22 International News

posted Feb 15, 2018, 11:28 PM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Feb 15, 2018, 11:28 PM ]

Vatican
Pope registers for WYD

Leading by an example he hopes youth from around the world will follow, Pope Francis registered on February 11, 2018 to be a pilgrim for World Youth Day, which will be held in Panama in January 2019.

It was the day that registration opened and the Holy Father was joined in the window overlooking St Peter's Square after praying the Angelus by two young people, who provided the computer tablet, so he could register live in front of a crowd estimated at 30,000.

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Pope Francis prays for victims of Taiwan quake

Cardinal Parolin has sent a telegram to the Bishop of Hwalien, Taiwan, expressing the Pope's condolences following an earthquake that struck Feb. 6 night.

In the telegram, Cardinal Parolin said that the Holy Father is praying for those who have lost their lives, as well as those who were injured in the quakes. The Pope offered encouragement to those "engaged in rescue efforts." 

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Bangladesh PM meets Pope

Pope Francis received the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina, in audience at the Vatican on Feb. 12.

Before the private meeting, the Prime Minister told the Pope: "I am so happy… Thank you so much for having visited Bangladesh." The Pope responded in English, "Thank you." The Pope's interpreter was present and translated between Italian and English. The Pope and the Prime Minister spoke privately for 20 minutes.

The discussions were cordial; satisfaction was expressed for the Holy Father's recent apostolic trip to Bangladesh and for the keen participation in the event on the part of the population, including many non-Catholics. The Holy Father visited Bangladesh during his Apostolic Visit to the country and to Myanmar, Nov. 26 – Dec. 2, 2017.

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Trafficking survivors meet Pope

For 110 survivors of human trafficking, February 12, 2018 was truly a day to remember, as they were received by Pope Francis in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican. They had come to Rome for the Feb. 8 Observance of International Day of Prayer and Reflection against Human Trafficking. February 8 is the feast day of St Josephine Bakhita, patron of the victims of human trafficking.

This was the first time the Holy Father met with victims of human trafficking in conjunction with the observance of the International Day. His message was clear and consistent: "I have never lost the opportunity to denounce this crime against humanity."

The Pope suggested that the lack of action to address human trafficking isn't just because of ignorance of the problem, but also an unwillingness of some to face the issue. Much of the challenge is in fighting criminal organisations and corruption. 

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Rome
Colosseum to be lit red

The Roman Colosseum will be illuminated by red lights later this month to draw attention to the persecution of Christians around the world, and especially in Syria and Iraq.

On Saturday, Feb. 24, at 6 p.m., the Colosseum will be spotlighted in red, to represent the blood of Christians who have been wounded or lost their lives due to religious persecution.

Simultaneously, in Syria and Iraq, prominent churches will be illuminated with red lights. In Aleppo, the St Elijah Maronite Cathedral will be lighted, and in Mosul, the Church of St Paul, where the first Mass was celebrated on Dec. 24, 2017 after the city's liberation from ISIS.

The event, sponsored by Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), follows a similar initiative last year, which lit up London's Parliament building in red, as well as the Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Paris and the cathedral in Manila, Philippines. In 2016, the famous Trevi Fountain in Rome was lit.

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FRANCE
Lourdes recognises its 70th miracle

The Marian sanctuary at Lourdes has recognised the sudden healing of a French Franciscan nun as the 70th confirmed miracle, after she overcame decades of disability following a pilgrimage there.

Sr Bernadette Moriau (78) developed nerve damage at the base of her spine in the late 1960s, and underwent four operations, but gradually became an invalid by 1988. She had to take regular doses of morphine and wear a leg brace to restrain a deforming foot.

A doctor suggested a pilgrimage to Lourdes in 2008, and she went without great expectations. "I prayed for the sick, but I didn't ask for healing; it never occurred to me," she said in a video distributed by her diocese of Beauvais, north of Paris.

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