Abbas "un inger al pacii? Papa canonizeaza doua calugarite palestiniene

Papa Francisc a declarat „sfinte” patru călugăriţe care au trăit în secolul al XIX-lea, două palestinience, o franţuzoaică şi o italiancă, cerând azi dimineaţă mulţimii prezente în piaţa Sfântul Petru să le urmeze „exemplul luminos”.

Carmelita Mariam Bawardi (1846-1878), sora Marie-Alphonsine Ghattas (1843-1927), Jeanne-Emilie de Villeneuve (1811-1854) şi Maria Cristina dell’Immacolata (1856-1906) au fost canonizate în timpul unei slujbe în aer liber.
Papa Francisc a lăudat parcursul celor patru călugăriţe, „modele de sfinţenie, pe care Biserica ne invită să le imităm” şi ale căror portrete decorau faţada bazilicii Sfântul Petru. Suveranul pontif a vorbit despre personalităţile fiecăreia dintre cele patru femei, în prezenţa liderului palestinian Mahmoud Abbas şi a ministrului de interne francez, Bernard Cazeneuve.
AFP relatează că Papa Francisc a avut sâmbătă o audienţă privată de circa 20 de minute cu preşedintele Abbas, pe care l-a numit „un înger al păcii”. Suveranul pontif şi Abbas au insistat pe „necesitatea dialogului interreligios”, în condiţiile în care islamismul radical promovat de mişcări precum gruparea Statul Islamic (SI) reprezintă o ameninţare gravă pentru întreaga regiune a Orientului Mijlociu.

!Vatican Officially Recognizes State Of Palestine

The Vatican has officially recognized Palestine in a new treaty that switches the Holy See’s diplomatic relations from the Palestine Liberation Organization to the state of Palestine.
NPR’s Sylvia Poggioli tells our Newscast unit the document still has to be signed.
The Vatican, in a statement, said the agreement had been concluded and will be „submitted to the respective authorities for approval ahead of setting a date in the near future for the signing.”
„Yes, it’s a recognition that the state exists,” said the Rev. Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman.
The Vatican has referred to the state of Palestine since at least 2012.
Sylvia adds:
„During Pope Francis’ visit last year to the Holy Land, the official Vatican program referred to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as president of the state of Palestine. And, in its latest yearbook, the Palestinian ambassador to the Holy See is listed as representing the state of Palestine.”
Abbas is scheduled to meet the pope on Saturday — the day before two new saints from the Holy Land are to be canonized.
The National Catholic Reporter says the text of today’s agreement will not be released until it receives approval at the highest levels.
Msgr. Antoine Camilleri, the Vatican undersecretary for relations with states and head of the Vatican delegation at the negotiations, told L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, that among other things, the agreement expresses hope for an end to tensions between Palestinians and Israel.
The Crux, the Boston Globe‘s website that covers the Catholic Church, provides some context about the Vatican’s position on the Palestinian issue:
„Diplomatically, the Vatican has long supported a two-state solution to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, providing security assurances for Israel and sovereignty for the Palestinians.
„Rome also backs an internationally guaranteed special status for Jerusalem, including protection for holy sites sacred to Judaism, Islam and Christianity.”
Israel said it was „disappointed” by the Vatican’s announcement and was seeking clarification.
(npr.org)

The Playground Parable

There once was a father who had two daughters. He loved them both equally and wanted the very best for each of them. They lived beside a vast park and every day they would walk over to the playground. The father would kneel between them, an arm around each, and tell them the rules.
“You must stay in plain sight,” he explained. “Do not go in the woods surrounding the playground. Do not even go near them. Instead, play where you can clearly hear my voice. There are dangerous things beyond this place, but if you stay close, you will be perfectly safe.”
The younger daughter felt nervous. How could she know if she was close enough to hear her father’s voice? She spent the afternoon looking fearfully over her shoulder, wondering if she was okay. “Is this where you want me?” she would ask him every time she started toward a new place. The only problem was that she never quite made it where she was going. Her heart was too fearful and her steps too timid.
The older daughter chose to race from the swings to the slide to the monkey bars. She laughed and played. Every little while she would glance over at her father and wave. At one point she wandered too close to the woods but spun around when she heard his voice. “Back this way, child.” He said. She apologized and hurried off toward the swings again.
The father loved both of his daughters the same. He delighted in them. Yet, one could not help but notice the way he watched his younger daughter with a bit of sorrow tinging his expression. It was important that she obey the rules and stay in the circle of safety—but he sorrowed at her fear. He longed for her to simply trust his voice, and to learn to trust her ability to hear him. “I’ll tell you if you start to wander too far,” he explained to her. “Trust me.”
In Christian circles there is much talk about finding “God’s calling” for our lives, and most of it is good! He does have a will for us. We have been created for a specific purpose. But too many times I think we take that truth and create chains of fear. Like the younger daughter in the story, we never quite make it to where we’re going…because we’re too afraid to take the next step.
There needs to be a level of trust. God is not some secret-keeper in the sky, hiding your purpose from you. He is a loving Father who delights in you. Yes, you need to listen to Him! Absolutely.
Using the playground analogy, if He says, “Child, I want you to stay on the swings right now.” Then listen! If He says, “Go to the monkey bars today.” Do it! But if He says nothing, don’t stand there in fear. Trust that if He needs you a certain place, He’ll tell you.
Go swing—and point your friends on the swings toward your loving Father.
Go slide—and point your friends on the slide toward your loving Father.
And while you’re going here and there, enjoying the things you’re doing today, just remember there are some pretty basic boundaries. God may give you the freedom to choose who to marry, but I guarantee that dabbling in sexual immorality will take you right off the playground and into the woods. He may not say, “Go to North Africa as a missionary,” but He does say that you are to be light and salt to a dark and lost world.
Follow the basic guidelines and trust Him to speak if you need to do something different.
He will. I promise.
Keep looking to His face, keep your ear tuned to His voice—and walk in confidence.

Natasha Metzler – manofdepravity.com

Israel’s aid team to Nepal larger than any other country’s

Israel’s aid team to the earthquake-battered Himalayan nation of Nepal is the largest in manpower of any international aid mission.

Over 250 doctors and rescue personnel were part of an IDF delegation that landed Tuesday in the Nepalese capital, Kathmandu, in the wake of Saturday’s magnitude-7.8 earthquake that devastated large swaths of the mountainous country, killing at least 5,000 and leaving some 8,000 wounded and tens of thousands seeking shelter and food.

The Israeli group set up a field hospital with 60 beds that began operations on Wednesday in coordination with the local army hospital.
Nepal’s Prime Minister Sushil Koirala and the Nepalese Army’s chief of staff visited the field hospital to attend its opening ceremony.
Dozens of Israeli backpackers are stranded in far-flung areas of the country, especially in the Gosainkunda lakes area. The Foreign Ministry says only one Israeli, Or Asraf, remains unaccounted for of the 2,000 who were in the country when the quake hit Saturday. A report Wednesday afternoon on Channel 2 suggested that Asraf was seen alive and well an hour after the quake, but the information was second-hand and not confirmed. Israeli rescue teams hope to finish locating and extracting the last of the stranded backpackers by the end of the day Wednesday
Asraf was moderately wounded fighting with the IDF in last summer’s Gaza war. After recovering from his injuries and completing his army service, he went backpacking in Nepal, a popular destination for post-army Israelis, and was slated to return to Israel in July.
Israel’s aid convoy to the quake-stricken nation is the largest ever sent by the IDF overseas. Israel has deployed field hospitals to Haiti, the Philippines and Japan in recent years following natural disasters
According to figures reported by CNN, Israel’s total official aid delegation, not counting several private aid groups, numbers 260 people, more than all the other aid efforts examined by CNN combined. The next-largest delegation, from the United Kingdom, numbers 68 people, followed by China’s 62, the US’s 54 and South Korea’s 40. Taiwan sent 20 personnel, Italy 15 and France 11.
In aid money, Israel performs rather less well. Leading the pack with funds intended to provide for emergency supplies and help sustain local rescue efforts came the United States with $10 million, followed by the UK with $5 million, Canada with $4.1m, Australia and Norway with $3.9 million each and the EU with $3.25m. Israel did not send money.
Israel also leads in its efforts to rescue its stranded countrymen.
Some 2,000 Israelis were in Nepal when the quake struck Saturday. The vast majority have been rescued, with the remaining number estimated in the dozens and just one Israeli unaccounted for. Four planes were sent to airlift Israelis out, along with helicopters and jeeps rented for the effort, while a combination of IDF, insurance company-sponsored rescue teams and various volunteer groups helped reach nearly all the Israelis stranded in remote parts of the mountainous country.
In contrast, of 1,400 French citizens in the country when the quake struck, 676 remain unaccounted for. Some 550 Australians were in Nepal on Saturday; over 300 have not yet been located by authorities. Of 4,000 Chinese citizens, 683 are still unaccounted for. ( timesofisrael.com)

Nepal earthquake kills over 4000 people #TheLastDays

  • – More than 1,000 people have been reported dead after a huge 7.9 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal
  • – The country’s deputy prime minister, Bamdev Gautam, has declared a state of emergency and appealed for humanitarian assistance across the region.
  • – 18 climbers were found dead on Mount Everest after the tremor triggered an avalanche. Many more are trapped.
  • – The total death toll has risen quickly throughout the day, and is now thought to include at least 634 in the Kathmandu Valley and 300 more in the capital.
  • – 36 people have also been reported dead India, 12 in China, four in Bangladesh and six in Tibet.
  • – The quake caused dozens of buildings in Kathmandu to collapse, including the historic Dharahara Tower.
  • – The city’s main hospital is overwhelmed by casualties and residents are facing a night on the streets with nowhere to go.
  • – Indian prime minister Narendra Modi has ordered an immediate dispatch of relief and medical teams to Nepal, and the evacuation of Indian tourists.
  • – UK foreign secretary Philip Hammond said the government was in close contact with Nepal, and the British Embassy is offering assistance to the authorities and British Nationals in the country.

Israel vs Rusia : Putin avertizeaza conducerea israeliana

Preşedintele rus Vladimir Putin a avertizat Israelul în legătură cu creşterea numărului morţilor, în cazul în care această ţară, aşa cum a sugerat recent, va furniza arme letale guvernului ucrainean, ca urmare a deciziei Moscovei de a trimite un sistem de apărare împotriva rachetelor sol-aer S-300, în Iran.
Avertizarea liderului de la Kremlin a fost făcută în cadrul unui interviu televizat difuzat sâmbătă, subliniind că o asemenea mişcare a Tel Aviv-ului ar fi „contraproductivă” şi „doar ar provoca o nouă rundă de ostilităţi”, transmite Press Tv.
„Numărul morţilor ar creşte, dar rezultatul nu s-ar schimba”, a mai spus Vladimir Putin.
Afirmaţiile sale vin după ce unii politicieni israelieni au sugerat că regimul ar putea trimite arme letale Ucrainei, în semn de răspuns la aprovizionarea Iranului de către Rusia, cu sisteme antirachetă S-300.
„Este o alegere pe care o face conducerea israeliană, pot face ce consideră că este necesar”, a mai atenţionat preşedintele rus.
Pe 13 aprilie, Vladimir Putin a semnat un decret prezidenţial care a deschis drumul pentru o mult aşteptată livrare de sisteme S-300 în Iran. Pe 16 aprilie, Putin a apărat decizia Moscovei privind livrarea sistemelor, arătând că acestea au scopul de a descuraja atacuri.