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Young people theme for next synod

VATICAN (SE): A preparatory document for the next Synod of World Bishops scheduled to be held in 2018 on Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment was released by the Holy See on January 13 at a media conference at the Vatican.

The document comes in three parts, one addressing young people in the world today, one on discernment of faith and vocation, and the third on pastoral involvement and pastoral care of the young.

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Pope’s best wishes to Trump

VATICAN (SE): In a congratulatory message to the new president of the United States of America (US), Donald Trump, Pope Francis said, “Upon your inauguration as the 45th president of the US, I offer you my cordial good wishes and the assurance of my prayers that Almighty God will grant you wisdom and strength in the exercise of your high office.”

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Ecumenism is needed

LAHORE (AsiaNews): “Unity must be a visible thing in Pakistan. Instead of meeting only when a church is attacked or in crisis situations, we should meet in times of peace,” Father Inayat Bernard, from St. Mary’s Seminary, said in the run up to the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

He said, “Church leaders still have many reservations about other denominations and not everyone feels comfortable in going to another Church.”

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The 12 sins of division in Christian Churches

HONG KONG (SE): The 12 sins at the base of the divisions that fracture the visible body of Christ by splitting the Christian Church into hundreds of denominations in the world were documented on large blocks and assembled as a wall before the altar at a small gathering of around 60 people expressing the desire to see Christians worldwide work to overcome the abuse of power, the isolationist complex, pride, intolerance, hate and contempt, as well as discrimination that has pushed them apart.

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Africa poses some curly questions on communion

DURBAN (SE): Divorce and communion may be a hot topic in Europe and the United States of America, but the archbishop of Durban in South Africa, Wilfred Cardinal Napier, is saying that in his land the big issue to be faced is not communion for the divorced and remarried, but combining it with polygamy.

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European Court rules against Romanian parish

BRUSSELS (SE): The European Court of Human Rights overturned a case filed by a Romanian Greek Catholic parish seeking the return of a property it claimed had been confiscated in 1948 by the Romanian Orthodox Church during the suppression of the Catholic faith by the Communist government.

The Romanian Greek Catholic Church is an Eastern rite Catholic Church in full communion with the Holy See. It said in its claim that it was forced to turn over its properties to the Romanian Orthodox Church.

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Knights of Malta reject papal inquiry

HONG KONG (SE): The Sovereign Order of Malta, commonly known as the Knights of Malta, is rejecting a plan of Pope Francis to investigate the sudden and acrimonious dismissal of its grand chancellor, Albrecht von Boesalager, as unacceptable.

In a letter sent to the pope on December 23, the order pointed out that it is recognised as a sovereign body under international law with its own independent government.

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Ordinations help heal memories of massacre

BHUBANESWAR (SE): Kandhmal district in the Indian state of Orissa was the scene of a bloody anti-Christian massacre in December 2007, which left over 100 people dead and more than 50,000 displaced from their homes.

A wave of violence instigated by Hindu nationalists saw violence building until it overflowed into a massacre at the end of the year and continued for some time into the following year.

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Taiwan has role in China Church

TAIPEI (UCAN): The Church in Taiwan can play a bridging role between the Vatican and Beijing, as well as between the government-sanctioned official communities and the unofficial communities in China.

Speaking at a seminar hosted by the Chinese Christian Spirit Community on 2 December 2016, Father Jeroom Heyndrickx, a frequent visitor to China and Taiwan, said he is optimistic about China-Vatican relations.

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Tragic Christmas for Russia

ROME (SE): Sixty members of the world famous Russian Alexandrov Ensemble, which performed at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, the United States of America (US), on 17 December 2007, died when an aeroplane went down en route from the southern Russian city of Sochi to Syria killing all 92 on board.

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