November 5, 2018 // World News

News Briefs: November 4, 2018

Pope: Tolerating each other’s flaws fights devil’s attempts to divide

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Humility, kindness and generosity are needed to create peace in the world, starting in one’s own family, Pope Francis said. “To create peace, unity among us (it takes) humility, gentleness — we who are used to insulting each other, yelling at each other — gentleness, and magnanimity,” he said Oct. 26 during morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae. “But can you really make peace in the world with these three little things? Yes, it is the journey. Can you reach unity? Yes, that (is) the journey: humility, gentleness and magnanimity,” he said. The pope’s homily reflected on the day’s first reading from St. Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians (4:1-6). The imprisoned apostle was calling for unity among Christians, who were “too caught up with their infighting,” the pope said. People today are also too used to being around conflict, especially with the news always talking about conflicts, “one after the other,” wars, the lack of peace and lack of unity, he said.

Holiness comes from experience of Christ’s love, not pious talk

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Christians reveal their faith not by spewing superfluous words about Jesus but by having a genuine experience of his love despite their sins, Pope Francis said. People who truly know Christ must ask him for the grace to not “repeat words like a parrot, but rather speak words born from experience,” the pope said Oct. 25 in his homily during Mass at the Domus Sanctae Marthae. “This is our strength, this is our witness,” he said. “Christians of words, there are many; even we can be that way, but this isn’t holiness. Holiness means being Christians who practice in life what Jesus taught and what Jesus has sown in your hearts.” In his homily, the pope reflected on the first reading from St. Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians, in which the apostle prays members of the community in Ephesus will “know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”

South Korea grants refugee status to Iranian student who became Catholic

SEOUL, South Korea (CNS) — An Iranian student who converted to Catholicism in South Korea has obtained refugee status through the efforts of Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung of Seoul and the man’s classmates. The Ministry of Justice announced Oct. 19 that the Korea Immigration Service accepted the student’s application, reported. The man’s name was withheld to protect his identity and safety. He was referred to only as “Anthony.” Cardinal Yeom met Anthony at his office in Seoul Aug. 16 and pledged to support his bid to claim refugee status. Afterward, Cardinal Yeom sent letters to Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon, Justice Minister Park Sang-ki, the chairman of National Human Rights Commission of Korea and other officials appealing for leniency in Anthony’s case because of his religious conversion. Prior to the final judgment Oct. 2, the cardinal issued another message of support. “Anthony converted to Catholicism and received the confirmation sacrament. As he now has a clear Catholic identity, if he were to return to his home country, he would face a high possibility of persecution,” Cardinal Yeom wrote.

Irish government approves excavation of former mother and baby home site

DUBLIN (CNS) — The Irish government has approved a forensic excavation of the site of a former state-funded, Catholic-run mother and baby home in the west of the country. Katherine Zappone, minister for children and youth affairs, announced the excavation Oct. 23. “I am committed to ensuring that all the children interred at this site can have a dignified and respectful burial,” she said. Significant quantities of human remains were found in 2017 in Tuam at the site of a home run by the Bon Secours congregation of sisters from 1925 to 1961. A Commission of Investigation was established following research by a local historian, Catherine Corless, in which she claimed that 796 infants had died in the home and been buried in an unmarked grave on the site. Death certificates revealed that the children had died of infectious diseases and malnutrition, but that the rate of death was significantly higher than the national average for the period. The case made headlines around the world and generated significant international interest in how unmarried mothers were treated in Ireland by the Church and wider society.

Catholic groups ask for humane treatment of migrants heading for border

WASHINGTON (CNS) — As a group from Central America heads to the border between the U.S. and Mexico, the Trump administration is said to be getting ready to send troops to meet them and Catholic groups are asking that the migrants be treated humanely. “We urge the administration to manage refugee arrivals humanely and in a manner that respects their dignity and rights under U.S. and international law,” said an Oct. 26 statement by the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. The mobilization of migrants is believed to have formed sometime in mid-October and comprised of mostly Honduran migrants seeking refuge from violence and poverty at home. It seems that, spontaneously, others from nearby countries have joined their ranks as the group travels north, likely seeking to ask for asylum in the United States. “These people simply want to live with their families free of fear. According to international law, they have a right to seek asylum where they feel safe,” said the Washington-based Franciscan Action Network in an Oct. 24 news release expressing solidarity with the group.

‘Romero’ film remains relevant to today’s fight for justice, says priest

WASHINGTON (CNS) — A handsome new DVD restoration of “Romero,” the 1989 drama about martyred Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero, is a reminder of the original glory days of Paulist Productions and its founder, Father Ellwood “Bud” Father Kieser. Starring Raul Julia as the prelate, who was assassinated while celebrating Mass March 24, 1980, was shot on location in Mexico (El Salvador was still too hazardous) for $3.2 million and had a limited release — just 400 screens — but still managed a profit, largely on the strength of brisk videocassette sales. It even had one 1991 airing on CBS. “It’s a movie that really holds up,” said Paulist Father Tom Gibbons, director of development and production at Paulist Productions. “It relates to immigration today and how we relate to the poor with the income divide playing a role. I think it still packs quite a big punch,” he said at an Oct. 24 evening screening of the remastered movie in Washington. Ten days earlier, the archbishop became St. Romero, canonized by Pope Francis at the Vatican. The screening was hosted by Paulist Productions and Catholic Relief Services, the U.S. bishops’ overseas relief and development agency.

A large iceberg breaks from the Grey glacier in 2017 at the Torres del Pine National Park in Magallanes, Chile. Six bishops representing episcopal conferences in five continents issued a joint statement calling on the international community to take immediate action against climate change. (CNS photo/Joel Estay, EPA)

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