recent Synods of Bishops on the family and through Amoris Laetitia, the exhortation of Pope Francis.

For the marriage preparations, the papal exhortation strongly encourages formation courses. This is not new in the Church of the Holy Land, which had already made this preparation mandatory with the Diocesan Pastoral Synod. Now it is a pastoral activity carried out in all Catholic parishes.

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Pope in Egypt: Catholics and Copts recognise shared baptism

Posted on Apr 28, 2017

Pope Francis signs a common declaration with Coptic Pope Tawadros II affirming a shared baptism between the two Churches - RV

Pope Francis signs a common declaration with Coptic Pope Tawadros II affirming a shared baptism between the two Churches – RV

Vatican Radio | Philippa Hitchen | April 28, 2017

In a common declaration, signed by Pope Francis and Coptic Pope Tawadros II, Catholics and Copts declare for the first time that they will recognise each other’s sacrament of baptism.

The joint statement was made public following a meeting of the Catholic and Coptic leaders in Cairo on Friday. It comes forty-four years after Pope Paul VI first met with the previous Coptic Pope Shenouda III in May 1973. That encounter marked a milestone in relations, following centuries of separation, and it led to the setting up of a Commission for theological dialogue with the whole family of Oriental Orthodox Churches.

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In Egypt, pope brings a message of peace amid crackdown

Posted on Apr 28, 2017

NICOLE WINFIELD and HAMZA HENDAWI |Associated Press

CAIRO (AP) — Pope Francis demanded that Egypt’s Muslim leaders teach a rejection of violence in God’s name during a delicate visit Friday to the Arab world’s most populous country, and he strongly backed its uncompromising crackdown on political Islam and militancy.

Brushing off security concerns after a series of attacks by Islamic militants on Egypt’s Coptic Christians, Francis rode through Cairo in a simple blue Fiat with his window rolled down — not the armored “popemobiles” of his predecessors.

And at every stop on his first day, he issued variations on the same hard-hitting theme: “No civilized society can be built without repudiating every ideology of evil, violence and extremism that presumes to suppress others and to annihilate diversity by manipulating and profaning the sacred name of God.”

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A new culinary school in Ramallah

Posted on Apr 28, 2017

One of the objectives of this training is also to continue to encourage dialogue between Christians and Muslims, one of the pillars of the school.Many parents are sending their children here for coexistence education, specific to the institution. In this region, where Christians represent only two percent of the population, the Church plays a major social and educational role. Father Ibrahim Shomali

Photo: © Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem

by Claire Guigou | Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem

RAMALLAH – Al Ahliyyah School in the Latin parish of the Holy Family will open a new cooking school in the fall. This facility is for 16-18 year-olds, and will offer new job opportunities to young people in Palestine. The province of Hainaut in Belgium, has long been associated with the region and has committed to support this project of the Latin Patriarchate Project Development Office.

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