A bishop in the war-torn Syrian city of Aleppo has said that the historic meeting between Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill, the first one between the heads of the two churches following their split over a millennium ago, provides comfort and hope to suffering Christians.
"The meeting between Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill is perceived by Christians as the fruit of the cross they are experiencing. The suffering of all Christians in the Middle East bears the fruit of unity. This for us is a great consolation and helps us to move forward, even if we still have to suffer," said Bishop Georges Abou Khazen OFM, Apostolic Vicar of Aleppo for the Catholics of the Latin rite, according to Fides News Agency.
The meeting took place on Friday in Cuba, and was the first of its kind since the Russian Orthodox Church, the largest of the Eastern Christianity branches, split from the Roman Catholic Church over 1,000 years ago. more >>
Catholic Bishops have no legal obligation to report sex abuse allegations to law enforcement, a recent Vatican document states.
Monsignor Tony Anatrella, who belongs to the Church's Pontifical Council for the Family, stated in a Vatican document — as well as during a training session for newly-ordained bishops — that Church leaders have no legal obligation to report sex abuse allegations to local authorities.
The Catholic news agency Crux Now first reported on comments made by Anatrella during the annual training session held for bishops in Paris, France, last fall, where the mosignor focused on a variety of issues, including "sanctifying, teaching and governing," as well handling sex abuse claims. more >>
President Barack Obama claimed in a wide-ranging interview that he has met most hopes and expectations people had of his presidency, and also singled out Pope Francis' visit to the White House as a stand-out moment.
"I've done a lot of them and I've made progress on almost all of them," Obama told "CBS This Morning" about voters' expectations in an interview that was posted on Tuesday.
"I feel pretty good about being able to match up what I said I would accomplish with what has been accomplished. I mentioned in the State of the Union that one of the things I regret though is that I haven't been able to drain some of the rancor that exists here in Washington," he continued. more >>
Ahead of his trip to Mexico, Pope Francis prayed that the international community would aid Syrian refugees seeking asylum in the West.
The pontiff made his comments during his weekly Angelus Address from St. Peter's Square, calling on the "generous solidarity" of the world to help those suffering in the war-torn Middle East.
Francis told the audience gathered at the Vatican that he was concerned by "the dramatic fate of civilian populations involved in heavy fighting in Syria [who] are forced to leave everything behind to escape the horrors of war." more >>
The town of Nazareth in Israel, where Jesus Christ is said to have grown up, is preparing to host the Roman Catholic World Day of the Sick event Thursday, to honor the infirm and their caretakers.
Fides News Agency reported that the event will include a series of liturgical celebrations in different cities across Israel, in which sick people will be administered the sacrament of anointing of the sick.
There will also be a discussion concerning the care of the terminally ill and the ethical issues of the end of life, which will take place on Tuesday at the Notre Dame de Jerusalem Centre, and will be attended by international experts. more >>
In his first interview on China, Pope Francis urged the world not to fear the communist country's fast rise and sent Chinese New Year's greetings to the Chinese people and President Xi Jinping, but didn't raise the issue of religious restrictions.
"For me, China has always been a reference point of greatness. A great country. But more than a country, a great culture, with an inexhaustible wisdom," the pope told Hong Kong-based Asia Times in the interview.
The Vatican does not have formal relations with China, but has had three rounds of negotiations with Beijing since 2014, and as a result China recently recognized two bishops approved by the Vatican. more >>