22 International News

posted Apr 25, 2018, 8:15 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Apr 25, 2018, 8:18 AM ]

Alfie Evans granted Italian citizenship

Hours before medical staff were due to begin withdrawing life support from Alfie Evans, Vatican Media announced that Italy had granted the child Italian citizenship, in the hope that this would allow him to be transferred from Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool to the Bambino Gesù Children's hospital in Rome which has offered more support.

"Foreign Ministers Angelino Alfano and Interior Minister Marco Minniti granted naturalization to little Alfie. In this way, the Italian government wants the Italian citizenship to enable the child's immediate transfer to Italy," said a statement from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


Laywomen among new CDF appointees

On April 21, Pope Francis named five new consultors of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, including three female academicians and two priests.

The women are Dr Linda Ghisoni, professor of Canon Law at the Pontifical Gregorian University; Dr Michelina Tenance, professor of Theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome; and Dr Laetitia Calmeyn, lecturer of Theology at the Collège des Bernardins in Paris. The women have served as staff members at the dicastery.

The other two new consultors are Fr Sergio Paolo Bonanni, professor of Theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University, and Claretian Fr Manuel Jesús Arroba Conde, dean of the Institutum Utriusque Iuris at the Pontifical Lateran University.


Bishops 'deeply concerned' about gender ideology

The Catholic bishops of England and Wales have said they are "deeply concerned" that the "ideology of gender is creating confusion." In a press conference after their spring meeting, the bishops issued a statement, saying the current "intense" public debate about gender highlights "not only the suffering and discomfort of some, but also raises profound questions about human nature, how we understand ourselves, relate to one another and our capacity for self-determination."

The bishops went on: "We recognise that there are people who do not accept their biological sex; we seek to understand their experience more deeply and want to accompany them with compassion." They said the idea that the individual is free to define himself or herself dominates discourse about gender. "Yet, our human instinct is otherwise."

Bishop John Sherrington said at the press conference that the bishops wanted to make a statement of principle about the difference between male and female, "in contrast to those who argue individuals are free to define themselves."


Europe risks 'demographic collapse'

Young people in Europe need political support to start families in countries with ageing populations, a French Catholic campaigner said.

While "young people want to form lasting relationships and have children," they "don't feel safe" to start families, said Antoine Renard, president of the Brussels-based Federation of Catholic Family Associations in Europe.

"Unless something is done rapidly, Europe risks a total demographic collapse," Renard said in an April 19 interview with Catholic News Service after the federation called on European Union governments to "put the family at the centre of national policies."

Young people are "often discouraged by inadequate and individualistic policies and cultures which are hostile to the family," the federation said in an April 13 statement at the end of its spring meeting in Vienna.


Mexican priest stabbed to death

A Mexican priest was stabbed to death in his parish, the latest attack on clergy in the heavily Catholic country.

Fr Ruben Alcantara Diaz, 50, was attacked April 18, just prior to the 6:30 p.m. Mass at Our Lady of Carmen Parish in Cuautitlan Izcalli, the Diocese of Izcalli said in a short statement. The priest, who was also the diocesan judicial vicar, was accosted by the assailant, and was involved in a discussion prior to the attack, according to Mexican media.


25th World Press Freedom Day

UNESCO will lead the 25th celebration of World Press Freedom Day. The main event, jointly organised by UNESCO and the Government of the Republic of Ghana, will take place in Accra, Ghana on May 2-3. This year's global theme is 'Keeping Power in Check: Media, Justice and the Rule of Law', and will cover issues of media and the transparency of the political process, the independence and media literacy of the judicial system, and the Accountability of state institutions towards the public. The Day will also examine contemporary Challenges of ensuring press freedom online.