Turkey, Greece, Germany

Turkey: in memory of Father Andrea Santoro”It is never right to suppress a life to assert an idea. It is never right to think that those who do not share our views are wrong and must be destroyed. This is fundamentalism that destroys society because it destroys cohabitation. This fundamentalism, no matter the religion or political party it belongs to, may win some battles but it is bound to lose the war. And it is history that teaches this to us”. This was said by mgr. Luigi Padovese, president of the Turkish bishops (Cet), as he officiated Mass, in Trabzon on 5th February, for the repose of don Andrea Santoro’s soul, four years after he was killed in the church of Saint Mary in Trabzon while he was praying. “Four years have gone by since don Andrea was killed in this church. Today as well as four years ago – stated mgr. Padovese in the sermon – the same questions comes over and over again: Why? By killing don Andrea what did they want to destroy? The person only or what the person stood for as well? Certainly, in taking it out on don Andrea, it was the Catholic priest that they wanted to take it out on. Therefore his priesthood was the cause of his martyrdom”. “The blood that don Andrea shed in this Church – the president of Cet pointed out – was not in vain. Let’s think of how many brothers and sisters across the world have experienced sacrifice and have been confirmed in their will to live for Christ and, if needed to die for Him. This humble priest, known to few, has become a witness for many, with his death. Those who wanted to wipe him out have in fact had the opposite effect”. “Now, for many across the world, the name of Trabzon is linked to that of don Andrea. In this city, he wanted to set up a meeting point and a centre of dialogue between Christians and Muslims. I really hope – he concluded – that one day this dream of his may come true and the city of Trabzon will be an example of peaceful cohabitation and fraternity where all men are united in the pursuit of the common good”.Greece: national meeting of priests in May The national meeting of priests taking place in Syros from 18 to 19 May will officially close the Year of the Priest in Greece. “We chose Syros for one reason: it is the place supplying the highest number of priests, said the president of the Bishops’ Conference of Greece, Msgr. Francesco Papamanolis, to SIR; he is also the bishop of the island. It will be the time to check all our diocesan and parish pastoral, to depict the future lines of commitment, and to pray for the solution of the crisis gripping our country and worrying us a lot because of its consequences for the population”. “Greece is going through a particularly difficult season, because of the financial crisis – said the bishop. The European Commission asked the government to take measures to reduce public debt”. According to the president of Greek bishops, another reason for preoccupation is provided by a few facts of anti-Semitic violence such as the recent fire attack against the Etz Hayyim Synagogue in Chania, in the island of Crete. Violence was caused by anti-Semitic or extremist groups. “Moreover, still in Chania – recalled Msgr. Papamanolis, – the local Catholic cemetery was profaned at the end of August 2009. It had already been seriously damaged in 2005 and 2007, too. The government said it would repair and protect all Hebrew monuments in the country. We hope that this decision may also concern Catholic monuments in Greece”. Something seems to be moving in this respect: “We must restore the Cathedral in Syros, and I was reassured the State would pay its contribution in paying expenses. In the meantime, we are praying for our country to get over this difficult period. Prayer is the main contribution of the Church”.Germany: DBK, ethical investments contribute to change the world Can investments change the world? This question was addressed by a recent survey conducted by the team of experts in “World economy and social ethics” for the German Bishops’ Conference (DBK). The survey will be presented to journalists in Frankfurt on February 17. Moderator of the press conference is the auxiliary bishop of Munich, Msgr. Bernhard Haßlberger, President of the DBK sub-Committee for Scientific Questions within the Universal Church. Also Johannes Wallacher, philosophy professor at the University of Munich and coordinator of the team of experts on “World economy and social ethics”, and Bernhard Emudns, professor at the Breuning Institute for Economic and Social Ethics in Frankfurt are expected to attend the press conference. In a period marked by global economic crisis, the survey delved into questions regarding possibilities and limits, along with the ethical evaluation of the various strategies for “ethical” investment, which has become a widespread economic sector.

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