Islamist rebels have kidnapped a group of nuns from the Greek Orthodox monastery of St Thecla (Mar Taqla) in Maaloula (north of Damascus). Mgr Mario Zenari, the Vatican nuncio in Damascus, confirmed the information after speaking with the Greek-Orthodox Patriarchate. Through the Vatican diplomat, the latter “calls on all Catholics to pray for the women religious.”
“Armed men burst in the monastery of St Thecla in Maaloula this afternoon. From there, they forcibly took 12 women religious,” Mgr Zenari said, citing a statement from Patriarchate. The group of Islamist rebels has apparently taken them to Yabrud, some 80 km north of the capital. Neither the nuncio nor the church Greek Orthodox Church know reason behind the kidnapping.
The UK and Ireland's first woman bishop has been consecrated by the Anglican Church at a service in Dublin on Saturday.
The Reverend Pat Storey, a rector in Londonderry, was appointed in September. She was elected by the Church of Ireland as Bishop of Meath and Kildare, in the Republic of Ireland.
His Grace Bishop Jovan of Ulpiana, Vicar of Serbian Patriarch, from November 17-24 2013 paid a visit to the Holy City of Jerusalem and the Holy Land.
On this occasion Bishop Jovan was received by His Beatitude Patriarch Teophilos III of Jerusalem and All Palestine and had a long and cordial discussion with him.
We say our prayers, go to Church on Sundays, try our best to fulfil the commandments and we sincerely give thanks to God for all He blesses us with as we battle through life. Meanwhile, we worry about our security, fear for our children’s future and obsess over our retirement fund. We fall prey to a host of stress related ailments, generally dislike our employment and tremble with terror at the sight of our ageing bodies. We find respite in retail therapy, renewal in the occasional nip and tuck and purpose in befriending the world through social media. Such first world problems, such sure to fail, new age solutions. At the other end of the planet, a different story unfolds.
Archbishop Pietro Parolin will formally begin his post today as the new Secretary of State. The 58 year old prelate, who was appointed by Pope Francis on August 31st, will succeed Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone who has served as Secretary of State for the past 7 years.
The formal handover took place at noon today in the offices of the Secretariat of State, where the Archbishop worked for 17 years before being sent as Apostolic Nuncio to Venezuela in 2009.