22 International News

posted Feb 28, 2019, 10:01 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Feb 28, 2019, 10:02 AM ]

Final Summit press briefing announces concrete initiatives

The final press briefing at the end of the fourth day of the Summit on the Protection of Minors underscored the tremendous value that these four days had brought to the Universal Church, by tackling head-on the problem of child sex abuse.

Fr Federico Lombardi SJ, who was the Moderator of the Meeting, announced three initiatives:

1. The imminent publication of a Motu proprio by the Pope, providing rules and regulations to safeguard minors and vulnerable adults within Vatican City State.

2. The distribution of a vademecum (or rulebook) to bishops around the world, explaining their juridical and pastoral duties and responsibilities with regard to protecting children.


Pope sends condolences to Bangladesh fire victims

Pope Francis has offered his solidarity and prayers to victims of a massive fire in the centre of the Bangladeshi capital, which has reportedly claimed 78 lives.

"His Holiness Pope Francis was saddened to learn of the loss of life and of the injuries caused by the conflagration in the centre of Dhaka," said Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, February 21. "He extends his solidarity to all affected, and prays especially for the repose of the deceased and for the healing of those injured."


Bishops call for humanitarian aid to be distributed

The Venezuelan Bishops' Conference is calling on Nicolas Maduro's government to allow humanitarian aid to enter the country and be peacefully distributed to people who are desperately in need of it.

The bishops of the country urged Nicolas Maduro to listen to the "cry of the people," stressing that the humanitarian aid is responding to a "grave crisis," and not politically motivated. The United States and more than a dozen other European and South American nations no longer recognise Maduro as Venezuela's President.

Food and medical aid are currently being warehoused in Cúcuta, Colombia and Roraima, Brazil. While the supplies have been offered to Venezuela, Maduro has not allowed it to enter the country, claiming that there is no humanitarian crisis.


Cardinal Yeom to missionary priests: "Proclaim the Good News of God"

"As Archbishop of Seoul, I send you as witnesses of the love of God to places where love is really necessary. Be priests who proclaim the Good News of God." With these words, Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung, Archbishop of Seoul, addressed five priests of the Archdiocese, sending them abroad as missionaries ad gentes, during the Mass celebrated on February 22 in the cathedral of Myeongong in Seoul. As Agenzia Fides learns from the Communications Office of the Archdiocese, there were auxiliary bishops, priests, religious and numerous lay members of the community of Seoul at the Holy Mass for the celebration of the 'missionary mandate'. The five missionary priests ad gentes will go to various countries such as Mexico, Japan, Spain and the United States to respond to God's call to be missionaries of God and to follow Jesus' teaching: "Go and proclaim the Kingdom of God." (Lk 9:60)


Kinshasa celebrates the diocesan Week of the Family

Promoting Christian marriage and making families aware of their responsibility as Christians are the objectives of the diocesan Week of the Family, promoted by the Archdiocese of Kinshasa. Organised by the Commission for the Pastoral care of Marriage and Family (CPMF), the initiative took place from February 18 to 24.

This year, the Week of Prayer had the theme: "He took away our infirmities and bore our diseases" (Mt 8:17). According to Fr Floribert Mafuta, diocesan chaplain of the CPMF, this theme takes into account the social reality of the Democratic Republic of Congo, whose youth is condemned to high unemployment and ignorance, due to lack of adequate education. This exposes young people to alcoholism, to all kinds of dissoluteness and free union. This is why the theme of the week is combined with that of the pastoral year of the Archdiocese—"Youth, discover your identity".