CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 18 August 2018

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Around the Traps

Marking 400 years since arrival of Marian image in Philippines
MANILA (SE): Marian devotees gathered at Manila’s Quirino Grandstand, in Luneta Park on May 4, for the Salubong at Traslacion (Welcome and procession), the reenactment of the arrival in the Philippines of the image of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel de San Sebastian from Mexico 400 years ago, CBCP News reported.
 
Around 8,000 Filipino Catholics joined the fluvial procession in the early morning, ABS-CBN reported, which began at Manila Bay as members of the Philippine Coast Guard carried the image to the Quirino Grandstand where Mass was celebrated. 
 
The image of Our Lady was then processed to Quiapo Church where image of the Black Nazarene was brought out for traditional Dungaw (to look out). 
 
The event finished at The Minor Basilica of San Sebastian, the image’s home, and an evening Mass and the re-enthronement of the image at the basilica, CBCP News reported.
 
Trump cuts protected status for displaced Hondurans
WASHINGTON (CNS): Catholic leaders were angered and disappointed by the Trump administration’s May 4 decision to end Temporary Protected Status, popularly known as TPS, to more than 57,000 Hondurans living in the United States. 
 
Hondurans who arrived in the United States after their country was devastated by Hurricane Mitch in 1998 now have until 5 January 2020, to return home. 
 
“The administration’s decision to end TPS for Honduras is untenable. Returning tens of thousands of people to a country with a staggering unemployment rate, high rates of violence and few available resources to support them could quickly become a tipping point for communities,” Conor Walsh, the country representative in Honduras for Catholic Relief Services, said. 
 
He said those who are forced to return will be separated from family and could be targeted by gangs for extortion. “This decision, as well as previous determinations made for El Salvador and Haiti, will undermine ongoing efforts to address the root causes of migration and violence, and in doing so, lead to more,” he added.
 
Knights of Malta elect interim leader as new grand master
ROME (CNS): Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre, who was elected the 80th grand master of the Knights of Malta on May 2, promised to continue the reform of the order begun last year when he was elected its interim head. 
 
In a solemn procession after morning Mass, 73-year-old Dalla Torre and 53 other leaders of the Knights of Malta—including, for the first time, two women—walked into the order’s villa on Rome’s Aventine Hill to begin voting for a new leader. 
 
The electors, who form the Council Complete of State, completed the voting in one morning. They chose their new grand master from among 12 eligible knights, who have taken solemn vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. 
 
They also had the option of deciding whether or not to elect a lieutenant again to oversee the order for one year. 
 
Fra’ Dalla Torre had served for the past year as lieutenant with the task of leading the revision of the order’s constitutions after months of turmoil and crisis.
 
More protests in Congo
ARU (CNS): Catholics in Congo are planning more large-scale, peaceful demonstrations across the country to protest the refusal of the president, Joseph Kabila, to leave power. 
 
“Let’s stay together, ready to face the worst, to snatch the best,” the Church’s lay coordination committee said in a May 1 statement issued after a two-day meeting in the capital city of Kinshasa. 
 
Noting the “uncertainty of the electoral calendar,” the committee said it fears another postponement of elections or “a mockery” of a poll that has no “guarantee of transparency and credibility” and is “without political restraint measures.” 
 
Around half the 67.5 million inhabitants of Congo are Catholic and the country’s bishops have pressed Kabila to step down since his second and final term expired in December 2016. 
 
Later, a Church-brokered accord allowed the president to stay in office, alongside an opposition head of government, pending elections by the end of 2017. 
 
However, in November 2017, Congo’s Electoral Commission said the ballot would be postponed until December 23. 
 
At least five people died and 120 people were detained when security forces attacked Catholic protesters in Kinshasa on 31 December 2017. 
 
Since then, 16 people have been killed in three protest marches.

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