Middle East

An Iraqi archbishop who helped save hundreds of ancient manuscripts from being destroyed by Islamic State militants was among the nominees for the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize.
"We ask you, Lord, through the intercession of our Mother Virgin Mary, the star of the sea in the storm, to lead our homelands, our churches and our people to the port of safety,” Cardinal Rai pleaded.
"Unfortunately, what is dying in the hearts of many people, is hope," Cardinal Mario Zenari told the Vatican newspaper.
About 30,000 Catholic men and women around the world are knights or dames of the Holy Sepulchre, pledging to support the church of Jerusalem with their prayers, regular pilgrimages and financial offerings.
A month after the devastation of the Beirut port explosion, people are being comforted by their priests as they try to resume their lives.
The Catholic Church in Lebanon plays a leading role in shaping public opinion in that troubled country because it is free and speaks the truth, Cardinal Bechara Rai, Maronite patriarch, told an internet audience Sept. 10.