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Around the Traps

Communion overdose
ABUJA (SE): Nigeria has experienced a rash of kidnappings of priests recently, but on October 15 Father Timothy Nwanja escaped after his captors found the altar wine and fell into a drunken sleep.
The Premium Times reported the kidnappers had intended to demand a US$277,000 ($2.2 million) ransom from the local bishop, but celebrated their anticipated wealth a bit early.
Police raided the hideout and arrested one of the suspects, but the other two had recovered from their communion overdose and stumbled off.
Escape from pope over lunch
BOLOGNA (SE): Pope Francis had invited some 20 prisoners from local penitentiaries to join him for lunch during a one-day visit to the Italian city of Bologna on October 1, but for two of them, the pope seems not to have been riveting company and they took off into the wild unknown.
The Il Resto del Carlino reported that the prisoners escaped sometime during the hour-long luncheon, though what no one seems to know is whether they had eaten lunch first or not.
Opinion bashing
SYDNEY (SE): The inability of Australia to hold a civilised conversation over social issues has been illustrated by the vindictive campaigns run by groups both in favour of and against same-sex-marriage.
Graffiti appeared on two churches in Melbourne calling for those who oppose it to be beaten and crucified.
The Herald Sun quoted Pastor David O’Brien as saying while Church leadership supports a no vote in the current opinion poll, there are people at the Church who have worked for both sides. “There have been heated discussions in the community, we have never received threats before,” he said.
Circle Ireland in prayer
DUBLIN (SE): Rosary on the coast for life and faith is planning to encircle Ireland with people praying the rosary on the feast of Christ the King, which falls on November 26 this year.
“Our island is in the midst of a catastrophic loss of Catholic faith,” the group says on Facebook. “Ireland, north and south, is facing an immediate threat to the protection of our unborn babies. We are mustering the faithful to our borders… to pray for the preservation of the faith and of the protection of life at all stages.”
In the 1930s Ireland was the first country be consecrated to Christ the King.
Pope meets Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem
VATICAN (SE): During an audience with His Beatitude Theophilos III, the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, on October 23, Pope Francis said, “Inspired by the same Spirit, may we not let the memory of times marked by lack of communication or mutual accusations, or present difficulties and uncertainty about the future, prevent us from walking together towards visible unity, nor hinder us from praying and working together to proclaim the gospel and to serve those in need.”
Virtual applause for Xi
BEIJING (AsiaNews): Such a Great Speech: Applaud Xi Jinping, goes a smartphone game put out by Tencent in China in the immediate aftermath of his address at the National Party Congress in Beijing.
The game shows some clips of the speech and invites people to tap the applause button. Whoever applauds most wins! The game has become so popular that after two days it had collected 860 million rounds of virtual applause.
No selfies please
NEW DELHI (SE): An Islamic seminary in India, the Darul Uloom Deoband, issued a fatwa (religious edict) on October 18 forbidding the posting of peple’s own and family pictures on social media sites.
India Today reported that the fatwa says such use of social media is un-Islamic. It applies to both men and women and cautions against taking selfies. Earlier in the month, the seminary released a fatwa banning women from plucking, trimming or shaping their eyebrows and cutting their hair.
Pope chats with space
VATICAN (SE): Pope Francis spend around 20 minutes taking part in a linkup with the 53rd International Space Station mission team from the Pope Paul VI Hall on October 26 in the presence of the president of the Italian Space Agency.
The mission has a crew of five. Commanded by an American, there are also an Italian, two Russians and two other Americans making up the team.
The pope asked the team about the place of humanity in space, a perspective on living on the station and the love that moves the sun and the stars in their work.

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