20 International News

posted Feb 14, 2019, 9:53 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Feb 14, 2019, 9:54 AM ]

Pope Francis receives Vegan challenge for Lent

An environmental group is asking Pope Francis to abstain from all animal products during Lent, promising a $1 million donation to a charity of his choice, if he does so.

"Today, Pope Francis, I am asking you to join me in abstaining from all animal products throughout Lent, and to endorse the Million Dollar Vegan campaign," Genesis Butler wrote in a Feb. 6 open letter to the Roman Pontiff. "Should you join me, the Blue Horizon International Foundation will donate $1 million to a charity or charities of your choice, as a gesture of their utmost gratitude for your commitment." While a vegan fast is not now prescribed by the Church, the practice would harken back to practices of the early Church, and of the Christian East.


Pope: Moral theology must get "hands dirty" with real issues

In 1949, the Alphonsian Academy was founded by the Redemptorists, in the spirit of Saint Alphonsus Liguori, patron saint of moral theologians. Since then, the Academy has provided scientific training to clerics, religious and lay people and since 1960, it has been part of the Faculty of Theology of the Pontifical Lateran University.

Marking the 70th anniversary of the institute, Pope Francis invited its members to "look forward", to "regain missionary enthusiasm", and to "outline courageous steps to meet the expectations of the people of God".


Jesuit Fr Arrupe's sainthood cause opens in Rome

The Sainthood Cause of Jesuit Fr Pedro Arrupe was formally opened in Rome at the Basilica of St John Lateran on February 5, marking the 28th anniversary of his death. The move to beatify Fr Arrupe, Superior-General of the Jesuits from 1965 to 1983, was set in motion by the Diocese of Rome, where the former Superior-General passed away in 1991, after battling a long illness.

Cardinal Angelo de Donatis, Vicar of Rome, presided at the ceremony on Feb. 5, formally opening the diocesan inquiry. He said Fr Arrupe was firmly "rooted in Christ, whom he passionately loved, and with courageous faith, he let himself be guided in his journey by the wisdom and freedom that comes from the Holy Spirit."


152 priests removed for abuse in last 9 years

Over the past nine years, 152 priests in Mexico have been removed from ministry for sexual abuse of youth or vulnerable adults, the President of the Mexican Bishops' Conference has said.

At a Feb. 10 press conference, Archbishop Rogelio Cabrera of Monterrey said that some of the 152, "because of the magnitude of the [crime], have had to go to prison." He did not give further details on the number of those in jail.


Lourdes officially declares 70th miracle

A miracle was officially recognised at the Marian shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes in France, the 70th Lourdes miracle recognised by the Catholic Church. The miracle was officially declared by Bishop Jacques Benoit-Gonin of Beauvais, France on Feb. 11, the World Day of the Sick and the feast day of Our Lady of Lourdes. During Mass at the shrine's basilica, Bishop Nicolas Brouwet of Lourdes announced the miracle.

The miraculous event involved a French nun, Sr Bernadette Moriau, who went on a pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes in 2008. She had been suffering from spinal complications which had rendered her wheelchair-bound and fully disabled since 1980. She also said she had been taking morphine to control the pain.