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Something does not love a wall in Calais

LONDON (SE): When on 26 June 1963 the then-president of the United States of America, John Kennedy, quoted Robert Frost as saying, “Something there is that does not love a wall,” while standing before the concrete divide of East and West Berlin, he touched a deep chord in people’s hearts.

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Refugees and the Olympic spirit

RIO DE JANEIRO (SE): “I extend my greetings and wish you success at the Olympic Games in Rio—that your courage and strength find expression through the Olympic Games and serve as a cry for peace and solidarity,” Pope Francis wrote in a letter addressed to each one of the 14 members of the first ever team to represent, not a country, but a people with no soil of their own on which to place their feet.

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Meal of Love a welcome for torture claimants

HONG KONG (UCAN): Every two months people from the parish of Ss. Peter and Paul at Yuen Long gather together with a group of torture claimants for a shared at the high school campus that adjoins the church compound.

Hosted by the parish and the St. Vincent de Paul Society, what has been dubbed the Meal of Love is intended to break down the barriers that exist between Hong Kong locals and those seeking refuge in the city, who mostly come from southeast Asia and Africa.

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Refugees are our neighbours

HONG KONG (SE): A campaign to support refugees and torture claimants in Hong Kong organised by the ad hoc committee of the Jubilee of Mercy and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul is underway.

An information afternoon was held at the Diocese Centre on May 21 in which the president of the ad hoc committee of the Jubilee of Mercy, Bishop Joseph Ha Chi-shing, stated that taking care of our neighbours is what Christians should do.

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Pope reflects on his own message

PORT MYTILENE (CWN): In a question-and-answer session with reporters who accompanied the pope on his April 16 visit to the Greek island of Lesvos, Pope Francis acknowledged that his apostolic exhortation, The Joy of Love (Amoris Laetitia) has changed the Church’s approach to the reception of communion by Catholics who are divorced and remarried.

But he stressed that the question is by no means the most important issue covered in his letter to the world.

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Vatican-sponsored refugees arrive in Rome

ROME (Agencies): The 12 refugees who were at risk of deportation from the Greek island of Lesvos that returned to Italy with Pope Francis got straight down to work, beginning classes in Italian just a few days after their arrival.

The three Syrian families spent their first day with their host community, the lay peace group of Sant’Egidio. On the following evening, a celebratory dinner was held in the Trastevere neighbourhood for the six adults, four children and two adolescents.

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A Good Samaritan up to his neck in water

MELBOURNE  (Agencies): Simon Lewis, the 32-year-old captain of the St. Kilda Surf Lifesaving Club at a popular beach in inner Melbourne, Australia, returned home on January 25 after spending 10 days as a Good Samaritan up to his neck in water helping refugees in the treacherous crossing between Turkey and the Greek islands, a well-worn route for people fleeing Syria.

SBS reported that he was inspired after being confronted with images of children who had drowned trying to reach Europe.

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Churches buck the screws on refugees

CANBERRA (SE): Churches in Australia are offering to test the common law principle of sanctuary after the High Court in Canberra ruled that it was lawful for the government to return some 270 asylum seekers, including almost 40 children, to offshore detention camps in Nauru and on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea.

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Iraqi Christians must not be forgotten

AMMAN (CNS): With the crises in Syria and Iraq deepening, an international delegation of bishops embarked on a solidarity visit to the forgotten Christians of the Middle East to urge an intensification in efforts to establish peace in the midst of the conflicts that are tearing the troubled region apart. 

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Simple yet profound message from the pope

Give love, justice and compassion to the poor and the needy, and for the most part you will get the same in return. 

Treat others as you yourself want to be treated. This was the bottom line of the message of Pope Francis to the world on his missionary journey to Cuba and the United States of America (US).