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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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Pope’s gift from China

ROME (SE): The gift from China that Pope Francis spoke of with journalists during his return flight to Rome from Baku in Azerbaijan on October 2 is a silk print drape inscribed with ideogrammes from the historical Christian Stele of Xi’an.

It depicts the long narrative inscribed on the famous stele, which is also referred to as the Nestorian Stele, which dates back to 781 during the Tang Dynasty, and documents the first 150 years of the presence of Nestorian Christians in the Middle Kingdom.

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Bishops team up for ecumenical mission

VATICAN (SE): Fifty years ago the Anglican Centre was set up in Rome as a result of an historical meeting between Pope Paul VI and Archbishop Michael Ramsey, the archbishop of Canterbury and head of the worldwide Anglican Communion.

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Getting Church out of fossil fuels

MANILA (SE): Father John Leydon, the co-convener of the Global Catholic Climate Movement and its local representative in The Philippines, made an appeal to Church organisations to divest themselves of their investments in the mining and fossil fuel industry.

“These divestments are an important step toward fulfilling the promise and the call of Laudato Si’ (Praise Be: On care for our common home),” Father Leydon said.

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Two Asians among new cardinals

VATICAN (SE): Pope Francis named 17 new cardinals at his public angelus address at midday on October 10, including two from Asia.

However, only one is of an age entitling him to vote at a conclave that elects a new pope, Archbishop Patrick D’Rozario, from Dhaka in Bangladesh. The other is the 84-year-old former archbishop of Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, Archbishop Anthony Soter Fernandez.

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