Saturday, June 20, 2015

Refugee Crisis Statistics show 73 Million #Refugees highest since WWII

Refugee crisis hits 73 million, highest number since the Second World War
According to the Global Peace Index, 1 per cent of the world population is made up of refugees or internally displaced persons with wars and armed conflicts as the main culprits. The total cost of the violence represents US$ 14.3 trillion or more than 13 per cent of world GDP. Syria is the world’s most violent and dangerous nation in the world.

Damascus (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The world has not seen so many refugees or internally displaced persons since the end of the Second World War, in 1945, and the numbers are expected to increase, this according to an Australian research centre.
About 1 per cent of the global population, or about 73 million people, have been forced to leave their homes amid a spike in armed conflict over the past four years, the Institute for Economics and Peace said in a report it released today. The institute compiles the Global Peace Index.
“One in every 130 people on the planet is currently a refugee or displaced and most of that comes out of conflicts in the Middle East,” institute director Steve Killelea noted. The numbers in Syria, where as many as 13 million of its 22 million people are displaced, are “staggering,” he said.
The number of people killed in conflict rose to 180,000 in 2014 from 49,000 in 2010; of that number, deaths from terrorism increased by 9 per cent to an estimated 20,000, according to the report.
Displaced people and the victims of war and terrorism have also had a devastating impact on the global economy, with a price tag of US$ 14.3 trillion in the past year. This includes the cost of waging war, homicides, internal security services, and violent and sexual crimes.
 “To put into perspective, it’s 13.4 per cent of global gross domestic product, equivalent to the combined economies of Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom,” Killelea said.
The study indicates that Iceland tops the index as the most peaceful country in the world, whilst sectarian, war-torn Syria is the least.

Regionally, the Middle East and North Africa are the most violent areas. In 2014, they replaced South Asia as the most dangerous region in the world over the previous year.
Shared from AsiaNews IT

#PopeFrancis meets athletes of Special Olympics " a joyful, passionate, serene manner:"

Pope Francis with Italy's Special Olympians - OSS_ROM
19/06/2015 14:25
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Friday received the Italian delegation of athletes to the upcoming Special Olympics in the US city of Los Angeles. In remarks prepared for the occasion, Pope Francis praised the athletes for their courage and hard work.
He also praised sport in general as a very positive means of self-discovery, that can help those who practice it to open themselves up to others and learn the valuable lessons of teamwork, common effort, and fair play: an effective means of breaking down barriers of mistrust and discrimination, while building friendship and understanding.
“It is my hope,” said Pope Francis,” “that you all might live the upcoming Games in a joyful, passionate, serene manner: have fun,” he told them, “and make friendships with you brothers and sisters from around the world!”

Fortnight for Freedom begins in USA on June 21 - Free Resources

Fortnight For Freedom

Fortnight 2015: Freedom to Bear Witness

Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore at a news conference in Washington in July, 2013.  CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn"Keeping the spirit of the Gospel means that Catholic institutions are to bear witness in love to the full truth about the human person by providing social, charitable, and educational services in a manner that fully reflects the God-given dignity of the human person." - Archbishop William E. Lori, Chairman, Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, on the "Freedom to Bear Witness". . .
The Fortnight for Freedom: Freedom to Bear Witness will take place from June 21 to July 4, 2015, a time when our liturgical calendar celebrates a series of great martyrs who remained faithful in the face of persecution by political power—St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher, St. John the Baptist, SS. Peter and Paul, and the First Martyrs of the Church of Rome. The theme of this year's Fortnight will focus on the "freedom to bear witness" to the truth of the Gospel.

Fortnight Spotlight...

Crippling First Freedom, Fortnight Editorial. . . 
June 9, 2015, National Catholic Register
Fortnight for Freedom in U.S. Church. . . 
May 5, 2015, Vatican Radio

Religious Liberty and the Practice of Charity
John Garvey, J.D., President, Catholic University of America
ISIS and Indiana: The Global Crisis of Religious Liberty and Catholic Responsibility. . . 
Thomas Farr, Ph.D., Director, Religious Freedom Project, Georgetown University
Help Persecuted Christians and Support Traditional Families. . . 
Helen Alvaré, J.D., Professor of Law, George Mason University
Religious Freedom is Under Stress, Red Mass Homily. . . 
April 23, 2015, Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski
Fortnight for Freedom 2014 Closing Homily
Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, USCCB President, Archdiocese of Louisville
Fortnight for Freedom 2014 Opening Homily
Archbishop William E. Lori, Archdiocese of Baltimore
Join the  Facebook Logo 16x16 Call to Prayer Facebook Page to receive weekly emails on prayer and fasting for religious liberty!

Why do we need the Religious Freedom Restoration Act?

Recent  Religious Freedom legislation around the country has left many people confused about what the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) does – and doesn't – do. Learn more about RFRA!
Various religious leaders, including Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, issued an open letter on April 23, 2015, entitled The Defense of Marriage and the Right of Religious Freedom: Reaffirming a Shared Witness."

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Sat. June 20, 2015

Saturday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 370

Reading 12 COR 12:1-10

Brothers and sisters:
I must boast; not that it is profitable,
but I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord.
I know a man in Christ who, fourteen years ago
(whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows),
was caught up to the third heaven.
And I know that this man
(whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows)
was caught up into Paradise and heard ineffable things,
which no one may utter.
About this man I will boast,
but about myself I will not boast, except about my weaknesses.
Although if I should wish to boast, I would not be foolish,
for I would be telling the truth.
But I refrain, so that no one may think more of me
than what he sees in me or hears from me
because of the abundance of the revelations.
Therefore, that I might not become too elated,
a thorn in the flesh was given to me, an angel of Satan,
to beat me, to keep me from being too elated.
Three times I begged the Lord about this, that it might leave me,
but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you,
for power is made perfect in weakness.”
I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses,
in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me.
Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults,
hardships, persecutions, and constraints,
for the sake of Christ;
for when I am weak, then I am strong.

Responsorial PsalmPS 34:8-9, 10-11, 12-13

R. (9a) Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
The angel of the LORD encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them.
Taste and see how good the LORD is;
blessed the man who takes refuge in him.
R. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
Fear the LORD, you his holy ones,
for nought is lacking to those who fear him.
The great grow poor and hungry;
but those who seek the LORD want for no good thing.
R. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
Come, children, hear me;
I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
Which of you desires life,
and takes delight in prosperous days?
R. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.

Alleluia2 COR 8:9

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus Christ became poor although he was rich,
so that by his poverty you might become rich.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 6:24-34

Jesus said to his disciples:
“No one can serve two masters.
He will either hate one and love the other,
or be devoted to one and despise the other.
You cannot serve God and mammon.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life,
what you will eat or drink,
or about your body, what you will wear.
Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?
Look at the birds in the sky;
they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns,
yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
Are not you more important than they?
Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?
Why are you anxious about clothes?
Learn from the way the wild flowers grow.
They do not work or spin.
But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor
was clothed like one of them.
If God so clothes the grass of the field,
which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow,
will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith?
So do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat?’
or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear?’
All these things the pagans seek.
Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.
But seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness,
and all these things will be given you besides.
Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself.
Sufficient for a day is its own evil.”