09/20/2014 VATICAN - CHINA
Pope wishes Chinese bishops "were here", tells them they are not alone, that they have his solidarity and that of the Church
In his meeting with newly appointed bishops from around the world, in Rome for a seminar organised by Propaganda Fide, Francis devoted part of his address to the pastors of the Chinese flock. "Deep down in my heart, I hope" they were here, "that that day will not be far off! Let me assure them not only of my and our solidarity, but also that of the world's Episcopate, so that, in the shared faith and despite sometimes the impression of being alone, they can feel the certainty that their suffering will bear fruit - and what fruit! - for the good of the faithful, their fellow citizens and the whole Church."
09/20/2014 ASIA - ITALY
Mission congress: nine missionaries to follow PIME founder Angelo Ramazzotti
by Bernardo Cervellera
PIME's superior general launches a year dedicated to the society's founder. Bishop of Pavia and then Patriarch of Venice, he corresponds to Pope Francis' role mode for a pastor. The missionary men and women leaving for Cameroon, Mexico, Brazil, Cambodia, Hong Kong, and Bangladesh, including two Colombian priests associated with the PIME, will receive a crucifix as a "companion" for their apostolic activity.
09/20/2014 TURKEY - IRAQ - SYRIA
Islamic State releases Turkish hostages seized in Mosul
Nothing is known about the three Iraqis abducted with the Turks. Some suspect a bargain between Turkey and the Islamic State. Ankara refuses military support for US-led coalition. Syrian Kurdish refugees are allowed in after Turkish Kurds protest. Kerry shows flexibility on Iran in the fight against Islamic State. UN Security Council adopts a statement of support for the new Iraqi government and calls on the international community to fight Islamic State terrorism.
Chinese authorities tear down two Catholic churches
Located in different provinces, the places of worship stood on land slated for commercial development and were torn down on the same day. A third church had its cross removed. In the case of the church in Jinxi (Hunan), the priest tried to stop the demolition but was arrested. The priest of the Church of Our Lady in Jingdezhen (Jiangxi) was tricked into leaving before the bulldozers got to work. The watchman was abducted and released only after the church was levelled.
Beirut: Christians and Muslims mourn Hani Fahs, an iconic figure for interreligious dialogue
by Fady Noun
Lebanese political and religious leaders react with emotion and grief at the sheikh's death. Fr Fadi Daou, founder of Adyan and one of the last people to visit him in hospital, remembers his friend. He was a "true Muslim" who knew how to live his faith to the fullest. His last project was a spiritual retreat for Christians and Muslims.
09/20/2014 UKRAINE - RUSSIA
Ukrainian Orthodox parishes leaving Moscow Patriarchate for Kyiv
by Nina Achmatova
According to reports from the Ukrainian Church-Kyiv Patriarchate, at least a dozen congregations have opted to switch with local media reporting that the shift is due to the reluctance of the clergy and faithful to accept the support of the Russian Patriarchate for the Kremlin's policies.