Asia News – The first Catholic Church in Doha in over 14 centuries

Work has begun on the first Catholic Church in Qatar, which after a 14 centuries has finally received permission to open a place of worship in the country. The building which lies south of the capital – will not be open to the public, instead it will draw together in prayer Qatar’s mainly foreign Catholic community.

Future Parish priest Fr. Tom Veneration, tells AsiaNews: “After over 20 years of making formal requests to the authorities, the government has finally granted the Christian confessions land to build their own places of worship. The Catholic community were given the largest piece of land, because our presence here goes back down the centuries and also because our community is the largest, now numbering over 100 thousand faithful”.

BBC – Ankara restores Armenian church

armenianchurch.jpg

Turkey has renovated a 1,100-year-old church in the east of the country, in what is seen as a gesture to improve ties with neighbouring Armenia.

Wow, they renovated a Church for us?! Hey, how ’bout the Hagia Sophia next!

The ceremony on Akdamar island on Lake Van was attended by senior Armenian officials, despite the two countries’ lack of diplomatic ties. …

The church will now be a museum.

Ah.

Patriarch Mesrob II, spiritual leader of Turkey’s tiny Armenian Orthodox community, told several hundred people at the ceremony that the government should open up the restored church for worship at least once a year.

So, two churches, one a museum. RC2 (curtsy to her for the first link) calls this “reciprocity”. La.

Update:

The word of the day begins with “R”. NCR asks Cardinal Pell (see next post):

Some say that to insist too strongly on reciprocity goes against Christ’s teaching to turn the other cheek. What do you say to this argument?

We believe in the truth, in human rights. We’re committed to working for social justice. Everybody, Muslims included but certainly Christians, would agree that we have every right to oppose religiously inspired violence. We’ve got every right to object to Christians or non-Muslims being sold into slavery. It’s not that we don’t forgive. We are ready to forgive, but the dialogue has to be realistic. It cannot systematically ignore crucial points of difference. We have to talk about those in clarity and charity.