22 International News

posted Nov 1, 2018, 3:15 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Nov 1, 2018, 3:16 AM ]

Pope prays for victims of Pittsburgh shooting and Indonesian plane crash

At the Angelus on Sunday, Oct. 28, Pope Francis expressed his closeness to the city of Pittsburgh, USA, and especially to the Jewish community there. Eleven people were killed, and several others were wounded, in a shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in the neighbourhood of Squirrel Hill. A suspect was taken into custody after the attack.

In his remarks, Pope Francis prayed that "the Most High might welcome into His peace those who have died, comfort their families, and sustain those who were wounded."

He said, "We are all wounded by this inhuman act of violence." Pope Francis prayed that the Lord might "help us to extinguish the hotbeds of hatred that are developing in our societies, strengthening the sense of humanity, respect for life, moral and civil values, and the holy fear of God, who is Love and the Father of all."


Bishops sign document calling for action on Climate Change

Six bishops representing episcopal conferences on five continents issued a joint statement calling on the international community to take immediate action against climate change. Addressing world leaders who will be attending the COP24 Summit in Katowice, Poland, in December, the bishops urged them to take concrete steps "in order to tackle and overcome the devastating effects of the climate crisis."

"We must be prepared to make rapid and radical changes and resist the temptation to look for solutions to our current situation in short-term technological fixes without addressing the root causes and the long-term consequences," the bishops said in the statement.


Marriage prep should be more than a few parish meetings

"One cannot say marriage preparation is three or four conferences given in the parish. This is not preparation," Pope Francis said in St Peter's Square on Oct. 24, in a departure from his prepared remarks.

"The preparation must be mature and it takes time. It is not a formal act; it is a sacrament. This responsibility falls on the priest and the bishop. Engaged couples require "careful preparation" for the lifelong fidelity that marriage requires.

"To enter the Sacrament of Marriage, the engaged couple must mature the certainty that within their bond is the hand of God, who precedes them and accompanies them, and will allow them to say: 'With the grace of Christ, I promise to always be faithful to you,'" the Pope continued.


Church prepares for Red Wednesday

As part of the work of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops' (CCCB) Commission for Justice and Peace, the Bishops of Canada identified a need to draw attention to the plight of the world's persecuted Christians. Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) is a Catholic and Pontifical organisation concerned with the poor, oppressed or persecuted communities. Currently, 200 million of the world's Christians are unable to freely live out their faith. They suffer from oppression or persecution.


Bible most widely read book

The Bible was by far the most read book in 2017 in the Philippines. 10 million copies have been distributed over ten years, says a recent survey by the National Book Development Board. The Philippines has a population of 110 million, 80% Catholics, divided into 86 dioceses. Despite the growing secularisation in the country with a large Catholic majority, 72% of the population still reads the Sacred Scripture.