30 International News

posted Aug 21, 2018, 11:11 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Aug 21, 2018, 11:11 AM ]

VATICAN
Pope prays for victims of Kerala floods

At the Angelus on Aug. 19, Pope Francis prayed for victims of the flooding in the Indian state of Kerala. "In recent days," he noted, "the inhabitants of Kerala have been harshly struck by intense rains, which have caused flooding and landslides, with heavy loss of human life, with many people missing and displaced, with extensive damage to crops and homes."

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DUBLIN
Andrea Bocelli to sing at event

On August 25, Andrea Bocelli will sing for Pope Francis and for thousands of families attending the World Meeting of Families. The internationally famous Italian tenor last lent his voice to a World Meeting of Families in 2015, in Philadelphia. This time, he will sing at Croke Park in Dublin, using music to help communicate the message of the event and to allow families, as he says, "to take home a beautiful memory".

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Family a key issue for Church and society: Schönborn

The family is a key issue today for the Church, society and for politics, according to Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, who is accompanying Pope Francis to the World Meeting of Families in Dublin.

Speaking to the Austrian Press Agency Kathpress shortly before leaving Vienna for Ireland, the cardinal said the family is rated highly by young people, is seen as a "survival network" in difficult times and is altogether "society's success model".

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BANGLADESH
Rohingya refugees decry rewording of ID cards

Bangladesh's decision to reword identity cards issued to Rohingya refugees after a request from Myanmar has triggered dismay among refugees and rights activists.

Dhaka's decision to replace the words "Forcibly Displaced Myanmar Nationals" with "Displaced Persons from Rakhine State" came following a ministerial meeting between Bangladeshi Foreign Minister A.H. Mahmood Ali and Myanmar's Minister of the Office of the State Counsellor Kyaw Tint Swe in Naypyidaw on Aug. 10.

Myanmar officials at the meeting objected to the original wording and argued that those who fled to Bangladesh "are not Myanmar citizens, but they used to live in Rakhine," Bangladeshi daily The Daily Star reported on Aug. 17.

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CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC (CAR)
Catholic institutions shelter displaced Muslims

In the Central African Republic's Diocese of Bangassou, several Catholic institutions have taken in displaced Muslims who face violence at the hand of Christian militias.

The CAR has suffered violence since December 2012, when several bands of mainly Muslim rebel groups formed an alliance, taking the name Seleka, and seized power.

In reaction to the Seleka's attacks, some Central Africans formed self-defence groups called anti-balaka. Some of these groups, mainly composed of Christians, began attacking Muslims out of revenge, and the conflict took on a sectarian character.

Anti-balaka killed more than 100 Muslims in Bangassou in May 2017, before United Nations peacekeepers intervened, and since then, the city's Petit Seminaire Saint Louis has been home to about 1,600 displaced Muslims.

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Pakistan
Muslim clerics honour late Cardinal Tauran

Muslim clerics in Pakistan's Punjab province paid glowing tributes to late French Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran at a special mourning service held in Lahore on Aug. 12.

Cardinal Tauran, the former president of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, died in the United States on July 5 at the age of 75, after spending years battling Parkinson's disease.

He visited the Islamic Republic eight years previously, and made a strong impact due to his efforts to promote inter-faith harmony.

"This is our loss. We are saddened by the death of the cardinal, who spent his life among people like us," Allama Zubair Abid said at the service.

"About 15 years ago, such inter-faith gatherings were impossible in Pakistan. We respect any one who promotes peace and rejects extremism, regardless of their faith," he added.

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