News

Cardinal Tauran notes significant step forward in talks with Muslim leaders

The president of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue said that he saw new signs of progress in talks with Islamic leaders, after a meeting this week in Rome.

Cardinal Jean Louis Tauran told Vatican Radio that the 3rd Catholic-Muslim Summit broke new ground because “the participants were coming from all over the world.”

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Marriage between a man a woman: Strong families, lead to strong societies

Hundreds of experts are shedding light on why marriage is a union based between a man and a woman. It's part of a three day Vatican conference that brings together people from 23 countries and 14 religions.   
 
JONATHAN SACKS
Former Chief Rabbi (England)
"When you get traditions that different, agreeing on something, you can be pretty sure that something is true and valid and fundamental.”
 
The conference titled 'Humanum' is meant to highlight the innate compatibility between a man and a woman, not only in marriage, but in family life.  
 
Expert say the decline in the marriage and the family, ultimately leads to a decline of society. 

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Exhibition traces the footsteps of Christians in the Middle East throughout a millenium

Although today there are those who wish to expel them from their home, Christians have populated the Middle East for centuries. Writers, archeaological discoveries and even modern inventions, like the camera, attest to this. 
 
FR. JEAN-MICHEL DE TARRAGON
Exhibition Commissioner
"The message of the exhibition has an educational aspect. It's about making the West, a Christian West, let´s say, understand the diversity of origins of the Christians of the East. This exhibition wouldn´t make sense in Jerusalem, Beirut or Aman... It is not necessary to prove to Arabs who live there that Christians live among them. They know it very well, they live with them”.
 
The exhibition "Christians of the East,” hosted by the French Institute in Rome, is composed of 60 photographs, picked among over 20.000 from the French Biblical and Archaeological School in Jerusalem. Some are over a century old, and they reflect the diversity of Christians that have proven over the years that coexistence is possible. 
 
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Catholic and Orthodox Church: A look at why the Pope's visit with Bartholomew was key

It was a moment that lasted only a few seconds, but it was charged with symbolism. 
 
"As a favor, I will ask you to bless me and the Church of Rome.”  
 
When the leader of more than 225 million Orthodox Christians, blessed Pope Francis, it meant more than just a moving gesture. 
 
FR. JOHN CHRYSSAVGIS
Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople
"I think it's not just a symbolic gesture. It's a profound gesture of humility, of recognition that matters, like authority and power are not seen as in the secular world. It was a profound statement of equality between the Pope and the Patriarch. And the Patriarch's reciprocation in Jerusalem was an embrace. Here maybe he was expecting the Pope to do something again spontaneous and he needed to respond in a way that showed that he was not one person over another.” 
 
In the year 1054 the cultural differences between the East and West led to the division between Orthodox Christians and Catholics.
 
The relationship between the two Churches was basically non existent for 900 years, but one visit changed everything. In 1964, Pope Paul VI met with Patriarch Athenagoras in the Holy Land, opening a new chapter between Catholics and Orthodox. 
 
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Defending religious freedom and life through the legal system... at home and abroad

Fighting for religious freedom isn't something that only happens out on the streets or in temples...usually it happens inside a courtroom, with attorneys like Benjamin Bull. 
 
BENJAMIN BULL
Alliance Defending Freedom
"We can organize countries, organize oppositions, organize friendly NGO’s to stop it and really no one has tried to do this before and we’ve had remarkable success in the last couple of years.”
 
The success is international. The Alliance Defending Freedom operates all over the world. They have offices in the United Nations in New York, they're opening an office in Geneva and another in Brussels. Their team includes legal experts, who usually work pro-bono. Their outreach extends all the way to Latin America, in countries like Mexico, Colombia, Chile and Argentina. 
 
When groups like the Organization of American States try to impose their values on foreign countries, the Alliance responds with local lawyers with their own day in court. 
 
BENJAMIN BULL
Alliance Defending Freedom
"They're trying to impose same sex marriage on Latin American countries, they are seeking to impose abortion on demand in these countries, which generally are very conservative.”We’ve had success in the various commissions, and various resolutions and the treaties by stopping the international planned parenthood and groups like that from inserting abortion on demand into these bodies and resolutions.” 
 
The lawsuits they win seldom make headline news, but their effects are very real.The bills they fight against in court, often include glazed over language, that can easily go unnoticed, if it weren't for experts who look more closely. 
 
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