TOP STORIES

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    Apr 22, 2014

    Homeless San Francisco man among thousands joining church through RCIA


    (CNS photo/Tom Lucero, The Compass)

    By Christina Gray, Catholic News Service
    SAN FRANCISCO (CNS) -- A homeless San Francisco man was among the thousands of Americans who joined the Catholic Church over the

  • 2 of 4


    Apr 22, 2014

    Holy Fathers: Is being pope a shortcut to sainthood?


    (CNS photo/Max Rossi, Reuters)

    By Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service
    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- "They call me Holy Father and that is what I must be," the future St. John XXIII wrote in his diary.

  • 3 of 4


    Apr 22, 2014

    Elms grad named Massachusetts ‘Principal of the Year’

    Staff report

    SPRINGFIELD – Marie Pratt (left in photo at left), a 1980 graduate of Our Lady of the Elms College in Chicopee, was honored by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts with the Thomas C. Passios Outstanding Principal/National Distinguished Principal Awards at a special banquet on April 7.

  • 4 of 4


    Apr 22, 2014

    Parish installs Marian shrine to bring comfort to those with addictions

    By Lou Baldwin
    Catholic News Service
    (CNS photos/Sarah Webb, CatholicPhilly.com)

    DARBY, Pa. (CNS) -- Just about every Catholic Church has at least one and often several images of Mary, and that is certainly the case at Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Darby.


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."