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Tuesday, 17 October 2017

The Vatican: Amazon bishop grateful to Pope for Pan-Amazon Synod

Amazon bishop grateful to Pope for Pan-Amazon Synod
(Vatican Radio) Bishop Emmanuel Lafont of Cayenne in French Guyana reacted with joy when he heard Pope Francis 's announcement of a Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon region.   French Guyana and Suriname are part of the Amazon territory together with Guyana, Venezuela, Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia, Peru and Brazil. As well as being an essential 'lung' for the entire planet as Pope Francis said when he made the announcement, the six million square kilometers that define the region are home to indigenous tribes and even uncontacted peoples whose cultures and whose very existences are threatened by large-scale logging, mining and other industrial projects as well as by pollution and climate change  Speaking to Vatican Radio Bishop Lafont said he is very grateful to Pope Francis for having called this Synod. Listen :  "I am very happy, grateful to the Holy Father for having called this Synod which is most important" he said. For the benefit of the indigenous peoples First of all, Bishop Lafont continued "for the benefit of the indigenous people – the First Nations – of the Amazonian region, because they have a long history, for the past 500 years of submission, of exploitation, of misunderstanding." For the protection of Creation The second reason for which he is grateful, the Bishop said, that "the Amazon is one of the most important regions in the world for the protection of Creation" and it is currently facing many challenges. "The Church, he said, ought to speak even more loudly for the protection of the region, and for the sake of the protection of the whole world". (from Vatican Radio)...
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Pope appeals for end to conflicts, climate change in fight against hunger, migration
(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis on Monday appealed to the international community not only to guarantee enough production and fair distribution of food for all but also to ensure the right of every human being to feed himself according to his needs without being forced to leave his home and loved ones.  He made the call at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization ( FAO ) in Rome, where he marked World Food Day , which this year has as its theme, "Change the future of migration. Invest in Food Security and rural development."  ( Click here for the video of the Pope's FAO visit ) Conflicts and climate-change Addressing the UN's specialized agency that leads the international community's fight against hunger and malnutrition in the world, the Pope urged governments to work together to end the conflicts and climate-change related disasters that force people to leave their homes in search of their daily bread. Citing the 2016 Paris climate accord in which governments committed themselves to combatting global warming, the Pope who spoke in Spanish, regretted ‎that "unfortunately some are distancing themselves from it."‎   He noted that negligence and greed over the world's limited resources are harming the planet and its most vulnerable people, forcing many to abandon their homes in search of work and food.  He called for a change in lifestyle and the use of resources, adding it cannot be left for others to do.  World hunger A UN report in September pointed out that the number of chronically hungry people in the world was growing once more after a decade of decline because of ongoing conflicts and floods and droughts triggered by climate change.  While the 815 million chronically undernourished people last year is still below the 900 million registered in 2000, the UN warned that the increase is cause for great concern. Love, fraternity, solidarity Describing population control as a "false solution" to tackling hunger and malnutrition in the world, Pope Francis said what is needed instead is a better management of the earth's abundant resources and prevention of waste in food and resources.   What is needed, he said, is a new model of international cooperation based on love, fraternity and solidarity that respond to the needs of the poorest.  Pity, he pointed out, is limited to emergency aid, but love inspires justice that is needed to bring about a just social order. As a token of his visit and message, Pope Francis gifted to the UN food agency a marble sculpture of Aylan , the three-year-old Syrian toddler of Kurdish origin, whose image in the media made global headlines after his body washed up on a Turkish beach in September 2015 after he drowned in the Mediterranean Sea. The Vatican explained that the sculpture featuring a weeping angel over the little boy's corpse, symbolized the tragedy of migration.    (from Vatican Radio)...
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Pope Francis marks 800 years of Franciscans in Holy Land
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has sent a letter to the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land marking the 800th anniversary of their presence as guardians of the holy sites in modern day Israel and Palestine. In the letter, published on Tuesday, the pope praises the Franciscans for their vital contribution to life in the Holy Land , in particular their work to accompany pilgrims coming from all over the world. Listen to our report:  The Pope recalls the way that Saint Francis, in May 1217 during the chapter of his recently founded order, decided to send the friars out on mission. The first missionaries to the Holy Land arrived that summer in the town of Acre, near Haifa, in northern Israel and just over a hundred years later, Pope Clement VI confirmed them as the custodians of the holy places. Sowing peace, fraternity, respect In the message, Pope Francis notes how the Franciscans live alongside people of different cultures and religions, sowing seeds of "peace, fraternity and respect". As well as their work as guides for pilgrims, the Pope recalls, they are also committed to biblical and archaeological studies. Franciscans also work closely with the local Churches taking care of the poor, the sick, the elderly and the young people who find it hard to keep up hope amidst the ongoing conflict. Collection for the Holy Land The Pope says that the Franciscans are ambassadors for the whole people of God, who support them through the traditional Good Friday collection for the Holy Land and through the Vatican's Congregation for Oriental Churches, which is currently marking the centenary of its foundation. (from Vatican Radio)...
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