Posts made in January, 2017

Cardinal Cupich: Trump’s refugee ban “a dark moment in U.S. history”

Posted on Jan 31, 2017

by Michael O’Loughlin | America Jesuit Review | January 29. 2017

Catholic leaders in the United States are reacting with anger to President Donald J. Trump’s newly signed executive order that bars Syrian refugees from entering the country and halts resettlement programs for up to four months and are urging him to reconsider the policy.

“This weekend proved to be a dark moment in U.S. history,” Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago said in a statement on Jan. 29. “The executive order to turn away refugees and to close our nation to those, particularly Muslims, fleeing violence, oppression and persecution is contrary to both Catholic and American values.”

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550 attend Mass outside White House in solidarity with refugees

Posted on Jan 31, 2017

by Teresa Donnellan | America Jesuit Review | January 30, 2017

“All are welcome in this place,” a crowd of people sang in Lafayette Square outside of the White House this afternoon. More that 550 people gathered to attend a Mass organized by young Catholics and celebrated by Father Quinn Conners in Washington, D.C., to express their solidarity with refugees and immigrants.

The event was a result of grass-roots organization and social media promotion. After President Donald J. Trump signed an executive order banning immigrants from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, Emily Conron and her friend Christopher Hale decided to coordinate a Mass to show a Catholic response to this form of religious discrimination.

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A ‘Marshall Plan’ for Iraq: Rebuilding Christian Villages on Nineveh Plains

Posted on Jan 31, 2017

International Community called on to launch “a new Marshall Plan,” modeled on the historic US initiative of investment and development aid that helped Western Europe regain economic stability after World War II


ZENIT Staff | January 30, 2017

“Hope is coming back to the Nineveh plains!” That is the verdict of the Middle East expert of Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), the international Catholic charity.

Just back from a fact-finding mission to the region in northern Iraq recently liberated from the grip of ISIS, Father Andrzej Halemba said that “despite the many urgent questions that need clarification, people are willing to return to their villages.” The biggest challenges include the illegal property appropriations of abandoned homes, an investigation into the alleged use of chemical weapons in the destruction of Christian houses, and—for those Christian families who contemplate going home—the ongoing fears of assaults Islamic fundamentalists opposed to the return of Christians to their ancient homeland.

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President and Vice President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Stand in Defense of All Faiths in Response to Executive Order on Refugees

Posted on Jan 31, 2017


January 30, 2017
“When did we see you a stranger and welcome you?”
Matthew 25:38

WASHINGTON— Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), and Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, vice president of the USCCB, have issued the following joint statement regarding the recent executive order on the new refugee policy announced by President Trump this past Friday. President Trump’s executive order suspends the entry of refugees into the United States for 120 days. The order also indefinitely stops the admission of Syrian refugees and for 90 days, bars individuals from seven predominantly Muslim countries.

Full joint statement as follows:

Over the past several days, many brother bishops have spoken out in defense of God’s people. We are grateful for their witness. Now, we call upon all the Catholic faithful to join us as we unite our voices with all who speak in defense of human dignity.

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Christian Leaders Denounce Trump’s Plan to Favor Christian Refugees

Posted on Jan 31, 2017

An executive order signed by President Trump gives admission preference to refugees who are part of a persecuted religious minority. Credit Al Drago/The New York Times

By Laurie Goldstein | New York Times | Jan. 29, 2017

Over the past decade, Christians in the United States have grown increasingly alarmed about the persecution of other Christians overseas, especially in the Middle East. With each priest kidnapped in Syria, each Christian family attacked in Iraq or each Coptic church bombed in Egypt, the clamor for action rose.

During the campaign, Donald J. Trump picked up on these fears, speaking frequently of Christians who were refused entry to the United States and beheaded by terrorists of the Islamic State: “If you’re a Christian, you have no chance,” he said in Ohio in November.

Now, President Trump has followed through on his campaign promise to rescue Christians who are suffering.

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To love the United States does not mean to love it blindly

Posted on Jan 31, 2017

A young girl dances with an American flag at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport in Dallas Jan. 29 as women pray during a protest against a travel ban imposed by U.S. President Donald Trump’s executive action. (CNS photo/Laura Beckman, Reuters)

by Cecilia González-Andrieu* | America the Jesuit Review | January 31, 2017

I had never tasted anything so delicious, though in hindsight, the meal was quite ordinary. There was a small piece of cake, a carton of milk and a sandwich. The cardboard box in which the meal came was white and had a large, red cross on the lid. The memory is such a key to my childhood that for years I kept the box neatly preserved in my closet. It would be some time before I could understand the concept of a “box lunch” and what exactly the Red Cross was. For a refugee child who had waited for asylum for half of my short life, this unexpected meal marked the end of a frightening journey and the beginning of a new life.

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Fr. James Martin: Why I advocate for refugees

Posted on Jan 31, 2017

James Martin, S.J., with Cesaire Mukamwiza Kanjoui, a Rwandese refugee, on the porch at the Mikono Centre in Nairobi. Cesaire, an elegant, educated and dignified woman, was a nurse in Rwanda. Fleeing from violence there, she ended up in Nairobi, where she made beaded necklaces and bracelets, because she could not find a job as a nurse (photo provided by the author)


by James Martin, S.J., America the Jesuit Review | January 31, 2017

This essay originally appeared on Father James Martin’s public Facebook page.

Some people have asked me, in person and on social media, why I’ve been posting so much about migrants and refugees these days, beyond the fact that it is so much in the news. Here are several reasons:

First, because some of the actions of the new administration are so clearly antithetical to Christian values that I cannot stay silent. I’m not a political person, but I am a Christian, and I feel compelled to speak out on this issue. On all life issues, to be sure, but especially on this one, for a reason I’ll soon explain.

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An opportunity lost: What Catholics actually wanted to hear at Mass last weekend

Posted on Jan 31, 2017

Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster, England, greets children after celebrating Mass. (CNS photo/Mohammed Saber, EPA)

by Eloise Blondiau, America, the Jesuit Review | January 31, 2017

Last week was a momentous week in U.S. politics. President Trump signed several executive orders pertaining to immigration and refugees, and tens of thousands of people around the country gathered to protest these measures. Plus, on Friday, the annual March for Life took place in Washington, D.C., with a sitting vice president addressing the crowd for the first time.

We asked America readers if these current events were discussed during Mass on Sunday Jan. 29.

The overwhelming response to the survey was that these political issues were not discussed at all by homilists and congregants were left wanting. Eighty percent of poll respondents agreed that not enough was done in their parishes to address the ongoing political upheaval. Meanwhile only 1 percent wrote that current events were given too much consideration during Mass.

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2017 North America Nakba Tour

Posted on Jan 31, 2017

The Free Palestine Movement, International Solidarity Movement-Northern California and al-Awda Palestine Right to Return Coalition announce the 

2017 North America Nakba Tour
69 Years without a Country

Stateless Palestinians from Lebanon

Khawla Hammad has been a stateless refugee in Lebanon for 69 years. At the age of sixteen, she was expelled from her village of Kabri, in Palestine. Now she is 84 years old, and and still a refugee in Lebanon, with no citizenship in any country at all. Israel expelled most of the population in 1948, and has prevented them from returning to their homes. Kabri and hundreds of other towns and villages were levelled to the ground, a crime that Palestinians call al-Nakba (the Catastrophe).

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Naomi Foyle: Palestine and (human) nature

Posted on Jan 31, 2017

Introduction by Professor Mazin Qumisyeh: Critical Muslim is a journal published in London (website with really good thoughtful articles with a modern intellectual angle. There last issue was on Nature (Volume 19, July-September, 2016). Naomi Foyle has an article titled “Palestine and (human) nature” in which she talks about visiting the museum and other permaculture facilities in Palestine. Here is a relevant section (but please read the rest of the article and other very good articles in the same issue).

Naomi Foyle (Author Portrait by Yvo Luna)

Feb 21st

In Bethlehem, my birthday, started with a flourish of Arab hospitality. Having insisted over email that I phone him should I encounter any problem at all in Palestine, Mazin Qumsiyeh of the Palestine Museum of Natural History came with his wife Jessie and their American volunteer Deb to my Franciscan pilgrim house, and treated me to dinner in the colourful foyer restaurant. It was almost far too kind.

Mazin, a Christian Arab from Bethlehem, is a world-renowned scientist and indefatigable human rights activist whose blog promotes an uncompromising but radically refreshing ‘pluralist solution to the simmering conflict in the Land of Canaan’. Jessie, a former accountant whom he met in America, is the co-founder of the museum and its parent organisation The Palestine Institute of Biodiversity. Deb’s a permaculturist, artist and political activist. Scanning the menu, and looking around at well-heeled Italian and Japanese tourists, I had the sinking feeling that I was dragging the leadership of the Palestinian Green revolution into horrendous complicity with industrial agriculture and international apathy to the occupation.

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