TOP STORIES

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    Aug 21, 2014

    Cardinal Szoka, former Detroit archbishop and Vatican official, dies


    (CNS photo/Giancarlo Giuliani, Catholic Press Photo)

    By Catholic News Service
    DETROIT (CNS) -- Cardinal Edmund C. Szoka, who rose from poor beginnings to reach the highest levels of service to the church, died Aug. 20

  • 2 of 4


    Aug 21, 2014

    Parish teens prepare and serve a meal for needy at Kate’s Kitchen


    (Photos courtesy of St. Patrick Parish, South Hadley)

    By Sharon Roulier
    SPRINGFIELD – A group of teens from St. Patrick Parish in South Hadley recently shopped for, prepared and served a meal at

  • 3 of 4


    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.


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.