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Around the Traps

Traffickers in sea rescues
VATICAN (SE): L’Osservatore Romano expressed dismay on April 28 when the prosecutor in Catania, Carmelo Zuccaro, revealed that some organisations involved in migrant-rescue operations in the Mediterranean might be financed by human traffickers.
“The horrors of war, the struggles of endless flights, the risks of the open sea, the economic and sexual exploitation are not enough,” the paper commented. “An umpteenth scandal is emerging on the backs of the migrants: the suspicion, which unfortunately does not seem totally groundless, is of manipulation of the rescues.”
Thousands of Filipinos face deportation from Saipan
SAIPAN (UCAN): Bishop Ryan Jimenez, from Saipan, warned that around 15,000 Filipinos could face deportation from the United States of America (US) territory.
The Filipino bishop said many of his compatriots in Saipan do not have appropriate visas, while their children who were born there, are US citizens.
In addition he explained that a growing number of migrant workers are jobless and have no means to return home.
Spanish martyrs beatified
GIRONA (SE): Father Antonio Arribas Hortigüela, from the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart (1908 to 1936), and six of his companions who were martyred in Catalonia during the Spanish Civil War, were beatified at the cathedral in Girona on May 6.
Angelo Cardinal Amato, the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, presided at the beatification Mass.
The seven were associated with a seminary. They died on 29 September 1936.
“These faithful and heroic disciples of Jesus were killed out of hatred for the faith at a time of religious persecution,” Pope Francis said on May 7.
Melkite patriarch pressured to resign?
VATICAN (SE): Melkite Catholic Patriarch Gregory III Laham is 83-years-old and so his resignation, which was accepted by Pope Francis on May 8, would appear to be a matter of routine. But the Vatican Insider reported that the Syrian patriarch stepped down under pressure from the Melkite Synod.
Dubbed the Patriarch of the Islamic Church for his outspoken support for Arab leaders and criticism of western intervention in region, the Vatican Insider claims that conflict with the synod has its roots in his autocratic leadership style.
Abducted priest pleads for help
NEW DELHI (SE): The Indian Father Tom Uzhunnalil, who was kidnapped in Yemen in March last year, has pleaded for help in a newly released video.
“They are treating me well to the extent that they are able,” he said in the video dated 15 April 2017. “My health condition is deteriorating quickly, and I require hospitalisation as early as possible… Please, please do what you can to get me released.”
He complained about the response of the Church and Indian government to his captors’ demands.
America’s multicultural religious
ATLANTA (SE): A study on the 4,000 international sisters in religious congregations in the United States of America (US) was presented in Rome at a meeting of the International Union of Superiors General on May 10.
Conducted by Trinity Washington University and the Centre for Applied Research in the Apostolate, found that sisters from at least 83 countries had arrived at the age of around 30.
One-third are from Asia, 28 per cent from Europe, 27 percent from elsewhere in the Americas and 10 per cent from Africa. About 60 per cent were sisters when they came to the US.
No fossil fuel investment
ATLANTA (SE): Five religious congregations along with the archdiocese of Pescara-Penne in Italy announced that they will no longer invest in fossil fuel companies.
In the United States of America they are the Wheaton Franciscan Sisters, the Daughters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary of Wheaton, Illinois, St. Joseph’s Province of the Passionist order in the United Kingdom; and in Italy, the Society of Jesus and the Siloe Monastic Community.
A zombie president!
PARIS (SE): People who no longer practice the faith but hold onto the lingering influence of Catholic traditions have been dubbed Zombie Catholics in France.
Emmanuel Todd and Hervé Le Bras in Le Mystere Francais include the president, Emmanuel Macron, in this category, as he appeals to attitudes that reflect the traditions, but not the principles of Catholic teaching.
Highly educated, they privilege a traditional ordering of professional and domestic duties between husbands and wives; have a strong attachment to social, community and family activities; and a wariness of the role of the state in community affairs.

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