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.
November 13, 2013 – a conference on “Orthodox and Catholics Protecting the Family Together” took place in Rome under the auspices of the Department for the External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate and the Pontifical Council for the Family.
Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, opened the conference, addressing the problem of the globalization and the crisis of the family. Then Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the DECR, spoke on “The family, Christianity, society: Orthodox perspective”.
Nine children were killed and 27 people wounded when mortar rounds hit a school and a school bus in the Syrian capital Damascus on Monday, state television reported.
“The toll in the terrorist targeting of the St. John of Damascus school with mortar rounds has risen to five dead, all of them children, and 27 injured,” a news alert on Syrian state television said.
Together with all member churches of the fellowship, Christians and people of all faiths around the world, we pause and pray for those who have been affected by this disaster.
While the official death toll is not certain, Philippine officials say the toll could rise to 10,000 lives lost as a result of the storm. Already more than half a million people are homeless and thousands more have been injured.