November 2017

Catholic population shows slight growth
(Saturday, 11 November 2017 )

VATICAN (SE): The Church’s Book of Statistics published by the Vatican for 2015 shows that the global Catholic population has now grown to 1.284 billion, or 17.7 per cent of the total number of people in the world.
 
This represents a 12.5 million year on year increase compared with 2014. The statistics, published by Fides on October 22 to mark World Mission Day, show North and South America with the largest number of Catholics at 625 million, or 63.6...

An international city
(Saturday, 11 November 2017 )

A brainchild of Caritas Internationalis, the Share the Journey Campaign is an initiative of the Church worldwide encouraging people to welcome migrants and refugees, by seeing them as friends that can offer benefits to a community rather than just a problem to be dealt with.
 
A prayer gathering to mark the beginning of the campaign was held in Hong Kong on September 27, the same day as Pope Francis launched the initiative in Rome.
 
Last year, the...

Franciscans 800 years in Holy Land
(Saturday, 11 November 2017 )

ROME (SE): The Brothers of the Cord, as the Franciscans used to be known are celebrating an 800-year presence in the Holy Land.
 
In 1217, the seraphic, as the minister general used to be known, opened up the dimension of universal mission at a chapter that convened at Pentecost, saying that the brothers would be sent to those who did not know Jesus as witnesses of faith, fraternity and peace.
 
One of the first provinces to be established was in the Holy...

Souls of lost bodies
(Saturday, 11 November 2017 )

MANILA (UCAN): On All Souls Day in The Philippines people light a candle at the graves of bodies that have lost their souls, but for the families of the hundreds of people who have been forcibly disappeared they can only light one for the souls of lost bodies.
 
These are relatives of the people who have simply disappeared without a trace over decades of repressive rule and random violence perpetrated by the military and police, as well as thugs, often recruited from the two...

Catholic groups pull trillions out of fossil fuels
(Saturday, 11 November 2017 )

BERLIN (SE): The Global Catholic Climate Movement announced on October 3 that a coalition of 40 Catholic institutions has decided to pull out its collective investments in fossil fuel-related industries estimated to be worth over $US5 trillion ($38.75 trillion) and place it in more environmentally friendly activities.
 
The finance and stock market news site, CNBC, reported that one of the major players in the coalition, the Bank of the Church and Caritas in Germany...

Youth Synod survey a fizz
(Saturday, 11 November 2017 )

VATICAN (SE): At the beginning of this year, the Vatican announced that it was posting a survey online for the use of young people from the ages of 16 to 29 as part of the preparation for the Bishops’ Synod on Youth that is scheduled to be held in Rome during October next year.
 
However, as due dates came and went, there was still no sign of the survey on the Internet. Eventually, it did show its head on June 14, but whatever initial enthusiasm had been shown for it...

Death to freedom of opinion
(Saturday, 11 November 2017 )

DUBLIN (SE): The Students Union of the University College Dublin has passed a move impeach its president, Katie Ascough, for her stand on the protection of life.
 
Of the 6,572 members of the union, 4,540 voted for the impeachment, with 2,032 casting against it.
 
Reacting to the result on October 24, The Irish Times quoted Ascough as calling it a sad day for the university and a sad day for freedom of speech and opinion, two values that used to be...

Muslim group promises protection for Marawi
(Saturday, 11 November 2017 )

MANILA (AsiaNews): The largest resistance group in Mindanao, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, has promised to provide security for a resettlement programme organised by the Church for the hundreds of thousands of people displaced by the siege of the city of Marawi.
 
The Church initiative dubbed The Marawi Rehabilitation Programme will be carried out in 13 coastal communities in the area of the now devastated only Islamic majority city in The Philippines.
...

Pope John Paul under the ax
(Saturday, 11 November 2017 )

PARIS (SE): Why western nations get indignant about China removing crosses from churches in Zhejiang and other parts of the country but think it is fair enough to remove them in their own backyards can be a bit of a mystery.
 
However, the Conseil d’Etat in France (Council of Administration or Discipline) has judged that a monument honouring Pope John Paul II in the city of Ploermel, which features a large arch with a crucifix on top, violates the principle of...

Vatican stamps for Reformation
(Saturday, 11 November 2017 )

VATICAN (SE): The Vatican is putting its stamp on the Reformation and Counter-Reformation, or at least putting the two historical events with significant anniversaries being marked this year on a stamp.
 
The Vatican Philatelic and Numismatic Bureau is releasing two postage stamps on November 23, one for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation and the other for the 450th anniversary of the birth of St. Francis de Sales (1567 to 1622).
 
The stamp...