Gunman attacks Christmas market in Strasbourg (ABC News) Shouting “Allahu akbar” (Allah is great), the gunman killed three and injured 12 during a terrorist attack on the Christmas market in front of Strasbourg Cathedral (photograph). Strasbourg is a city of 275,000 in eastern France and headquarters of the European Parliament, which Pope Francis visited in 2014.
Work for peace, Pope exhorts new ambassadors (Vatican Press Office) As he welcomed new ambassadors to the Holy See on December 13, Pope Francis encouraged them to recognize “the futility of armed conflict and the need to resolve conflicts through patient dialogue and negotiation.” The Pope recalled the 100th anniversary of the end of World War II, “a tragedy of immense proportions,” and the 70th anniversary of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The Pope accepted the diplomatic credentials of new ambassadors to the Holy See from the Bahamas, Cape Verde, Estonia, Gambia, Grenada, Iceland, Malta, Qatar, Switzerland, and Turkmenistan.
Papal message to FAO stresses concern for environment, poverty (Vatican Press Office) “The earth must be treated with tenderness,” Pope Francis said in a message sent to a study day on water organized by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization. The papal message concentrated on care for the environment and for the poor. To cure poverty and want, the Pontiff said, “it would be enough to eliminate injustices and inequities and put in place far-sighted and far-reaching policies.”
English bishops 'stand in solidarity with' EU citizens living in UK (Catholic Church in England and Wales) With Brexit, the UK government “will soon launch a settlement scheme, offering EU citizens living here a legal route to remain,” said Bishop Paul McAleenan. “While this is an important step we understand that, especially for people who have contributed to our society over many years, it may feel unjust and divisive that they are now required to apply for permission to stay.” Bishop McAleenan said that the majority of EU citizens living in the UK are Catholic.
In Paris, appeal launched for Christians in the Middle East (La Croix) “This is the first time that Christian and Muslim religious have come together to unambiguously condemn the terrorist actions of organizations such as ISIS as contrary to Islam and as crimes against humanity,” said Patrick Karam, president of the Coordination of Christians of the Orient in Danger (CHREDO).