22 International News

posted Jan 9, 2019, 8:19 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jan 9, 2019, 8:19 AM ]

VATICAN
Pope decries rise of nationalism, flaws of globalization

Pope Francis has expressed concern over the rise of populism and nationalism, including separatist tendencies in Europe. He blamed these growing trends on reactions to waves of migration and on globalization’s disorderly development.

Pope Francis touched on several world issues in his speech to diplomats at the Holy See on January 7. Without specifying countries or political parties, he lamented national policies favouring “quick partisan consensus” over patient efforts for long-range solutions for the common good.

He cited challenges posed by “increased technological growth, which eliminates jobs, and the weakening of economic and social guarantees for workers.” His concerns included “the evil of child labour” and “a progressive decrease in the value of wages, especially in developed countries, and continued discrimination against women in the workplace.”

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IRELAND
Archbishop urges Catholics to resist new abortion law

The primate of All-Ireland has insisted that the country’s new abortion law that took effect on January 1, 2019 has “no moral force” and it “must be resisted” by Catholics.

Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh, Northern Ireland, who is also President of the Irish bishops’ conference, said in a message to mark the legislation that the new law “cannot be supported in good conscience.”

“In a May 22 referendum, voters opted by a margin of 2-1 to lift the country’s Constitutional protection of the right to life of unborn children. The new law will permit abortion on demand up to 12 weeks’ gestation. It also will permit abortion up to 24 weeks on unspecified grounds for the health of the mother, and up to birth where the child is diagnosed with a life-limiting condition that means he or she may not live long after birth,” he said.

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SRI LANKA
Priest noted for defending rights mourned

American Jesuit Fr Benjamin Henry Miller, who documented thousands of abductions and disappearances, as well as other abuses during Sri Lanka’s 1983-2009 Civil War, has died, aged 93.

Fr Miller was awarded the Citizens Peace Award for 2014 by the country’s National Peace Council (NPC). He died on Jan. 1 in his small but beautiful room in an old attic of St Michael’s College in Batticaloa, a major eastern city of the island nation. Fr Miller documented forced displacement, communal strife, abductions, disappearances, killings, arrests and the recruitment of children as combatants, as well as rapes, in the Batticaloa region.

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PAKISTAN
2019: Year of Dialogue in Lahore Archdiocese

“People today use modern means of technology, but paradoxically have less time to communicate with each other. It is essential to motivate and accompany people to dialogue. Dialogue is a tool that promotes life and peace.” With these words, Archbishop Sebastian Francis Shaw, at the head of the community of Lahore, announced that 2019 will be the Year of Dialogue in his diocese.

Msgr Shaw explained: “Dialogue between individuals, spouses, families, communities and people of different religions will bring new hope, help remove misunderstandings and deepen and strengthen relationships.”

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POLAND
March of the Three Kings 2019

On January 6, 2019, under the motto ‘Renew the face of the earth’, the ‘Marches of the Three Kings’ have passed through the streets of 752 cities in Poland and 22 outside of its borders.

The theme of this year’s Marches of the Three Kings was the encouragement to a deeper reflection on the memorable St John Paul II’s words, spoken forty years ago, which call for a collective effort to build a better world, to build good in our homeland and to work on the transformation of our hearts.

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