North Korean Catholics will not be attending Papal Mass in South Korea

North Korean Catholics will not be attending the Pope's Mass in South Korea. Though it was believed that a group of North Korean Catholics would go across the border to attend the Pope's Mass in Seoul, the invitation has apparently been denied. 
Pope Francis will celebrate a Mass of Reconciliation on the final day of his apostolic visit to South Korea in the Myeondong Cathedral. 
However, the day of the Mass coincides with a joint South Korean-US military drill,which  North Korea "condemned as a rehearsal for nuclear war.”
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Statement on the Passing of Cardinal Clancy, Archbishop Emeritus of Sydney

His Eminence Edward Bede Cardinal Clancy AC,

the seventh Archbishop of Sydney passed away peacefully yesterday in Sydney.

Cardinal Clancy was aged 90 and for the past eight years has been cared for by the Little Sisters of the Poor at Randwick.

Cardinal Clancy was the seventh Archbishop of Sydney from 1983 to 2001.

He was born in Lithgow NSW and from a very early age said he wanted to be a priest beginning his studies at age 16.

He was ordained to the priesthood in 1949 and continued his studies both in Australia and Rome. In 1974 he was ordained Auxiliary Bishop of Sydney.

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Worldwide day of prayer for peace in Iraq slated for August 6

The day will be dedicated especially to prayer for the Christians in Mosul and the surrounding area, now under the control of Islamic extremists. The Chaldean Patriarch has composed a prayer for the occasion:

Lord, The plight of our country is deep and the suffering of Christians is severe and frightening. Therefore, we ask you Lord to spare our lives, and to grant us patience, and courage to continue our witness of Christian values with trust and hope. Lord, peace is the foundation of life; Grant us the peace and stability that will enable us to live with each other without fear and anxiety, and with dignity and joy.

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Religious freedom nominee's record prompts worry

Washington D.C., Jul 31, 2014 / 05:10 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The announcement that Rabbi David Saperstein is being tapped as the next U.S. ambassador for global religious freedom has drawn concern based on his recent statements on the issue at home.

“I've been following David's activities for 30 years,” Rabbi Aryeh Spero of the Caucus for America told CNA. “I’m not confident he will address the greatest threat to religious freedom today, which is radical Islam’s oppression and persecution of Christians across many parts of the world as well as its threats against Jewish people.”

President Barack Obama on Monday announced plans to nominate Saperstein as Ambassador at-Large for International Religious Freedom. The position had been vacant for nine months, since the resignation of the former ambassador.

Religious freedom groups thanked the president for taking a step toward filling the position. However, some groups questioned whether Saperstein will truly protect religious freedom abroad.

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U.S. State Department releases country-by-country analysis of religious freedom

Another grim milestone for humanity. 2013 was one of the worst years for the displacement of entire religious communities around the world. A comprehensive report from the U.S. State Department tracked down the state of religious freedom in nearly 200 countries. 
U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See
"Religious freedom takes a lot of interpretations. In our own countries there are some very fine lines on interpretation. But the actual persecution of people because of their religion is one of the horrors of our day.”
The report highlighted areas where entire communities are targeted simply for their religion. It recorded increased persecution of Christians in 2013, noting that in countries like Syria, Egypt and Iraq, entire Christian communities have been decimated by violence.
Meanwhile, the report also details repressive government policies against Christians and other minorities in places like Saudi Arabia, Turkmenistan and Pakistan. The Vatican expressed their concern for these policies.
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