VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis led Christians in praying for Catholic and Orthodox clergy and religious kidnapped in Syria and around the world.

Published in Faith

MYTILENE, Greece – Although their speeches were punctuated with policy appeals, Pope Francis and Orthodox leaders focused their visit to the island of Lesbos on the faces, stories and drawings of refugees.

Published in International

VATICAN CITY – In a "humanitarian and ecumenical gesture," not a political one, Pope Francis is to join Orthodox leaders in personally meeting with hundreds of refugees and migrants stranded in Greece, the Vatican spokesman said.

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The most significant 11 minutes and 48 seconds in the history of Christianity have been widening the gulf between Orthodox and Western Christians since 1582. But if Orthodox, Catholic, Anglican and Protestant Christians can get their act together, the world’s Christians might finally start celebrating Easter on the same day.

Published in Canada

PARIS - The first major council of the world’s Eastern Orthodox churches in over 1,200 years will take place in Crete after the influential Russian Orthodox Church said political tensions between Moscow and Ankara ruled out holding it in Turkey.

Published in International

VATICAN CITY - The World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation should be a time for individuals to examine their lifestyles and the way they impact the environment, Pope Francis said.

Published in Faith

BEIRUT - Commemorating the second anniversary of the kidnapping of two Syrian bishops, the Greek Orthodox patriarch lamented the indifference of the international community about their fate.

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MONTREAL - “Something died in all of us today,” said Montreal city councillor Mary Deros as she surveyed the burned-out shell of Koimisis Tis Theotokou Church.

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VATICAN CITY - The head of the Melkite Catholic Church rejected outright all calls for an international military intervention in Syria and urged Pope Francis and all Christian churches to "promote a concrete and realistic road map" to peace in the beleaguered nation.

Published in International

MONTREAL - Christians have always faced various degrees of persecution through the centuries and should always be prepared to wear  “the crown of martyrdom,” a Coptic leader in Montreal told his congregation Feb. 28 during a memorial Mass honouring  21 Egyptians who were beheaded on a beach in Libya by jihadists in mid-February.

Published in International

BEIRUT - A pontifical aid organization has begun sending aid to families who fled their homes when Islamic State militants raided a cluster of Assyrian Christian villages on the Khabur River in northeast Syria.

Published in International

BEIRUT - Two Syrian-born patriarchs separately urged the international community to work together to address the crisis in Syria and the region.

Published in International

WARSAW, Poland - A Greek Catholic leader welcomed his country's new anti-austerity government and predicted Catholics would benefit from changes.

Published in International

BEIRUT - Catholic and Orthodox patriarchs called for an end to financing terrorists and suggested that borders be closed when necessary to prevent their movement.

Published in International

TORONTO - Dave Williams happened into the closing liturgy for this year’s Week of Prayer for Christian Unity entirely by chance. He wandered into Yorkminster Park Baptist Church, saw what was happening and immediately called his wife, Beverly John.

By the end of the service, Williams and John were convinced they had stumbled into something important.

Published in Canada: Toronto-GTA