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The last Christian families still present in Mosul are leaving the city and are heading towards Iraqi Kurdistan.
The exodus was caused by the proclamation on Thursday by the self-proclaimed Islamic Caliphate that Christians must pay a special tax or be killed. Islamists have for the past two days been marking the doors of homes belonging to Christians and Shia Muslims living in the city.
“For the first time in the history of Iraq, Mosul is now empty of Christians,” said Chaldean Patriarch Louis Sako in an interview with the AFP news agency.
The Patriarch said as late as last month, 35,000 Christians had lived in the city, and over 60,000 lived there before the United States invasion in 2003.
Over the past month, the so-called Islamic State has consolidated its hold over a roughly a 700 kilometer stretch of territory which reaches from the outskirts of the Syrian city of Aleppo to the edges of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad.
A report prepared by the UN Human Rights Office and the UN Mission in Iraq says over 1,500 civilians were killed during the month of June, and over 600,000 Iraqis were displaced during the same period.
The report says members of the Islamic State its associated armed groups systematically targeted civilians and civilian infrastructure with the intention of killing and wounding as many civilians as possible. “The report documents the untold hardship and suffering that has been imposed upon the civilian population, with large-scale killings, injuries and destruction and damage of livelihoods and property," said Ravina Shamdasani, a spokesperson for the UN Human Rights Office.
Iraqi politicians have yet to complete the formation of a new government more than three months after parliamentary elections, with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki facing pressure from Sunnis, Kurds, and some Shias to step aside after two terms in office. (From archive of Vatican Radio) powered by
Three elements are combined in the symbolism of the logo: the place, the main protagonists , and the theme of the celebration. The logo of the 2016 World Youth Day, to be held in Krakow, illustrates the passage from the Gospel according to Matthew, 5.7: “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy”, chosen as the theme of the event. The image is composed of a geographical outline of Poland, in which there is a Cross, symbol of Christ Who is the soul of World Youth Day. The yellow circle marks the position of Krakow on the map of Poland and is also a symbol of youth. The flame of Divine Mercy emerges from the Cross, and its colours recall the image “Jesus, I trust in you”. The colours used in the logo – blue, red and yellow – are the official colours of Krakow and its coat of arms.
The logo was designed by Monika Rybczynska, a young woman aged 28 from Ostrzeszow, a small town in the mid-west of Poland, following the canonisation of St. John Paul II.
The press conference also included the presentation of the official prayer of World Youth Day 2016, which entrusts humanity and the young to divine mercy, asks the Lord for the grace of a merciful heart, and asks the intercession of the Virgin Mary and St. John Paul II, patron of World Youth Day.
“God, merciful Father,
in your Son, Jesus Christ, you have revealed your love
and poured it out upon us in the Holy Spirit, the Comforter,
We entrust to you today the destiny of the world and of every man and woman”.
We entrust to you in a special way
young people of every language, people and nation:
guide and protect them as they walk the complex paths of the world today
and give them the grace to reap abundant fruits
from their experience of the Krakow World Youth Day.
grant that we may bear witness to your mercy.
Teach us how to convey the faith to those in doubt,
hope to those who are discouraged,
love to those who feel indifferent,
forgiveness to those who have done wrong
and joy to those who are unhappy.
Allow the spark of merciful love
that you have enkindled within us
become a fire that can transform hearts
and renew the face of the earth.
Mary, Mother of Mercy, pray for us.
St. John Paul II, pray for us.
He was dedicated to works of social action, charity, prayer and community. He was involved with Catholic youth and student groups, the Apostleship of Prayer, Catholic Action, and was a third order Dominican. He would often say, "Charity is not enough; we need social reform." He helped establish a newspaper entitled Momento, whose principles were based on Pope Leo XIII's encyclical: Rerum Novarum.
Feastday: July 4
Beatified By: 20 May 1990 by Pope John Paul II
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When the Virgin of Guadalupe appeared to the native Indian Saint Juan Diego, she spoke these important words to him: “Am I not your mother? Are you not under my shadow and my gaze? Am I not the source of your joy? Are you not sheltered underneath my mantle, under the embrace of my arms?” (Nican Mopohua, nos. 118-119).
Memories of Paul VI
“We welcome the Supreme Court’s decision to recognize that Americans can continue to follow their faith when they run a family business,” said Archbishop Joseph Kurtz and Archbishop William Lori. “In this case, justice has prevailed, with the Court respecting the rights of the Green and Hahn families to continue to abide by their faith in how they seek their livelihood, without facing devastating fines. Now is the time to redouble our efforts to build a culture that fully respects religious freedom.”
“The Court clearly did not decide whether the so-called ‘accommodation’ violates RFRA [the Religious Freedom Restoration Act] when applied to our charities, hospitals and schools, so many of which have challenged it as a burden on their religious exercise,” they added. “We continue to hope that these great ministries of service, like the Little Sisters of the Poor and so many others, will prevail in their cases as well.”
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•Supreme Court Decision On Hobby Lobby: A Great Day For The Religious Freedom Of Family Businesses (USCCB)
Born in Okopy near Suchowola, Jerzy Popieluszko was a charismatic priest who was first sent to strikers in the Warsaw Steelworks. Thereafter he was associated with workers and trade unionists from the Solidarity movement who opposed the Communist regime in Poland.
He was a staunch anti-communist, and in his sermons, interwove spiritual exhortations with political messages, criticizing the Communist system and motivating people to protest. During the period of martial law, the Catholic Church was the only force that could voice protest comparatively openly, with the regular celebration of Mass presenting opportunities for public gatherings in churches.
Popieluszko's sermons were routinely broadcast by Radio Free Europe, and thus became famous throughout Poland for their uncompromising stance against the regime. The Communist Party Police tried to silence or intimidate him. When those techniques did not work, they fabricated evidence against him; he was arrested in 1983, but soon released on intervention of the clergy and pardoned by an amnesty.
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