The Pope has decided to invite all the faithful to pray the Rosary every day, during the entire month of October, and thus to join in communion and in penitence, as the people of God, in asking the Holy Mother of God and St Michael Archangel to protect the Church from the devil.

Before his departure for the Baltic States, the Pope met with Fr Fréderic Fornos, SJ, international director of Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, and asked him to spread this appeal to all the faithful throughout the world.

The prayer – the Pontiff affirmed a few days ago, on September 11, in a homily at Casa Santa Marta, citing the first chapter of the Book of Job – is the weapon against the Great Accuser who “goes around the world seeking to accuse”. Only prayer can defeat him.

Protect Christians in Middle East

Addressing the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly, Mgr Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States and head of the Holy See delegation, said: “It is an indisputable historical fact that Christianity’s beginning was in the Middle East. Yet the hard truth is that the ancient Christian communities are struggling in the region of Christianity’s birth.

“The Christian population in the Middle East has decreased dramatically in recent years and, in some places, it may not survive.

“Violations of the religious rights of minorities extend, in fact, beyond the most egregious violations like genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity; they also include various forms of discrimination built into legal and administrative structures, resulting in bureaucratic harassment and heavy administrative burdens with regard to building houses of worship and schools.

“Such protection therefore must extend beyond merely preventing the intended or actual annihilation of minorities, but must include examining and addressing the root causes of discrimination and persecution against them.”

No credible allegations against cardinal

According to The Tablet, civil and Church authorities investigated abuse allegations against Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor on three occasions, and each time they found them lacking in credibility. The cardinal, who served as Archbishop of Westminster from 2000-2009, died last year. The Tablet can report that in June 2011 a letter was sent to the archdiocese of Westminster by Cardinal William Levada, then Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith serving under Benedict XVI, who ruled there was no case to answer.

(Compiled by Fr Joe Borg)

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