Home » Page 29

Pro-life leaders condemn killings at Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic

By

 COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — A priest who celebrates Mass every Friday morning on a sidewalk near the Planned Parenthood clinic targeted by a lone gunman Nov. 27 said the shooter’s actions were the antithesis of the pro-life cause.

“We want the conversion of Planned Parenthood, not their destruction,” said Father Bill Carmody, the longtime Respect Life director for the Diocese of Colorado Springs. “The pro-life movement has no place for violence.”

People pray during a vigil at All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church Nov 28, the day after a gunman opened fire on a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colo. Police say Robert Lewis Dear killed three people during the shooting rampage and hours-long standoff at the clinic and was later taken into custody. (CNS photo/Isaiah J. Downing, Reuters)

People pray during a vigil at All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church Nov 28, the day after a gunman opened fire on a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colo. Police say Robert Lewis Dear killed three people during the shooting rampage and hours-long standoff at the clinic and was later taken into custody. (CNS photo/Isaiah J. Downing, Reuters)

The attack on the clinic in northwest Colorado Springs left three people dead, including a police officer, and nine others wounded. The clinic reported that none of its employees or patients was among those killed or seriously wounded in the Black Friday attack.

The clinic sits near a busy shopping center that includes a grocery store, a bank and several other businesses. After the attack broke out around 11:30 a.m., local time, patrons and employees of the businesses “sheltered in place” for nearly six hours while police tried to contain the alleged shooter, Robert Lewis Dear, 57. The standoff ended with Dear’s arrest at 4:52 p.m., local time.

Among those killed was Garrett Swasey, a police officer at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and father of two.

The clinic is the frequent site of prayer vigils and other activities, in addition to the pro-life Masses, leading several national media outlets to speculate that Dear was a member of the pro-life movement.

However, Father Carmody said he did not recall ever having seen or spoken to Dear. On the day of the shootings, he had celebrated his usual weekly Mass, but he said that he and others in attendance departed shortly afterward because of the snowstorm hitting the region.

“We were long gone” before the attack started, Father Carmody told The Colorado Catholic Herald, the diocesan newspaper of Colorado Springs.

Others who regularly pray outside the clinic also said they did not recall seeing Dear at any pro-life events.

Law enforcement officials would not discuss a motive for the shootings because their investigation was still underway. Dear was scheduled to appear in court Nov. 30.

According to The Gazette daily newspaper, Dear previously lived in South Carolina and North Carolina and had arrest records in both states. Voting records show that Dear maintains a residence in Hartsel, a small town about 120 miles west of Colorado Springs, The Gazette reported.

“Yesterday, our community experienced an act of pure evil at the local Planned Parenthood clinic,” Bishop Michael J. Sheridan of Colorado Springs said in a statement. “As Pope Francis recently reminded us, ‘The path of violence and hate can never solve the problems of humanity.’”

The National Right to Life Committee’s president, Carol Tobias, said her organization “unequivocally condemns unlawful activities and acts of violence regardless of motivation. The pro-life movement works to protect the right to life and increase respect for human life. The unlawful use of violence is directly contrary to that goal.”

Bryan Kemper, youth outreach director for Priests for Life and founder of Stand True, said in a Nov. 27 statement that “although we do not know the details behind the gun violence at Planned Parenthood in Colorado, it is important to say that we are against all violence against our fellow human persons.”

“From the abortionist, the workers, the patients, the children scheduled to die or anyone at that Planned Parenthood, all of their lives are precious and worth saving,” he said. “All of them are loved by God and deserve our prayers. I am sickened by the violence there today just as I am sickened by the violence there every day.”

Judie Brown, president of American Life League, said that “despite aggressive attempts of some news media to tie this brutal and egregious act to pro-life causes, there is no evidence supporting their case and these attempts are simply irresponsible.”

“We abhor and condemn all acts of terrorism, all acts of savagery against the innocent — born and preborn — and we call upon our fellow Americans to do likewise,” she said in a Nov. 30 statement.

Brown urged people to “to look beneath the surface of escalating violence in this nation” to see that “the violent act” of surgical abortion is at the root of it, which “the media ignores.”

By Veronica Ambuul, Ambuul is editor of The Colorado Catholic Herald, newspaper of the Diocese of Colorado Springs.

Comments Off on Pro-life leaders condemn killings at Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic

Rocky finds a boxer to believe in — ‘Creed’

November 30th, 2015 Posted in Movies Tags: , , ,

By

 

Catholic News Service

“One step, one punch, one round at a time” is the mantra of Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky Balboa in “Creed.” This seventh “Rocky” film is an imaginative and, if you can believe it, somewhat gentle reboot of the blockbuster franchise.

Sylvester Stallone and Michael B. Jordan star in a scene from the movie "Creed." The Catholic News Service classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. (CNS photo/Warner Bros.)

Sylvester Stallone and Michael B. Jordan star in a scene from the movie “Creed.” The Catholic News Service classification is A-III — adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 — parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. (CNS photo/Warner Bros.)

The same patient motto sums up director Ryan Coogler’s approach to his task. In the screenplay he co-wrote with Aaron Covington, Coogler is wise enough to touch lightly on all the familiar notes of the 1976 original, thus reminding his audience that he respects the past even as he reinvents for the future.

Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) is the illegitimate son of Apollo Creed (played by Carl Weathers; the character was killed in the ring in “Rocky IV”). Adonis is determined to fulfill his destiny as a boxer.

This resolve justifies just enough flashbacks to show that the kid had it tough in foster care and a series of juvenile detention facilities. He uses his fists instinctively. Indeed, even after being rescued from poverty by Creed’s last wife, Mary Anne (Phylicia Rashad), and despite a promising future in finance, Adonis knows he belongs in the ring.

So he abandons weekend bouts in Tijuana and the trappings of luxury in Los Angeles for training in scruffy, cold Philadelphia. His coach, of course, is the legendary former heavyweight champ, now widowed and operating an Italian restaurant.

Adonis doesn’t pummel any slabs of beef in a meat locker, but the regimen is otherwise intact: Rocky has him chasing chickens and performing one-armed pushups. Rocky even repeats the admonishment he long ago received from trainer Mickey Goldmill (Burgess Meredith): “Women weaken legs!”

Along those lines, there’s a supportive and chastely portrayed romance with Adonis’ spunky downstairs neighbor, R&B performer Bianca (Tessa Thompson), who is suffering from progressive hearing loss.

The traditional montages of physical exertion and self-realization build up to the climactic bout in which Adonis is pitted against British light-heavyweight champion “Pretty” Ricky Conlan (Tony Bellew), who’s facing a prison term.

Adonis tries at first to conceal his parentage. But the fame that results when the information leaks out, after an early, decisive victory, gives him his shot at the title fight. This enables him to confront both his physical and emotional limits.

The script’s underlying message is that, no matter what the circumstances, the cherished old values of self-sacrifice and discipline can prevail. That outlook may, in the judgment of many parents, extend the movie’s appropriate appeal, making it acceptable fare for mature adolescents.

The film contains bloody physical violence and fleeting rough language. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III, adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13, parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

Jensen is a guest reviewer for Catholic News Service.

 

Comments Off on Rocky finds a boxer to believe in — ‘Creed’

At Bangui mosque and Mass, pope says ‘God is peace, salam’

By

Catholic News Service

BANGUI, Central African Republic — Pope Francis ended his visit to the violence-torn Central African Republic with cries for peace and pleas for a mercy that seeks and grants forgiveness.

In a country where political and ethnic rivalries also have split the population along religious lines, Pope Francis began Nov. 30 with a visit to the Koudoukou mosque in Bangui.

Pope Francis sits next to Imam Tidiani Moussa Naibi during a meeting with the Muslim community at the Koudoukou mosque in Bangui, Central African Republic, Nov. 30. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Pope Francis sits next to Imam Tidiani Moussa Naibi during a meeting with the Muslim community at the Koudoukou mosque in Bangui, Central African Republic, Nov. 30. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

After two years of civil war, much of the recurrent violence in the country involves the murder of a Christian or a Muslim, then retaliations from members of the other community. Most areas of Bangui are divided into Christian or Muslim neighborhoods with “buffer zones” between them patrolled by U.N. peacekeepers.

“God is peace, ‘salam,’” the pope said in his speech at the mosque, where armed U.N. peacekeepers monitored the crowd outside from each of the three minarets.

“Christians and Muslims are brothers and sisters,” created by the same God, he said, and they must act like it.

“Together, we must say no to hatred, to revenge and to violence, particularly that violence which is perpetrated in the name of a religion or of God himself,” Pope Francis insisted.

“The recent events and acts of violence which have shaken your country were not grounded in properly religious motives,” he said, but some have used God’s name as an excuse for their actions, which “disfigures the face of God.”

Pope Francis prayed that the elections scheduled for Dec. 27 would be a symbol and victory of national unity rather than being seen as the victory of one particular faction.

“Make your country a welcoming home for all its children, regardless of their ethnic origin, political affiliation or religious confession,” the pope urged the people.

Tidiani Moussa Naibi, the imam of the mosque, assured the pope that Central African Christians and Muslims know that they are brothers and sisters. “Trouble mongers could delay the completion of a particular project of common interest or compromise for a time a particular activity, but never, ‘inshallah,’ (God willing) can they destroy the bonds of brotherhood that unite our communities so solidly.”

After the speeches, Pope Francis asked the imam to show him the mihrab, which indicates the direction of Mecca, the direction Muslims face when praying. The pope and imam stood in front of it for several moments of silence.

The Catholic archbishop of Bangui, the president of the country’s evangelical Christian alliance and another imam have been leading a very public campaign of education and cooperation to end the violence. The three were present at the mosque for the pope’s visit.

Afterward, the pope visited the camp for displaced people that has sprouted around the mosque, just as other camps have mushroomed around the city’s Catholic parishes.

To show just how special the visit was, Pope Francis personally opened the Holy Door at Bangui’s cathedral Nov. 29, nine days before the official opening of the Year of Mercy.

The last event on the pope’s schedule was a Mass in a sports stadium, where he urged the Catholic community to participate in the Year of Mercy by moving forward courageously toward peace and reconciliation.

The country’s bishops chose “Cross to the Other Side” as the theme for the pope’s visit, and he told people in the stadium that even though the elections are only four weeks away, they are still only in midstream in their journey to the side of peace.

All Christians, he said, need to break the habits of sin and division, which are “ever ready to rise up again at the prompting of the devil. How often this happens in our world and in these times of conflict, hate and war! How easy it is to be led into selfishness, distrust, violence, destructiveness, vengeance, indifference to and exploitation of those who are most vulnerable.”

Pope Francis urged the country’s Catholics to hold fast to their faith, sharing it with all they meet through words and, especially, gestures of care, peace and reconciliation. At the end of Mass, the pope gave a special greeting”of joy and fraternity” to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, wishing him — “from the heart of Africa” — a happy feast of St. Andrew.

“I ask the Lord to bless our sister churches,” he said.The evening before, after celebrating Mass with priests, religious and catechists, the pope joined the young people who had watched the liturgy from outside the cathedral. They were holding a prayer vigil into the night, with special permission to stay outside the cathedral beyond the 8 p.m. curfew in the violence-torn city.

The centerpiece of the event, though, was the sacrament of confession, which Pope Francis personally administered to five youths.

He urged the young people to pray often, to forgive those who hurt them and to be courageous enough to stay in their country and work for peace.

Comments Off on At Bangui mosque and Mass, pope says ‘God is peace, salam’

Pope in Bangui: Open the doors of mercy, counter violence with love

By

Catholic News Service
BANGUI, Central African Republic (CNS) — Put down the weapons of war and work for justice, Pope Francis urged the people of the Central African Republic.
“Even when the powers of hell are unleashed, Christians must rise to the summons, their heads held high, and be ready to brave blows in this battle over which God will have the last word. And that word will be love and peace,” the pope said in an evening homily Nov. 29 at Bangui’s cathedral. Read more »

Comments Off on Pope in Bangui: Open the doors of mercy, counter violence with love

Honor your martyrs by putting faith into action, pope tells Ugandans

By

By Cindy Wooden

Catholic News Service

 

KAMPALA, Uganda — As Pope Francis encouraged Ugandan Christians to draw inspiration from the 19th-century Ugandan Martyrs, he carried with him graphic images of the horrors the 45 Anglican and Catholic martyrs endured.

Children sing and wave flags before Pope Francis' meeting with priests, religious and seminarians at the cathedral in Kampala, Uganda, Nov. 28. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Children sing and wave flags before Pope Francis’ meeting with priests, religious and seminarians at the cathedral in Kampala, Uganda, Nov. 28. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

The pope made an early morning visit Nov. 28 to the Anglican shrine and museum located on the site where many of the martyrs died. The main exhibit features realistic statues of men being tortured, bound and thrown on a fire.

Pope Francis had a look of shock on his face as Anglican Archbishop Stanley Ntagali of Uganda explained how the martyrs were executed on the orders of King Mwanga II in the late 1800s.

Afterward, the pope celebrated a Mass outside the nearby Catholic shrine to the martyrs. The shrine has an artificial lake, and Ugandan security patrolled it in a little rubber boat throughout the liturgy.

In his homily, Pope Francis honored all the martyrs, noting that they shared the same faith in Jesus and they offer a witness to “the ecumenism of blood.”

Honoring the martyrs is not something to be done only on their feast day, he said, but must be done daily through upright behavior and loving care for others in the family, the neighborhood, at work and in society.

Keeping one’s eyes focused on God, he said, “does not diminish our concern for this world, as if we only look to the life to come. Instead, it gives purpose to our lives in this world and helps us to reach out to those in need, to cooperate with others for the common good and to build a more just society which promotes human dignity, defends God’s gift of life and protects the wonders of nature, his creation and our common home.”

Heart-breaking modern challenges to faith led Pope Francis to abandon the text he had prepared for an afternoon meeting with Ugandan youths. Instead, he tried to respond directly to the young woman and young man who addressed him, although the effort was plagued by technical problems with the microphone.

Winnie Nansumba, 24, told the pope she was born HIV-positive and, “as a young woman, I always found it hard to fall in love because I thought I didn’t have a right to love and be loved.”

In the end, she said, she decided to use her story to teach other youths about HIV and AIDS, particularly that “we must respect our life and that of others,” changing behavior to prevent the spread of the disease.

“Take charge of your life and know your (HIV) status,” she told the estimated 150,000 youths gathered at the Kololo airstrip to see the pope. “AIDS is real, but it can be prevented and managed.”

More than 7 percent of Ugandan adults are HIV-positive and tens of thousands continue to be infected each year. According to U.N. AIDS, because of sexual violence and lack of access to education, young women are particularly in danger in Uganda. U.N. figures estimate that 4.2 percent of Ugandan women aged 15-24 are HIV-positive while 2.4 percent of men that age are.

Pope Francis did not speak specifically about AIDS or its prevention, but spoke instead about overcoming despair and depression and fighting for one’s life.

He also went on at length about courage, referring both to Nansumba and to Emmanuel Odokonyero, who had talked about being kidnapped by the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army in 2003, tortured and escaping after three months.

From the late 1980s and for more than 20 years, the Lord’s Resistance Army terrorized Uganda, kidnapping thousands of children and forcing hundreds of thousands of people to seek safety in camps for displaced persons.

“In your veins the blood of martyrs flows,’’ the pope told the two youths. “That is why your faith is so strong.”

The pope urged the young people to find positive challenges in the negative events of their lives, to trust Jesus to transform their suffering into joy and to turn to Mary when experiencing pain, just like a child runs to his or her mother after falling and getting hurt.

In the early evening the pope visited the House of Charity in Kampala’s Nalukolongo neighborhood; the Good Shepherd Sisters run a home there for 102 elderly and people with severe disabilities. The residents range in age from 11 years to 107 years, said Bishop Robert Muhiirwa of Fort Portal, chair of the Ugandan bishops’ health commission.

“Our families need to become ever more evident signs of God’s patient and merciful love, not only for our children and elders, but for all those in need,” the pope said. “Our parishes must not close their doors or their ears to the cry of the poor. This is the royal road of Christian discipleship.”

Meeting with Uganda’s priests, religious and seminarians 11 hours after his day had begun, Pope Francis spoke about the importance of remembering the martyrs by witnessing to the faith like they did, by remaining faithful to their vocations and by praying.

The pope publicly thanked the Good Shepherd Sisters for the “example of fidelity” they showed him at the House of Charity, “fidelity to the poor, the infirm and the disabled because Christ is there.”

Ugandan soil, “bathed by the blood of martyrs,” always will need new witnesses to faith, he told the priests and religious.

 

Follow Wooden on Twitter: @Cindy_Wooden.

Comments Off on Honor your martyrs by putting faith into action, pope tells Ugandans

Sals overcome loss of QB Cannon, head to title game

By

Dialog reporter

 

WILMINGTON – Colby Reeder scored four touchdowns, helping Salesianum overcome a stiff challenge from Middletown and the loss of starting quarterback Garrett Cannon in the Sals’ 27-21 win in the state Division I semifinal Friday night at Baynard Stadium. The win sends the top-seeded Sals to the championship game next Saturday against the winner of Saturday’s semifinal between William Penn and Smyrna.

Reeder’s and Salesianum’s second score, which came on a 4-yard fourth-down run, was perhaps the most important, not so much because it closed Middletown’s lead to 15-13, but because of what happened to Cannon on the two-point conversion attempt. As a defender gave chase in the backfield, Cannon appeared to get his right cleat stuck in the grass. As he was hit and spun around, his right foot remained stuck in its original spot. Read more »

Comments Off on Sals overcome loss of QB Cannon, head to title game

Ugandans give pope exuberant welcome as he urges unity

By

Catholic News Service

KAMPALA, Uganda — Witnessing to what is true, good and beautiful, even if that witness is motivated by different faiths, brings people together and strengthens a nation, Pope Francis said.

Women holds photos of Pope Francis as the pope visits the Munyonyo shrine in Kampala, Uganda Nov. 27. The pope met with catechists and teachers at Munyonyo, the martyrdom spot of the Uganda Martyrs. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Women holds photos of Pope Francis as the pope visits the Munyonyo shrine in Kampala, Uganda Nov. 27. The pope met with catechists and teachers at Munyonyo, the martyrdom spot of the Uganda Martyrs. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Arriving in Uganda from Kenya Nov. 27, Pope Francis was greeted by a number of dance troupes playing drums as well as traditional horns and stringed instruments. Many of the dancers wore rattles on their calves, and some of the men wore the skins of the spotted hyena around their waists.

While the pope fulfilled the protocol duty of reviewing the military troops, he could not pass by the dance troupes without thanking them, especially the children.

Pope Francis went from the airport to the State House in Entebbe, where he immediately drew people’s attention to the Ugandan Martyrs — 23 Anglicans and 22 Catholics — executed by King Mwanga II of Buganda between November 1885 and January 1887.

“They remind us of the importance that faith, moral rectitude and commitment to the common good have played and continue to play in the cultural economic and political life of this country,” the pope told President Yoweri Museveni, other government officials and members of the diplomatic corps.

The martyrs, he said, “also remind us that despite our different beliefs and convictions, all of us are called to seek the truth, to work for justice and reconciliation and to respect, protect and help one another as members of our one human family.”

On the third evening of his three-nation trip to Africa, Pope Francis said he wanted to draw attention to Africa as a whole, and not just to the continent’s problems. He praised Uganda particularly for welcoming refugees and allowing them to work.

“Our world, caught up in wars, violence and various forms of injustice is witnessing an unprecedented movement of peoples,” he said. “How we deal with them is a test of our humanity, our respect for human dignity and above all our solidarity with our brothers and sisters in need.”

As he did earlier in Kenya, the pope also urged African leaders to dedicate themselves to ensuring education and employment for their young people, the majority of the continent’s population.

Pope Francis said his prayer was that all Ugandans “will always prove worthy of the values which have shaped the soul of your nation.”

The exuberance of the dancers at the airport was only a tiny hint of the welcome Uganda had in store for the pope: Hundreds of thousands of people waited for hours along the entire 27-mile stretch of road leading from the State House to the Munyonyo neighborhood of Kampala.

Munyonyo is the place where King Mwanga condemned the martyrs to death. As the dark of night settled in outside a shrine run by the Conventual Franciscans, Pope Francis greeted hundreds of catechists holding candles.

He told the representatives of Uganda’s 14,000 catechists, many of whom administer remote communities that have no priest, that theirs is a holy work.

“Thank you for the sacrifices which you and your families make,” he told them. It is particularly beautiful that they teach children to pray and help parents raise their children in the faith.

To be effective, Pope Francis said, a catechist must be an example of love, faith and mercy and not just a good and eloquent teacher.

The pope told the catechists to be strong like the martyrs, “go forth without fear to every town and village in this country to spread the good seed of God’s word.”

 

Follow Wooden on Twitter: @Cindy_Wooden.

Comments Off on Ugandans give pope exuberant welcome as he urges unity

Pope ends Kenya visit defending rights of poor, denouncing tribalism

By

 

Catholic News Service

NAIROBI, Kenya — The wealth of residents of the poorest neighborhoods ringing big cities around the world will never be quoted on the stock exchange, even though their wealth gives life and joy to millions of people, Pope Francis said.

Children wearing shirts imprinted with an image of Pope Francis sing during the pope's visit to a Catholic parish in the Kangemi slum on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya, Nov. 27. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Children wearing shirts imprinted with an image of Pope Francis sing during the pope’s visit to a Catholic parish in the Kangemi slum on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya, Nov. 27. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

The pope began his day Nov. 27 in Nairobi’s Kangemi neighborhood, usually referred to as a slum. It features tiny dwellings made of cinder block, tin or reclaimed boards. The homes are jumbled together with dirt roads and paths running between them.

Residents were thrilled not only that the pope would take time to visit them, but that the government fixed several of the roads, installed some street lights and unblocked some water pipes in preparation for the pope’s visit.

Exact figures vary, but between 55 percent and 65 percent of Nairobi’s population live in the slums. Many have no drinking water, electricity, sewage system or regular garbage collection.

Irish Mercy Sister Mary Killeen, who has ministered in Kenya for three decades, told Pope Francis that fires, especially from kerosene lamps and stoves, and floods are a danger. Evictions are frequent since the people do not own the land on which their shacks are built.

At a meeting in the Jesuit-run St. Joseph the Worker Church, Pamella Akwede, a resident, told the pope, “People in informal settlements live together as family, in unity and solidarity,” which is evident in the celebrations of births, weddings and funerals.

“Any resident of any informal settlement survives on less than a dollar a day,” she said, but fresh fruits are available and “one can get their stomach full on a cup of tea and doughnut” for the equivalent of 19 cents.

Most of the people in Kangemi and the other slums of Nairobi work in factories, Akwede said, but they do not earn enough to pay for rent in a better neighborhood.

Pope Francis told the people gathered in the church that he had an obligation to denounce the injustices that keep the slum dwellers living in such desperate circumstances, but he also urged the people to recognize the values they have and that the world needs: Solidarity, celebration, taking care to bury the dead, making more room at one’s simple table and taking in the sick all are characteristic of people in the world’s poorest neighborhoods.

Such values, he said, are “grounded in the fact that each human being is more important than the god of money. Thank you for reminding us that another type of culture is possible.”

While those values “are not quoted in the stock exchange,” Pope Francis said, they are the true “signs of good living.”

But the problems faced in the makeshift communities “are not a random combination of unrelated problems,” he said; they are “the consequence of new forms of colonialism,” which see African countries as “cogs on a gigantic wheel” and a storehouse of natural resources to plunder.

African nations, he said, “are frequently pressured to adopt policies typical of the culture of waste, like those aimed at lowering the birth rate.”

Pope Francis denounced the ridiculously high rent that absentee landlords charge for “utterly unfit housing” in the slum. He also insisted that governments have an obligation to ensure their citizens have “toilets, sewers, drains, refuse collection, electricity” and access to schools, hospitals and open space for recreation.

To a strong round of applause, the pope also insisted that access to drinking water be provided in the slums. “Access to safe, drinkable water is a basic and universal human right,” he said.

The pope gave special recognition to the women of Kangemi and the other informal settlements. They make heroic efforts not only to feed their children, but to protect them from violence, crime and addiction, all plagues common in the slums. The corrupt, he said, use young people “as cannon fodder for their ruthless business affairs.”

From Kangemi, Pope Francis went to Nairobi’s Kasarani Stadium for a meeting with the nation’s young people. The atmosphere was charged with excitement and infectious celebration; the Kenyan bishops started line dancing after the youths did. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and his wife arrived, going to the head of the line, dancing as they went to their seats.

A young woman and young man asked Pope Francis questions and, as they spoke, the pope took notes. In the end, he set aside his prepared text and answered their questions, particularly regarding the problems of tribalism and corruption.

“Tribalism destroys a nation,” he said. “Tribalism is keeping your hands behind your back and holding in each hand a rock to throw at others.”

“The ear, the heart and the hand” are needed to overcome tribalism, the pope told the young people, including many who were dressed in the traditional costumes of the Masai and other ethnic groups.

People need to listen to each other, ask each other about their history and customs, open their hearts to one another and extend a hand in friendship.

He called his young questioners to the podium and took their hands. Then he asked the estimated 70,000 young people who filled the stadium to hold hands as well. “We are all a nation,” he had them say. “No to tribalism.”

As for corruption, the pope compared it to sugar: It tastes good at first and it’s easy to get, but it also can make people sick.

All institutions have people tempted by corruption, the pope said, “including the Vatican.”

He urged the young people to have nothing to do with cheating or corruption; “don’t develop a taste for it,” he said.

Follow Wooden on Twitter: @Cindy_Wooden.

Comments Off on Pope ends Kenya visit defending rights of poor, denouncing tribalism

Soup kitchen sister wins on Food Network’s ‘Chopped’

By

 

Catholic News Service

 

CHICAGO — It looked like prayer and the Lord were on Franciscan Sister Alicia Torres’ side as she won a special Thanksgiving competition on the Food Network’s “Chopped,” which aired Nov. 9.

On the show, Sister Alicia, 30, a Franciscan of the Eucharist of Chicago who ministers at Chicago’s Mission of Our Lady of the Angels, competed against three other chefs who, like herself, work in soup kitchens. Read more »

Comments Off on Soup kitchen sister wins on Food Network’s ‘Chopped’

Crossing the thresholds of mercy: Bishop Malooly announces eight diocesan Holy Doors for pilgrims to visit during Year of Mercy

By

 

and Catholic News Service

 

Bishop Malooly will open the observance of the special jubilee Year of Mercy in the Diocese of Wilmington on Dec. 13. by opening the Holy Door at Ss. Peter and Paul Church in Easton, Md.

The door opened by the bishop at the 10:30 a.m. Mass that Sunday in Easton will be one of eight the bishop has selected as Holy Doors at parishes in the diocese’s regional deaneries. Read more »

Comments Off on Crossing the thresholds of mercy: Bishop Malooly announces eight diocesan Holy Doors for pilgrims to visit during Year of Mercy
Marquee Powered By Know How Media.