Vatican delegation visits Imam Ali holy shrine

AhlulBayt News Agency (ABNA): A delegation from the Vatican visited the holy shrine of Imam Ali (AS) in Najaf, Iraq, on Thursday.

The delegation, led by Mitja Leskovar and representing Pope Francis, has traveled to Najaf to meet with senior clerics and sources of emulation to discuss preparations for an upcoming visit to Iraq by the head of the Catholic Church. 

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Russian Catholics have thanked their Bishops’ Conference's Jesuit secretary-general for demanding greater justice and tolerance in their country, after a leading layman urged the Church to take a tougher stance against current repression.

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Le pape François a averti lundi du risque que "le Liban perde son identité et se trouve encore plus impliqué dans les tensions régionales" et plaidé pour un "engagement politique national et international renouvelé pour favoriser la stabilité" du pays, qui fait actuellement face à un faisceau de crises socio-économique, financière, politique et sanitaire. Le souverain pontife avait fait savoir fin décembre 2020 qu'il comptait se rendre au Liban "dès que possible".   read more - leggi tuto
 
The Pope's historic tour of the UAE two years ago will live long in the hearts and minds of all who witnessed the joyous celebration of religious unity.
 
The Latin Patriarch was received by Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem and Hagiotaphite Archbishops and Hieromonks.

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MINSK, 1 February (BelTA) – Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko has congratulated Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill on the enthronement anniversary, BelTA learned from the press service of the Belarusian leader.  -- “For centuries the Russian Orthodox Church has been a moral compass for millions of believers. Under your leadership it continues to perform its crucial functions – to promote Christian values relying on love for fellow beings, compassion and mercy,” the message of greetings reads.
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On January 26, 2021, Metropolitan Porfirije of Zagreb and Ljubljana, Bishop Antun Skvorcevic of Pozega, President of the Council of the Croatian Bishops’ Conference for Ecumenism and Dialogue, Bishop Jovan of Slavonia and Bishop Heruvim of Osek-Polje and Baranja met at the Spiritual Center of the Serbian Orthodox Church at Sveti Duh in Zagreb.

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The movement within the Catholic Church to reclaim Gospel nonviolence received a jolt of energy and momentum recently in the form of a Retreat on Gospel Nonviolence. The three-hour Dec. 18 event featured a cavalcade of leading practitioners and teachers of nonviolence from all around the world.

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Ukraine become a world center for trafficking children and women trading
 
Christians and Muslims in Poland came together this week for joint prayers, readings from the Bible and Koran, and discussions as part of the Catholic church’s annual Day of Islam. --  The 21st edition of the event was held online under the motto “Christians and Muslims: together protecting places of worship”. It comes shortly after the church also held its annual Day of Judaism.

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UAE launches Festival of Human Fraternity

Cabinet Member and Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence Sheikh Nahayan Ben Mubarak Al Nahyan, has announced the launch of the first edition of the Festival of Human Fraternity.  Organized by the Ministry of Tolerance and Coexistence, in collaboration with the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity, the festival will be held annually on February 4, marking the United Nations’ recently declared ‘International Day of Human Fraternity’.
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On International Holocaust Remembrance Day, World Council of Churches (WCC) interim general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca called upon people to pause to remember the 6 million Jewish victims of the Holocaust and the millions of other victims of Nazism during the Second World War.

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Moscow, January 27, Interfax - As of January 27, 360 clergymen, monks, and nuns of the Russian Orthodox Church are undergoing treatment for coronavirus in Russia, Patriarch Kirill's working group said on Wednesday.
 
(Patriarcato Ecumenico) Beloved friends and dear listeners, Distinguished speakers, guests, and participants:
It is a special privilege to welcome you to this opening webinar of our Halki Summit, which marks the fourth in a series on environmental responsibility and sustainability.
 
BEIRUT (Reuters) - Lebanon's top Christian cleric has urged President Michel Aoun to set up a reconciliation meeting with Prime Minister-designate Saad al-Hariri to form a cabinet and end the country's political deadlock.  --   The country's fractious politicians have been unable to agree on a new administration since the last one quit in the aftermath of the Aug. 4 Beirut port explosion, leaving Lebanon rudderless as it sinks deeper into economic crisis.
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Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem His Beatitude Pierbattista Pizzaballa has lauded His Majesty King Abdullah II's "strong and loud" voice, which is a guarantee of preserving the status quo in Jerusalem, especially with regard to the holy sites, in light of "conflicts in the historical  city."

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MINSK, 12 January (BelTA) - Metropolitan Filaret, Honorary Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus, has passed away, BelTA learned .--- Holder of the Hero of Belarus title, prominent Orthodox Church figure, Honorary Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus, Filaret (secular name Kirill Vakhromeev) was born in Moscow on 21 March 1935. He began his church service in 1954 and started out as a sub-deacon of Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia.
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For the occasion of Christmas, new year and Epiphany, the Heads of Churches in Jerusalem gathered via Zoom yesterday morning, 11 January, to greet and wish well for each other, as Patriarch Theophilos III shared his hopes for a global relief from the current pandemic.

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 On Monday, January 11, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem His Beatitude Patriarch Pierbattista Pizzaballa met with the priests of the Latin Patriarchate through video conferencing technology. This has been the first meeting of His Beatitude Patriarch Pizzaballa with a group of priests working in Jordan since he assumed patriarchal authority from His Holiness Pope Francis last October.

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More or less, the Russian Patriarch stated that the conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque is a punishment from God to the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew for granting the Tomos of Autocephaly to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.

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The Head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church releases a message to mark the New Year, noting that as we leave a year in which we were forced to reduce social contact, we must enter the new one prioritising building human relationships.
 
Lebanon’s leading Catholic churchman is again urging the country’s political leaders to "overcome the logic of partisan interests" and form a government of "truly independent specialists with a national conscience" to rescue the nation from “a total collapse”.
 

Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia Turns 88

The Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia, His Holiness and Beatitude Ilia II turns 88 on January 4. Ilia II was elected Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia on December 23, 1977. The 43rd anniversary of the enthronement of Ilia II, officially styled as Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia, Archbishop of Mtskheta-Tbilisi, Metropolitan of Bichvinta and Tskhum-Abkhazia, was marked on December 25, 2020. 
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The pandemic, the young people, the situation within the Orthodox Churches, the “thorn” of Ukraine, the relations with the Moscow Patriarchate and the 30th anniversary of his election as the Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch are the main topics of the landmark interview with historical extensions given to “Vima tis Kyriakis” by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. ... read more
 
Russian riot police have stormed a monastery to detain a rebel monk who has castigated the Kremlin and the Russian Orthodox church leadership and denied the existence of the coronavirus.  -  In the overnight showdown, police clashed with the priest’s supporters at the Sredneuralsk monastery in the Ural mountains. -  The monk, Father Sergiy, was quickly flown to Moscow. Authorities charged him with inciting suicidal actions through sermons in which he urged believers to “die for Russia”. He denied the accusations.

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In an interview with the newspaper “Politis,” Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus spoke about the crisis within the Orthodox Church regarding the issue of the Autocephaly of Orthodox Church of Ukraine. --  The Archbishop of Cyprus stated that his election as Archbishop in 2006 was the reason for the attitude of the Metropolitans of Kykkos and of Limassol towards the Ukrainian autocephaly issue, even showing, as he comments, “belated interest.”
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Pope Francis’ visit to Iraq is vital to encourage Christians to stay in the country as their numbers are dwindling rapidly, the head of Iraq’s Catholic Church said on Thursday.
 
By Devin Watkins
 
It is reminded that Patriarch Irinej of Serbia fell asleep in the Lord after losing battle with COVID-19 on Friday, November 20, 2020, at 7:07 a.m.