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Caption: Palestinian Issa Abu Jabber, 18, of Bethlehem, West Bank, prays during Mass in the Church of St. Catherine July 27. Parishes throughout the West Bank celebrated special Masses for Gaza, Iraq and Syria. (CNS/Debbie Hill)
Palestinian Issa Abu Jabber, 18, of Bethlehem, West Bank, prays during Mass in the Church of St. Catherine July 27. Parishes throughout the West Bank celebrated special Masses for Gaza, Iraq and Syria. (CNS/Debbie Hill)
For some Mideast Catholics, church is anchor of hope amid violence

By Judith Sudilovsky
Catholic News Service

BETHLEHEM, West Bank (CNS) -- As the death toll in Gaza surpasses 1,000, violent demonstrations in the West Bank leave dead and wounded, and an entire Christian community is exiled from the Iraqi city of Mosul by Islamic extremists, Christians in the Holy Land find themselves facing harsh realities.

For some Catholics, the church and its tenets serve as an anchor of hope.
(full story)


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Caption: Crosses line a military cemetery in Dobrich, Bulgaria. The 1916 Battle of Dobrich saw Bulgarian troops defeat Romanian and Russian soldiers to take back the southern Dobruja region. Germany's Catholic bishops have urged efforts to overcome
Crosses line a military cemetery in Dobrich, Bulgaria. The 1916 Battle of Dobrich saw Bulgarian troops defeat Romanian and Russian soldiers to take back the southern Dobruja region. Germany's Catholic bishops have urged efforts to overcome "destructive self-interest" on the 100th anniversary of World War I, while recognizing the shared guilt of churches for the conflict, which left 16 million dead. (CNS/EPA)
NEWS BRIEFS Jul-28-2014
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THIS WEEK IN ORIGINS

Editors: Contents of Origins CNS Documentary Service, Vol. 44, No. 11 (July 31, 2014):

-- The United States should do all it can to bring about an immediate cease-fire in Gaza, Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, urges Secretary of State John Kerry on behalf of the U.S. bishops.

-- Catholic leaders in the Holy Land call for an end to the cycle of violence between Israelis and Palestinians, while criticizing Israel's "collective punishment" of Palestinians.

-- Richard Jones, a Catholic Relief Services representative, outlines forces propelling the flight of youth and children from Central America and the programs CRS and other agencies have developed aimed at helping families remain intact in their home countries.

-- Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, Vatican ambassador to the U.S., exhorts Catholic educators to develop creative ways of countering the challenges secularism, materialism and relativism pose to youth today.

-- Archbishops William E. Lori of Baltimore and Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, celebrating the opening and closing Masses of the U.S. bishops' conference's Fortnight for Freedom, highlight the many ways religious people and agencies serve the nation.


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