NEWS BRIEFS

ROME

As Trump moves to recognize Jerusalem as capital of Israel, pope appeals to keep status quo

 

(Crux) Pope Francis made foreign politics the focus of his weekly general audience, pinpointing the highlights of his recent trip to Myanmar and Bangladesh and calling on the international community not to destabilize the current situation in Jerusalem.

“I cannot remain silent about my deep concern for the situation that has developed in recent days and, at the same time, I wish to make a heartfelt appeal to ensure that everyone is committed to respecting the status quo of the city, in accordance with the relevant Resolutions of the United Nations,” the pope said Dec. 6 in the Paul VI hall at the Vatican.

U.S. President Donald Trump has made clear his intention to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the embassy there from its current position in Tel Aviv. The decision could potentially dismantle 22 years of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and would likely enrage Muslims who view Jerusalem as the potential capital of the Palestinian state.

“Jerusalem is a unique city, sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims, where the Holy Places for the respective religions are venerated, and it has a special vocation to peace,” Francis said. “I pray to the Lord that such identity be preserved and strengthened for the benefit of the Holy Land, the Middle East and the entire world, and that wisdom and prudence prevail, to avoid adding new elements of tension in a world already shaken and scarred by many cruel conflicts.”

The pope experienced firsthand the consequences of war and conflict during his recent trip to Myanmar and Bangladesh. His was the first papal trip to Myanmar, a country that has recently been making headlines all over the world due to what the United Nations has called “textbook ethnic cleansing” of the Rohingya Muslim minority there.

VATICAN

Renunciation of the Metropolitan Archbishop of México (Mexico) and appointment of the successor

 

(Vatican press) The Holy Father Francis accepted the renunciation of the pastoral government of the Archdiocese of México (Mexico), presented by His Eminence Card. Norberto Rivera Carrera. The Pope has appointed Archbishop Metropolitan of the Archdiocese of México (Mexico) the Eminence Card. Carlos Aguiar Retes, until now Archbishop of Tlalnepantla.

The Eminence Card. Carlos Aguiar Retes was born on 9 January 1950 in Tepic, a homonymous diocese. He was a student at the Tepic Seminary, and continued his studies at the Montezuma (USA) and Tula Seminars. He was ordained a presbyter for the diocese of Tepic on April 22, 1973.

As presbyter he was parish vicar, Rector of the Tepic Seminary and simultaneously President of the Organization of Mexican Seminaries (OSMEX) and Member of the Board of the Latin American Seminaries. He was then Rector of the Residence Juan XXIII for priests of the Pontifical University of Mexico and Professor of Sacred Scripture in the same University.

On 28 May 1997 he was elected Bishop of Texcoco and received episcopal ordination on 29 June. On 5 February 2009 he was transferred to the Archdiocese of Tlalnepantla as Metropolitan Archbishop

He has held various positions in CELAM (Latin American Episcopal Council): General Secretary from 2000 to 2003; First Vice-President from 2003 to 2007 and finally President from 2011 to 2015.

Cardinal was created and published in the Consistory of 19 November 2016, of the Title of Saints Fabiano and Venanzio at Villa Fiorelli. He is a member of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America.

 

MANILA/PHILIPPINES

Ten activists killed: Christians protest against Duterte

 

(Agenzia Fides) “Killing a human being means violating his inviolable and inalienable right to life. Killing a priest who is a consecrated person and preventing him from continuing his apostolate in favor of the poor, the excluded and the marginalized is an even graver sin and a crime that shouts to heaven for justice. We live these killings of priests and pastors in the Year of Clergy and Consecrated, a sign of the inestimable gift of life”: this is how Bishop Edwin de La Pena, Bishop of the tortured city of Marawi, on the island of Mindanao, comments to Agenzia Fides the murder of 72-year-old Don Tito Paez, priest of the diocese of San jose, victim of an extrajudicial execution on 4 December 2017. This is the first Catholic priest killed under President Duterte’s government. “I join my voice in denouncing this evil act to prevent him from fulfilling his prophetic task of defending those who are unjustly deprived of their basic human rights”, says the Bishop.

On 3 December, Protestant pastor Lovelito Quiñones, 57, was shot dead in Mansalay, in the province of Eastern Mindoro. On the same day, eight indigenous people (the so-called “lumad”) were killed by soldiers by the Philippine army in the province of South Cotabato in Mindanao.

Civil society groups, Catholic organizations and human rights defenders deplore and condemn the killing of these 10 activists in just a few days, on the eve of the International Human Rights Day, which is celebrated on 10 December. Nuns, religious, priests and young Catholics and Protestants will be among those present at the protest.

 

 

Tej Francis

 

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