20 International News

posted Jul 11, 2018, 10:10 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jul 11, 2018, 10:10 AM ]

EL SALVADOR
Salvadorans prepare for Oct.14

As part of the preparation for the canonisation of Blessed Oscar Arnulfo Romero, which will take place on October 14 in St Peter’s Square, the Salvadoran Church has organised the second Pilgrimage entitled ‘Walking with Saint Romero to build peace’, which will cover 157 km and will take place August 2-4. The activities that each parish has organised for the canonisation will start with this great event. Three important signs will accompany the pilgrims: a Cross, the image of Blessed Óscar Arnulfo Romero and the image of Our Lady, Queen of Peace.

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HOLY LAND
Baptised are disappearing

The baptised are dramatically disappearing from the city where Jesus was born. While groups that pocket offers using the name of Bethlehem, without any kind of help to the Christians of the Holy Land, are multiplying all over the world. The alarm was launched by Catholic priest Rami Asakrieh, of the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land, Parish Priest in Bethlehem of the Church of Santa Caterina, near the Basilica of the Nativity, “My parish is facing serious problems. The number of Catholic families in Bethlehem is shrinking. Now our parish has only 1,479 Palestinian families. Christians make up 17% of the city’s population, while in the past they were 90%.” >>>

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Pope: Need systematic efforts towards integral ecology

Pope Francis was warmly greeted by participants at an international conference celebrating the third anniversary of his Laudato si’ encyclical.

Nearly 300 experts from around the world were at the Vatican to discuss the latest developments in climate change and formulate an urgent response. In his address, the Holy Father expressed his gratitude for their active fight against the “culture of indifference.”

“I thank all of you for coming together to ‘hear with your hearts’ the increasingly desperate cries of the earth and its poor, who look for our help and concern.”

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Indonesia
Indonesian global SVD head

The Divine Word Society (SVD) elected Indonesian priest Fr Paul Budi Kleden, renowned as a human rights defender, as its General Superior in Italy on July 4. Fr Kleden succeeds German Fr Heinz Kulueke.

Born on Nov. 16, 1965, on the Catholic-majority Indonesian island of Flores, Fr Kleden joined Divine Word soon after he graduated from the local San Domingo Minor Seminary in 1985. He was ordained as a priest in 1993, and then worked as an assistant pastor in Switzerland until 1996.

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CENTRAL AFRICA
Church in mourning

“Monsignor Firmin was a key person in all the mediation processes to try and keep peace in Bambari, and was therefore known by everyone. His assassins cannot say they killed a person they did not know,” local Church sources said about the killing, on June 29, of Msgr Firmin Gbagoua, Vicar General of the diocese of Bambari, in the centre of the Central African Republic.

“Msgr Firmin was an extraordinary priest. A simple and very humble person, he was close to adults as well as the little ones, and above all, he was a man who told the truth, who was able to make a very clear analysis of the situation,” say sources, who asked for anonymity for security reasons.

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Sri Lanka
Nun's spirit lives on

Outspoken Salvatorian Sr Benedict Fernandopulle strived to protect the dignity of poor people against discrimination, irrespective of their creed or ethnicity. Despite being diagnosed with leukaemia, the 79-year-old continued her mission with courage until her death on June 17 in the Kurunegala district of Sri Lanka’s North Western Province.

During illustrious years of service, she formed the Suhada Sevana medical centre to help impoverished residents of Vijaya Katupotha, located in her Chilaw Diocese. Sr Helen Lambert, another Salvatorian nun and rights activist, noted that Sr Fernandopulle was a trained nurse and midwife.

When Oblate Fr Michael Rodrigo was shot dead in Buttala Diocese in central Sri Lanka in 1987, Sr Fernandopulle was with him to help establish a Christian-Buddhist dialogue. During a 1987-89 leftist uprising, government military and paramilitary groups killed and tortured young rebel fighters as well as civilians.

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