At this moment, she probably has most of the audience on her side. "When I pray in church, I don't like to have that klak-klak-klak-klak." The chancellor and the cameras. Angela Merkel solicits understanding this Tuesday evening at the Catholic Academy in Berlin for her desire to exercise her personal religiosity in the protection of privacy. If it's only a matter of commitment, she doesn't need the publicity of the media.

The EU Commission has called on all parties to the conflict in the Palestinian territories to facilitate humanitarian aid. EU External Relations Commissioner Benito Ferrero-Waldner said Friday in Brussels that aid must continue as quickly as possible. Development Commissioner Louis Michel called for a humanitarian aid corridor. Michel's spokesman Amadeo Altafadj stressed that EU aid deliveries had been suspended because of the poor security situation.

On Friday morning, however, Islamist Hamas had taken steps to restore cooperation and aid distribution in Gaza, he said. The main concern, he says, is health care.

Hamas: No secession planned Hamas has no plans to secede from Gaza, according to Palestinian leader Ismail Haniya. His party has no intention of declaring a "state" in Gaza, Haniya said in a televised address Friday night. "The Gaza Strip is an inseparable part of our homeland and its residents form an inseparable part of the Palestinian people."Haniya rejected Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' decision to declare a state of emergency and dissolve the unity government of Hamas and Fatah as "rash". Abbas thus betrays all "closed agreements."Shortly before Haniya's speech, Hamas said it had taken control of all the positions of the rival Fatah movement in the Gaza Strip.All Palestinian Authority bases have been captured, including Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' headquarters in Gaza, a spokesman for Hamas' military arm, the Essedin-el-Kassam Brigades, told the AFP news agency.In response to Hamas' takeover of control in the Gaza Strip, Abbas had dissolved the Fatah-Hamas unity government on Thursday night and declared a state of emergency over the autonomous areas. He announced that new elections will be held as soon as the situation allows.

A society that isolates stirs up people's fears and makes them ill. In order for them to find their way back to each other, a good dose of courage is needed, explains the physician and author Dietrich Gronemeyer in his book "Mut zum Miteinander" ("Courage to work together")."

The Apostolic Nuncio in Germany, Nikola Eterovic, has called for the support of the bereaved families of the Berlin attack victims. He spoke at an international memorial service for the victims and their families.

Covid-19 must be defeated everywhere

Africa fights against the coronavirus © Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/AP

Catholic Relief Services has asked the U.S. government for 10 to 15 billion dollars in aid for poor countries. That was necessary in the fight against the Corona pandemic.

More than just a new face at the top

Archbishop Robert Zollitsch has left, Reinhard Cardinal Marx is the new strong man at the head of the Bishops' Conference. With what consequences? A commentary by Ludwig Ring-Eifel, editor-in-chief of the KNA.

Of the fear of the unknown

Pegida is seen as an example of when excessive fear of the unknown turns into xenophobia © Arno Burgi

What man does not know is "not familiar" to him, he is afraid of it. It has always been like this, is like this and will remain like this. Yet fear of the foreign is not bad in itself. Only the wrong handling of it makes it a social problem.

Baby jesus meets sailors

Refugee boat as a nativity scene in Cologne © Oliver Berg

Nativity scenes are simply part of the Christmas season. In the Cologne church of St. Mary in Lyskirchen, the milieu nativity scene is created every year. This time it has a very special backdrop – and a special base.

Series of fires in us churches continues

The series of church fires in the USA continues. On Thursday (local time), the seventh church in two weeks was set on fire in Saint Louis (Missouri), as US media reported.

Kosher kolsch does not tempt him

The oldest Jewish community north of the Alps has a rabbi again. On Thursday, Jaron Engelmayer took up his post at the Cologne synagogue community. The 32-year-old is one of the three youngest rabbis in Germany. Engelmayer announced his intention to bind more young people to the community in the future and to strengthen the Jewish identity of its members. In addition, he would like to continue the traditionally good contact of the synagogue community with Cardinal Joachim Meisner of Cologne.