22 International News

posted Mar 22, 2018, 12:34 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Mar 22, 2018, 12:35 AM ]

Vatican
Transforming reality in the light of the Gospel: towards the Synod

'Young people are a treasure for our people, a wealth that generates joy, hope, the ability to dream, to show sensitivity and solidarity for those who suffer. In these difficult times, God calls each one by name, so that he may be the protagonist in the transformation of these realities, a transformation in the light of the Gospel and of the magisterium of the Church.' This was stated by the leaders of the Latin American Youth Pastoral, after concluding the XIII Youth Pastoral Regional Meeting in the city of San Jose, in Costa Rica.

Delegations from Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama participated in the meeting with the aim of reflecting, in communion with the universal Church, on youth Pastoral in the region, in view of the Synod of Bishops dedicated to 'Youth, Faith and Vocational Discernment'. 'We are thrilled because the Church has set its sights on young people and promotes spaces for participation so that young people, with their dynamism, will know how to renew structures and pastoral action.'

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Pope remembers Padre Pio

To mark the 50th anniversary of Padre Pio's death, and 100 years since he received the stigmata, Pope Francis visited the saint's birth place, Pietrelcina, Italy. Greeted by the archbishop of Benevento and the mayor of Pietrelcina, Pope Francis' first stop was the St Francis Chapel, which contains the 'elm of the stigmata', the tree where Padre Pio first received his stigmata.

He then encouraged the people, drawing on the example of the saint who endured a very difficult period in this town.

'In those terrible moments, FrPio drew vital lymph from the continuous prayer and the trust he was able to place in the Lord. At the same time, considering his unconditional loyalty to the Church, you will bear witness to communion, because only communion - that is, always being united, in peace among us, the communion between us – edifies and constructs. A town that quarrels every day does not grow, does not build itself up; it scares people.'

'The population ages, but this is a treasure, the elderly are a treasure! Please, do not marginalise the elderly. The elderly are wisdom. And may the elderly learn to speak with the young, and the young learn to speak with the elderly.'

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Helsinki
Meeting of the two Koreas & USA

Choe Kang-il, a senior North Korean diplomat and deputy director general for North American Affairs, was in Helsinki to meet US and South Korean officials. The meeting, also attended by Kathleen Stephens, a former US ambassador to South Korea, was held at the Japanese Embassy in Helsinki, Finland.

The trip - which follows that of the North Korean Foreign Minister to Stockholm - is part of a series of preparatory meetings, in view of the summits expected in April and May, when Kim Jong-un will meet South Korean President Moon Jae-in and American President Donald Trump.

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LEBANON
First monument to Pope Francis

The first statue dedicated to Pope Francis in Lebanon and throughout the Middle East was inaugurated in Hadath, municipality of the district of Baabda, considered part of the southern suburbs of the capital Beirut.

The initiative, sponsored by Mayor George Aoun, aims to be a sign to encourage local Christians on the importance and fruitfulness of the presence in the Middle East, in the sign of co-existence with the different religious communities and in the horizon of a common citizenship.

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PAKISTAN
The key is education

'Young people are 60% of the Pakistani population. This data is very important for us Catholics. For our young Catholics, the priority is to make sure that they can grow in faith in Christ, and that they have access to quality education and continue to the highest level which is university: that is why we are very committed, and we will continue our commitment: it is the key factor for their future,'said Archbishop of Islamabad-Rawalpindi, Msgr Joseph Arshad, President of the Episcopal Conference of Pakistan, who led a delegation of five bishops from Pakistan on their ad limina visit.

Msgr Arshad said he shared this vitality of the Pakistani Church during the meeting with Pope Francis: 'It was a very fruitful meeting; we felt welcomed in a sincere dialogue among brothers. We spoke about Pakistan, the Church and our young people, pointing out that there are so many vocations to priesthood and consecrated life. This encourages us and makes us hope for a rosy future for the Catholic Church in Pakistan. They are a seed of hope even in difficulties, which do not discourage us, but today strengthen our faith.'

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