<Italian quake victims have confidence in solidarity>
Italy, May 24 (blog. Caritas org.)
Caritas Italy continues to respond to families left homeless by the magnitude-6.0 earthquake that shook northern Italy on May 20. Don Francis Soddu, director of Caritas Italiana, stresses that Caritas’ existing network of relationships helped it get involved immediately through the local dioceses. In the area of Emilia-Romagna, Caritas is setting up a center to match people’s needs with what has been given. Volunteers are talking to the affected people and finding out what is most urgently needed. It is reported that there is still much fear about aftershocks. Caritas is ready to work with the Defence force to aid victims.

<Pakistan: Pastor who cites Qur’an in sermon is accused of blasphemy>
Pakistan, Lahore May 29: (
A Protestant clergyman cited passages from the Qur’an as he delivered his sermon during a recent service in a Punjab village. This angered the local Muslim leader who wants the pastor to stand trial for blasphemy. Local Christians now fear that they too might experience the wrath of the Muslim community.

<Survey: Almost half of Russians believe that the church is under attack>
Russia, May 29 (
Almost half of Russians are convinced that the Orthodox Church in need of protection, after the Pussy Riot event, incidents of desecration of icons and media scandals that have targeted Patriarch Kirill. This was revealed by a survey carried out by the Vtsiom center, in late April in 46 regions and republics of the Russian Federation. According to the survey, 46% of respondents believed that the Russian Orthodox Church is under attack.

<Pope condemns massacre in Syria, urges prayers, dialogue for peace>
Pope Benedict XVI joined the international community in condemning a massacre in Syria, and he called for Christian and Muslim leaders in the country to guide their faithful in prayer and collaboration to restore peace and calm. The massacre in Houla May 25-26 left about 108 people dead, including 49 children and 34 women. In a statement May 28, Fr. Federico Lombardi told that the Holy See exhorts the parties involved and the entire international community to spare no efforts to resolve this crisis through dialogue and reconciliation. On the other hand, a Syrian Catholic priest told CNS May 30, “As a church, we should not be proud of our position so far.”

<Dalai Lama: The teaching of Christ is a treasure for humanity>
Vienna, May 30, (
Dalai Lama who travelled to Europe for a series of political and religious meetings asks the Catholic archbishop of Vienna, Card. Christoph Schonborn, to visit the Cathedral of Saint Stephen: “Religions teach peace, we must practice it in all aspects of life.” “Thousands of millions of people have found huge benefit in the teachings of Jesus Christ, which allowed them to live their lives to the full. This is a treasure for mankind,” the Buddhist leader said. Cardinal Schonborn thanked for this Nobel Laureate’s visit.

<Pro-life resistance in Argentina prevents enactment of abortion ruling>
Buenos Aires, Argentina, May 30 (EWTN News)
According to the Argentinean daily Clarin, in the wake of the high court’s March 13 decision making abortion in cases of rape non-punishable, only a handful of provinces in the country have implemented the ruling. Clarin reported that the archbishops in the provinces of Cuyo issued a statement declaring that a “woman who has been raped deserves understanding and assistance, but her wound is not healed by a greater injustice such as abortion.”

Arun De Souza S.J.(Jesuit Scholastic)
Murayama Hyoe S.J.(Jesuit Scholastic)

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