Catholic News Headlines

Anti-abortion Democrats navigate divide between March for Life and the Women’s March

Natl Catholic Reporter - Fri, 01/19/2018 - 10:28 AM
In 2017, Kristen Day attended both the Women’s March, whose organizers strongly supported abortion rights, and the March for Life, an anti-abortion gathering a few days later.

Ahead of 2019 Synod for the Amazon, Pope Says ‘Let Us Not Look the Other Way’ in Peru

Zenit News - English - Fri, 01/19/2018 - 10:16 AM

Ahead of the 2019 Synod for the Amazon, Pope Francis has told some 4,000 indigenous peoples in the Amazon region of Peru, that he wanted to be with them to share their challenges and reaffirm them with “a wholehearted option for the defense of life, the defense of the earth and the defense of cultures.”

Pope Francis, during his visit to the South American countries of Chile and Peru, his 22nd Apostolic Trip,  stressed this in his address to indigenous people of the Amazon region in the “Coliseo Regional Madre de Dios” in Peru today, Jan. 19, 2018.

Greeting the inhabitants of the Amazon, the Pope remembered, and had distributed, his encyclical on the environment Laudato Si, on care for our common home, and expressed his gratitude for what they do to protect the planet.

“Allow me to say once again,” the Pope said,  “‘Praise to you, Lord, for your marvelous handiwork in your Amazonian peoples and for all the biodiversity that these lands embrace!”

The Pope went on to lament that native Amazonian peoples have probably never been so threatened on their own lands as they are at present. “I consider it essential to begin creating institutional expressions of respect, recognition and dialogue with the native peoples, acknowledging and recovering their native cultures, languages, traditions, rights and spirituality.” The Pope called for an intercultural dialogue in which those before him would be ‘the principal dialogue partners,’ especially when large projects affecting their land are proposed.

“Recognition and dialogue will be the best way to transform relationships whose history is marked by exclusion and discrimination.”

Defense of Life

“The defense of the earth,” the Pontiff said, “has no other purpose than the defense of life.” The Pope acknowledged some of their suffering caused by emissions of hydrocarbons, which threaten lives and contaminate your natural environment.

“Along the same lines, there exists another devastating assault on life linked to this environmental contamination favoured by illegal mining. I am speaking of human trafficking: slave labour and sexual abuse.

“Violence against adolescents and against women cries out to heaven. ‘I have always been distressed at the lot of those who are victims of various kinds of human trafficking. How I wish that all of us would hear God’s cry, ‘Where is your brother?’ (Gen 4:9). Where is your brother or sister who is enslaved?”

“Let us not look the other way,” the Pope appealed. “There is greater complicity than we think. This issue involves everyone!”

Most Defenseless

This concern gives rise to our basic option for the life of the most defenseless, the Pope said, noting he thinks especially of the peoples referred to as “Indigenous Peoples in Voluntary Isolation” (PIAV).

“We know that they are the most vulnerable of the vulnerable. Their primitive lifestyle made them isolated even from their own ethnic groups; they went into seclusion in the most inaccessible reaches of the forest in order to live in freedom. Continue to defend these most vulnerable of our brothers and sisters. Their presence reminds us that we cannot use goods meant for all as consumerist greed dictates. Limits have to be set that can help preserve us from all plans for a massive destruction of the habitat that makes us who we are.”

The recognition of these people, the Pope said, reminds us that we are not the absolute owners of creation. “We need urgently to appreciate the essential contribution that they bring to society as a whole, and not reduce their cultures to an idealized image of a natural state, much less a kind of museum of a bygone way of life.”

Their cosmic vision and their wisdom, the Jesuit Pope stressed, have much to teach those of us who are not part of their culture.

“The culture of our peoples is a sign of life. The Amazon is not only a reserve of biodiversity but also a cultural reserve that must be preserved in the face of the new forms of colonialism. The family is, and always has been, the social institution that has most contributed to keeping our cultures alive. In moments of past crisis, in the face of various forms of imperialism, the families of the original peoples have been the best defense of life.”

The Pope also urged all present to listen to the elderly, noting they possess a wisdom that puts them in contact with the transcendent and makes them see what is essential in life.

Education

Education, the Pope said, helps us to build bridges and to create a culture of encounter. “Schooling and education for the native peoples must be a priority and commitment of the state: an integrated and inculturated commitment that recognizes, respects and integrates their ancestral wisdom as a treasure belonging to the whole nation.”

The Pope went on to ask his brother bishops to continue, as they are doing even in the remotest places in the forest, to encourage intercultural and bilingual education in the schools, in institutions of teacher training, and in the universities. He expressed his appreciation of the initiatives that the Amazonian Church in Peru helps carry out in favour of the native peoples.

“How many missionaries, men and women, have devoted themselves to your peoples and defended your cultures!” he said, noting they did so inspired by the Gospel. “Christ himself took flesh in a culture, the Jewish culture, and from it, he gave us himself as a source of newness for all peoples, in such a way that each, in its own deepest identity, feels itself affirmed in him. Do not yield to those attempts to uproot the Catholic faith from your peoples.”

Synod for the Amazon in 2019

Each culture and each worldview that receives the Gospel, the Pope said, enriches the Church by showing a new aspect of Christ’s face.

“The Church is not alien to your problems and your lives, she does not want to be aloof from your way of life and organization. We need the native peoples to shape the culture of the local churches in the Amazon.” The Pope encouraged those present to help their bishops, and the men and women missionaries, to be one with them, and in this way, “by an inclusive dialogue, shape a Church with an Amazonian face, a Church with a native face.”

In this spirit, the Pope said he convoked a Synod for the Amazon in 2019.

“I trust in your peoples’ capacity for resilience and your ability to respond to these difficult times in which you live. You have shown this at different critical moments in your history, with your contributions and with your differentiated vision of human relations, with the natural environment and your way of living the faith.”

Pope Francis concluded, saying he would pray for them, for this land blessed by God, and reminding them to pray for him.

*** On Zenit’s Web page:
Full Text: https://zenit.org/articles/popes-address-to-indigenous-people-of-amazon-region-in-peru/ 

Chairmen Applaud New HHS Initiatives on Conscience and Religious Freedom

USCCB News - Fri, 01/19/2018 - 10:13 AM

WASHINGTON–Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, chair of the USCCB's Committee for Religious Liberty, offered the following joint statement in response to the creation of a new Division on Conscience and Religious Freedom within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights and other related administrative actions:

"We applaud HHS for its significant actions to protect conscience rights and religious freedom. For more than forty years—dating back to the Church amendment of 1973—Congress has enacted federal laws protecting rights of conscience in health care. We are grateful that HHS is taking seriously its charge to protect these fundamental civil rights through formation of a new division dedicated to protecting conscience rights and religious freedom. For too long, we have seen medical professionals, including pro-life nurses like Cathy DeCarlo, who have been coerced by their employers into participating in abortion. And we have seen states like California, New York, and Oregon demand that even religious organizations cover elective abortions in their health plans. These violations of federal law require a remedy from HHS. 

We are pleased to see HHS's proposed regulation to enforce civil rights laws to protect Americans involved in HHS-funded programs, and we look forward to filing more detailed public comments on this proposal.  We also appreciate the Administration's action to rescind a 2016 guidance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that required states to provide Medicaid funding to family planning providers like Planned Parenthood that perform abortions.

Conscience protection should not be subject to political whims, however. Permanent legislative relief is essential. We urge Congress to pass the Conscience Protection Act in order to give victims of discrimination the ability to defend their rights in court. No one should be forced to violate their deeply held convictions about the sanctity of human life."

A list of current federal laws protecting conscience rights can be found here: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/religious-liberty/conscience-protection/upload/Federal-Conscience-Laws.pdf

---
Keywords: Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, HHS, conscience, religious freedom, religious liberty

###

Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

Pope’s Address to Population at Jorge-Basadre-Institute in Peru

Zenit News - English - Fri, 01/19/2018 - 10:11 AM

Below is the Vatican provided text of Pope Francis’ address during his meeting with the Population at Jorge-Basadre-Institute in Puerto Maldonado in Peru:

***

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I see that you have come not only from the far reaches of the Peruvian Amazon, but also from the Andes and neighbouring countries. What a beautiful image of the Church without borders, where all peoples have a place! How much we need moments like these, to be together and, regardless of our place of origin, to inspire us to build a culture of encounter that renews us in hope.

I thank Bishop David for his words of welcome. I also thank Arturo and Margarita for sharing their experiences with us. They said: “You are visiting a land that is mostly forgotten, wounded and marginalized… but we are not a no man’s land”. Thank you for saying this: we are not a no man’s land. It is something that needs to be emphasized. You are not a no man’s land. This land has names. It has faces. It has you.

This area has a beautiful name: Madre de Dios, Mother of God. How can I not speak of Mary, a young woman who lived in a remote, isolated village, also considered by many to be a “no man’s land”. There she received the greatest greeting and invitation imaginable: to be the Mother of God. There are joys that only little ones can hear (cf. Mt 11:25).

You have in Mary not only an example to whom you can look, but also a Mother. Wherever there is a mother, we don’t have that terrible feeling of belonging to no one, that takes hold when our sense of belonging to a family, to a people, to a land, to our God, begins to fade. Dear brothers and sisters, this is the first thing I would like to say, and I want to say it loud and clear: This is not a land of orphans, but a land that has a Mother! And if it has a mother, it has sons and daughters, a family, a community. Where there is a mother, a family and a community, problems may not disappear, but we certainly find the strength to confront them differently.

It is painful to think that some want to reject this certainty and make Madre de Dios a nameless land, without children, a barren land. A place easy to commercialize and exploit. That is why it is good for us to repeat in our homes and communities, and in the depths of each of our hearts: This is not a land of orphans! It has a Mother! This good news has been passed on from generation to generation thanks to the efforts of so many who share this gift of knowing that we are God’s children and who help us to know one another as brothers and sisters.

On a number of occasions, I have spoken of the throwaway culture. A culture that is not satisfied with exclusion, but advances by silencing, ignoring and throwing out everything that does not serve its interests; as if the alienating consumerism of some is completely unaware of the desperate suffering of others. It is an anonymous culture, without bonds, without faces. A motherless culture that only wants to consume. The earth is treated in accordance with this logic. Forests, rivers and streams are exploited mercilessly, then left barren and unusable. Persons are also treated in the same way: they are used until someone gets tired of them, then abandoned as “useless”.

Speaking of these things, allow me to bring up another painful subject. We have become accustomed to using the term “human trafficking”, but in truth we should speak of slavery: slavery for work, sexual slavery, slavery for profit. It is painful to see how in this land, which is under the protection of the Mother of God, so many women are devalued, denigrated and exposed to endless violence. Violence against women cannot be treated as “normal”, maintaining a culture of machismo blind to the leading role that women play in our communities. It is not right for us to look the other way and let the dignity of so many women, especially young women, be trampled upon.

Many people have immigrated to Amazonia in search of housing, land and work. They come in search of a better future for themselves and their families. They abandon poor, yet worthy lives. Many of them, in the hope that certain jobs will bring an end to their precarious situations, are drawn by the promising allure of gold mining. Gold, however, can turn into a false god that demands human sacrifices.

False gods, the idols of avarice, money and power, corrupt everything. They corrupt people and institutions, and they ruin the forest. Jesus said that there are demons that require much prayer to expel. This is one of them. I encourage you to continue organizing into movements and communities of every kind in order to help overcome these situations. I likewise encourage you to gather, as people of faith and vibrant ecclesial communities, around the person of Jesus. Through heartfelt prayer and hope-filled encounter with Christ, we will be able to attain the conversion that leads us to true life. Jesus promised us true life, authentic life, eternal life. Not a make-believe life, like the one offered by all those dazzling false promises; they promise life but lead us to death.

Salvation is not something generic or abstract. Our Father looks at real people, with real faces and histories. Every Christian community must be a reflection of this gaze, this presence that creates bonds and generates family and community. It is a way of making visible the kingdom of heaven, in communities where everyone feels a part of the whole, where they feel called by name and encouraged to be a builder of life for others.

I have hope in you, in the hearts of all those people who seek a blessed life. You have come to seek that life here, amid one of the most exuberant explosions of life on our planet. Love this land, realize that it belongs to you. Breathe it in, listen to it, marvel at it. Fall in love with this land called Madre de Dios, commit yourself to it and care for it. Do not use this land as a mere disposable object, but as a genuine treasure to be enjoyed, cultivated and entrusted to your children.

Let us commend ourselves to Mary, the Mother of God and our Mother, and place ourselves under her protection. Please, keep praying for me.

Hail Mary…

[Original text: Spanish] [Vatican-provided text] © Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Morning Briefing

Natl Catholic Reporter - Fri, 01/19/2018 - 10:10 AM
NCR Today: The March for Life; Trump's first year (a retrospective); spending bill flounders and puts young migrants in jeopardy; NCR calls for end to mass deportations; religious meet in Holy Land (fascinating insight into life there).

Pope’s Address to Indigenous People of Amazon Region in Peru

Zenit News - English - Fri, 01/19/2018 - 10:04 AM

Below is the Vatican provided text of Pope Francis’ address during his meeting with indigenous people of the Amazon region in the “Coliseo Regional Madre de Dios”:

***

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Here with you, I feel welling up within me the song of Saint Francis: “Praise be to you, my Lord!” Yes, praise be to you for the opportunity you have given us in this encounter. Thank you, Bishop David Martínez de Aguirre Guinea, Hector, Yésica and María Luisa, for your words of welcome and for your witness talks. In you, I would like to thank and greet all the inhabitants of Amazonia.

I see that you come from the different native peoples of Amazonia: Harakbut, Esse-ejas, Matsiguenkas, Yines, Shipibos, Asháninkas. Yaneshas, Kakintes, Nahuas, Yaminahuas, Juni Kuin, Madijá, Manchineris, Kukamas, Kandozi, Quichuas, Huitotos, Shawis, Achuar, Boras, Awajún, Wampís, and others. I also see that among us are peoples from the Andes who came to the forest and became Amazonians. I have greatly looked forward to this meeting. Thank you for being here and for helping me to see closer up, in your faces, the reflection of this land. It is a diverse face, one of infinite variety and enormous biological, cultural and spiritual richness. Those of us who do not live in these lands need your wisdom and knowledge to enable us to enter into, without destroying, the treasures that this region holds. And to hear an echo of the words that the Lord spoke to Moses: “Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground” (Ex 3:5).

Allow me to say once again: “Praise to you, Lord, for your marvellous handiwork in your Amazonian peoples and for all the biodiversity that these lands embrace!

This song of praise is cut short when we learn about, and see, the deep wounds that Amazonia and its peoples bear. I wanted to come to visit you and listen to you, so that we can stand together, in the heart of the Church, and share your challenges and reaffirm with you a whole-hearted option for the defence of life, the defence of the earth and the defence of cultures.

The native Amazonian peoples have probably never been so threatened on their own lands as they are at present. Amazonia is being disputed on various fronts. On the one hand, there is neo-extractivism and the pressure being exerted by great business interests that want to lay hands on its petroleum, gas, lumber, gold and forms of agro-industrial monocultivation. On the other hand, its lands are being threatened by the distortion of certain policies aimed at the “conservation” of nature without taking into account the men and women, specifically you, my Amazonian brothers and sisters, who inhabit it. We know of movements that, under the guise of preserving the forest, hoard great expanses of woodland and negotiate with them, leading to situations of oppression for the native peoples; as a result, they lose access to the land and its natural resources. These problems strangle her peoples and provoke the migration of the young due to the lack of local alternatives. We have to break with the historical paradigm that views Amazonia as an inexhaustible source of supplies for other countries without concern for its inhabitants.

I consider it essential to begin creating institutional expressions of respect, recognition and dialogue with the native peoples, acknowledging and recovering their native cultures, languages, traditions, rights and spirituality. An intercultural dialogue in which you yourselves will be “the principal dialogue partners, especially when large projects affecting your land are proposed”.[1] Recognition and dialogue will be the best way to transform relationships whose history is marked by exclusion and discrimination.

At the same time, it is right to acknowledge the existence of promising initiatives coming from your own communities and organizations, which advocate that the native peoples and communities themselves be the guardians of the woodlands. The resources that conservation practices generate would then revert to benefit your families, improve your living conditions and promote health and education in your communities. This form of “doing good” is in harmony with the practices of “good living” found in the wisdom of our peoples. Allow me to state that if, for some, you are viewed as an obstacle or a hindrance, the fact is your lives cry out against a style of life that is oblivious to its own real cost. You are a living memory of the mission that God has entrusted to us all: the protection of our common home.

The defence of the earth has no other purpose than the defence of life. We know of the suffering caused for some of you by emissions of hydrocarbons, which gravely threaten the lives of your families and contaminate your natural environment.

Along the same lines, there exists another devastating assault on life linked to this environmental contamination favoured by illegal mining. I am speaking of human trafficking: slave labour and sexual abuse. Violence against adolescents and against women cries out to heaven. “I have always been distressed at the lot of those who are victims of various kinds of human trafficking. How I wish that all of us would hear God’s cry, ‘Where is your brother?’ (Gen 4:9). Where is your brother or sister who is enslaved? Let us not look the other way. There is greater complicity than we think. This issue involves everyone!”[2]

How can we fail to remember Saint Turibius, who stated with dismay in the Third Council of Lima “that not only in times past were great wrongs and acts of coercion done to these poor people, but in our own time many seek to do the same…” (Session III, c. 3). Sadly, five centuries later, these words remain timely. The prophetic words of those men of faith – as Hector and Yèsica reminded us – are the cry of this people, which is often silenced or not allowed to speak. That prophecy must remain alive in our Church, which will never stop pleading for the outcast and those who suffer.

This concern gives rise to our basic option for the life of the most defenceless. I am thinking of the peoples referred to as “Indigenous Peoples in Voluntary Isolation” (PIAV). We know that they are the most vulnerable of the vulnerable. Their primitive lifestyle made them isolated even from their own ethnic groups; they went into seclusion in the most inaccessible reaches of the forest in order to live in freedom. Continue to defend these most vulnerable of our brothers and sisters. Their presence reminds us that we cannot use goods meant for all as consumerist greed dictates. Limits have to be set that can help preserve us from all plans for a massive destruction of the habitat that makes us who we are.

The recognition of these people – who can never be considered a minority, but rather authentic dialogue partners – as of all the native peoples, reminds us that we are not the absolute owners of creation. We need urgently to appreciate the essential contribution that they bring to society as a whole, and not reduce their cultures to an idealized image of a natural state, much less a kind of museum of a bygone way of life. Their cosmic vision and their wisdom, have much to teach those of us who are not part of their culture. All our efforts to improve the lives of the Amazonian peoples will prove too little.[3]

The culture of our peoples is a sign of life. Amazonia is not only a reserve of biodiversity but also a cultural reserve that must be preserved in the face of the new forms of colonialism. The family is, and always has been, the social institution that has most contributed to keeping our cultures alive. In moments of past crisis, in the face of various forms of imperialism, the families of the original peoples have been the best defence of life. Special care is demanded of us, lest we allow ourselves to be ensnared by ideological forms of colonialism, disguised as progress, that slowly but surely dissipate cultural identities and establish a uniform, single… and weak way of thinking. Listen to the elderly. They possess a wisdom that puts them in contact with the transcendent and makes them see what is essential in life. Let us not forget that “the disappearance of a culture can be just as serious, or even more serious, than the disappearance of a species of plant or animal”.[4] The one way for cultures not to disappear is for them to keep alive and in constant movement. How important is what Yésica and Hector told us: “We want our children to study, but we don’t want the school to erase our traditions, our languages; we don’t want to forget our ancestral wisdom!”

Education helps us to build bridges and to create a culture of encounter. Schooling and education for the native peoples must be a priority and commitment of the state: an integrated and inculturated commitment that recognizes, respects and integrates their ancestral wisdom as a treasure belonging to the whole nation, as María Luzmila made clear to us.

I ask my brother bishops to continue, as they are doing even in the remotest places in the forest, to encourage intercultural and bilingual education in the schools, in institutions of teacher training, and in the universities.[5] I express my appreciation of the initiatives that the Amazonian Church in Peru helps carry out in favour of the native peoples. These include schools, student residences, centres of research and development like the José Pio Aza Cultural Centre, CAAAP and CETA, and new and important intercultural projects like NOPOKI, aimed expressly at training young people from the different ethnic groups of our Amazonia.

I likewise support all those young men and women of the native peoples who are trying to create from their own standpoint a new anthropology, and working to reinterpret the history of their peoples from their own perspective. I also encourage those who through art, literature, craftsmanship and music show the world your worldview and your cultural richness. Much has been written and spoken about you.It is good that you are now the ones to define yourselves and show us your identity. We need to listen to you.

How many missionaries, men and women, have devoted themselves to your peoples and defended your cultures! They did so inspired by the Gospel. Christ himself took flesh in a culture, the Jewish culture, and from it, he gave us himself as a source of newness for all peoples, in such a way that each, in its own deepest identity, feels itself affirmed in him. Do not yield to those attempts to uproot the Catholic faith from your peoples.[6] Each culture and each worldview that receives the Gospel enriches the Church by showing a new aspect of Christ’s face. The Church is not alien to your problems and your lives, she does not want to be aloof from your way of life and organization. We need the native peoples to shape the culture of the local churches in Amazonia. Help your bishops, and the men and women missionaries, to be one with you, and in this way, by an inclusive dialogue, to shape a Church with an Amazonian face, a Church with a native face. In this spirit, I have convoked a Synod for Amazonia in 2019.

I trust in your peoples’ capacity for resilience and your ability to respond to these difficult times in which you live. You have shown this at different critical moments in your history, with your contributions and with your differentiated vision of human relations, with the natural environment and your way of living the faith.

I pray for you, for this land blessed by God, and I ask you, please, not to forget to pray for me.

Many thanks!

Tinkunakama (Quechua: Until we meet again)

_________________________

[1] Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’, 146.

[2] Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, 211.

[3] We hear disturbing reports about the spread of certain diseases. The silence is alarming and deadly. By remaining silent, we fail to work for prevention, especially among adolescents and young people, and to ensure treatment, thus condemning the sick to a cruel ostracism. We call upon states to implement policies of intercultural health that take into account the experience and the worldview of the native people, training professionals from each ethnic group who can deal with the disease in the context of their own worldview. As I pointed out in Laudato Si’, once again we need to speak out against the pressure applied to certain countries by international organizations that promote reproductive policies favouring infertility. These are particularly directed at the native peoples. We know too that the practice of sterilizing women, at times without their knowledge, continues to be promoted.

[4] Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’, 145.

[5] Cf. FIFTH GENERAL CONFERENCE OF THE LATIN AMERICA AND CARIBBEAN BISHOPS, Aparecida Document (29 June 2007), 530.

[6] Cf. ibid., 531

[00062-EN.01] [

[Original text: Spanish] [Vatican-provided text of Pope’s prepared speech] © Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Bishops say Nigeria 'under siege from many forces'

Natl Catholic Reporter - Fri, 01/19/2018 - 9:24 AM
With at least 80 people killed since the start of the year in conflict over fertile land in Nigeria, the nation's bishops condemned what they call brutal massacres of innocent people.

Hero's homecoming: Vatican prepares to transfer exiled cardinal's remains

Natl Catholic Reporter - Fri, 01/19/2018 - 9:19 AM
In his last will and testament, a cardinal exiled to Rome, who survived the Nazis' Dachau prison camp and 17 years of communist persecution, requested to be allowed back home to Czechoslovakia for burial. 

Pope in Peru expected to revisit themes addressed in Chile

Catholic Register Canada - News - Fri, 01/19/2018 - 8:18 AM
LIMA, Peru – Pope Francis was greeted by the Peruvian president, the country's bishops, a military honour guard and a children's orchestra on his arrival in Peru on Jan. 18. During his visit, he will meet with Amazonian indigenous people from three countries, visit a neighbourhood devastated by flooding early last year, and pray in the place of Peru's greatest popular religious devotion.

Accompanied by President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, the Pope heard the "Hallelujah Chorus" sung by a choir accompanied by a children's orchestra. The bishops filed past, greeting the president, and the Cabinet ministers then greeted the Pope, who blessed a religious item for one.

Helicopters buzzed overhead and security was heavy along the motorcade route from the airport to the nuncio's residence, where he will stay, while onlookers waved and some chanted "Pope Francis, we want your blessing."

In Peru, he is likely to return to several themes that marked his visit to Chile. In the southeastern town of Puerto Maldonado, members of various Amazonian indigenous peoples will ask for his support in defense of their rights to territory, health, education and their indigenous identity. Those demands echo sentiments expressed by Mapuche people in southern Chile.

Visiting the Amazonian area where forests have been obliterated by unregulated gold mining, the Pope will call on Christians to care for "our common home," as he did in the encyclical, "Laudato Si'."

Pope Francis also is expected to mention migration and human trafficking. Thousands of migrants, mainly from Venezuela, have arrived in Peru in recent years in search of better opportunities. The gold-mining area around Puerto Maldonado is a destination for human traffickers, who force women into prostitution.

As he did in Chile, he is likely to raise the issue of sexual abuse by church workers, in the wake of accusations against leaders of Sodalitium Christianae Vitae, a Catholic movement founded in Lima in the 1970s. The Vatican recently named a Colombian bishop to oversee the group because of concerns about formation and financial management.

The trip will highlight the deep faith that Peruvian Catholics express through popular religious devotions in various parts of the country.

On Jan. 19, the Pope will meet with indigenous people from the Amazonian regions of Peru, Brazil and Bolivia. The event will mark the first step toward the Synod of Bishops for the Amazon, which Pope Francis has called for 2019. He also will meet with civil society representatives and visit a children's home founded by a Swiss missionary priest.

After returning to Lima in the afternoon, he will address government officials, civil society representatives and members of the diplomatic corps and speak with Kuczynski. He also will meet with fellow Jesuits at the ornate colonial San Pedro Church in downtown Lima.

On the second day of his trip, Pope Francis will travel to Trujillo, on Peru's northern coast. He will visit the neighbourhood of Buenos Aires, where houses were inundated with 3-5 feet of water and mud during unseasonable flooding in March 2016. Father Hipolito Puricaza Sernaque, secretary-general of the diocesan Caritas office, said people hope the Pope's words during his trip will "soften the hearts of those responsible for the (post-flood) reconstruction, bring hope and renew our faith in God."

He also will celebrate an open-air Mass on the beach. Pilgrims from various parts of northern Peru will greet the Pope with images of Jesus and Mary that are central to popular devotions in their regions. The Pope will pray before the Marian images, particularly the one known as the Virgen de la Puerta, or Our Lady of the Gate, before returning to Lima.

On Jan. 21, Pope Francis will visit the shrine of Our Lord of the Miracles, Peru's largest popular devotion, and pray before the relics of Peruvian saints, including St. Rose of Lima and St. Martin of Porres. He also will meet with the country's bishops and pray the Angelus in Lima's main plaza before celebrating an open-air Mass.

Visiting bishops lament plight of youth in Gaza, West Bank, Israel (Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem)

Catholic World News - Fri, 01/19/2018 - 7:01 AM
Bishops from North America, Europe, and South Africa visited the Holy Land as part of the annual Holy Land Coordination. Their statement concluded, “Above all we hold the young people here in our prayers, and inspired by Pope Francis, commit ourselves, with the help of God’s grace, to play our part in making this land more human and more worthy for the youth of today and the future.”

Colombian bishops, UN committed to relaunching the government-ELN peace talks (Fides)

Catholic World News - Fri, 01/19/2018 - 7:01 AM
The Colombian conflict, which began in 1964 and has led to the death of over 175,000 civilians, has pitted the Colombian government against leftist guerillas. FARC (the main rebel group) and the government signed a peace agreement in 2016, and ELN (the 2nd-largest rebel group) declared a cease-fire during the Pope’s September 2017 apostolic journey.

Priests, religious comment on Pope's visit to Chile (Fides)

Catholic World News - Fri, 01/19/2018 - 7:01 AM
“These are intense days of great joy,” said Archbishop Fernando Chomali of Concepción.

New poll analyzes Americans' views on abortion (Marist Poll)

Catholic World News - Fri, 01/19/2018 - 7:01 AM
51% of Americans say they are pro-choice, while 44% describe themselves as pro-life. Only 21% of pro-choice Americans believe that abortion should be available at any time during pregnancy. 56% of Americans describe abortion as morally wrong (41% say it is morally acceptable), while 64% describe the abortion of unborn children with genetic disorders as morally wrong. 47% of those surveyed believe that human life begins at conception.

US bishops' spokesman responds to President Trump's reported comments (USCCB)

Catholic World News - Fri, 01/19/2018 - 7:01 AM
“Reports of recent disparaging remarks about African countries and Haiti have aroused great concern,” said James Rogers, the US bishops’ chief communications officer. “As our brothers and sisters from these countries are primarily people of color, these alleged remarks are especially disturbing.”

Family, friends discuss events that shaped Bishop Athanasius Schneider (National Catholic Register)

Catholic World News - Fri, 01/19/2018 - 7:01 AM
The prelate’s reverence for the Eucharist was initially forged in the catacomb-like atmosphere of the former Soviet Union.

Former pontifical academy member: priest should revoke remarks on contraception or resign (Catholic Herald)

Catholic World News - Fri, 01/19/2018 - 7:01 AM
Josef Seifert, a member of the Pontifical Academy of Life from 1996 to 2016, said that Father Maurizio Chiodi (a current member) should revoke his recent remarks on contraception or resign.

New generation of pro-life advocates digs into politics (OSV Newsweekly)

Catholic World News - Fri, 01/19/2018 - 6:01 AM
Our Sunday Visitor interviewed state Catholic conference officials in Maine, South Carolina, and Nebraska.

Book of Lamentations is focus of Italy's Jewish-Catholic dialogue (CWN)

Catholic World News - Fri, 01/19/2018 - 6:01 AM

The Italian Episcopal Conference commemorated its annual Day of Judaism on January 17, the day before the start of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

English prelate pledges to help create welcoming environments for migrants, refugees (Catholic Church in England & Wales)

Catholic World News - Fri, 01/19/2018 - 6:01 AM
Auxiliary Bishop Paul McAleenan of Westminster is chairman of the English and Welsh bishiops’ Office for Migration Policy.
Syndicate content