TOP STORIES

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    Nov 27, 2014

    Knights prepare to feed thousands at annual dinner for the needy

     

    Story and photos by Carolee McGrath
    CHICOPEE – They are pulling out their best china, they’re decking the hall, and they’ve been cooking for days

  • 2 of 4


    Nov 25, 2014

    Pope says he would 'never close the door' on talks with Islamic State

     
    (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

    By Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service
    ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT FROM STRASBOURG, France (CNS) -- Pope Francis said he would "never close the door" on dialogue with the Islamic State

  • 3 of 4


    Nov 24, 2014

    Funeral arrangements set for Bishop Joseph Maguire

    Staff report

    SPRINGFIELD-  Officials of the Diocese of Springfield have announced funeral arrangements for retired Bishop Joseph F. Maguire.  

  • 4 of 4


    Nov 24, 2014

    Springfield Bishop Joseph F. Maguire, beloved bishop emeritus, dies at 95

     

    Staff report
    (Iobserve file photos)

    SPRINGFIELD -- Bishop Joseph Francis Maguire, retired fifth bishop of Springfield, passed away peacefully this evening, Nov 23, at 6 p.m. in his residence in Springfield, surrounded by family and caregivers.


Aug 26, 2013

Pope denounces 'multiplication of massacres,' atrocities in Syria


 

WORLD


(CNS photo/Azad Lashkari, Reuters) 

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis called again for an end to the fighting in Syria, denouncing the "multiplication of massacres and atrocious acts," including the suspected chemical weapons attack that left hundreds dead.

As U.N. weapons inspectors received permission from the Syrian government Aug. 25 to visit the site of the alleged attack, Pope Francis said the "terrible images" of the dead, including children, "push me once again to raise a voice so that the roar of the weapons would stop."

"It is not clashes, but an ability to meet and to dialogue that offers prospects for a hope of resolving the problems," the pope said after reciting the Angelus with visitors in St. Peter's Square.

Once again the pope asked the crowd to join him in praying that Mary, queen of peace, would intercede to stop the fighting that has raged in Syria since March 2011 as rebels try to oust Syrian President Bashar Assad.

                (CNS photo/Giampiero Sposito, Reuters)

"From the depths of my heart, I want to express my closeness in prayer and solidarity with all the victims of this conflict (and) all those who are suffering, especially the children, and ask them to keep their hopes for peace alive," the pope said.

He asked the international community to pay more attention to the conflict in Syria and help the nation's people "find a solution to this war that is sowing destruction and death."

Archbishop Mario Zenari, the Vatican nuncio to Syria, told Vatican Radio Aug. 25 that looking at the images of the alleged chemical attack, "I hear the cry of these children, these innocent victims."

At the same time, he said he prayed that the leaders of both sides in the conflict as well as leaders in the international community "would be gifted with much wisdom and much prudence" as they decide how to move forward.

"We must do so in a way that these crimes, these massacres never happen again," the archbishop said. "We must find the most appropriate and opportune means to react, ways that will not complicate the situation."

Chaldean Catholic Bishop Antoine Audo of Aleppo told Vatican Radio Aug. 26 that Pope Francis was calling for a real commitment by the international community to encourage dialogue and negotiations in Syria.

(CNS photo/Reuters)

"If there were a military intervention, I think this would lead to a world war," the bishop said. "There is this risk.

"Let's hope that the pope's appeal will promote a real dialogue between the parties in conflict," he said. The objective must not be more fighting, but acting so that "the people will be free to move around, travel, communicate (and) work."

"This is what we hope for: An international effort that will help dialogue and not make war," he said.