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Latest number: XLIV - n. 3 - May-June 2014

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The Third Century… Again?

By Bro. Mariano di Vito, OFM Cap.

The killing of the Jesuit missionary priest from the Netherlands Frans van der Lugt in the city of Homs and Pope Francis’ words of condolence given during his General Audience on Wednesday 9 April, sparked off attention in the media again to the dramatic condition of Christians, in particular missionaries, who are living and risking their lives in Syria and other parts of the world that are in the prey of violence and persecution similar to that of the first centuries of the Church. In a thought-provoking article in the Corriere della Sera published a few days after the murder, Andrea Riccardi, the founder of the Sant’Egidio lay community, brought up the fact that in the Middle East “the Islamists (but which?) still have as prisoners two bishops from Aleppo in Syria, Mar Yohanna Gregorios Ibrahim and Paul Yazigi, an Italian Jesuit priest Paolo Dall’Oglio and two other priests,” about whom we now hear almost nothing. And yet these two bishops have been held hostage for more than a year. Andrea Riccardi has highlighted very well “the desperate situation...

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