A Vietnamese Delegation to the Vatican has concluded its visit and there are postivie outcomes. The two sides acknowledged the progress in Vietnam – Holy See relations, including regular contacts and consultations, the exchange of high level delegations and frequent pastoral visits to Vietnam by the papal representative and non-resident special envoy, Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli.
The deputy director of the UK’s Council of Christians and Jews has joined the Queen and Prince Philip for an exclusive lunch at Buckingham Palace. Elizabeth Harris-Sawczenko was one of just eight guests from all walks of life selected by the Royals to join the special event, where she gifted Her Majesty with artwork by Vetta Alexis. It depicts the traditional Jewish prayer recited on meeting a member of the Royal Family.
On 25 October, the Vatican Congregation for the Faith gave an instruction on Cremation. The instruction, Ad resurgendum cum Christo emphasizes that ashes should be put in a sacred place, not transformed into jewellery or other commemorative memorabilia.
Father Jacques Mourad was prior of the Mar Elian monastery, a pilgrimage centre near the city of al-Qaryatayn that was briefly occupied by ISIS, which destroyed the monastery and kidnapped the monk in November 2015. He was held for five months, before he managed to escape. Now based in Europe, he spoke Oct. 17, 2016, with international Catholic charity Aid to the Church about the situation in Syria.
Tokyo: The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Japan’s Inter-Religious Dialogue Committee as part of the Jubilee Year of Mercy held discussions on the theory and practice of mercy in Buddhist and Shinto faiths. There is a direct parallel with the Japanese Christians understanding of God’s love which means ‘to hold dear’.
The role of religions in promoting peace and countering violence was discussed during a two-day dialogue between the Muslim Council of Elders and the World Council of Churches (WCC) in Geneva, Switzerland from 30 September to 1 October. Two sessions of talks, hosted by the WCC, involved presentations and discussions on key aspects of peacebuilding and interreligious dialogue, paying special attention to combating religious extremism leading to violence in many parts of the world.
The chief cleric of Cairo’s prestigious mosque and university, H.E. Professor Dr Ahmad Al-Tayyeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar al Sharif, has decried the present-day “civilizational crisis” of poverty and insecurity and called for interreligious collaboration to address it.