22 International News

posted Jun 27, 2018, 7:37 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jun 27, 2018, 7:37 AM ]

Catholic Women of the Year - 50th Anniversary

The Catholic Women of the Year marks its Golden Jubilee in 2018. The Catholic Women of the Year for 2018 have been announced. They are:

Dr Rosalind Bearcroft, a doctor who has worked for many years, first in General Medicine and then in Psychiatry, serving as Registrar and Consultant at major London hospitals. She became a Catholic while still a student, and her family immediately withdrew all financial support; her tutor responded by saying that all fees would be covered, and she could pay them back after qualifying. Dr Bearcroft has campaigned against euthanasia and abortion, working with the "Care, not Killing" group, and was a founder member of the Association of Catholic Women, and has remained active with the group, even now in her 90s.


Murdered nuns' killer gets life in prison

A man convicted of the 2016 slaying of two religious sisters in Mississippi will not receive the death penalty, but will instead spend the rest of his life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Rodney Earl Sanders, 48, pleaded guilty to murdering Sr Margaret Held, SSSF, and Sr Paula Merrill, SCN, as well as the theft of Sr Held's car. The two were found stabbed to death and sexually assaulted at their home in Durant, Mississippi, on August 25, 2016. They worked as nurse practitioners at a medical clinic near their home. Their bodies were discovered after they failed to arrive to work.

Sanders did not give a motive for his crimes. At the time of the murders, he was living in a shed across the street from the sisters' home. He was arrested and charged the day after the crime.

Held was a member of the School Sisters of St Francis, which is based in Milwaukee, and Merrill was a member of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, from Kentucky.


Bishops appeal for peace

Amid continued unrest in Nicaragua, Church leaders traveled to the city of Masaya on June 21 to pray and appeal for peace.

Protests began April 18, after Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega announced social security and pension reforms. The changes were soon abandoned in the face of widespread, vocal opposition, but protests only intensified after more than 40 protestors were killed by security forces initially. More than 200 in the country have been killed in the violence, according to estimates.

On June 19, government-linked paramilitary groups entered Masaya, clashing with protesters. Six people were killed, and 35 wounded. Masaya is one of the cities in the west of the country which has shown resistance to the paramilitaries and pushed for Ortega to be removed from office.

Cardinal Leopoldo José Brenes, Bishop Silvio José Báez and Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Stanislaw Waldemar Sommertag travelled to the city in hopes of mediating the situation, and calling for an end to the violence.


South Korea
'Chapel of Peace' in Panmunjom on DMZ

A new chapel will be built in the Joint Security Area (JSA) at Panmunjom, a truce village on the inter-Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) that was established at the end of the (1950-53) Korean War.

On June 5, a ground-breaking ceremony was held for the new chapel, presided over by Bishop Francis Xavier Yu Soo-il. The chapel will replace an older structure built in 1958, three years after the peace talks at Panmunjom resulted in a ceasefire.

The 65-year armistice means the two Koreas remain technically in a state of war, despite a recent series of rapprochement talks between US President Donald Trump, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.