Harry Mount How we came to love the Germans NOTEBOOK, PAGE 12
Melanie McDonagh We must help the Christians in Iraq
COMMENT, PAGE 12
Maurice Glasman Labour’s debt to Catholicism
INTERVIEW, PAGE 7
August 15 2014 £1.50 (Republic of Ireland €1.80)
Vatican: Muslim leaders must denounce ‘barbaric’ jihadists Pontifical council condemns Islamic State amid growing support in Church for military action
BY SIMON CALDWELL, CINDY WOODEN AND MADELEINE TEAHAN
THE VATICAN has called on Muslim leaders to condemn the “barbarity” and “unspeakable criminal acts” of Islamic State militants in Iraq, saying a failure to do so would jeopardise the future of interreligious dialogue.
The Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue released a statement on Tuesday, stating that: “The plight of Christians, Yazidis and other religious and ethnic communities in Iraq demands a clear and courageous stance on the part of religious leaders, especially Muslims, those engaged in interfaith dialogue and everyone of goodwill.
“All must be unanimous in condemning unequivocally these crimes and must denounce the invocation of religion to justify them. Otherwise, what credibility will religions, their followers and their leaders have? What credibility would remain to the inter-religious dialogue patiently pursued in recent years?”
The document noted that the “majority of Muslim religious and political institutions” have opposed the Islamic State’s avowed mission of restoring a caliphate, a sovereign Muslim state under Islamic law, to succeed the Ottoman Caliphate abolished after the founding of modern Turkey in 1923.
Last week more than 50,000 residents of the Christian city of Qaraqosh fled from the Islamic State, formerly known as ISIS, who have committed numerous acts of violence against religious minorities such as the Yazidis, as well as Shia and Sunni opponents. The United States has already commenced air strikes against the IS, along with emergency aid drops to refugees stranded in the Sinjar mountains.
However despite calls from various MPs and Christian leaders the Government has refused to recall Parliament.
Leading Vatican officials have also signalled to The Catholic Herald’s Rome correspondent Edward Pentin their support for air strikes, in stark contrast to
Thousands of Christian and Yazidi refugees have fled to the Sinjar mountains in northern Iraq to escape from Islamic State militants
the Church’s strong opposition to the 2003 US invasion.
The Vatican listed some of the “shameful practices” recently committed by the “jihadists” of the Islamic State, which the US government has classified as a terrorist group, among them “the execrable practice of beheading, crucifixion and hanging of corpses in public places; the choice imposed on Christians and Yazidis between conversion to Islam, payment of tribute or exodus; the abduction of girls and women belonging to the Yazidi and Christian communities; and the imposition of the barbaric practice of infibulation, or female genital mutilation.”
The statement added: “No cause can justify such barbarity and certainly not a religion. Religious leaders also are called on to exercise their influence with the rulers for the cessation of these crimes, the punishment of those who commit them and the restoration of the rule of law throughout the country, ensuring the return home of the deported. These same leaders should not fail to emphasise that the support, financing and arming of terrorism is morally reprehensible.”
On Tuesday Pope Francis’s special envoy Cardinal Fernando Filoni traveled to Iraq to meet Church and government officials, but especially to meet Christians chased from their homes by militants of the Islamic State.
Fr Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, said that Pope Francis chose Cardinal Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, for the mission because of the experience he gained in the region as nuncio to Iraq from 2001 to 2006.
During his Angelus address on Sunday, Pope Francis made a personal plea for peace in Iraq. He said: “Dear brothers and sisters: the news reports coming from Iraq leave us in dismay and disbelief: thousands of people, including many Christians, driven from their homes in a brutal manner.
“All this gravely offends God and humanity. Hatred is not to be carried out in the name of God! War is not to be waged in the name of God!”
In a letter to Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster praised the recent airdrops of humanitarian aid by RAF planes to refugees in the Sinjar mountains, but urged that the “relief operation” and “crucial diplomatic efforts” be increased.
The Cardinal wrote that “there needs to be a sustained focus on creating a more stable society based on respect for fundamental human rights, especially freedom of religion, and the rule of law.”
“Britain has a role to play in that and I ask that you increase the existing efforts made by the Foreign Office to promote a culture in which the dignity of the person is paramount,” he said.
Continued on Page 2 Vatican Notebook: Page 4 Feature: Page 9 Melanie McDonagh: Page 12 Editorial Comment: Page 13
Kinnoull Centre for Spirituality Home of the Redemptorists in Scotland
SABBATICAL OR RENEWAL
COURSE IN SCOTLAND The full course is mainly for Priests and Religious, however it is possible to come for a week or two of the course that interests you, the teaching weeks are open to anyone who would like to attend.
Full Course Dates: 20 October - 4 December 2014
Spirituality of True Self Esteem Miss Marie Hogg & Fr. Jim McManus CSsR
26-30 October 2014 The Healing Ministry Fr. Jim McManus CSsR
2-6 November 2014 Celtic Spirituality with Iona Pilgrimage Dr. Therese Cullen & Fr. JJ. O’Riordain CSsR
9-15 November 2014 Jesus in the Gospels
TBA 16-20 November 2014 Transitions in Life Fr. Ronnie McAinsh CSsR
23-27 November 2014 NEW YEAR IN KINNOULL We set aside the weekday for January and February for use by Parish Groups, Schools or Religious Orders who may wish to hold Chapters or gatherings in this welcoming space.
Redemptorist Centre of Spirituality Telephone: 01738 624075 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.kinnoullmonastery.co.uk
Pope to pray at cemetery for the unborn during South Korea visit BY KITTY TEAGUE
POPE FRANCIS was expected to land in Seoul yesterday morning to begin a five-day trip to South Korea – the first papal visit there in 25 years.
During the trip he was scheduled to pray for the unborn in a cemetery for aborted babies during a stop at the Khottoghnae home for the sick.
The home, in the Diocese of Cheongju, offers assistance to the homeless, the disabled and alcoholics. It was founded in 1976 by Fr John Oh, who established the Kkottongnae Brothers and Sisters of Jesus.
Pope Francis was expected to be the first pontiff to fly through Chinese airspace due to historically bad relations between the Vatican and China. When Pope John Paul II travelled to South Korea in 1984 his flight took the polar route to avoid it.
Yesterday morning there was to be a welcoming ceremony in the garden of the Blue House, home of the president Park Geun-hye.
Today the Pope will fly by helicopter to Daejeon, where he will hold a Mass at the World Cup Stadium, before having lunch at a seminary and meeting young people.
Tomorrow he will visit Guanghwamun Gate in Seoul where he will beatify 124 martyrs who were beheaded by Confucian authorities in the 18th and 19th centuries.
He will then fly to a rehabilitation centre to meet religious leaders in Khottongnae, central Korea.
On Sunday he will fly to Haemi Castle to meet Asian bishops, and will hold the closing Mass for Asian Youth Day there.
Finally, before heading back to Rome after lunch on Monday, he will meet religious leaders in Seoul and hold a Mass for peace and reconciliation at Myeongdong Cathedral.
Protests fail to stop parish pig wrestling BY KITTY TEAGUE
department to ensure that tensions did not arise.
AN ONLINE petition signed by nearly 45,000 people has failed to stop a pig-wrestling event in an American church.
The Pig Rassle, hosted by St Patrick’s parish in Stephensville, Wisconsin, took place on Sunday despite thousands of people calling for its cancellation. It was closely monitored by the Outagamie County Sheriff’s
The pig wrestling was part of a fundraiser which included Mass, dinner, a parade, raffles and a l ive band.
Citing concern for animal welfare, the petition sought to ban the wrestling, saying that the pigs are “punched in the face, kicked, bodyslammed, jumped on, yelled at and thrown into a bucket”.
As part of the event, teams have to catch pigs in less than a minute. The parish church has reacted to criticism by stating on i ts website: “Consideration is taken to ensure that the pigs are safe and free from any abuse.”
Actor led to Church with help of hurricane
BY TOM TRACY
AN ACTOR best known for his portrayal of a disabled veteran in Forrest Gump has described his conversion to Catholicism at a gathering of the Knights of Columbus in America.
Gary Sinise, who was nominated for an Oscar for his performance as Lieutenant Dan, explained that he followed his wife into the Church in 2010.
His wife’s decision to become a Catholic, he said, was prompted by a hurricane.
“As we are racing down the highway in the rental car, trying to outrun the storm as lightning and wind and rain and thun-
der are chas-
ing us ... Moira, out of the blue, turns to me and says, ‘When we get back home I’m... Continued on Page 4
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