quinta-feira, 27 de outubro de 2016

“The rebels brought the war into people’s houses. That is their strategy!”

This is a full transcript, in the original English, of my recent interview with His Beatitude Patriarch Gregory III of the Melkite Church. The news reports, in Portuguese are here and here.

Esta é uma transcrição integral, no inglês original, da minha recente entrevista a Sua Beatitude o Patriarca Gregório III da Igreja Melquita. As reportagens estão aqui e aqui.

You were telling me that the other day on your trip to Lebanon there were only four checkpoints, whereas before there would be 12. Is the situation in Syria improving?
The first big tragedy was in Homs. Now it is peaceful in Homs and the people have returned there. They are reconstructing their churches in Homs, in Yabroud, in Qusayr, in Nabek. This is positive.

Around Damascus there are still battles. My home town Darayya has now been liberated, but was totally destroyed, including two churches and all our people's houses.

Maaloula also has been liberated and the people, most of them, returned. We have about 125 or 130 families back and we are building for them not the whole house, but one room per family, which means that they can be at home even in a small place, without having to pay rent.

Damascus itself was always peaceful, but you had daily rocket attacks, sometimes hundreds of rockets per day, killing, destroying, it depends. But despite that, life goes on.

Just today [21st of October], we had rockets and our Cathedral was hit. Not much damage, just a little. This was the fifth time our Patriarchate in Damascus was hit by a bomb, but despite this we remain.

Now the big problem is in the North of Syria and in Aleppo, which means the border to Turkey and Iraq and to Jordan are closed now. This tells you where the belligerants are coming from, from Jordan, Turkey, Iraq, but because Iraq is weak now, and not under the control of the Government. This geographical description shows us how the war is. The war is against Syria, in Syria. The Holy Father said there is a third world war going on.

Now the worst problem is in Aleppo. We had a meeting of bishops of Aleppo, we wanted to have it in Aleppo, but because of the situation we were obliged to have it in Damascus. They told us that there used to be four million people in Aleppo and now there are one million. The others are displaced, not necessarily outside of Syria. There were 150 thousand Christians in Aleppo, but now there are maybe 30 thousand.

All the churches of the different communities are destroyed, more or less. The people are in need of food, light, water... But they are still there.

Around Damascus there are belligerants, but the army is advancing slowly.

Now our problem is really how to get people to stay at home. Emigration is the biggest danger for the Church in the Middle East, not only in Syria. Syria, Lebanon are all under this influence, even Jordan. In Iraq, from around 1 million, or perhaps 800 thousand, the Christian population is only around 350 thousand now. In all of Syria, 55 thousand Christians displaced, inside or outside Syria, 50% of doctors are out. This is hemmorhaging of the Syrian society, Christians and Muslims alike.

The future of Syria is very problematic. You have around three million children without schools, these are the clients for ISIS in the future. That is why we are very keen to work for the children in Syria, in the schools, and to rebuild schools. My own school was destroyed, two thousand children were left with nowhere to go. Everything was stolen.

This is a very big tragedy, but in spite of this we have so much hope. You can't believe how the people are crowded in the churches, especially for Lent. Every day our churches are full. We have youth movements; our congregations, women, men, young people, are filling our churches with social and pastoral activities. I don't understand how the people react this way. Inspite of the fear and the imigration, this is a complex situation of hope, of power, generosity, fidelity, trust in the Lord and in the future.

Obviously the whole world is watching Aleppo and there have been many accusations against Russia and the regime because of the bombings. People are calling for a ceasefire...
First of all, the Church is for reconciliation. Already I wrote a letter in 2013 saying that the only way for the future of Syria and the church is reconciliation. So we are apostles for reconciliation, for peace, for dialogue, for reconciliaiton inside the society, not only for belligerants. This is our situation, our position.

We are also working with the children. We had an initiative to gather 1.2 million signatures of children for peace, an 8 meter long sheet with words of children for peace. We went with all of these documents to the European Union in Brussels and Geneva, to speak abou the future, we were the messengers of the children.

So this is the real situation and position of the Church, rather of the Churches! We have three Patriarchs in Damascus. Greek Orthodox, Syrian Orthodox and myself, and several bishops in Syria. All of them have a common vision regarding the situation, the government, the complot of this war, and so on.

For example, Darayya, which now has been liberated but is destroyed, before the destruction the people were happy, working, developed, and everything. A rebel group entered and made life impossible. They subdued the civilians; the civilians were under their control. Who has the responsibility to save these people? Who is responsible for the citizens? If the rebels are taking my house, who will kick them out?

The Government might destroy my house... This is what happened to a house of my relatives*. It was destroyed because a family came from outside and they rented a house near him. But it was an arsenal for weapons. The government shelled the house, and the house of my relatives was destroyed.

The same happened with churches. When the belligerants came to Homs, in the midst of the Old City of Homs, where the churches are, they turned the churches into their strongholds... What to do? So you can say that most of the churches were destroyed by the government. But why? Because they were no longer used as churches!

Monastic life in Aleppo
For example, the very famous monastery of St. Bachus and Sergius, in Maaloula, it was a central stronghold for the revolutionaries, the belligerants and for ISIS. What to do? The belligerants brought the whole war into the houses, in the old city, that is their strategy and that is the problem. Why, in Europe, are they blind to say that the government is targeting these structures? Yes, its true, but why? I can say this from my own experience, the same is happening in Aleppo now.

The civillians in the rebel held area of Aleppo, are they being used as human shields?
All of them! This is the whole strategy in the whole five years of war. Starting with Homs, Maaloula, my own town Darayya, the people were taken as shields to defend the rebels. That is why the civillians were killed. They were not allowed to go. Just like in Mossul now, not even the priests were allowed to go. They had to be there in order for the Government not to shell.

Now they can ask for ceasefires, but what to do next?

Would a ceasefire just drag this situation on? Would the best solution be for the Government to end the siege as quickly as possible, by taking the rest of the city?
A ceasefire is always an act of mercy. We are in the mercy of God. Everything in life is compromise. Even relations between husband and wife are about compromise. The same here with your enemies, you have to have compromises to protect the lives of the civillians. We have to think about that.

The policy of the church is to alleviate as much as posisble this very harsh time of the civillians.

Russia is seen by many Western countries as being part of the problem, criminals bombing civillians. When I speak to Christians from Syria they always have a very different idea of the Russians. What is your view of the Russian involvement?
If I am in danger, and you come to help me, can you help me without me? Without my consent? Without my advice? Without my collaboration?

Please, USA, come and fight! But with Syria and with Russia.

Let’s not do politics. Let’s speak in a simple way, like simple people. Come together Russia and America. Together. The European Union is no longer important, a shame, but the truth. If the USA and Russia came together with Syria in one month's time ISIS would be overcome. I am sure.

What is ISIS? It is a myth. It is an instrument of evil. Of a battle of interests. That is ISIS. It is nothing, not Islam, nothing at all!

Now Syria has become a supermarket for superpowers. Where are these interests? In Russia and in America. If they are ok and have common consent about their interests, where their respective profits lie, the war will end.

Everything is an instrument. Even the fighting between Shiites and Sunnis is historical, but now it is an instrument. Even the killing of Christians is an instrument. Nothing to do with the so called goal of the revolution. What can anybody in Syria bring that is different from what was already done? It was not too bad, not too good, but it was enough.

Who can build something new? The so called opposition are from the same school as the ones who are there. So they can bring nothing, nothing can be brought.

Reconciliation. Together, America, Russia and Syria can bring forth ceasefire and peace and also the renewal of Syria. We have to be renewed, we have to present a vision. You can't end the war without vision. Russia and América can end this, but they have to have a vision for Syria, and with Syria.

I am not for Assad or for the regime; I am for Syria, which is a key society in the Middle East. Not Lebanon, not Jordan, not Egypt, not Iraq, it is the most important place where Christians are a little group, but living in a cohesive society.

You have been criticized by leading figures in your own Church. Several bishops have called for your resignation. Is resignation an option?
I am for the cannon law, which says that the Patriarchal See is vacant upon the death of the Patriarch or by his own resignation. I like to tell my bishops "I love you. Let us love eachother so that we can confess, love, and serve our Church and make it a symbol of testimony for the Lord in this tragic situation for the whole Christian Middle East"

Can you imagine a situation where you would resign in the future? Or do you prefer to die in your post, as is traditional among Eastern Patriarchs?
That is up to God. I can't answer you, because I don't have that power. Let's just say that I am here for the service of the Church and the future is in the hands of God.

Patriarchs Laham, Shevchuk, Clemente and caridnal Sandri
You are a special guest at the meeting of European Eastern Catholic bishops, who are discussing the pastoral care of migrants in the West. Have you come here to learn from them, or to share your own experience?
I was invited by them, especially by the Ukrainian Church, because I was in Lviv in September, in the synod of the Ukrainian Church and they told me about this meeting and invited me, and I was happy to come.

I am very happy to have come because it very important learn and to give our own experience and especially our own vision of the very tragic situation of emigration.

Emigration, for us, is very important, very problematic. It is very problemetic for Christians in Europe and for Muslims in Europe, and in encountering a region which is no longer a Christian Europe, but an area of globalisation, an area of Laicité, and in some respects atheist. This is a very big danger, more dangerous and more acute than the whole war in Syria.

I tell you the result of the war, migration of Christians and of Muslims, from both sides, it is a bigger danger and more harmful for the world than the war in Syria. Therefore I proposed, today to bring this theme of the results and dangers of the emigration of Christians from the Middle East, both for the Middle East and for them in Europe, and for the Muslims from the Middle East and in Europe.

For me it is a very current and urgent to have a special assembly of the bishops conferences of Europe about this theme. Europe is not prepared to have such a tsunami of migrants, both Christians and Muslims. How to cope with Muslims and Christians coming with their own identity. Islam has a different approach that Christians in Europe. That is a very big danger for...

*His Beatitude here used the word “parents”, but considering his age, and the fact that the word Parent in Latin languages actually means relative rather “mother and father”, I have changed it to relative. 

This is the second time I interview His Beatitude. You can read the first interview, from November 2014, here.

quarta-feira, 26 de outubro de 2016

Gregório não foge, mas se fugisse teríamos de o acolher

Vamos acabar com o EI? Bora não!
Se os Estados Unidos e a Rússia se juntassem, acabavam com o Estado Islâmico no espaço de um mês, diz o Patriarca Gregório III, da Síria. O líder da Igreja Melquita tem estado a e enfrentar divisões internas na sua igreja, contestado por vários dos seus bispos, insiste que não pretende resignar.

O Papa Francisco falou esta quarta-feira da obrigação moral de acolher quem foge da guerra.

Em Fátima reuniram-se representantes de 16 cidades-santuário, para um congresso e ontem, também em Fátima, foram apresentados o terço oficial e as orações digitais para o centenário das aparições.

Sabem o que disse João Paulo II sobre a queda do comunismo? “Livrar-nos desse sistema absurdo não foi milagre nenhum. Era uma questão de tempo. Foi feito para falhar.” No artigo desta semana do The Catholic Thing em português, Robert Royal argumenta que o mesmo se aplica ao secularismo militante que domina o Ocidente nos nossos dias.

Secularismo: Um Sistema Feito para Falhar

São João Paulo II, cuja festa celebrámos sábado passado, disse e fez muitas coisas que serão recordadas durante anos fora da Igreja. Mas recentemente li uma frase dele na interessante autobiografia de Michael Novak, de 2013, “Writing from Left to Right” que me apanhou de surpresa. Depois de um jantar no Vaticano, Novak congratulou o Papa pela queda do Comunismo. João Paulo respondeu mais ou menos nestes termos (Novak cita de memória), “livrar-nos desse sistema absurdo não foi milagre nenhum. Era uma questão de tempo. Foi feito para falhar.”

Os soviéticos tinham um grande exército; mais armas nucleares do que os Estados Unidos; um sistema policial e aparelho de Estado impiedosos; países satélite na Europa de Leste e Central; entrepostos em Cuba, África, Ásia e América Central e uma rede de simpatizantes comunistas e aliados à volta do mundo, incluindo os Estados Unidos. E contudo, à medida que o tempo passava e a sua incompatibilidade com o divino e o humano se revelava, tudo virou pó.

Claro que para isso contribuiu também a enorme coragem de muitas pessoas, como Solzhenitsyn, Sharansky, Havel, Walesa e muitos outros – incluindo mártires como o padre Jerzy Popieulsko, compatriota de Karol Wojtyla e milhares de outros nos campos de concentração e nas gulags. Ainda assim, o comentário feito por João Paulo II – em privado, sem cerimónias, como se estivesse simplesmente a afirmar o óbvio – mostra, de forma muito resumida, como um espírito profundo olhava para uma força maligna que – de acordo com a bitola meramente mundana do poder – podia ter durado indefinidamente: “Era uma questão de tempo. Foi feito para falhar”.

Nos nossos dias a América foi tomada por um secularismo ideológico e agressivo que parece estar a tornar-se norma do Ocidente e ter vindo para ficar por tempos indeterminados – uma marcha em câmara lenta rumo a um novo socialismo desumano. (Sendo que o actual espectáculo eleitoral não dá qualquer indício de produzir um resultado capaz de o combater). Por isso é bom recordar por que razão este tipo de sistema tem tudo para – provavelmente mais a curto prazo do que a longo – falhar.

Claro que há amplas razões humanas e culturais pelas quais o humanismo ideológico não é compatível com uma vida humana plena. Mas primeiro pensei que poderia ser útil ver umas provas concretas. A sempre útil Pew Research Center conduz estudos equilibrados e bem feitos da religião na vida pública. O seu estudo global, por exemplo, revela que os “nones”, ou seja, aqueles que não professam qualquer religião (e, por alguma razão, os budistas), têm as taxas mais baixas de nascença, muito abaixo da taxa de substituição, enquanto os cristãos e os muçulmanos têm as mais altas. Embora haja previsão de os “nones” crescerem um pouco nas próximas décadas, vão diminuir bruscamente enquanto percentagem da população global. Cristãos e muçulmanos serão, cada um, um terço da população mundial em 2100.

Na América os padrões são um bocado piores que o cenário global: Os “nones” devem continuar a crescer até serem cerca de 25%, mas os cristãos continuarão a constituir 66% da população do país em 2050 (um bocado abaixo dos 70% actuais).

A Pew limita-se, e bem, a analisar números. Mas que tipo de cristãos e de “nones” é que teremos em 2050? Essa é que é a questão central. Desde que cheguei a Washington nos anos 80, quando a religiosidade estava em ascensão, já vi como as tendências podem mudar. O Espírito sopra onde quer e à medida que as vidas dos “nones” se tornam mais e mais inegavelmente insípidas, como já acontece em partes da Europa, poderemos ser surpreendidos por ressurgimentos repentinos.

Tudo virou pó
Na encíclica Rerum Novarum, de 1891 – o texto fundacional da doutrina social católica dos tempos modernos – Leão XIII listou várias razões pelas quais o socialismo estava destinado a falhar. Ele sabia que (por enquanto) o fenómeno estava a aumentar, mas sabia também que era preciso chamar a atenção para os seus profundos erros sobre os seres humanos e a sociedade.

Podemos fazer o mesmo hoje com o inevitável fracasso do humanismo militante:

·         Sem a crença numa dignidade humana que radica no Criador, como se lê na nossa Declaração de Independência, não existe qualquer base para uma sociedade livre para além da fraca mentalidade de “viver e deixar viver”, que deixará de ter qualquer utilidade a partir do momento em que um grupo ou pessoa se torna suficientemente poderosa para dizer “vive assim, ou morre”.

·         Isto é, aliás, precisamente o que estamos a ver nas sociedades democráticas avançadas, um regime autoritário de direitos – alguns absurdos e novos como o casamento homossexual e as normas de casas de banho para transgéneros – que negam não só a história, a razão, a religião e a biologia, mas até o senso comum.

·         Tal como na antiga União Soviética, o regime levará a cabo esforços cada vez mais agressivos para sustentar uma visão da pessoa e da sociedade que na verdade se mina a si própria, mas trata-se de uma proposição falhada. Mesmo os pagãos sabiam que ser pode “expulsar a Natureza com uma forquilha, mas ela volta sempre”.

·         Que as Igrejas e as instituições formadoras de cultura, tais como as universidades e os media, parecem incapazes de compreender esta tendência, ou estão mesmo comprometidos com ela, é irritante. Mas no final de contas pouco importa. Quando o ciclo se completar, voltarão a cumprir as suas funções mais nobres.

·         Os secularistas militantes pensam que não estão a fazer nem mais nem menos do que ajudar a conduzir a história no rumo certo. Mas não existe um simples rumo. O desapontamento com os resultados – tal como aconteceu quando o a história não conduziu inevitavelmente ao “socialismo científico” – poderá bem ser o maior impulso para um renovamento espiritual.

Podíamos continuar, mas vocês percebem a ideia.

Claro que não sei quando é que tudo isto vai passar, mas para saber que falhará basta ter a confiança revelada por João Paulo II de que existe um Deus e uma natureza humana; que as sociedades, por mais decaídas, não o estão para sempre nem se encontram para lá da salvação; que os esquemas que são feitos para falhar, falharão.

O nosso desafio passa por ter o cuidado de viver bem entretanto e preparar-nos – e os espaços em redor – para o que inevitavelmente seguirá. 

Robert Royal é editor de The Catholic Thing e presidente do Faith and Reason Institute em Washington D.C. O seu mais recente livro é A Deeper Vision: The Catholic Intellectual Tradition in the Twentieth Century, da Ignatius Press. The God That Did Not Fail: How Religion Built and Sustains the West está também disponível pela Encounter Books.

(Publicado pela primeira vez em The Catholic Thing na Segunda-feira, 26 de Outubro de 2016)

© 2016 The Catholic Thing. Direitos reservados. Para os direitos de reprodução contacte: info@frinstitute.org

The Catholic Thing é um fórum de opinião católica inteligente. As opiniões expressas são da exclusiva responsabilidade dos seus autores. Este artigo aparece publicado em Actualidade Religiosa com o consentimento de The Catholic Thing.

terça-feira, 25 de outubro de 2016

A Freira e o Míssil

Vatican says "no!"
A Santa Sé emitiu um novo documento a repetir que prefere a sepultura à cremação mas que em caso de as pessoas optarem por esta nunca devem guardar as cinzas em casa ou transformá-las em objectos decorativos.

Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa partiu esta terça-feira para Cuba. O Presidente realça a importância da Igreja Católica naquele país comunista.

Chegou às bancas o livro “O Rosário para Crentes e para Não Crentes”, de Rui Martins e Paulo Pereira da Silva. Um livro que tem “pano para muitas mangas”, dizem os autores.

Esta manhã o mosteiro das carmelitas em Alepo foi atingido por um míssil que… não explodiu. Cliquem aqui, nem que seja para poderem ver a foto inesquecível de uma carmelita a olhar com curiosidade para um míssil maior do que ela.

segunda-feira, 24 de outubro de 2016

Venezuela, Iraque e Famílias - Crises para todos os gostos

Até as lojas de álcool no Iraque estão em crise
O Papa recebeu esta segunda-feira, e sem que tivesse sido previamente anunciado, o presidente Nicolás Maduro, da Venezuela. Falaram da crise que o país atravessa, que vai de mal a pior.

Com o cerco a Mossul a apertar são já várias as terras cristãs que já foram libertadas do jugo do Estado Islâmico. Qaraqosh já é livre, bem como Bartella, onde voltaram a tocar os sinos das igrejas. Falei sobre este assunto com o especialista Nuri Kino, cristão assírio, que me diz que os cristãos estão “cautelosamente felizes” com estes desenvolvimentos, porque ainda há muito por fazer. Aqui podem ler a transcrição integral, no inglês original.

A situação no Iraque não passou o lado do Papa, que admitiu que as notícias que recebe de sofrimento e morte lhe levam às lágrimas e deixam sem palavras.

Enquanto alguns iraquianos combatem o Estado Islâmico, outros estão corajosamente a combater o consumo e comércio de álcool. A proibição do comércio de bebidas alcoólicas é mais uma medida que afecta sobretudo os cristãos naquele país.

A Igreja quer fazer mais e melhor no acompanhamento de casais e famílias em crise. D. António Marto diz que é preciso “olhar para o matrimónio como uma vocação e um projecto a construir” e a Renascença dá-lhe a conhecer vários projectos que existem nesta área, incluindo o “projecto família” do MDV que em 10 anos já evitou que mais de três mil crianças fossem retiradas às suas famílias.

Arrancou ontem a Semana da Educação Cristã. D. João Lavrador presidiu à missa inaugural, nos Açores.

Christians “cautiously joyful” with liberation of Nineveh Plains

This is a full transcript, in the original English, of my conversation with Swedish Assyrian journalist and activist Nuri Kino about the liberation of Qaraqosh and other Christian towns and villages in the Mossul region. Read the news story, in Portuguese, here.

Transcrição integral, no inglês original, da minha entrevista ao jornalista e activista sueco/assírio sobre a libertação de Qaraqosh e de outras vilas e aldeias cristãs na região de Mossul. A reportagem está aqui.

We have had conflicting reports about the situation in Qaraqosh. From your information, what is the situation on the ground?
The news regarding the Christians is that Bartella, a town of about 30 thousand inhabitants prior to ISIS, has been fully liberated. We have received videos and pictures of the church bells ringing. That is of course very satisfying.

When it comes to Qaraqosh we received pictures of the main hospital being liberated, the town hall buildings and also the Iraqi Army headquarters. But it is very hard to know if it is totally liberated or not. We are also receiving conflicting information about that.

I just spoke to two of the priests from Qaraqosh and they also have no full information, but the Iraqi army and some of the Christian forces are supposed to be inside Qaraqosh.

Two days ago we received information that it had been liberated. Then information came a couple of hours later saying that there were about 20 ISIS suicide bombers and snipers left in Qaraqosh and they were shooting people from the rooftops. Also, one of the biggest problems is the mines. There are a lot of mines around the city, both anti-personnel mines and street mines.

But we believe that Qaraqosh will be liberated today. [Saturday 21st October]

How does that make you and other Christians feel?
Qaraqosh is about 70% Syriac Catholic and 30% Syriac Orthodox and I am Syriac Orthodox. For us there is no difference whether it is in southeast Turkey, where I was born, or in Syria or Iraq, or in Iran or in Lebanon. We are all the same nation, the same ethnicity, the same people with different names: Assyrian, Syriac, Chaldean...

Of course, after more than two years of ISIS in our home towns, we are very happy to see it, though we are also careful and cautious, because we never know how things will turn.

Look at what happened in Kirkuk yesterday... All of a sudden sleeping terrorist cells in Kirkuk started to hit the street, more than 20 suicide bombers. They also kidnapped some people and threatened to kill them, and battles are ongoing in Kirkuk, which is also a bit Iraqi city.

So I would say that we are cautiously joyful.

Also, after the liberation there is a lot of work to be done for our people to return to the Nineveh plane, where Bartella and Qaraqosh are. The Swedish MEP Lars Adaktusson is presenting a new resolution in the European Parliament about self-administration in the Nineveh Plane and two other provinces in Northern Iraq, so that these people can feel that they get their dignity back and rule their own areas, or at least get some power in the administrations, so that the inhabitants can feel confident to come back.

Also it is about dignity, so as to get their dignity back. The same thing is going on in Washington DC, there are political movements and political solutions – hopefully – so that people can move back.

In Iraq, before the fall of Saddam, approximately 1.3 million Christians lived there. After the fall of Mossul, we don't know, but we estimate that there are more not more than 250 thousand left.

So more than one million have already left the country, and people are emigrating every day, because they lost hope in the world leaders to protect them. But we do have some hope in what is happening these days, in the liberation of Nineveh and Mossul, and we also have hope in the political solutions that will be on the table over the coming weeks.

Are Christians afraid to be caught in between Baghdad and the Kurds, over who actually controls this region...
That has been going on since the fall of Saddam, it’s nothing new. It’s not a question of being afraid, we know it’s a fact, it’s been a fact for a decade now. So that is why we are asking for self-administration, so as not to be caught in the middle.

Will Bagdad and Kurdistan accept that idea?
Well we hope on the European Union and on Washington and the UN.

quarta-feira, 19 de outubro de 2016

Aparecer, orar, conhecer

Algo deste género, amanhã, nos Jerónimos
Se é daquelas pessoas que, como eu, gosta de conhecer as tradições, liturgia e espiritualidade do Cristianismo oriental, então nos próximos dias pode encher a barriga. Estão a chegar a Lisboa dezenas de bispos de Igrejas Católicas de Rito Oriental (imagino o caos na alfândega com aquelas coroas todas nas malas) para um encontro em Fátima. Amanhã às 17h30 há oração das vésperas nos Jerónimos, presididas pelo líder da Igreja Greco-Católica da Ucrânia. Apareçam!

Continua a batalha por Mossul. E esta é uma guerra que pode acompanhar em directo no Facebook. Entretanto a vila cristã de Qaraqosh poderá ter sido libertada – há informações contraditórias – mas estará pelo menos em vias de o ser, o que será uma enorme alegria para os cristãos do Iraque. Oremos.

Deixo-vos com o artigo desta semana do The Catholic Thing, onde pode ler sobre o futuro Cardeal Ernest Simoni, que sofreu das mais duras perseguições do século XX, na Albânia. Conheçamo-lo!