Nick Benson

OTHER NEWS

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Pope to give online Urbi et Orbi blessing

Pope Francis is to deliver a solemn blessing normally reserved for Easter and Christmas later on Friday. "We want to respond to the virus pandemic with the universality of prayer," a message posted on the Pope's official Twitter account said. The hour-long service of...

Pandemic casts spotlight on a nearly forgotten martyr: St Corona

She had become nearly forgotten. Little is known about the young woman who was killed for her Christian faith, presumably in the second century A.D. But now, a pandemic is shedding light on her: St Corona. The German Catholic news agency KNA reports the Church’s...

Pope praises respect for diversity in United Arab Emirates

“Al Salamu Alaikum,” Arabic for “peace be with you,” Pope Francis said at the beginning of a video message to the people of the United Arab Emirates, which he will visit from 3rd to 5th February.

“I am happy that in a few days I will be able to visit your country, a land that strives to be a model of coexistence, human brotherhood and encounter among different civilisations and cultures where many find a secure place to work and live freely in respect for diversity,” Pope Francis said.

Foreign workers and other expatriates account for about 80 per cent of the population in the United Arab Emirates, a federation of seven emirates on the southeast edge of the Arabian Peninsula. The Apostolic Vicariate of Southern Arabia, which includes the emirates, Oman and Yemen, estimates almost 1 million of those foreigners are Catholic.

Pope Francis’ video message was released by the Vatican on 31st January, just days before he is set to visit Abu Dhabi for meetings with Muslim leaders and a large public Mass on 5th February for the region’s Catholics.

The main interreligious meeting on 4th February is to include Egyptian Sheik Ahmad el-Tayeb, grand imam of al-Azhar, a major leader among Sunni Muslims. Calling him a “friend and dear brother,” Pope Francis thanked the sheik and all those involved in planning the meeting for having “the courage and desire to affirm that faith in God unites and does not divide, draws together even in differences (and) moves away from hostility and aversion.”

Picture: Pope Francis is pictured in a screen grab from video released by the Vatican on 31st January 2019. “Al Salamu Alaikum,” Arabic for “peace be with you,” Pope Francis said at the beginning of a video message to the people of the United Arab Emirates, where he will visit from 3rd to 5th February. (CNS photo/YouTube).

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OTHER NEWS

CAFOD takes its activities online as world stays home

With the onset of the coronavirus leaving many spending more time inside, organisations have swung into action moving their activities online, including UK charity CAFOD, which hopes its digital events and resources will unite international communities. The Covid-19...

Celebrities ready to hit the road as Easter pilgrims

Seven well-known celebrities from a mixture of religious backgrounds will embark on a pilgrimage to Istanbul this Easter, as part of the BBC’s popular Pilgrimage series. Marking the return of the series, Pilgrimage: The Road To Istanbul will air on BBC Two this...

Pope to give online Urbi et Orbi blessing

Pope Francis is to deliver a solemn blessing normally reserved for Easter and Christmas later on Friday. "We want to respond to the virus pandemic with the universality of prayer," a message posted on the Pope's official Twitter account said. The hour-long service of...

Pandemic casts spotlight on a nearly forgotten martyr: St Corona

She had become nearly forgotten. Little is known about the young woman who was killed for her Christian faith, presumably in the second century A.D. But now, a pandemic is shedding light on her: St Corona. The German Catholic news agency KNA reports the Church’s...