20 International News

posted Mar 19, 2019, 3:25 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Mar 19, 2019, 3:25 AM ]

Pope Francis calls for 'gestures of peace' in wake of mosque attacks

"To the grief for the wars and the conflicts that continue to afflict humanity, we have added that for the victims of the horrible attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand," Pope Francis said on March 17.

The Pope asked all gathered in St Peter 's Square for the Sunday Angelus to join him in a moment of silent prayer for "our Muslim brothers" who were killed in New Zealand, and said that he will continue to pray for the dead, the wounded, and their families. A total of 50 people were killed in Friday's shooting, and 34 of the injured remain in Christchurch Hospital.

Reflecting on the necessity and meaning of suffering, the Pope said, "Each of us has his own cross. The Lord shows us at the end of our journey — which is the Resurrection — the beauty of carrying our own cross. The Transfiguration of Christ shows us the Christian perspective of suffering. It is a necessary, but transitory passage. By showing His glory, Jesus assures us that the Cross, the trials, the difficulties in which we struggle have their solution, and will be overcome in Easter," he said.


Catholic leaders respond to New Zealand tragedy

Whether through social media or through statements released by their relative Bishops' Conferences, Catholic leaders worldwide have been sending out messages of prayer, solidarity and concern for the Muslim community of New Zealand, and worldwide.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, tweeted his profound sympathy for the victims, praying for the healing of people, and reminding everyone that Jesus calls us to welcome strangers and love our neighbour, however different they may be.


Pope Francis returns from his Lenten Retreat

Pope Francis said on Friday, March 15, that he senses resistance to Gaudium et spes, a document the Pope said he reflected much upon during his Lenten retreat last week.

In his concluding remarks at the Roman Curia's spiritual exercises, Pope Francis said that he was struck by the Retreat Master's theme of 'God's presence in humanity'. Gaudium et spes is the Second Vatican Council's 1965 Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World.

Pope Francis told the Retreat Master, Benedictine abbot Bernardo Gianni, that he saw the monk possessed "the courage of the Council Fathers when they signed that document." The document's introduction states that "the Church has always had the duty of scrutinising the signs of the times and of interpreting them in the light of the Gospel."


Requiem Mass for Ethiopian Airlines crash victims

A Requiem Mass was held at the Holy Saviour Parish in Addis Ababa, organised by the Ethiopian Catholic Church and the International Catholic Community in Addis Ababa for the victims of the Boeing 737 Max 8 that went down on March 10, killing all 157 people on board.

On the occasion, a bouquet of 157 white roses was prepared, and 157 candles were lit to represent every victim of the accident. The parents and family of Mrs Ama Teklemariam, a Catholic who was a crew member on ET 302, were also present at the Mass. Archbishop Luigi Bianco, the Apostolic Nuncio to Ethiopia and Djibouti and Special Delegate to Somalia, read out Pope Francis' message of condolence, as well as assurance of prayers. In the message, the Holy Father prayed for all the deceased and invoked divine blessings of consolation for all bereaved families.

Speaking at the end of the Requiem Mass, Mr Fikire Degef, who attended the event on behalf of Ethiopian Airlines' CEO, Mr Tewolde GebreMariam, noted that the victims had brought the world together in grief, shock, and above all, in prayer. He assured that Ethiopian Airlines would do its best to help the families of the victims get closure.