March 26, 2018 // Vatican

News Briefs for March 25, 2018

Miami archdiocese offers prayers after bridge collapse

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Authorities in Florida’s Miami-Dade area said at least six people have died, but the number could rise as they search through the rubble of a pedestrian bridge that collapsed March 15 near Florida International University. Via Twitter, the Archdiocese of Miami said it was “saddened to learn of the tragic event that has affected our community this afternoon. Please join us in praying for everyone involved.” The archdiocese also said March 15 that it was praying for victims, those injured, their loved ones, first responders and the university community. News reports said that because of a red light, various cars had stopped under the bridge, which had been lifted into place just days before it collapsed. Some are questioning the construction method used to build the 960-ton structure meant to bring greater safety to those trying to cross the eight lanes of traffic below. Juan Perez, director of the Miami-Dade Police Department, said March 16 that crews were working to break some of the bigger pieces of concrete into smaller ones to get to the vehicles and those trapped in them underneath. 

Human trafficking called ‘one of darkest, most revolting realities’ today

UNITED NATIONS (CNS) — Mely Lenario quietly described her harrowing journey from ambitious, naive rural girl trafficked to hopeless, drug-fueled urban prostitute, through slow rehabilitation to a new life as an outreach worker. After she finished her story, hundreds of people in a U.N. conference room jumped to their feet in a sustained ovation. Lenario spoke March 13 on “Preventing Human Trafficking Among Rural Women and Girls,” a panel co-sponsored by the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations. It was a side event to the 62nd session of the Commission on the Status of Women. The panel focused on the contributions of women religious to prevent trafficking by providing educational and employment opportunities for rural girls, women and their families, disrupt the “supply chain” of the trafficking business, and help survivors tell their stories. “Human trafficking is one of the darkest and most revolting realities in the world today,” said Msgr. Tomasz Grysa, Vatican deputy ambassador. He called it “a global phenomenon that exceeds the competence of any one community or country. To eliminate it, we need a mobilization comparable in size to that of the phenomenon itself.” 

It takes more than one ‘Our Father’ to ask for God’s help, pope says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Praying for God’s intercession takes courage, dogged persistence and patience, said Pope Francis. “If I want the Lord to listen to what I am asking him, I have to go, and go and go — knock on the door and knock on God’s heart,” the pope said in his homily March 15 at morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae. “We cannot promise someone we will pray for him or her and then say an ‘Our Father’ and a ‘Hail Mary’ and then leave it at that. No. If you say you’ll pray for another, you have to take this path. And you need patience,” he said. Pope Francis’ homily focused on the day’s reading from the Book of Exodus (32:7-14), in which God tells Moses how angry He is that his people have created a golden calf to worship as their god. God threatens to unleash His wrath on them, and promises Moses, “Then I will make of you a great nation.” Pope Francis said Moses does not take the bait or get involved in “games of bribery.” Moses sticks by his people and does not “sell his conscience” for his own gain, the pope said. 

Bishops urge federal protections for supporters of
traditional marriage

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The chairmen of two U.S. bishops’ committees March 14 called the First Amendment Defense Act “a modest and important measure” because it protects those who believe marriage is “the union of one man and one woman.” Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, recently reintroduced the measure in the Senate. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops “has been vocal in support of the legislation since its inception,” said a joint statement by Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, chairman of the Committee for Religious Liberty, and Bishop James D. Conley of Lincoln, Nebraska, chairman of the Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage. In welcoming its reintroduction, they said the First Amendment Defense Act “is a modest and important measure that protects the rights of faith-based organizations and people of all faiths and of no faith who believe that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.”

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