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Around the traps

Church out of kilter?
DUBLIN (SE): Father Tony Flannery says that Catholic doctrine “no longer makes sense to the modern mind.”
The Irishman has been silenced by the Vatican since 2012 over his public statements in opposition to the established Church. He said that Church teaching is routinely ignored or rejected even by practicing Catholics, because the Church has not adapted to modern times.
In January, Father Flannery, who is one of the founders of the Association of Catholic Priests in Ireland, defied a Vatican directive by celebrating Mass and preaching in public.

Colombia braces for refugees from Venezuela
BOGOTA (SE): The Church in Colombia is preparing to offer help to refugees from Venezuela, as the economic crisis there deepens.
Bishop Victor Manuel Ochoa Cadavid told the Fides on April 5 that he is worried over the plight of Venezuela, where shortages of food have become acute and the threat of violence looms. He reported his diocese had already provided food and medical help for those who left their homes in 2015 and expects to see another surge in the near future.
The Colombian bishop reported that he had met with his counterpart for in Venezuela.

Ratzinger Prize-winner authored way of cross
VATICAN (SE): The first woman to receive the Ratzinger Prize for Theology, Anne-Marie Pelletier, authored the meditations for this year’s Good Friday way of the cross at the Colosseum in Rome, Vatican Radio reported.
An expert in hermeneutics and biblical exegesis, she has dedicated most of her research to the theme of women in Christianity.
Camillo Ruini described her as “a distinguished figure in contemporary French Catholicism… with deserved scientific prestige, a great and versatile cultural liveliness and an authentic dedication to causes of the highest importance for Christian witness in society.”

Thousands of undocumented Filipinos return from Saudi
DUBAI (SE): Some 5,000 undocumented overseas Filipino workers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are expected to be flying home soon after the Saudi government implements its amnesty programme for undocumented migrants that took effect two weeks ago.
“We will be setting up centres to process their papers so they can take advantage of the 90-day amnesty programme,” labour undersecretary, Dominador Say, told the media.
A team of senior officials of the Department of Labour and Employment has been deployed to facilitate the processing of qualified Filipinos so they can avail themselves of the three-month amnesty.

Pope Francis’ use-by date?
ROME (CWN): Pope Francis caused a stir in a crowd in Rome on April 8 by suggesting that he might not be around for the next World Youth Day in Panama in 2019.
“I don’t know whether I will be there, but the pope will be in Panama!” the pontiff said, adding, “At my age, we are getting ready to leave the scene.”
The pope is 80. Insiders at the Vatican say there are no particular concerns about his health, so whether he believes he may reach his use-by date by then or anticipates not being on this earth is anyone’s guess.

Discount blood at Vatican
VATICAN (SE): The Vatican Museums have announced a special admission rate for blood donors.
Blood donors at the Gemelli Hospital will receive a voucher that entitles them to a reduced admission rate, as well as a chance to jump the entry queue at the Vatican Museums. The project is running under the theme, Give blood and follow your artistic inclination.

Laundromat for homeless
VATICAN (SE): The Vatican has opened a free laundromat for homeless people in Rome.
The opening of the laundry follows several other programmes for the homeless begun under Pope Francis, including free showers, haircuts and medical care.
The laundromat will be operated by the Sant’Egidio community. The equipment has been donated by the Whirlpool Corporation. The Vatican also recognised Procter & Gamble, which has been providing razors and shaving cream, and will now supply detergent.

Pope’s family in Disneyland
VATICAN (SE): Robert Iger, the chairperson of the worldwide Walt Disney Company, greeted Pope Francis on March 30 after attending a general audience.
Introducing his family, Iger said, “Holy Father I’m Robert Iger… and this is my family. Deepest respect for you. Your niece works for us in Buenos Aires.”
“God bless you and please pray for me,” the pope replied with a broad smile.

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