Sunday, March 24, 2013

Pope Francis Urges Dialogue With Islam; Help For Poor In Address To Diplomats

Philip Pullella*

Pope Francis (Photo: AP)
VATICAN CITY, March 22 (Reuters) - Pope Francis urged the West on Friday to intensify dialogue with Islam and appealed to the world to do more to combat poverty and protect the environment.

Speaking in Italian, the new pontiff said richer countries should fight what he called "the spiritual poverty of our times" by re-forging links with God.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Happy Nowruz: How We Celebrate the Persian New Year

Mahshad Khosraviani*

For most people, March 20 is just another day on the calendar. Another Wednesday of morning coffees, rush hours, late meetings and daily chores; But for Persians around the world March 20 is a day of celebration, feast and joy. The first day of the spring season marks the Persian New Year, also known as Nowruz -- that is a combination of two Persian words: no, which means "new," and rouz, which means "day." Together they mean "New Day." The exact beginning of the Nowruz occurs when the season changes from winter to spring on the vernal equinox.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Pope inaugurates his reign with Mass attended by Patriarch Bartholomew

Pope Francis inaugurated his papacy with a Mass in front of hundreds of thousands of people including foreign leaders in St. Peter's Square on Tuesday, a crowd which also included İstanbul-based Greek Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Places of worship open doors for interfaith tour

A synagogue, temple, cathedral, mosque, parish church and Salvation Army Corps in south Cardiff will be opening their doors on Tuesday to help locals learn more about the faiths in the area.

The Grangetown district enjoys huge cultural diversity, with the latest stats from the 2011 Census showing that nearly 39% of residents are Christian, 23 % Muslim, 4% Hindu, 1% Jewish and 0.7% Sikh and 0.7% Buddhist.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Pontiff receives high marks for interfaith efforts

Ann Rodgers

Pope Francis (Photo: AP)
VATICAN CITY — As Pope Francis begins to lead the worldwide Catholic Church, accolades are pouring in from people of other traditions who knew him as Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio in Argentina.

“His humility drew my attention,” Sheik Mohsen Ali, an Islamic leader in Argentina, told the Buenos Aires Herald. He “always showed himself a friend of the Islamic community.”

Friday, March 15, 2013

The Vatican's Jesuit moment: At the cutting edge

WHETHER you admire them or fear them, the Jesuits have a great mystique. Now that a pope has emerged from the Society of Jesus, for the first time in its five centuries of history, fascination with them is bound to grow. We can all expect to hear a lot of good and bad things about the Jesuits in the days and weeks to come.

So what can be said about them for certain? They are the largest religious order within the Catholic church, with about 18,000 members, of whom 12,000 or so have undergone a long and rigorous training (at least eight years) to become priests. Since its foundation in 1540, by Ignatius of Loyola, and six of his fellow students at the university of Paris, the Society of Jesus has had a reputation for brains, energy and independence.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

New pope slips out of Vatican for prayer visit, Catholics hail pontiff

Pope Francis, barely 12 hours after his election, quietly left the Vatican early on Thursday to pray for guidance as he looks to usher a Roman Catholic Church mired in intrigue and scandal into a new age of simplicity and humility.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Why Interfaith Dialogue is Urgent

Rev. Dr. Marcus Braybrooke*

Increasingly, we are seeing that our differences can enrich our understanding of God, whose glory transcends all our words and doctrines.

Interfaith work has recently acquired a high profile but mainly for negative reasons. I want to outline what is being done to reduce ignorance and prejudice, but I want to concentrate on the more positive aspects of interfaith work: shared action for a better world, theological discussion, and spiritual exploration.