|Photo Source: Syrian Christian Watch|
Yes! It's True! We have a 'secret" Church in Saudi Arabia!
|Pakistani women weeping and comforting each other after Muslim Terrorists suicide bomber killed at least 70 Christians in Lahore, Pakistan while celebrating Easter. (Photo Source: Associated Press (AP))|
VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis on Monday condemned the Easter suicide bomb by Islamist militants that killed at least 70 people in Pakistan, many of them Christians, as "hideous" and demanded that the country's authorities protect religious minorities.
Addressing thousands of people in St. Peter's Square on Easter Monday, a religious holiday, the Pope said Pakistan had been "bloodied by a hideous attack that massacred so many innocent people, mostly families of the Christian minority."
The Pope, speaking from the window of the Vatican's Apostolic Palace to crowds in the square below, called the Sunday evening attack in a busy park in the Pakistani city of Lahore, "a vile and senseless crime."
"I appeal to civil authorities and all sectors of that nation to make every effort to restore security and serenity to the population, and in particular to the most vulnerable religious minorities," he said.
Pope Francis, leader of the world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholics, said he also prayed that God would "stop the hands of the violent ones who sow terror and death."
A breakaway Taliban militant group that once declared loyalty to Islamic State claimed responsibility for the blast.
Pakistan is a majority-Muslim state though it has a Christian population of more than 2 million. — Reuters
In Pakistan, Taliban's Easter bombing targets, kills scores of Christians
By Sophia Saifi, CNN
Posted March 28, 2016
Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) On Easter Sunday, a crisp spring day, some of the city's Christian population mingled with their Muslim neighbors, celebrating in a neighborhood park -- taking their kids on rides or pushing them on swings. Then, the sound of tragedy.
Without warning, a blast tore through the park, killing indiscriminately.
Because of the innocent setting, an unusually high number of those injured were women and children. But the attack, claimed by a splinter group of the Pakistani Taliban, intentionally targeted Christians, the perpetrators say.
The suicide blast, in the eastern Pakistan city of Lahore, killed at least 69 people, a local government spokesman told CNN.
More than 341 others were injured, according to Punjab government spokesperson Jehangir Awan.
It comes at a difficult time for Pakistan's Christians, some of whom were in the city's Gulshan Iqbal Park to celebrate the holiday Sunday evening, only to see their Easter Sunday fragment into terror and chaos.
The religious group makes up only 2% of the population, and tensions are high between them and a hardline Muslim core which wants to see a strict interpretation of Islamic law take precedence in Pakistan's legal system.
One witness, Danish, was at the amusement park with his two sisters. He recalled the moment that the explosion ripped apart the park, killing one of his sisters and seriously injuring the other.
"It was so crowded that there was even no way of entering it. We went to a canteen to have something to eat, when there was suddenly a big blast. Everyone panicked, running to all directions. Many of them were blocked at the gate of the park. Dead bodies can be found everywhere," he told reporters.
Austrian media is reporting that Cardinal Schönborn of Vienna confirmed last night, during the Easter Vigil at Stephansdom that the Salesian priest, Fr. Thomas Uzhunnalil was crucified by ISIS on Good Friday. Polonia Christiana is also carrying the news, based on the Austrian reports.
Fr. Tom is now in Paradise with Our Blessed Lord and His Mother. May his murderers repent and come to believe in the Gospel.
"Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do" (Luke, 23:34)
Prayer of St. Francis Xavier for the Conversion of the Infidels
Eternal God, Creator of all things, remember that Thou alone didst create the souls of infidels, framing them to Thine own image and likeness; behold, O Lord, how, to Thy dishonor, hell is daily replenished with them. Remember, O Lord, Thine only Son, Jesus Christ, Who suffered for them, most bountifully shedding His precious blood. Suffer not, O Lord, Thy Son and our Lord to be any longer despised by infidels. But, rather, being appeased by the entreaties and prayers of the elect, the saints, and of the Church, the most blessed spouse of Thy Son; be mindful of Thy mercy, yet forgetful of their idolatry and infidelity. Cause all to know Him Whom Thou didst send, Jesus Christ Thy Son, our Lord, Who is our health, life, and resurrection, through Whom we are freed and saved, to Whom be all glory forever. Amen.
|Photo Credit: Richard|
After a radical conversion to Christ at the age of fifteen I lived as a genuinely devout Protestant, earnestly seeking after Christ in my life as best I could.
Sometimes, of course, doing a miserable job.
This Easter, after a long journey, I’ll become a Catholic.
My journey began when a Protestant pastor—himself on a journey towards a more ancient faith—asked me the question, “What’s more important the Bible or tradition?”
My answer was typically Protestant, “The Bible, of course.”
“But who put the Bible together?”
That was the tradition of the Church, of course—the thought came as a bit of a revelation.
I was subsequently set on a journey that lasted nearly a decade. A journey which introduced me to a podcasting priest, some Catholic friends, and even saw me attending Mass a couple of times. But Catholicism held no great appeal to me, at least not until I began to read.
I began to read about Catholicism from authors who were actual Catholics, instead of reading about what Protestant authors thought, or thought they knew, about Catholicism. I found out in a hurry that much of what I knew about Catholicism (from the Protestant sources I’ve read, and from the few Catholics I’d met) was inaccurate, to say the least.
If I’d known what Catholics really believed, I would’ve become Catholic a lot sooner.
I first read my way into the Church through authors like Louis Bouyer, Pope Benedict XVI, Scott Hahn, Stephen Ray, and G.K. Chesterton.
|Photo Source: CatholicLink Info from ChurchPOP|
|Pilgrimages to Holy Land sites such as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre have declined.|
|China Authorities removing Crosses (Photo Source: Facebook International Christian Concern)|
|Photo Source: Vatican Radio|
|"This is My Body which will be given up for you..." (Lk. 22:19; 1 Cor. 11:24) -Photo Source:1Peter5|
|Clockwise from upper right: Sister Anselm, Sister Reginette, Sister Judith and Sister Marguerite, the Missionaries of Charity sisters who were killed in Aden, Yemen, by two gunmen who attacked their convent on March 4.|
– Courtesy of the Apostolic Vicariate of Southern Arabia
|Pope Francis meets Kevin Systrom, co-founder and CEO of Instagram, during a private audience at the Vatican Feb. 26. (CNS/L’Osservatore Romano)|
|From Left: Bl. Mother Teresa; Bl. Jose Sanchez del Rosario; Bl. Jose Gabriel del Rosario Brochelo; Bl. Ma. Elisabetta Hesselblad; Bl. Stanislaus of Jesus Mary|