Posts made in June, 2016

Pope Francis mourns victims of ‘heinous’ attack on Istanbul airport

Posted on Jun 30, 2016

Chaos at Istanbul Ataturk airport.

by Iacopo Scaramuzzi, Vatican Insider

Vatican City, June 29, 2016 – Today the Pope prayed for peace in the wake yesterday’s airport attack in the Turkish city of Istanbul. “Dear brothers and sisters, yesterday evening, in Istanbul, a brutal terrorist attack was committed, which has killed and injured many people. We pray for the victims, for their families, and for the beloved people of Turkey. May the Lord convert the hearts of the violent, and sustain our feet on the way of peace,” the Pope said during his 29 June Angelus address after celebrating Mass for the solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul. “Let us all pray in silence,” Francis said, before reciting an Ave Maria with faithful in St. Peter’s Square.

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Lebanese Christian village hit with eight suicide attacks in one day

Posted on Jun 30, 2016

Lebanese army soldiers secure the area at the site where suicide bomb attacks took place in the Christian village of al-Qaa in the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, June 27, 2016. (photo by REUTERS/Hassan Abdallah) Read more:

by Mona Alami*

AL-QAA, Lebanon — A wave of suicide bombings targeted the Lebanese Christian town of al-Qaa, which borders Syria, on June 27. In the early hours, four suicide bombers detonated their explosive belts, followed in the late evening by four other suicide bombings. The attacks are an indicator of attempts by Syrian terror organizations such as Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State (IS) to break the siege imposed on them by Lebanese intelligence and security services. These attacks could also further fuel sectarian tensions in an area where the fallout of the Syrian conflict has created deep divisions across religious communities.

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Palestinians are the endogenous people of the Southern Land of Canaan…

Posted on Jun 30, 2016

mazin qumsiyeh w175Prof. Mazin Qumsiyeh writes to members of the Palestinian Christians online group:

Palestinians are the endogenous people of the Southern Land of Canaan (Western Part of the Fertile Crescent), the area between the Mediterranean Sea and the River Jordan. Key milestones in human civilization occurred in this Land of Canaan: animal and plant domestication, development of the alphabet, and development of laws and religions.

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Wallwritings: Was the Brexit Vote “Good for the Jews”?

Posted on Jun 29, 2016

It is no surprise that on both sides of the Atlantic, tribal media from all persuasions responded to the surprising Brexit vote with the Jewish mother’s question, “is it good for us?”

Queen Elizabeth and Ambassador Regev (Photo by Dominic Lipinsk for Reuters)

by James M. Wall

A Jewish mother hears her family cheering. She cries out, “what happened?” One of the men gathered around the radio, shouts back, “Mel Ott just hit a home run!”

She responds, “Is it good for the Jews”?

That is the version of the story I first heard in my sports writing days. Ott was not Jewish, but he played for, and managed, the New York Giants, which had a large Jewish fan base.

Stanley Fish explained the importance of the question of what is good for Jews, when he wrote in the New York Times, March 4, 2007:

    When I was growing up in the ’40s and ’50s, a single question was asked in my neighborhood of every piece of news, large or small, local or national: “Is it good for the Jews?” We have now learned to identify this question in all of its versions – Is it good for the Catholics? Is it good for the Latinos?
    Is it good for the gays? and on and on – as the paradigmatic question of identity politics, the politics that is derived not from some general, even universal, assertion of what is good, but from a particularized concern with insular interests. Is it good for us, for those of our kind, for our tribe?

It is no surprise that on both sides of the Atlantic, tribal media from all persuasions responded to the surprising Brexit vote with the Jewish mother’s question, “is it good for us?”

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Europe: Professor Mazin Qumsiyeh responds to Brexit

Posted on Jun 29, 2016

In his message to those on his Palestinian Christians mailing list, Professor Mazin Qumsiyeh responds to Brexit.

mazin qumsiyeh w175

Professor Mazin Qumsiyeh

I wrote several articles over the past 20 years suggesting for the sake of Europe’s future to develop a more independent foreign policy and end US led NATO’s adventurism whether in Libya or the Ukraine. But looking at the British poll to exit Europe, we cannot just say “we told you so”. We cannot feel happy seeing Europe collapse even though we here in Palestine suffered and continue to suffer from European colonization (yes, Zionism that created Israel is European colonization).

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I’m Jewish, and I want people to boycott Israel

Posted on Jun 28, 2016

by Rebecca Vilkomerson, executive director of Jewish Voice for Peace

In 2009, I was living in Tel Aviv during Operation Cast Lead. During that offensive, Israel killed about 1,400 Palestinians in Gaza. When small numbers of us went out into the streets to protest the war, we were often pelted with eggs or attacked by passersby. When I dropped my children off at their preschool, parents chatted as if nothing unusual was going on. When they asked me what was wrong, I would tell them I was deeply upset about what was happening just 40 miles away. Their response: awkward silence, or an angry defense of Israel’s actions.

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U.S. Jesuit Magazine: Boycotts Get Out of Hand

Posted on Jun 28, 2016


by the Editors of America, the National Catholic Review, July 4, 2016

On June 5, Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York announced an executive order banning state agencies from doing business with firms associated with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, which boycotts Israel’s companies and products because of its policies toward Palestinians. “If you boycott Israel,” said Mr. Cuomo, “New York will boycott you.” With so many campaigns to financially punish nations, companies and even individuals with controversial views, counter-boycotts seem inevitable. Will there now be a triple boycott by the B.D.S. movement against New York over Mr. Cuomo’s boycott against boycotters?

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Pope Bids Farewell to Armenia After Visit Marked by Symbols of Unity

Posted on Jun 27, 2016

Leaders of two Churches say they are convinced of ‘crucial importance’ of furthering their communion

SS. Papa Francesco – Viaggio Apostolico Armenia Preghiera per la Pace 25-06-2016 @Servizio Fotografico – L’Osservatore Romano

by Kathleen Naab, Papal Trips, June 26, 2016

Christian unity is one of Pope Francis’ great passions, and he often reminds the faithful that it is not an optional cause, but a clear mandate of Our Lord. He also likes to recall that those who persecute Christians often don’t care what denomination their victims belong to, and this is the case in so many regions of persecution today.

His just-concluded visit to Armenia gave the Holy Father a chance to emphasize these points at the side of Catholicos Karekin II, leader of the Armenian Apostolic Church.

The Armenian Apostolic Church doesn’t recognize the fifth-century Council of Chalcedon and has been separated from the Catholic Church since then. However, the last few decades have seen an increase in collaboration and friendship, under both Francis’ and Karekin’s predecessors.

Today Francis and Karekin promulgated a “common declaration,” and from the Monastery of Khor Virap, simultaneously sent a pair of doves off in the shadow of Mount Ararat. They also together lit a candle in the monastery.

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Presbyterians approve report re-evaluating two-state solution in Israel/Palestine

Posted on Jun 25, 2016

Frances Lin (left) and Amy Fowler deliver the report of the Middle East Issues Committee. —Michael Whitman

Portland, June 25, 2016 – After a debate that stretched over the dinner hour, the 222nd General Assembly (2016) approved a lengthy report containing a re-evaluation of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s historic support of a two-state solution in Israel/Palestine.

The document, “Israel-Palestine: For Human Values in the Absence of a Just Peace,” says the PC(USA) “should advance those efforts that best accord with its values . . . including, but not limited to, that of two sovereign states—Israel and Palestine.”

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Message of Father Pizzaballa, Apostolic Administrator of Latin Patriarchate, to the Diocese

Posted on Jun 24, 2016

Message of Father Pizzaballa, Apostolic Administrator of Latin Patriarchate, to the Diocese

Message to the Diocese

June 24, 2016

Beloved Brothers and Sisters,

The Lord give you peace!

I have been asked to “return to Jerusalem” (cf. Lk 24), like the Apostles after “the events in Jerusalem” and the encounter with the Risen One. Through the Pope, the Lord has asked me to return to the Holy City after my experience as Custos of the Holy Land.

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