The Chaldean patriarch, Cardinal Louis Raphael Sako, said that the jihadist ideology and the concept of ‘holy war’ should be eliminated from Islam. The cardinal was addressing the recently held 55th edition of the Munich Security Conference in Germany.
He said that for the last 100 years, Christians in the Middle East have experienced a climate of “endless violence”. He presented statistics showing the dire condition of Christians: 1,225 Christians were killed in violent incidents in Iraq; a million left the country; 120,000 displaced from Mosul and the Nineveh Plain had to live for over three years as refugees; and 58 churches were bombed or destroyed.
‘Where is your brother?’
In a recent Mass homily in the chapel of the Casa Santa Marta in the Vatican, Pope Francis said: “‘Where is your brother who is hungry?’ the Lord asks us. And to save our skin, we answer, ‘Surely he is at lunch with the parish Caritas group that is feeding him’.
“‘What about the other, the sick…?’, ‘Oh well, he is in the hospital!’, ‘But there’s no place in the hospital! And did you give him any medicine?’, ‘But, that’s his business, I cannot meddle in the life of others... and besides, he will have relatives who give him medicine.’ And so I wash my hands of him.
“‘Where is your brother, the prisoner?’, ‘Ah, he deserves and is paying for it.’ ‘Where is your brother, your exploited brother, the one who works illegally, nine months a year… with no security, no holiday...?’
“‘Where is your brother in your heart? Is there room for these people in our hearts? Or do we try to calm our conscience by giving some alms?’
“We are accustomed to giving compromising answers in order to escape from the problem, not to see the problem, not to touch the problem.”
US bishops against Trump’s wall
Cardinal Daniel DiNardo and Bishop Joe Vasquez, president of the US bishops’ conference and chair of the committee on migration respectively, said: “We are deeply concerned about the President’s action to fund the construction of a wall along the US/Mexico border, which circumvents the clear intent of Congress to limit funding of a wall. We oppose the use of these funds to further the construction of the wall. The wall first and foremost is a symbol of division and animosity between two friendly countries. We remain steadfast and resolute in the vision articulated by Pope Francis that at this time we need to be building bridges and not walls.”
(Compiled by Fr Joe Borg)
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