- Battle lines drawn
This week produced the clearest evidence yet that the Synod Fathers are sharply divided between those who are supporting Pope Francis in his efforts to present a more pastoral vision of the Church and those determined first and foremost to emphasise its moral teaching
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- Middle East must keep its Christians, says Vatican calling for scrutiny of Islamists' funding
- Nichols says synod is opening pathways for divorced and remarried
- Francis to visit Istanbul's Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque as concerns over treatment of Christians resurface
- Synod final document is a setback for Francis' reforms – for now Elena Curti in Rome
- Curious muddle of Lectionary translations Philip Endean SJ
- Annulments can be far from merciful Bill Wright
Virtually the whole of the largest Christian community in Iraq has been forced into exile by fighting between Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) terrorists and Kurdish armed forcers, according to a local Dominican sister.
The town of Karakush-Baghdeda, 30 kilometres north of Mosul and home to 40,000 Christians, found itself in the crossfire between ISIS and the Kurdish army on 25 June. According to a message from Sr Maria Hanna OP, general prioress of the Dominican Sisters of St Catherine of Siena in Karakush, all but 100 or so townspeople fled and scattered to neighbouring towns, with some priests remaining. The sisters were among the last people to leave the town yesterday during a brief ceasefire, and fighting is reported to be continuing.