Evacuated in August as the Taliban regained control of Afghanistan, the head of the now-interrupted Catholic mission said this is a time of “advent,” waiting for God to reveal how the church can be present in the country again.
Standing in front of Rome’s Colosseum, Pope Francis called on members of all the world’s religions to be courageous enough to set aside self-centeredness and instead live with true and active compassion for the victims of war and poverty and for the earth.
When Pary Gul, a Christian woman from Afghanistan, met Pope Francis Sept. 22, she gave him her wedding ring as a reminder of her husband, who has disappeared and may be dead.
Over the course of the next six months, Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Nashville will help resettle 150 Afghans into local communities as part of the effort to help them escape Taliban rule under the U.S. State Department’s Afghan Placement Assistance Program.
Pashtana Zalmai Khan Durrani had a choice to make: work to educate women inside Afghanistan despite the potential danger of doing so, or leave for a safer location. She chose to be courageous and not take the easy way out.
There was only one place Army veteran Dominick Liello wanted to be on the night of Sept. 2 — at a candlelight prayer service at St. Helen’s Church to honor the 13 U.S. military service members killed a week earlier in a suicide bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan.
President Joe Biden said the decision to end 20 years of U.S. military presence in Afghanistan on Aug. 31 came down to limiting further loss of American lives in a place where the country no longer had vital interests.
As the bloody, contentious U.S. evacuation of Afghanistan approached its Aug. 31 deadline, fears rose about the ultimate fate of Catholics and Christians under Taliban rule if they are unable, or unwilling, to flee.
As Aug. 30 ended in the U.S. and a new day began in a different time zone in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Aug. 31, 2021, the U.S. Central Command released a green-tinted photo of a soldier about to get on a cargo plane, a photographic coda to seal the historic moment that put an end to nearly two decades of U.S. military presence in Afghanistan.
In a new interview, Pope Francis appears to criticize the handling of the withdrawal from Afghanistan by the United States that triggered scenes of chaos and violence at the Kabul airport, saying that while “I don’t want to judge” nevertheless “they didn’t take into account all the eventualities.”