22 International News

posted Dec 5, 2018, 8:42 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Dec 5, 2018, 8:43 AM ]

Cardinal Oswald Gracias on Papal Organising Committee

The Vatican announced Nov. 23 that Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Bombay, India, and Jesuit Fr Hans Zollner, President of the Centre for the Protection of Minors at the Pontifical Gregorian University will join Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago and Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta on the Organising Committee for next February's meeting of Presidents of Bishops' Conferences to discuss the protection of minors in the Church, as reported by National Catholic Register. In September, His Holiness Pope Francis called for the special Feb. 21-24 meeting, whose official theme is the "protection of minors and vulnerable adults," following a raft of revelations of historical clerical abuse cases in various parts of the world.


Iraq invites Pope Francis

The principle of citizenship is for "all people to live in a land of all peoples, in a nation whose citizens are all equal, free of any discrimination - cultural, ethnic or religious; a land where definitions of majority or minority do not exist," said Iraqi President Barham Salih, when he received on November 28 in the Palace of Peace, the Catholic Patriarchs of the Middle East Council of Churches, meeting in Baghdad for their 26th session.


Bishops address violence

"Social Peace, fruit of justice and conversion of heart" is the title of a text issued recently by the Catholic Bishops Conference of Paraguay (CEP), denouncing "grave acts of criminal violence" in the country. "Our conscience will not allow us to be indifferent or indolent in the face of such a situation. These facts damage the fraternal human society and weaken the foundations that guarantee social peace."

The statement, dated November 28, concerns certain recent events of violence made public by government media. The facts include the shooting dead of a Brazilian entrepreneur working in the timber trade who had trouble with financial matters. The video of the execution, left in a cell-phone next to the cadaver by the guerrilla group Ejército del Pueblo Paraguayo (EPP), was mentioned by the Home Minister in a report on 200 acts of terrorism perpetrated by the same group in 2018.


Spotlight on evangelisation

To make known the Church's activity and missionary work in society, the Conference of the Catholic Bishops of Colombia is organising an event called Expocattolica, to take place March 7-10 in the new modern Ágora Exposition Centre in Bogotà. "Let us walk together with Pope Francis" is the title of the event, involving 170 exhibitors, including dioceses, parishes, religious communities, associations, universities, schools and professional training centres, as well as publishers, media, new technologies, religious tourist agents, artists and craftsmen, who will present their experience of faith and work of human promotion to an expected 20,000 visitors.

"The challenge is to show the works of the Church and her evangelisation in a context in which the news about the Church that makes the headlines consists mostly of scandals, bad news and gossip," said Mauricio Pinzón, young Catholic entrepreneur and general coordinator of the initiative. "In Colombia, the faith is still strong and has still a certain importance in decision making on social, educative and cultural issues. The Church has the support of society in general, but if we consider the present wave of negative news about the Church, we are aware of the considerable challenge to make known the extraordinary variety and capillarity of her evangelisation activity."


Pope Francis praises youth after Korean peace pilgrimage

Pope Francis has expressed deep gratitude to Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung of Seoul for his work for peace on the Korean Peninsula and encouraged young pilgrims to become peace builders.

Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin and Archbishop Edgar Pena Parra, substitute for general affairs of the Secretariat of State, sent letters to Cardinal Yeom and to young pilgrims on Oct. 31 on behalf of the pontiff. Seoul Archdiocese released the letters on Nov. 26.

The letters were replies to 100 young pilgrims who wrote to Pope Francis, expressing their desire to become workers for peace, after joining the 2018 Wind of Peace pilgrimage along the demilitarised zone dividing the two Koreas in August. Cardinal Yeom delivered the letter to the Pope.

In the letter to Cardinal Yeom, Cardinal Parolin wrote: "His Holiness has asked me to convey his deep gratitude for the devoted sentiments you expressed, as he renews his prayer for lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula."