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    Aug 20, 2014

    Faith, prayer sources of strength for slain U.S. journalist, his family

    By Catholic News Service

    (CNS photo/Nicole Tung, courtesy of Global Post via EPA)

    ROCHESTER, N.H. (CNS) -- In April 2013, the parents of slain U.S. journalist James Foley (pictured at left and below right) attended a prayer vigil at Marquette University in Milwaukee to pray for their son, who at that time had disappeared in Syria.

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    Aug 20, 2014

    Elderly Iraqi Christians defy terrorists, flee to camp

    By Simon Caldwell
    Catholic News Service
    (CNS photo/Morris Bernard, UNHCR, handout via EPA)

    MANCHESTER, England (CNS) -- A group of 11 sick, disabled and elderly Iraqi Christians --including an 80-year-old woman with breast cancer -- defied terrorists who ordered them to convert to Islam or be beheaded, saying they preferred death to giving up their faith.

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    Aug 20, 2014

    Pope thanks people for prayers for his family after deadly crash


    (CNS photos/Alessandro Bianchi, Reuters) 

    By Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service
    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis, in mourning for the deaths of his nephew's wife and two small children, thanked people at his

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    Aug 19, 2014

    St. Louis archbishop urges prayers for peace to calm chaos in streets


    (CNS photos/Lisa Johnston, St. Louis Review

    By Catholic News Service
    ST. LOUIS (CNS) -- Residents of Ferguson "are struggling to find peace in the chaos" that has followed the shooting death of an unarmed teen


Nov 21, 2012

Pope condemns escalating Gaza conflict, calls for truce, talks


 

WORLD


(CNS photo/Ahmed Jadallah, Reuters)

By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI condemned escalating hostilities between Israel and the Palestinians, saying hatred and violence are never an appropriate solution to problems.

He also called for greater efforts to promote a truce and peace negotiations.

"I am following with great concern the escalation of violence between Israelis and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip," the pope said at the end of his general audience Nov. 21.

                                               (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

"Hatred and violence are not the solution to problems," he said to applause from those gathered in the Paul VI hall.

"I encourage the initiatives and efforts of those who are seeking to establish a cease-fire and to promote negotiations," he said.

He also called on leaders on both sides of the conflict to make "courageous decisions in favor of peace and put an end to a conflict that has negative repercussions throughout the entire Middle East region, which is already troubled by too many conflicts and is in need of peace and reconciliation."

The pope expressed his closeness to victims and all those suffering because of the violence.

His appeal came as both sides in the conflict launched fresh attacks.

Just hours before the pope spoke, a bomb exploded on a bus in Tel Aviv, wounding at least 10 people.

That attack followed a weeklong Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip aimed at stopping rocket strikes by Palestinian militants.

More than 140 Palestinians and at least five Israelis have been killed since Israel launched its offensive.

In the United States, the chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on International Justice and Peace urged the U.S. to provide leadership to end the violence and retaliation unfolding in the region.

"An immediate cease-fire must be negotiated as a precondition so that leaders on both sides can give Israelis and Palestinians hope for a different future free of fear and full of promise," Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, said in a Nov. 20 letter to National Security Adviser Thomas Donilon. The USCCB released the text of the letter Nov. 21.

(CNS photo/Amir Cohen, Reuters)

Bishop Pates wrote that Israel has a right to defend its citizens following "morally unjustifiable" rocket attacks from Gaza that killed Israeli civilians, but said its use of force must be proportionate and discriminate. He made note of the reported Palestinian death toll and the many who have been wounded.

The bishop also said the director of Caritas Jerusalem has been appealing for supplies to help the hospitals in Gaza that are "overwhelmed with casualties."

He said the continuing violence has "serious implications for the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict and for regional stability."

The bishop urged the U.S. government to work to end the latest violence "before it spirals further out of control."

"Violence will not bring peace to the region," he said. "It will only reinforce historic hurts and deepen divisions, making peace even more remote."