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Bolivian Church finds unexpected ally
BOGATA (SE): The Church in Bolivia has found an unexpected ally in its opposition to a proposal that would legalise abortion for poor families in the feminist movement, which sees the legislation as a threat to the autonomy of women living in poverty.

The Bolivian bishops say that the legislation shows the influence of “a foreign ideological colonisation that discards boys and girls born in fragile situations and accepts the sad violence of abortion as a way of providing solutions to social and economic problems.”

Mexican bishop meets with gang leaders
MEXICO CITY (SE): A Mexican bishop met with gang leaders in a bid to save his priests from violence directed at the clergy.

Bishop Salvador Rangel Mendoza, from the troubled Guerrero state, arranged the meeting through intermediates after he heard that some of his priests had been subject to death threats. He said he told them that if there is a death nothing could be settled.

Bishop Rangel said that almost all of Guerrero is in the hands of drug traffickers.

Royal visit to the pope
VATICAN (SE): Pope Francis met with the heir to the British throne, the Prince of Wales, and his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, on April 4.

The pope presented the royal couple with a bronze representation of an olive branch and in return, they presented a hamper of food produced on their own lands to be distributed among the poor and homeless in Rome.

During their 30-minute conversation conducted in Spanish they discussed a number of topics connected with the environment, which was the central theme of the meeting.

Together with the British foreign minister, Alan Duncan, the royal couple continued the discussion with the Vatican secretary of state, Pietro Cardinal Parolin, before visiting the Vatican Library and looking at some historical documents.

Plot to shoot the pope
PHILADELPHIA (SE): Santos Colon pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiring to kill Pope Francis during his visit to the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, the United States of America, in 2015.

The teenager confessed that he made a plan to hire a sniper to shoot the pope, but he turned out to be an undercover agent and arrested Colon instead. He could get 15 years in prison.

No motive for the assassination plan was given.

Twelve years since Pope John Paul II died
VATICAN (SE): The 12th anniversary of the death of Pope John Paul II was marked at the Vatican with a Mass celebrated by the Polish Stanislaw Cardinal Rylko, the archpriest of the basilica of St. Mary Major, on April 2.

Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, who was once master of ceremonies for Pope John Paul and later papal almoner—a post he still holds—concelebrated at the Mass.

In Poland, the anniversary was recognised with a variety of events and concerts across the country.

Juncker accused of being drunk meeting pope
VATICAN (SE): Krystyna Pawlowicz, a member of the Polish parliament, claims that Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, was drunk when he met with Pope Francis in mid-March.

She wrote to Juncker telling him that his alcohol dependency poses a danger to the European Union. She said he looked drunk when the pope greeted European leaders.

“Your demeanour was offensive not only to Pope Francis, but also the present chiefs of states and heads of governments, including women, who were certainly too polite to ask you to take a rest,” she said.

Mass for recovery of bodies from the Sewol
SEOUL (UCAN): A Mass was held on board the salvaged hulk of the Sewol on March 28 to pray that more bodies from the ferry that sank off the South Korean coast in 2014 will be found.

Father Simon Min Se-young said, “The ship was heavily damaged and it does not seem to be easy to recover the bodies of missing victims.”

A series of ceremonies was organised by Buddhists, Won Buddhists and Protestants.

Suwon Diocese will hold a commemoration Mass on April 7 at Ansan’s Hwarang Resort.

Vatican welcomes three refugee families
VATICAN (SE): The Vatican welcomed three new families of refugees from Syria at the beginning of April.

The three families will live temporarily in Vatican-owned apartments in Rome, which have previously been occupied by other refugees that have now found more permanent homes. Two of the families are Christian, who fled the prospect of religious persecution in their homeland; the third family is Muslim.

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