20 International News

posted Sep 19, 2018, 8:44 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Sep 19, 2018, 8:44 AM ]

Solidarity in Europe

The spirit of solidarity in Europe was the theme of the annual Plenary Assembly of the Council of European Episcopal Conferences (CCEE) held in Poznań, Poland, from September 13-16.

Fr Wojciech Sadłon, member of the Institute of Statistics of the Catholic Church in Poland, opened the first session, with the subject: "Europe: solidarity in the shaping of consciences and society", presenting a summary of the investigation on volunteering, promoted by CCEE and carried out in these months through Bishops' Conferences.

The second day saw the Bishops examine in depth the state of solidarity in Europe and the Church's mission, examining the relationship between the Bishops' Conferences and the States. A presentation about the work and priorities of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development from the Secretary of the Vatican body, Msgr Bruno Marie Duffé. The Assembly ended on September 16, with the celebration of Mass in the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul in Poznań, with the local community.


Food crisis worsening

Thousands of people marched and invited other citizens to food courts organised as "popular pots", to share something to eat as a sign of protest against the current government of President Macri. The thousands of participants in the demonstrations, in different parts of the capital, paralysed Buenos Aires. The aim was to ask the government to stop the increase in prices of basic household products and propose to declare food emergency.

"We are one step away from the paradox that in a country that has jobs and that produces food for 400 million people, hunger is imposed on the most humble neighborhoods, the poorest, and puts social peace at risk", said Daniel Menéndez, national coordinator of the Barrios de Pie association, one of the organisers of the demonstration.


Algerian martyrs to be beatified

The beatification of 19 martyrs of Algeria, including the seven Trappist monks of Tibhirine, will be celebrated Dec. 8 in Oran, Algeria, the country's bishops announced.

Cardinal Angelo Becciu, prefect of the Congregation for Saints' Causes, will preside over the Mass and beatification rite for the six women and 13 men who gave their lives "for the least, the sick and the men, women and young people of Algeria. The martyrs "are given to us as intercessors and models of Christian life, friendship and fraternity, encounter and dialogue," the bishops said. "May their example help us in our life today. From Algeria, their beatification will be an impetus and a call for the Church and for the world to build together a world of peace and fraternity."


Addressing sexual abuse

In the wake of abuse scandals which have scarred the Church and his own papacy in recent months, Pope Francis has asked all Presidents of bishops' conferences around the world to travel to Rome for a special meeting to address the crisis. The gathering, which will focus on "the protection of minors," is set to take place Feb. 21-24, 2019, after the Pope's trip to Panama for the global World Youth Day encounter in January.

The Vatican announced the news at the close of the Sept. 10-12 Council of Cardinals meeting, in which members discussed the abuse scandals, the composition of the nine-member body, whose five-year term will end in October, and revisions to the new Apostolic Constitution on the Roman Curia.

Pope Francis' decision to convoke a global meeting to address clerical abuse comes as he himself is under fire for allegations that he mishandled the case of ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, after former Vatican ambassador to the U.S., Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, published an 11-page statement last month saying he warned the Pope of McCarrick's harassment of seminarians in 2013, and the pontiff did nothing.


Institute for leadership training

The Church in Myanmar, in collaboration with the Jesuits of Myanmar, has set up a new institute to train young people in leadership skills and make them agents of transformation of society. The new institute in Yangon, called Myanmar Leadership Institute (MLI), aims to train young people on issues of ethics, analytical skills, professional skills and lifestyles in the education sector, business world and civil society, explained Jesuit Joseph Anthony Jacob, Director of MLI.

The aim is "to develop leaders whose knowledge is inspired by compassion and contributes to nation building, inclusive prosperity, peace and the restoration of human rights for all." MLI is an initiative of the Archbishop of Yangon, Cardinal Charles Bo, and the Jesuits of Myanmar. The motto of the Institute is 'Learn to be a leader to serve.' A leader is one who becomes fully human within himself, but also fully alive to face the harsh realities: leadership is a way of being proclaimers of the Gospel and prophets for the poor and the marginalised."