Following is a summary of current world news briefs. Explosions shook the Libyan capital Tripoli late on Saturday after an air strike, residents said, in an escalation of a two-week offensive by eastern forces on the city held by the internationally recognized government. Kemal Kilicdaroglu, head of the secularist Republican People's Party (CHP) that pulled off upset local election victories on March 31, had been attending a funeral for a Turkish soldier killed in clashes with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).
VATICAN CITY: Pope Francis denounced the "cruel violence" of the Easter Sunday slaughter of Christians and foreigners in Sri Lanka as he celebrated the most joyful moment on the Christian liturgical calendar by lamenting the bloodshed and political violence afflicting many parts of the world. Francis skipped his homily during Easter Mass but delivered his traditional "Urbi et Orbi" (To the city and the world) speech highlighting conflicts in the Mideast, Africa and the Americas and demanding that political leaders put aside their differences and work instead for peace. "May the one who gives us his peace end the roar of arms, both in areas of conflict and in our cities, and inspire the leaders of nations to work for an end to the arms race and the troubling spread of weaponry, especially in the economically more advanced countries," Francis said from the loggia of St. Peter's Basilica overlooking the flower-decked square below.
Francis skipped his homily during Easter Mass but delivered his traditional "Urbi et Orbi" (To the city and the world) speech highlighting conflicts in the Mideast, Africa and the Americas and demanding that political leaders put aside their differences and work instead for peace. "May the one who gives us his peace end the roar of arms, both in areas of conflict and in our cities, and inspire the leaders of nations to work for an end to the arms race and the troubling spread of weaponry, especially in the economically more advanced countries," Francis said from the loggia of St. Peter's Basilica overlooking the flower-decked square below. In a special appeal at the end, Francis lamented the "grave attacks" on Sri Lankan hotels and churches, which occurred just as the Christian faithful were celebrating Easter Mass that marks the resurrection of Christ following his crucifixion.
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Pope Francis has celebrated Easter Mass at the Vatican, as the church faced a fresh round of bloodshed targeting Christians in Sri Lanka. Hours after leading a late-night vigil, Francis processed into a flower-decked St Peter's Square for the liturgy commemorating the resurrection of Christ. This year the Easter season has been marred by both the fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris last week, and the massacre on Sunday in Sri Lanka. The Pope denounced the “cruel violence” of the Easter Sunday attacks and said he was praying for all those who are suffering from the bloodshed.
VATICAN CITY (AP) � Pope Francis is celebrating Easter Mass this year facing a fresh round of bloodshed targeting Christians in Sri Lanka. Hours after celebrating a late-night vigil, Francis processed into a flower-decked St. Peter's Square for the liturgy Sunday commemorating the resurrection of Christ after his crucifixion. After Mass, Francis delivers his annual Easter "Urbi et Orbi" speech about conflicts and other difficulties around the world.
Accused of sexually abusing children, a Roman Catholic priest who served a church in Hunterdon County has been permanently removed from priesthood by Pope Francis. The Diocese of Metuchen on Friday -- Good Friday -- announced the laicization of Mark Dolak. He was ordained in 1979 and faced multiple accusations of abuse that were deemed credible, the diocese had announced in February. Dolak had been assigned to six churches in the diocese, including St. Catherine of Siena in Pittstown. Dolak is now returned to the status of layperson. Because of the accusations against him, the Diocese of Metuchen says it removed his ability to serve as priest more than 20 years ago. Metuchen Bishop James F. Checchio
Pope Francis greets Swedish teenage environmental activist Greta Thunberg, right, during his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Wednesday, April 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino) The Associated Press VATICAN CITY (AP) — Swedish teenage environmental activist Greta Thunberg has brought her climate change campaign to the Vatican, where she met with Pope Francis and carried a sign saying "Join the climate strike." Thunberg arrived late for Francis' general audience on Wednesday and took her seat in the VIP section in St. Peter's Square. Francis went up to her at the end of the audience, where Thunberg showed off her sign. She is in Rome to headline Friday's "school
One of the early promises of internet video was the ability to experience the world through the eyes of others. More than ever, that dream is coming true in realtime fashion as everything from conferences to concerts to tourist attractions are broadcast live to the world through their myriad attendees, allowing others across the world to see things through different eyes. What does this mean for the future of experiencing place? In our mobile-first data-rich 4G world, it is only natural that people across the world would turn to their smartphones to live stream their life experiences. Unable to attend a major product launch? Chances are that if the launch's own live stream doesn't capture what
Vatican City, Apr 20: Pope Francis used a Good Friday ceremony to decry "all the crosses" of suffering in the world, including those borne by migrants who find doors closed due to "political calculations" and children who are harmed in their "innocence and purity," in a reference to pedophile clergy. From a canopied platform on the Palatine Hill, Francis watched the traditional torch-lit, nighttime procession at Rome's Colosseum that solemnly recalled the crucifixion of Jesus. Francis prayed to Jesus to help "us to see in your cross all the crosses of the world." The pope cited persons starved for food and for love, and those "abandoned" even by their own children or parents. Then he touched on two issues heavily marking his papacy - how to promote the cause of often rejected migrants and to deal with a sea of scandals over Catholic clergy's sexual abuse of children.
Pope Francis on Sunday condemned attacks that killed at least 138 people in three churches and four hotels in Sri Lanka as "such cruel violence" and said he was close to the Christian community, hit while celebrating Easter. The blasts, which hospital and police officials said wounded more than 400 people, followed a lull in major attacks since the end of the civil war 10 years ago. "I learned with sadness and pain of the news of the grave attacks, that precisely today, Easter, brought mourning and pain to churches and other places where people were gathered in Sri Lanka," Pope Francis told tens of thousands of people in St. Peter's Square to hear his Easter Sunday "Urbi et Orbi" (to the city and the world) message.
Pope Francis on Sunday urged world leaders to try again to bring peace to Libya and in Syria where millions of refugees and people displaced by conflict should be helped to return home. Francis noted how in Libya violence has flared up again as strongman Khalifa Haftar's Libyan National Army attacked Tripoli, seat of the UN-backed government. "May conflict and bloodshed cease in Libya, where defenceless people are once more dying in recent weeks," Francis said.
South Sudan's political leaders were “visibly tearful” when the Pope pleaded for peace in the war-torn African country, according to a former moderator of the Church of Scotland. The Very Rev Dr John Chalmers said that the room was “stunned” by the intervention. The Presbyterian, who met Pope Francis in 2015, said the occasion was significant because it was the first time that the Catholic, Anglican and Protestant churches had worked so closely for peace in 500 years. During an ecumenical spiritual retreat led by the Pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, to support South Sudan's peace deal, designed to end six years of civil war, the Pope broke off from his prepared
In August 2016, Pope Francis named a commission of 12 scholars to study the history of women deacons. The commission – the first in the history of the Catholic Church to have an equal number of men and women – provided a report some months ago. Will the pope restore the tradition of ordained women deacons? No one knows what's next. But Christianity depends on women. It was the women followers of Jesus, not his apostles, who went to the tomb that first Easter Sunday morning. It was Mary Magdalene who announced the Resurrection. Today, most Catholic employees and volunteers are women, and churches are filled with them. But Catholicism retains an all-male clergy. It wasn't always like that. Historically,