Category Archives: World

NEWS BRIEFS

Tej Francis

Uromi, Nigeria

Six kidnapped nuns liberated in Nigeria

(CNA/EWTN News) During a two day police operation, six women religious who were captured in Nigeria’s Edo state two months ago were released unharmed on Saturday, generating much joy from the Christian community.

The nuns were freed during a Jan. 6 police operation, but their captors were able to escape. They had been kidnapped Nov. 13, 2017 from the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus Convent in Iguoriakhi. Taken by unknown gunmen, three of the women were professed nuns (Sister Roseline Isiocha, Sister Aloysius Ajayi and Sister Frances Udi), and the other three were aspirants. Sister Ajayi was released first, followed several hours later by the others

LAY PEOPLE ARE NOT OUR EMPLOYEES – Pope Warns Chilean Bishop Against TempTation of Clericalism

Linda Bordoni

(Vatican News) Pope Francis has urged bishops in Chile to be on guard against the temptation of clericalism.

Meeting his brother bishops in the sacristy of Santiago Cathedral, the Pope recalled the ad limina visit in the Vatican about a year ago and said he wished to reiterate some of the points made during that meeting in Rome.

“I can sum them up in the following phrase: the consciousness of being a people” he said.

OVERCOME FEAR AND WELCOME THE OTHER – Pope at Mass for Migrants and Refugees

Seàn-Patrick Lovett

(Vatican News) There was something even more international than usual about the celebration in St Peter’s Basilica this Sunday.

The sounds were those of the youthful and multilingual voices of the Hope choirs. The colors were those of the flags and multicultural costumes of the 49 nations represented.

Over 70 countries were present in the person of their Ambassador to the Vatican. And some 460 priests from all over the world concelebrated with the Holy Father.

Invitation and welcome

Pope Francis said he wanted to celebrate the World Day of Migrants and Refugees with a Mass of invitation and welcome. He based his reflections during the homily on the episode in St John’s Gospel where the disciples ask Jesus where He lives, and He responds: “Come and see.”

This reply is addressed to us today, said the Pope: “It is an invitation to overcome our fears so as to encounter the other, to welcome, to know, and to acknowledge him or her.”


“Our shared response may be articulated by four verbs: to welcome, to protect, to promote and to integrate.”

Protect, promote and integrate

But authentic encounter doesn’t end with welcome. Pope Francis reminded us of the three actions he spelled out in his Message for this Day: “to  protect, promote and integrate”.

While new arrivals need to “know and respect the laws, culture and traditions of the countries that take them in”, local communities need to understand “the hopes and potential of the newly arrived, as well as their fears and vulnerabilities.”

Fear of encounter

It is not easy to enter into another culture, said the Pope, to understand the thoughts and experiences of people who are so different from us.

“Local communities are sometimes afraid the newly arrived will disturb the established order…and the newly arrived are afraid of confrontation, judgment, discrimination, and failure.”

Being afraid is not a sin

“Having doubts and fears is not a sin”, said the Pope. “The sin is to allow these fears to determine our responses, to limit our choices, to compromise respect and generosity, to feed hostility and rejection.”

The sin, he continued, “is to refuse to encounter the other.” Because every encounter is “a privileged opportunity to encounter the Lord.”

Pope Francis concluded by expressing the hope that “we may all learn to love the other, the stranger, as ourselves.”

Featured image: http://care4calais.org

NEWS BRIEFS

Tej Francis

ASIA, INDIA

Hindu radicals attack a Catholic college

(Agenzia Fides)  Hundreds of police deployment was done at the St. Mary’s Post Graduate College in Vidisha, Sagar Diocese in Madhya Pradesh, central India as Hindu right-wing groups threaten to perform Hindu rituals in the premises.

A NEW MAN AT THE HELM – Hong Kong Sunday Examiner

Benedict Keith Ip

On 1 January 2018, Claretian Father Josekutty Matthew took on the position of deputy-editor-in-chief of the Sunday Examiner from Columban priest Fr Jim Mulroney who had occupied the post from January 2003 to the present.

SEEING TE STAR, SETTING OUT, BRINGING GIFTS – Holy Father’s Homily For Epiphany

Pope Francis

Three actions of the Magi guide our journey towards the Lord, who today is revealed as light and salvation for all peoples.  The Magi see the star, they set out and they bring gifts.

ON THE 2018 PEACE MESSAGE OF POPE FRANCIS — Migrants and refugees

 

Fausto Gomez OP

 

Peace to all people and to all nations on earth! Peace! Thus begins Pope Francis’ Message on the World Day of Peace, entitled Migrants and Refugees: Men and Women in Search of Peace (January 1, 2018). The papal message focuses this New Year on all people seeking for peace in the world, in particular migrant and refugees – over 250 million migrants worldwide, of whom 22.5 million are refugees. Let me try to give a brief commented summary of the Pope’s message. What is the reality of peace in the world?  

 

PEACE IN OUR WORLD: SHADOWS AND LIGHTS

 

Pope Francis views the world with “a contemplative gaze.” Among the migrants and refugees, there are “those fleeing from war and hunger, or forced by discrimination, persecution, poverty and environmental degradation to leave their homelands” (Message, no 1). Quoting St John Paul II, Pope Francis writes that the increased numbers of displaced persons is one of the consequences of the “endless and horrifying sequence of wars, conflicts, genocides and ethnic cleansings” (Pope John Paul II) that had characterized the twentieth century. Pope Francis comments sadly: “To this date, the new century has registered no real breakthrough: armed conflicts and other forms of organized violence continue to trigger the movement of peoples within national borders and beyond” (Message, 2).

Furthermore, the Pope continues, “as I noted in the Encyclical Laudato Sí, there has been “a tragic rise in the number of migrants seeking to flee from the growing poverty caused by environmental degradation.”(LS’, 25). “Many destination countries have seen the spread of rhetoric decrying the risks posed to national security or the high cost of welcoming new arrivals, and thus demeaning the human dignity due to all as sons and daughters of God” (Message, 2).

FEAST OF MARY, MOTHER OF GOD — The silence of Son and Mother

Pope Francis

Following is Zenit’s English translation of the homily pronounced by the Holy Father, Pope Francis, on 1 January 2018, Feast of Mary, Mother of God.

 

The year opens in the name of the Mother. “Mother of God” is the most important title of Our Lady. But we might ask why we say Mother of God and not Mother of Jesus. In the past, some wanted to be content simply with the latter, but the Church has declared that Mary is the Mother of God. We should be grateful because these words contain a magnificent truth about God and about ourselves. From the moment that our Lord became incarnate in Mary, and for all time, he took on our humanity. There is no longer God without man; the flesh Jesus took from his Mother is our own, now and for all eternity. To call Mary the Mother of God reminds us of this: God is close to humanity, even as a child is close to the mother who bears him in her womb.

The word “mother” (mater) is related to the word “matter.” In his Mother, the God of heaven, the infinite God, made himself small, he became matter, not only to be with us but also to be like us. This is the miracle, the great novelty! Man is no longer alone; no more an orphan, but forever a child. The year opens with this novelty. And we proclaim it by saying: Mother of God! Ours is the joy of knowing that our solitude has ended. It is the beauty of knowing that we are beloved children, of knowing that this childhood of ours can never be taken away from us. It is to see a reflection of ourselves in the frail and infant God resting in his mother’s arms and to realize that humanity is precious and sacred to the Lord. Henceforth, to serve human life is to serve God. All life, from life in the mother’s womb to that of the elderly, the suffering and the sick, and to that of the troublesome and even repellent, is to be welcomed, loved and helped.

GREAT FIGURES OF THE MISSIONARY WORK — The Siam of Domingos de Seixas (1)

Joaquim Magalhães de Castro

 

Debut, with pomp and circumstance, in August 2001, The Legend of Suriyothai is considered the most expensive film in the history of Thailand. With a budget of more than 400M bahts (US 9M) the film has a historical character, report on the aurous period of Ayutthaya, the Odia to the Portuguese chronicles. As expected, the film’s debut was a success. The box office on the first day of opening to the public sold 100,000 tickets, despite its high price.

The film was intended to have the Portuguese mercenary Domingos de Seixas as narrator, who in the 16th century lived in the Siamese capital for 25 years, before returning to Lisbon. This did not happen, as we shall see below.

The Legend of Suriyothai relates the heroism of Queen Suriyothai who in the mid-16th century took command of the army of the kingdom of Ayuthaya, after her husband, King Mahachakrabhat (1548-1569) had succumbed in a battle against the invaders of Pegu (Burma). An episode that, moreover, is reported by Fernão Mendes Pinto in his book Pilgrimage. Over the course of three hours, the film by the director and Prince Chatrichalerm Yukol manages to bring to the screen the splendor of ancient Ayuthaya, the customs of the time, the bloody battles where the elephants stood out, true war machines to join others introduced by the Portuguese merchants and mercenaries. They were the ones who supervised the management of these same weapons that would radically alter the rudimentary defense system of the time.

TERRORISM OF THE TONGUE — A look back (and forward)

 

Aurelio Porfiri

 

At the end of a year and the beginning of a new one, we are always hopeful to improve our social, economical, health conditions. And certainly we want to improve also our spiritual condition, so important for our true wellbeing.

Now, to get all these things, a healthy habit is to look honestly at what was not working in the past. I think we can all think what went wrong in 2017, not only for us, but also for society. We may be looking only in our family. But it is not bad, given the great flow of information we have, also to look at what happened around the world, because some of the diseases that maybe have not yet touched us may be waiting to enter our living space at any moment. Better to know, so as to avoid.

I cannot talk of everything bad that happened in 2017. I can only isolate one (very) bad thing and offer some thoughts about it. You may expect that I will start to talk about wars, homicides, pollutions… yes, there are many of these around us, but I want to dwell on another topic that is very dear to me. This is the topic of gossip.