22 International News

posted Oct 5, 2017, 10:15 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Oct 5, 2017, 10:15 AM ]

Pope highlights dangers of 'fake news'

Given the strong divisions sparked and fuelled by "fake news," Pope Francis is highlighting the importance of truth in his message for World Communications Day. The message will call for studying the causes and consequences of baseless information, and will promote "professional journalism" which always seeks the truth, and therefore peace and understanding in the world, the Vatican Secretariat for Communication said, announcing the theme - "'The truth will set you free': Fake news and journalism for peace".


Pope mourns victims of 'senseless' Las Vegas shooting

On October 2, Pope Francis offered his condolences and spiritual support to victims of a deadly shooting in Las Vegas that left at least 50 people dead, and hundreds more wounded, when a gunman opened fire at a country music festival.

"Deeply saddened to learn of the shooting in Las Vegas, Pope Francis sends the assurance of his spiritual closeness to all those affected by this senseless tragedy," read an Oct. 2 telegram signed by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin.


Vatican official condemns gender discrimination

The need to recognise women as having equal worth as men, and allow them to fully exercise their human rights is increasingly urgent due to the "resurgence of divisions in today's world," a top Vatican official told the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva.

"An increased fragmentation of social relations in our multicultural societies, with spontaneous acts and words of racism and xenophobia, social and racial discrimination, and political exploitation of differences, is evident in everyday experiences," said Archbishop Ivan Jurkovic, Vatican observer to U.N. agencies in Geneva.

During a Sept. 25 speech regarding the impact of racial discrimination and intolerance on the human rights of women, the archbishop explained that women are "too often undervalued" and vulnerable to discrimination, not only when they are part of an ethnic, religious or linguistic minority, but for simply being women.


Bishops call for prayers after Las Vegas shooting

At least 58 people were killed and more than 525 were injured after a lone gunman, Stephen Paddock, began shooting from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel towards an open-air country music festival. Police have not found any links with international terrorism. Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston, and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), said in a statement:


Country consecrated to Jesus and Mary

Christian leaders across Syria have joined with the faithful to consecrate the country to the hearts of Jesus and Mary in a bid to bring lasting peace to the war-torn land.

On Friday, September 29, prayer ceremonies were held across the country, including in Damascus, Aleppo, Homs, Latakia, Tartous and Haba.

Bishop Elias Sleman, who helped lead the celebrations in Damascus with Maronite Bishop Samir Nassar of Damascus, told Aid to the Church in Need that the consecration was vital to help restore peace. Bishop Sleman said: "The consecration is so important to sanctifying the Syrian people. Peace must begin in our spirit and within us, and then spread throughout our society, to become a national and social peace."


Another priest abducted

Another Catholic priest in the south of Nigeria, Rev. Fr Lawrence Adorolo, of St Benedict Catholic Church, Okpella in the State of Edo, was reportedly abducted. "Rev Adorolo was on his way back from Auchi to his parish at St Benedict Catholic Church, Okpella, when he was abducted by gunmen at a bad spot near Okpella about 6 p.m. on September 27," said Gabriel Dunia, Bishop of Auchi.

In condemning the kidnapping of the priest, defined as an "abominable act", the Bishop revealed that "the abductors have made contact with the church for ransom. The church does not pay ransom," Msgr Dunia reiterated, confirming the line adopted by the Nigerian Bishops' Conference to reject any request for ransom. "The diocese is calling for an unconditional release of the priest. We are holding a Mass for the unconditional release of the priest," concluded the Bishop.