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Mending historical fences

LUND (SE): Standing in the Lutheran cathedral in Lund, Sweden, Pope Francis said on October 31 that relations between the Lutheran and Catholic faiths has moved beyond the stage of resignation to division and that he regards his presence at the celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation as an opportunity to mend a critical moment of history.

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Truth long dead media victim

HONG KONG (SE): “I think that those who control the information in the west have a political agenda,” Bishop Antoine Audo SJ, the director of Caritas Syria, said in an interview with Vatican Radio.

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Around the traps

Archives on Argentine dictatorship to be opened

VATICAN (SE): The Vatican has completed the cataloguing and digitising of the archival material of the Bishops’ Conference of Argentina, the apostolic nunciature in Buenos Aires and the Vatican Secretariat of State in regard to the Argentine Military Dictatorship Period (1976 to 1983).

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Venezuela wants Vatican peace broker back

CARACAS (SE): Following the disappointment of seeing a peace process hammered out between the government of Venezuela and the rebel forces brokered by the Vatican overturned in a national referendum, both the government and the opposition has agreed to have another try at peace.

Both parties have agreed to engage in talks aimed at resolving the country’s political crisis, with a Vatican representative acting as mediator.

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In the crosshairs at the crossroads

COLOMBO (UCAN): Banners appeared in the streets of Colombo, Sri Lanka, reading Are bullets the only gift the government has for Tamils? and Such killings destroy reconciliation after two Tamil students from Jaffna University found themselves caught in the crosshairs of police guns at the crossroads at Kulappidi Junction on October 20.

Five police were arrested and remanded until November 4.

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Vatican and Vietnam continue meetings

VATICAN (SE): A delegation from the Holy See, headed by the undersecretary of state, Archbishop Antoine Camilleri, met with a delegation from Vietnam, led by Bui Thanh Son, the permanent deputy minister of foreign affairs, at the Vatican from October 24 to 26 with a view to establishing full diplomatic relations.

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New leadership for the Jesuits

ROME (SE): Father Arturo Sosa Abascal was elected as the general of the Society of Jesus by a general congregation in Rome on October 14, becoming the 30th successor of the society’s founding leader, St. Ignatius Loyola, in 1534.

Vatican Radio described the new Jesuit general as being serene, although he said that he was surprised by his election. Rather, Father Sosa described himself as grateful and ready to respond with joy, in an interview with the Vatican radio station.

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The rosary is our daily history

VATICAN (SE): Pope Francis described the rosary as in many ways being a synthesis of the history of God’s mercy at a Mass celebrated on October 8, the vigil of the Marian Jubilee, a part of the observance of the Year of Mercy.

But he added that the repetitive prayer, far from removing us from the problems of life, demands that we immerse ourselves in the history of each day, so as to grasp the signs of Christ’s presence in our midst.

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Jordan sinking under its refugee burden

AMMAN (SE): Jordan is currently hosting over two million refugees, putting the Hashemite Kingdom in first place among hosts of refugees and displaced persons.

Fides reported on October 5 that it is followed by Turkey (2.5 million), Pakistan (1.6 million) and Lebanon (1.5 million).

Amnesty International says that half of the entire global mass of refugees worldwide is hosted by only 10 of the 193 countries that make up the entire list of nations.

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Appeal for devastated Haiti

PORT-AU-PRINCE (SE): “Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere. This is the biggest disaster since the 2010 earthquake when 100,000 people died. People need food and water immediately. Materials to repair houses…,” Caritas Haiti said in a press release on October 6.

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