NCR Today: Francis' itinerary for US trip released; Katy Perry fights with nuns over convent; priest says men spit on him at gay pride parade; professor takes on homelessness on campus
Pope Francis and the patriarch of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch expressed their desire to work toward full communion of the two churches.
The pope met with Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II at the Vatican Friday. This was Aphrem's first official visit with Francis. The two church leaders spoke privately, after which each gave a public discourse.
Faith and Justice: "If [the Islamic State group] does come in ... it will be a major humanitarian disaster."
Authors' note: This blog post is part two of a two-part series. Read part one: "A Middle Eastern House of Cards."
Great uncertainty hovers over discussions of the shape of the new order that will emerge from the violence and chaos sweeping through the Middle East today. The old order, unnaturally born from the Sykes-Picot Agreement 100 years ago, is coming to an end, dealt a death blow by the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, and alternative visions for the region have proved misguided.
Last week's New York Times had a story about the continued use of chemical weapons in Syria; namely, chlorine gas, which aid workers are convinced is being deployed by President Bashar al-Assad's government forces. Here's an excerpt from the story:
Last week, the Melkite archbishop of Aleppo, Syria, Jean-Clement Jeanbart, came to the U.S. to raise awareness about the plight of Christians in his country. I had the opportunity to spend 45 minutes with him and to go into some depth about the civil war tearing apart the country.
Ninety-nine years ago, on May 16, 1916, the Sykes-Picot Agreement, officially known as the Asia Minor Agreement, laid down the borders of the Middle East as we have known them for a century. The diplomats, Francois Georges-Picot for France and Sir Mark Sykes for Britain, had worked out the details in five months of negotiations, from November 1915 to March 1916.
Q and A: "Life was good for everybody before the war. But now, everything has been destroyed, stolen."
Despite the extreme hardship of being exiled from their homes in Iraq, the Easter vigil was a day of great joy for the parents of eight babies who were baptized in Lebanon.
Carried by his grandmother, 40-day-old Nimar, was the first to arrive at St. Elias Melkite Catholic Church.
Settling into a pew, the grandmother told Catholic News Service that Nimar is the first of her 12 grandchildren to be baptized outside of the family's ancestral parish near Mosul, Iraq, an area overrun by Islamic State militants.
Faith and Justice: Syria has suffered like few countries in the world. The country and its people need our help and assistance.