- Exodus of biblical proportions
Hounded out of their homes by Islamist violence, Iraqi Christians face what many fear may be their final festive season in the land of their fathers as many prepare for exile
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Texts, speeches, homilies
More restraint is being urged by the Vatican on the faithful when offering the sign of peace during Mass. The Congregation for Divine Worship (CDW) has instructed bishops to draw up new guidelines so that the gesture can be performed with more sobriety and less “excess”. It advised bishops to find alternatives to “familiar” or “profane” greetings. In a circular letter, the CDW said it would offer practical guidelines better explaining the exchange of peace “and to moderate excessive expressions that give rise to disarray in the liturgical assembly before Communion”.
On Thursday in the House of Lords the former Chief Rabbi described the persecution of Christians in the Middle East and elsewhere around the world as "one of the crimes against humanity of our time", adding that he was "appalled at the lack of protest it has evoked".
Pope Francis and the Governor of the Bank of England both stressed this week that the human person must be at the centre of the global economy. Francis was addressing a closed-door conference organised by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace in Rome. His remarks were later echoed in a statement signed by almost 70 financial experts including Mark Carney.
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin said the sexual abuse crisis in the Church was not a chapter of past history as abuse “can and does still take place”. He was addressing the “Anglophone Conference” in Rome, which brings together child safeguarding experts and representatives from the English-speaking Church.
Pope Francis met six victims of clerical sex abuse today to beg forgiveness for the “sacrilegious” crimes committed by the “sons and daughters of the Church, who betrayed their mission to abuse the innocent.”
The reality of the lives of Catholics across the world is revealed in the working document for the forthcoming Extraordinary Synod on Marriage and the Family.
Pope Francis and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, met for a second time in Rome in June.
Pope Francis on Sunday called on the Israeli and Palestinian leaders to “break the spiral of hatred and violence”, during a historic meeting of the two Middle Eastern presidents at the Vatican.
In his homily to celebrate the ordination of a priest in his diocese the Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, reflected on Pope Francis' call for priests to be among their flock, and warned that this could be difficult at times. He called on the Church to go out into the world and not close ranks.
During his trip to the Holy Land Pope Francis celebrated Mass at the Cenacle on Mount Zion, the reputed site of the Upper Room and Last Supper. During his homily, which took place after his visit to the Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem, he said that the room spoke to him of friendship, but also of human faults like pettiness which reawaken "whenever we look at our brother and sister with contempt".