Put priority on help for poor, Pope urges FAO (Vatican News) In a June 14 message to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Pope Francis called for “dedication to a more just world, at the service of our defenseless and needy brothers and sisters.” He said that as the world economy opens up following the Covid lockdown, higher priority should be given to the poor. He mentioned in particularly the poor living in rural areas that depend on agriculture for income.
Papal plea for 150 million victims of forced child labor (Vatican Press Office) “Yesterday, [the] World Day Against Child Labour was celebrated,” Pope Francis said on June 13. “It is not possible to close our eyes before the exploitation of children, deprived of the right to play, to study and to dream. According to the estimates of the International Labour Organization, more than 150 million children are exploited by labour: this is a tragedy! . . . Let us all together renew the effort to eliminate this slavery of our times.” (See related CWN article.)
Pope demands food aid reach starving people of Tigray (AP) Ethiopian and Eritrean troops are fighting against the regional government and local rebels in the Tigray War, which began in November 2020. Pope Francis prayed for Tigray, and made his appeal, at the conclusion of his June 13 Sunday Angelus address.
Nearly 800,000 have fled brutal Islamist advance in Mozambique (CWN) An estimated 70,000 residents of Palma, a city of 75,000 in northern Mozambique, have fled the city in the past three months, the UN refugee agency announced on June 11—bringing to nearly 800,000 the total of those displaced by the Islamist insurgency in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado Province (map).
Priests arrested, released in Myanmar as troops raid parish (Fides) Six Catholic priests and a layman were arrested in Chan Thar, Myanmar, over the weekend, as troops raided a parish rectory. The priests were soon released, but residents of the visit fled into the surrounding forest, fearful of another military attack. The raid was apparently motivated by reports that pro-democracy activists are being sheltered by Catholic parishes and Buddhist monasteries.
Missouri's Down-Syndrome abortion law blocked (Wall Street Journal) A federal appeals court has blocked enforcement of the Missouri Stands for the Unborn Act, which would have banned physicians from killing unborn children with Down syndrome, as well as most abortions after the eighth week of pregnancy. The ruling was 3-0 against the latter provision, and 2-1 on the Down syndrome provision.
Reform is key to ending abuse crisis, says Vatican editorial director (Vatican News) Andrea Tornielli, the editorial director of the Vatican’s dicastery for Communications, said that thorough reform is needed in the Church to recover from the sex-abuse scandal. In a June 14 editorial for Vatican News, Tornielli called attention to the letter in which Pope Francis declined the resignation of Cardinal Reinhard Marx, agreeing with the German cardinal on the need for thorough reform.
Korean bishop to head Vatican Congregation for Clergy (Vatican News) Pope Francis has named Bishop Lazarus You Heung-sik of Dejeon, South Korea, to become the new prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy. He will replace Cardinal Beniamino Stella, who is retiring at the age of 79.
Bishop You, who is 69, was ordained as a priest in Daejeon in 1979, named coadjutor bishop in 2003, and assumed the leadership of the diocese in 2005. He is likely to become a cardinal after taking his new role.
Earlier this week the Pope appointed Bishop Egidio Miragoli on Mondavi, Italy, to conduct an apostolic visitation of the Congregation for the Clergy, the Vatican body that supervises the world’s priests. The Pontiff had ordered a similar complete review of the work of the Congregation for Divine Worship after the resignation of Cardinal Robert Sarah, who had been prefect of that dicastery.
Pope renews warnings against rigid priests, clericalism (National Catholic Register) On June 10, Pope Francis received seminarians from Ancona in Italy’s Marche region (map). “Clericalism is a perversion of the priesthood: it is a perversion. And rigidity is one of the manifestations,” the Pope said. “When I find a rigid seminarian or young priest, I say ‘something bad is happening to this one on the inside.’ Behind every rigidity, there is a serious problem, because rigidity lacks humanity.”