Today on Perspectives, the Pope’s weekly Angelus address, there’s a new resident at Casa Santa Marta, the Pope issues a Motu Proprio, Prime Minister Stephen Harper visits a Toronto parish and we talk to Salt + Light’s Jeroen van der Biezen in Israel.
Tonight on Perspectives: Israeli and the Vatican officials met in Jerusalem and we take a look at today’s General Audience.
What if you were in Gaza today, and you couldn’t leave? To what lengths would you go to get out? This question has been on the minds of the people of Gaza long before the latest escalation of violence (which, for the moment, has abated thanks to a ceasefire). Unemployment stands at 31.5%. A tightly controlled blockade on imports and exports — imposed by Israel to prevent arms from reaching Hamas militants — stifles the economy. And as we’ve seen, a new round of violence can erupt with little warning. For the many who want to flee, the congested strip of land feels like a prison.
All of this must have been racing through the mind of Berlanty Azzam when she was deported back to Gaza. The 21-year-old Christian had been studying at Bethlehem University in the West Bank. The Gaza Strip and the West Bank, the two Palestinian territories, are divided by Israel proper and governed separately, and thus feel worlds apart. Knowing how Berlanty’s deportation jeopardized her future, the religious brothers who run the Catholic university tried desperately to bring her back.
Berlanty is one of the students profiled in the documentary Across the Divide (view the trailer here), which, following a cross-country tour of screenings, airs on S+L on Thursday night at 9:00 pm ET/6:00 pm PT and 1:00 am ET/10:00 pm PT.
In Across the Divide, you will meet Berlanty and her family. You will see Gaza City and gain a sense of what it must be like for its terrified citizens, who, these past eight days, have wanted to be anywhere in the world but home.
Credit: CNS photo/Mohamad Salem, Reuters
Tonight on Perspectives: Pope Benedict calls for peace in Gaza and we take a look to today’s general audience.
Tonight on Perspectives: Catholic humanitarian efforts are put on hold in Gaza, the North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation emphasizes the importance of Sundays, and Pope Benedict’s new book is ready for release.
This past Wednesday, the S+L team was on hand at Saint Paul University in Ottawa to host the fourth national screening of our latest film Across the Divide. And what an event it was!
At a cocktail reception before the film, church dignitaries mingled with people from all walks of life, including a Canadian senator, all interested in learning about the current situation of our Christian brothers and sisters in the Holy Land.
As the event drew near, our marketing team was delighted to see a lineup of people patiently waiting to purchase tickets at the door. Soon, the theater was filled to near-capacity.
Without a doubt, the film evoked a wide range of emotions from the audience — from sadness, to sympathy, to a strong motivation to take action. One of the most interesting aspects of the event, however, was the Q&A panel discussion featuring the Archbishop of Ottawa, Most Rev. Terrence Prendergast; Carl Hétu, the National Director of CNEWA Canada; Kris Dmytrenko, the film’s writer and co-director; and Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB, Salt + Light’s CEO. Even more than at our previous screenings in Vancouver, Toronto and Halifax, this event elicited a very politically-charged discussion and a call-to-action from the crowd.