Catholic agencies prepare for long-term relief

Baltimore-based Catholic Relief Services has been asked by the Vatican to coordinate the church's relief and recovery efforts in earthquake-ravaged Haiti.

The U.S. bishops are asking parishes across the United States to take up a second collection Jan. 16-17 to help ease "the terrible suffering of our brothers and sisters in Haiti" after a magnitude 7 earthquake.

Moderate Muslims confront Islamic radicalism


A recent report from Duke University praised U.S. and Canadian Muslim leaders for fighting to keep Islamic radicalism out of their communities by condemning terrorism, self-policing, and becoming active in politics.

Within days, in what seemed to confirm the "Anti-Terror Lessons of Muslim Americans" report from Duke, a group of 20 imams -- 19 Canadian, one American -- issued a fatwa, or religious edict, condemning Islamic extremist attacks as an attack on all North American Muslims. The fatwa urged rank-and-file Muslims to "expose" radicals, and relay the message to Muslims abroad that they have religious freedom.

CRS expects 'thousands and thousands' Haiti dead, injured


Catholic Relief Services was preparing for "thousands and thousands" of dead and injured people in the wake of the most devastating earthquake to strike Haiti in two centuries, said Karel Zelenka, the agency's country representative.

Among those reported dead were Archbishop Joseph Serge Miot of Port-au-Prince and Zilda Arns Neumann, a pediatrician who founded the Brazilian bishops' children's commission and sister of Brazilian Cardinal Paulo Evaristo Arns, retired archbishop of Sao Paulo.

A group of Montfort priests and seminarians initially reported to have died in Port-au-Prince were not even in the city and were not killed, a spokesman said.

In an e-mail from the capital, Port-au-Prince, Zelenka told his colleagues at CRS headquarters in Baltimore that damage was "incredible all around."

In response, CRS initially has committed $5 million to help survivors, said John Rivera, the agency's communications director.

Hume says anti-Christian bias fueled backlash


WASHINGTON -- Fox News analyst Brit Hume, who was both widely praised and criticized for suggesting that golfer Tiger Woods should embrace Christianity to find true "redemption," said he fell victim to widespread media bias against Christianity.

"Instead of urging that Tiger Woods turn to Christianity, if I had said what he needed to do was to strengthen his Buddhist commitment or turn to Hinduism, I don't think anybody would have said a word," Hume told Christianity Today's Sarah Pulliam Bailey.

Catholic mission to fight HIV/AIDS in Sudan


Catholic Medical Mission Board gets grant to fight HIV/AIDS in Sudan

NEW YORK -- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have given a five-year, $5.9 million grant to the New York-based Catholic Medical Mission board to fight the spread of HIV and AIDS in southern Sudan.

The project's goals are to reduce the incidence of new HIV infection through testing and counseling, prevention of mother-to-child transmission, and behavior change to prevent sexual transmission of the virus.

Korean church slams activistís northern incursion


SEOUL -- South Korean Church leaders have condemned US Christian activist Robert Park’s incursion into North Korea, saying it will not help religious freedom in the country and may do more harm than good.

Park, a Protestant Korean-American, crossed the border on Christmas Eve with a Bible in his hand, shouting: “I brought God's love! God loves you!” according to local media.

He was immediately arrested.

Just ask yourself: How can I be useful to the poor?


For many years, Fr. Bob McCahill, a Maryknoll missionary, has been sending an annual letter to NCR and other friends at Christmastime, chronicling his experience living among the people of Bangladesh since 1975. His 2009 letter is below.

Dear Friends,

The best place in Bangladesh to find men for serious conversation is the tea stall. One day men at a tea stall in Narail town watched me as I oiled my bicycle. They sent someone to fetch me. Bike in hand I walked over to join them. There were 10 of them, all involved in trucking. Jahangir put questions to me supplied to him by Kamal and Ratan -- the usual questions about my source of income, my wife and children, and my country of birth. When I left them after 10 minutes I shook their hands. Jahangir’s final comment was about how fortunate they felt to hear the reason for my living among them, that is, the life and teachings of Jesus.

Aid packages offer lifeline to needy West Bank Palestinians

Beit Sahour, West Bank -- Ra’ed Abu Rdneineh surveyed the overcast sky with satisfaction. Despite early morning threats of rain, the weather held out and the second truck of basic food supplies in as many days destined for East Jerusalem from Catholic Relief Services was almost loaded.

If it had rained during the loading process the sacks of flour would have been spoiled, explained Abu Rdneineh, Catholic Relief Services project officer in Bethlehem. Thankfully, the distribution was not being postponed and 300 families in Al Ayzariyah would receive the much-needed food packages.



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In This Issue

June 16-29, 2017