20 International News

posted Jul 14, 2017, 12:00 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jul 14, 2017, 12:00 AM ]

Pope to G20: give priority to the poor

In a message to world leaders participating in the G20 meeting in Hamburg, Germany, Pope Francis urged them to “give absolute priority to the poor, refugees, those suffering, the displaced, those excluded, without national, racial, religious or cultural distinction.”

The Pope’s message—addressed to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the host for this meeting—encouraged the effort to provide for “a more inclusive and sustainable economic growth.” However, he challenged the G20 powers to be mindful of the world’s poor countries, which are not directly involved in the talks.

He said, “Those states and individuals whose voice is weakest on the world political scene are precisely the ones who suffer most from the harmful effects of economic crises for which they bear little or no responsibility.”


Pope sees ‘culture of encounter’ as path to peace

In a video message to a meeting of young people in Jerusalem, Pope Francis said that personal encounters are the first vital steps toward building a culture of peace.

The Pope sent his message to a meeting organised by Scholas Occurentes, a charitable group that he helped to establish in 2013 to promote educational and intercultural exchanges. He congratulated the Israeli and Palestinian participants in this week’s event, telling them that “you yourselves, beginning from your differences, have achieved unity.”


20 million at high risk of famine

The head of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), José Graziano da Silva, said at a conference in Rome that 20 million people are “severely affected” by a high risk of famine in northeast Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen. In addition, 19 nations are in a “protracted crisis situation,” typically because of war, droughts and floods.


UN: Protect Human Rights of the Elderly

According to Archbishop Bernardito Auza, there is an “urgent need to develop concrete, practical measures to protect the rights, and answer the needs of the elderly.” The Permanent Observer of the Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations intervened during the Eighth Session of the Open-Ended Working group on Ageing, in a forum dedicated to ‘Measures to Enhance the Contribution of Older Persons to Social Development’.

The Apostolic Nuncio noted that the elderly are “disproportionately susceptible” to all the social poverties, and he deplored the fact that “policies, practices and prejudices can marginalise elderly people.”


UN: Holy See greets Treaty on Nuclear Arms

The Holy See greeted the Draft Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Arms, adopted at the United Nations on July 7, 2017 by 122 countries. For Monsignor Silvano Maria Tomasi, Delegate Secretary of the Dicastery at the Service of Integral Human Development, “this very important vote is a new step in the search for peace.”

Speaking on Vatican Radio, Monsignor Tomasi recalled that “for some years, certain States, including the Holy See, have worked to arrive at banishing not only the usage, but also the possession of nuclear arms.” To acquire and possess nuclear arms or explosive nuclear devices is truly unacceptable,” he stressed. “And with this Treaty, it can no longer be done.”


Cardinal Joachim Meisner no more

Senior German cardinal and former Archbishop of Cologne, Cardinal Joachim Meisner, has died at the age of 83.

Cardinal Meisner served as Archbishop of Cologne for 25 years. A spokesman for the archdiocese said he died on July 5 while on vacation in Bad Füssing.

The cardinal was one of four – along with Cardinals Carlo Caffarra, Walter Brandmüller and Raymond Leo Burke – who presented the dubia to Pope Francis, asking him to clear up controversies surrounding Amoris Laetitia.


New archbishop for Milan, Europe’s largest diocese

Pope Francis has named Bishop Mario Delpini, the vicar general of the Milan archdiocese, to become the city’s new archbishop.

Bishop Delpini succeeds Cardinal Angelo Scola, who is retiring at the age of 75. Cardinal Scola—who was regarded as one of the leading papabile entering the 2013 conclave that elected Pope Francis—reportedly had asked the Pontiff to accept his resignation and name his successor quickly, when the Pope visited Milan in March.

The appointment in Milan is watched carefully, because it is the largest archdiocese in Europe. The influence of the archdiocese and the importance of its leadership is illustrated by the fact that twice in the past century, the Archbishop of Milan has been elected Roman Pontiff: Popes Pius XI and Paul VI.