Fides News English Agency Newsen-usAFRICA/CAMEROON - Appointment of the Archbishop of Yaoundé City - On 31 October 2014, the Holy Father appointed His Exc. Mgr. Jean Mbarga, Bishop of Ebolowa and apostolic administrator of the archdiocese of Yaoundé as Archbishop of Yaoundé . Fri, 31 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0100EUROPE/SPAIN - Alarm tuberculosis: outdated policies will not be able to stop the peak of TB drug-resistant strains - On the occasion of the 45th Union World Conference on Lung Health, being held in Barcelona, the NGO Doctors Without Borders submitted its report, "Out of Step" which reveals deadly gaps in the TB response that are costing lives. Among them: poor access to drug resistance testing, a growing number of people diagnosed with DR-TB left untreated, continued use of outmoded and costly models of care, limited access to promising new and repurposed drugs, and dire funding shortfalls. This situation is fueling a public health crisis. <br />Based on a survey of eight high TB-burden countries, MSF’s research reveals that efforts to control the epidemic are dangerously out of step with international recommendations and proven best practices, leaving drug resistant forms of TB to spread unabated. <br />In a statement sent to Fides, MSF warns that governments, donors, and industry must act now, using every means available, to step-up the response to the crisis, or face a further growth in resistance. <br />According to an epidemiologist of the NGO in India, in Mumbai, sees that primary transmission of drug-resistant strains is likely driving the epidemic in hot spots like slums and within vulnerable groups such as people living with HIV. The latest damning data from the World Health Organization shows that less than a third of the estimated MDR-TB patients worldwide are diagnosed, and only one in five receive proper treatment. Fri, 31 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0100AFRICA/MOZAMBIQUE - Project for a "return to normality" after months of armed conflict - After months of heated conflict, the two political forces that have been facing each other in Mozambique have signed a truce, but many families preferred to stay in camps or hide in the forest, waiting to be certain that this peace will last. They prefer not to return to their homes yet, but wait for the troops to withdraw completely from the area of Sofala. The very few people who have decided to return found themselves faced with a scenario of pure devastation: schools destroyed or vandalized, health centers riddled with bullets. A scene that has further devastated the people, with no resources and with winter around the corner. <br />Many children, after experiencing the horror of war, are now deprived of the right to education, health and basic rights. To alleviate this dramatic situation, CCS Italy , has promoted the Sofala Resilience Project. Resilience, or "return to normality" is the goal of this ambitious project which, starting from Tazaronda, wants to involve more than 100 thousand people in 11 communities in the province of Sofala, restoring full operation of school facilities and health centers, in order to bring boys and girls back to school and monitor their health and that of their families. Fri, 31 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0100AFRICA/BURKINA FASO - The Bishops a year ago warned: "Young people’s anger increases due to corrupt politics" - A young and angry society because of the lack of prospects due to corrupt politics, but also more informed thanks to the widespread of new technologies. This is what the Bishops of Burkina Faso highlighted in a Pastoral Letter published on 15 July 2013. A description that points out what is currently happening in the Country. <br />"46.4% of the population of Burkina Faso is under 15 years old, 59.1% under 20" recalled the Bishops. "This youth is unhappy and lost due to the absence of social models. The image of those in power is relatively negative, because it is tarnished by corruption and cronyism. Hence the temptation of some young people to harbor violence based on resentment or to engage in non-transparent business".<br />The Message noted, however, a substantial increase in the rate of literacy, doubled since 1985 to 2012 . "What is also noted is the improved access to new information technologies . There is also an awakening of the consciousness of women, increasingly literate", although the rate of schooling of girls aged 15 to 24 was in 2012, 33% against 47% of boys. <br />The Bishops also denounced the strong social disparities between "excruciating" mass poverty, which means that 43.9% of the population lives below the poverty line, and the wealth held by a small group, which is divided between the political and financial power, through corruption and the use of State property for personal purposes. Fri, 31 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0100AMERICA/PERU - Thousands of young people on pilgrimage instead of the "Feast of Hallowen" - For the third year in a row the young people of Arequipa prepare to live the "Third Youth Festival for Faith and Life": a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Chapi that will take place today October 31, and Saturday, November 1st. <br />The note sent to Agenzia Fides reports the words of His Exc. Mgr. Javier Del Rio Alba, Archbishop of Arequipa: "Every year, the young people come to the shrine on October 31 starting from 6 pm until noon November 1, which is the day when the Church celebrates the feast of All Saints. We will have moments of prayer and fun. There will be a music concert and a dance show". <br />The initiative was launched during the celebration of the Year of Faith, says the Archbishop, and has since become an annual event that attracts thousands of young people in the Marian Shrine situated 60 km from the city. <br />"There will be priests for confessions and a great tribute to the Virgin. The feast will conclude with a Mass" says Mgr. Del Rio Alba. <br />This year more than 4,000 young people from parishes, communities, lay movements and the different organizations involved in the activities of the Year of Youth launched in the Archdiocese of Arequipa will participate in the event. <br />"Therefore, we will pray for our young people and to ask the maternal protection of the Virgin of Chapi, in the certainty that She more than anyone else can bring us to Jesus Christ", explains the Archbishop. A very Christian way to say "no" to Halloween, the statement concludes. Fri, 31 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0100AFRICA/BURKINA FASO - "We have reached a turning point in the history of the Country", say local Church sources - "The main question is where is President Blaise Compaoré and what is he doing. What seems certain is that his power is over", say to Agenzia Fides sources of the Church in Burkina Faso, who for security reasons have asked to remain anonymous. Yesterday, October 30, thousands of protesters invaded and devastated the National Assembly that was preparing to vote on the controversial reform of the constitution to allow President Blaise Compaoré to stand for election for a third term . <br />Our sources point out: "we are faced with an event that involves the whole Country. Demonstrations and looting occurred not only in the capital Ouagadougou but also in major cities of Burkina Faso: Bobo Dioulasso, Banfora, Ouahigouya, Koudougou. It is an issue that is affecting the entire Country. This is not the reaction of a small group of people in the capital".<br />The military took control of the situation, dissolving Parliament and announcing the establishment of an interim steering committee that will govern the Country for 12 months until the presidential election. Compaoré in an open letter released during the night on the website of Radio Omega said to waive the constitutional amendment to extend the term of office and assured that he will remain in office only for the period of transition announced by the army. "But this announcement comes at a time when people are tired of the President who has been ruling since 1987. The attempt to extend his term of office was the straw that broke the camel's back", point out Fides sources recalling that even as early as 4 years ago Bishops had expressed their opposition to the amendment of Article 37 of the Constitution to extend the President’s term of office. <br />In a message posted on February 20, 2010, the Bishops asked themselves: will the abolition of the limit of two presidential terms "guarantee social peace or lead to further unrest?". Fri, 31 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0100ASIA/VIETNAM - Catholics in Hanoi demand the return of a land that belongs to the Church - The Vietnamese Catholic community of Thai Ha, entrusted to the pastoral care of the Redemptorists, publicly protested in recent days demanding the return of land that they believe belongs to the parish. As reported in a note by "Redemtorist International" sent to Agenzia Fides, the authorities have undertaken work to fill a lake present on that land. According to the priests, Redemptorists religious and lay faithful, the decision of the authorities to drain the lake is a violation of the rights of the Church. The protesters, who carried banners and chanted slogans, were dispersed by the police. <br />On October 16, the community of Thai Ha had forwarded the request to the government to stop the work and to settle the dispute, but received no reply. The parish of Thai Ha say the Redemptorists, owned six acres of land in Dong Da district, since 1928, as shown by official documents. Later the property was requisitioned by the communist authorities. Today, given the large influx of the faithful and new pastoral needs, the local Church calls for the immediate return of the plot. The procedure to have it back started in 1996. Fri, 31 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0100EUROPE/SPAIN - Caritas Spain receives an award "for the defense of the rights of the people" - The award "Institución del Defensor del Pueblo" , has been assigned to Caritas Spain and the people who work there, both professionals and the many volunteers. The initiative was promoted by 6 national institutions in Spain. The jury had the task of choosing the winner among 12 contestants, all NGO’s except Caritas, and the latter was unanimously chosen. <br />According to the note sent to Agenzia Fides, the award was given to Caritas for its "constant and renewed efforts in defending the rights of people". The motivation of the award highlights the "sensitivity" Caritas has in meeting and addressing the most pressing problems of society, praising "the depth of its relationships"." <br />In the difficult economic and social situation that Spain is experiencing, Caritas Spain has contributed in assisting not only the poorest sector of the migrants but the same Spanish population that is experiencing a situation of need. The Award assigns €6,000 and recognizes the work of non-governmental organizations that contribute with their work to the development of the Ombudsman. <br/><strong>Link correlati</strong> :<a href="">The latest report prepared by Caritas Spain:</a>Fri, 31 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0100ASIA/MACAO – To reaffirm the Christian identity of the laity in order to carry out the mission of Christ – To reaffirm the Christian identity in order to fulfill the mission of Christ: this was the aim of the Forum on "Continuity and development of the laity of the Catholic community in Macao in the twentieth century", recommended by His Exc. Mgr. José Lai Hung-seng, Bishop of Macao. <br />According to information sent to Agenzia Fides, the Forum was recently organized by the Diocese of Macau, in collaboration with the Macao Polytechnic Institute and was attended by more than 200 priests, religious men and women, laity of various parishes in Macau, experts, academics and researchers, Catholics and non-Catholics. An exhibition was also dedicated to the seven Bishops of Macau in the last 100 years, since the forum is part of the initiatives that aims to re-write the "history of the diocese" with more historical details and more accurate information. <br />The lively debate that characterized the work of the Forum covered three major topics: pastoral care, charity service and faith formation. What was highlighted was the great urgency to help the lay faithful of today to become aware of their Christian identity and of the mission that it entails. Tracing the history, analyzing current events and trying to identify the future, the lay faithful "who live in today's world where values are put into serious doubt and where there is great social instability, must be given the opportunity to reaffirm their faith and walk the path of truth", said Mgr. Lai. The Bishop of Macau also stressed multiculturalism and multilingualism, which characterize the social composition of the Diocese of Macau, and urged "the maximum commitment of the laity to continue to give their contribution to society". Fri, 31 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0100ASIA/JORDAN - King Abdullah II to Armenian President: Christians helped to build the Arab civilization - Christians gave their own contribution to the building of Arab civilization. This is also why the forced displacement of the indigenous Christian communities in the Middle East is a serious problem, which must be curbed in any way possible. This is what King Abdullah II of Jordan said in his talks with the President of Armenia, Serzh Sargsyan, who on Wednesday 29 October, at the head of a large and distinguished delegation, began his official visit in the Kingdom of Jordan, the first regarding an Armenian Head of State. <br />As Jordanian media reports consulted by Agenzia Fides, in the meetings with Armenian President, King Abdullah stressed the commitment of the Hashemite Monarchy in protecting and supporting the Arab identity of the Christian community. On his behalf, President Sargsyan stressed the intimate bond of friendship between the Armenians towards the Arab people, also expressing words of gratitude for the figure of Sharif Hussein Bin Ali and other Arab leaders who welcomed the Armenian refugees who fled the Anatolian peninsula after the Armenian Genocide. <br />On Friday, October 31 the Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem, Nourhan Manougian, will preside at the celebration of the liturgy of consecration of the new Armenian church of St. Garabed, built on the bank of the Jordan River . The land on which the church stands, not far from the place traditionally referred to as the site of Jesus' baptism, was put at the disposal of the Armenian community by King Abdullah II. Thu, 30 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0100OCEANIA/AUSTRALIA - Catholic Mission calls for the support of Australians in order to feed the hungry, malnourished and sick Peruvian children - The phenomenon of malnutrition continues to spread in some of the poorest and most remote areas of Peru. In view of the upcoming holiday season, Catholic Mission Australia has launched its appeal highlighting the work of Catholic missionaries working in the Latin American Country in order to try to overcome the serious problem that primarily affects children. Among these missionaries, Catholic Mission cites Fr. Mauricio Careaga, who runs a feeding program for vulnerable children and young people in Yurimaguas in the Loreto region, in the Amazon. The Program, however needs urgent funds to expand and continue to save precious lives. <br />The theme of the campaign, "I was hungry and you gave me something to eat", is a story of despair but also of hope. "Some of the children who live in these areas are so desperate that they try every possible way to relieve the severe pain of hunger and end up eating the branches of trees and garbage" says Fr. Mauricio. "I feel terrible every time I see a hungry, malnourished or sick child, but funds have finished and without any aid I am not able to help everyone". <br />The National Director of Catholic Mission, Martin Teulan, stresses that with 54% of infant mortality due to malnutrition, the support of donors is fundamental for the survival of young children. Without meat, vegetables, milk, many children are victims of severe effects of malnutrition, leading to rickets, to a limited mental development as well as a very precarious immune system that makes them even more vulnerable to infection and disease. "I call on all Australians to support the work of Fr. Mauricio in Peru, so that all children can have a meal, not just for Christmas but for years to come", says Teulan in his appeal. Thu, 30 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0100AFRICA/ZAMBIA - Churches’ appeal after the death of the President: "Let us join together in prayer during this time of mourning" - "On behalf of the three major churches in Zambia, we send our sincere condolences to the presidential family, the Government and people of Zambia, following this great loss", said the condolence message of the Council of Churches in Zambia which brings together the three main Christian denominations in Zambia for the death of President Michael Chilufya Sata . "We call on all Zambians to remain calm and united during this period of mourning, in order to give the President a worthy and appropriate funeral", the message continues. <br />"We ask everyone to join in prayer for the peaceful transition in government and in the rest of the Country. May the soul of the late President rest in God’s eternal peace and may Zambia continue to live united in these difficult circumstances while looking to the future", concluded the message. Thu, 30 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0100AMERICA/ARGENTINA – Drugs: "it is urgent to move from concern to action" Aires - The Bishop of the diocese of Gualeguaychú, His Exc. Mgr. Jorge Eduardo Lozano, who is President of the Episcopal Commission for Social Pastoral, acknowledged that recently there has been talk about the country's problem regarding drugs. However, concern is not enough, it is necessary to take a first step towards action. He also warned of the consequences of "ambiguous messages" that generate the idea that "if one makes use of drugs once it does not do anything" or that there is also a "safe use". <br />Talking to some media workers at the end of a celebration he had attended on 28 October in Buenos Aires, to better illustrate the concept, the Bishop gave this example: "One of the biggest threats in the desert is a mirage. We are deceived with appearances which makes us run to nowhere, wasting energy. Meanwhile, those who get rich are the narco-gangs, organized by unscrupulous individuals, without a country, without solidarity, only greed for money and power".<br />The theme is topical these days in the country, as the Argentine government has to decide the strategy to be adopted to combat drug use. The Church has repeatedly criticized this situation. Mgr. Jorge Lozano has said that "before thinking of decriminalization, one must address the issues of social inclusion, strengthen equal opportunities and fight drug use" . Meanwhile, the situation continues to deteriorate, and many young drug users are marginalized by society, leading to suicide, denounces Mgr. Torrado Mosconi, Auxiliary Bishop of Santiago del Estero . Thu, 30 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0100ASIA/SYRIA - The Catholic Syrian Bishops: if the world wants to help us, stop sending us weapons! - A severe reminder to the international community so that it puts an end to the arms trade that fuels war and an appeal to the consciences of Christians, so they resist the idea of escaping from their land. These are the strong messages that the Catholic Bishops of Syria wanted to address to the world and to the faithful, in a statement issued at the end of their autumn Assembly. The meeting was held in Damascus on Tuesday 28 and Wednesday 29 October and was attended by the Patriarch of Antioch of the Greek-Melkite, Grégoire III, and 11 Catholic bishops of 6 different rites, along with the Apostolic Nuncio Mario Zenari and Mgr. Giovanni Pietro Dal Toso, Secretary of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum. <br />"The presence of Mgr. Dal Toso gave us comfort", says to Agenzia Fides Bishop Georges Abou Khazen OFM, Apostolic Vicar of Aleppo for the Catholics of the Latin rite. "In the meeting - adds Bishop Abou Khazen - each participant highlighted the situation and problems of their own diocese. For all, the most important thing to do is stay close to our faithful, encourage them, console them. <br />We walk in the dark we do not see a way out, and only Christ can provide hope in their hearts. The powers of the world must know that it certainly does not help peace if they continue to send weapons here. Then we invite all not to run away, not to leave their land. As Pastors we see exactly how our poor people are suffering. And you cannot force anyone to stay in this situation where there is no work, misery increases every day and even one’s own life and that of their loved ones is always in danger". Thu, 30 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0100ASIA/MYANMAR - The Jesuits: "To be companions for indigenous peoples" - The Jesuits in Myanmar intend to be "companions for indigenous peoples", is what the religious said in a recent meeting dedicated to the Pastoral ministry of indigenous communities, held in the diocese of Phekon. <br />In the country there are 135 ethnic communities, which make up one third of the national population, around 56 million people. The largest minority groups, present in Myanmar, are the Shan and Karen , while the others, together, account for about 5% of the population. <br />As reported to Agenzia Fides in a note by the Jesuit Conference of Asia-Pacific, the Jesuits resident in the former Burma have faced the challenges of their context, talking about the situation of ethnic and religious minorities in the ASEAN countries, starting from the theological references in the documents of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences . Since the Jesuits in Myanmar have pastoral relationships with several indigenous communities, the basic idea of the meeting was to improve the pastoral care and evangelization. <br />At the end of the meeting, the religious recognized that "despite the widespread phenomenon of urbanization, the life of the indigenous community is still the best way to live, because in harmony with nature, with the cycle of life, with creation, with other human beings". The participants also mentioned the preciousness of the "traditional wisdom" primarily for the benefit of future generations. The pastoral service to the indigenous, therefore, will be able to exploit this wealth of local and traditional cultures, giving the witness and proclamation of the Gospel of Christ. <br />The Society of Jesus is settling in Myanmar, the first local Jesuit priest was ordained in 2013 and two more were ordained in 2014. Other religious are completing their studies in Indonesia and the Philippines. There are currently Jesuit missionaries in Myanmar from Australia, Korea, India, Indonesia and Malaysia. Thu, 30 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0100AFRICA/SOUTH SUDAN - Campaign against the recruitment of children in armed conflict: "Children, not soldiers"! - The government of South Sudan has just launched, with the support of the United Nations, the national campaign "Children, not soldiers" which aims to end and prevent the recruitment and use of children by Government forces in conflict by 2016. <br />The campaign is launched by the UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict and UNICEF. The UN confirms that the phenomenon continues to be rampant in the Country. It is estimated that 11 000 children are in the armies and armed groups involved in the conflict. "Children should learn to read and write, not to use weapons. Education will make us a better Country", said the Defense Minister of the Country. In June, the Government formally signed the renewal of its commitment with regards to the 2009 Action Plan, which includes 18 provisions that the Sudanese People's Liberation Movement must implement in order to put an end to the presence of children among their military forces. Thu, 30 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0100AMERICA/MEXICO - The families of the students who disappeared will be received by the President, Pope Francis asks for prayers - "Today I would like to raise a prayer and draw close in our hearts to the people of Mexico, who are suffering from the loss of these students and many similar problems. May our hearts be close to them, in prayer at this time": this is what Pope Francis said yesterday, October 29th, at the general audience. <br />The Holy Father thus joins the Mexican people who continue to live with anguish the incident concerning the students abducted . Meanwhile, the Catholic community of Iguala, Guerrero, have organized a peace march and prayer vigil in the parishes. <br />According to a note sent to Agenzia Fides, the families of the 43 students who were kidnapped, are in Mexico City to meet with the President of the Republic, Peña Nieto, and ask for clear answers on the matter. The Attorney General spoke yesterday about the bodies found in mass graves in Cocula , saying that the authorities and the scientific police are still investigating to determine with certainty the identity of the bodies. According to the Mexican radio and TV, local witnesses had reported to the police that a group of armed men had thrown the bodies in the landfill in Cocula, without being able to verify the identity. Thu, 30 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0100ASIA/PHILIPPINES - The Silsilah dialogue movement: "Fight soldiers with prayer" – The "Prayer of Harmony", a chain of prayer among Christians, Muslims and followers of other religions, is the weapon with which to "fight soldiers" and the terrorist ideology of violence and death that crosses Mindanao, the largest island in the southern Philippines. As reported in a note sent to Fides, it is an initiative launched by the "Silsilah", movement for Islamic-Christian dialogue launched by PIME missionary Fr. Sebastiano D'Ambra, who founded the "Village of Harmony", in the city of Zamboanga where Christians and Muslims live together. <br />The prayer was conceived in 2000 when the then Philippine President Joseph Estrada declared "total war" in Mindanao, trying to defeat the rebel groups with a massive military action. Today, with the spread of the ideology of the IS and of the new militants, the movement launches an appeal to rediscover prayer in all Christian, Muslim, Buddhist and indigenous communities, to spread a culture of peace and ask God for peace, starting from the spiritual "life-in-dialogue" approach.<br />"We dream that, worldwide, the chain of prayer for peace spreads, and we hope that the prayer of Harmony becomes part of the many initiatives of prayer around the world", says the note by "Silsilah". Prayer is still used in many institutions and Christian and Muslim schools, in the Philippines and other countries. In this way, the movement supports "the efforts for peace in the southern Philippines, which still requires wisdom and courage on behalf of those who have the responsibility to make decisions for the future of peace in Mindanao". Thu, 30 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0100VATICAN - Pope's appeal: take all necessary measures to eradicate the Ebola virus City - At the end of the General Audience on Wednesday, October 29, the Holy Father launched an appeal and expressed his grave concern regarding the worsening of the Ebola epidemic: "This implacable disease is spreading especially in Africa, and in particular among the most disadvantaged populations. I express my affection and prayers to those affected, along with the doctors, nurses, volunteers, religious institutes and associations who are making heroic efforts to help our stricken brothers and sisters. I renew my appeal to the international community to take all necessary measures to eradicate the virus and to alleviate the suffering of those who are so sorely afflicted. I invite you to pray for them and for those who have lost their lives". Thu, 30 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0100AFRICA/SIERRA LEONE - The Camillians and the emergency of Ebola: the virus exacerbates an already complex and precarious situation - The emergency of Ebola in Africa, in particular in Sierra Leone, Guinea Conakry and Liberia, also involves at the forefront the Camillian religious. A few days ago Father John Toai left for a visit to Liberia, and the Consultant General, Father Aris Miranda, for the diocese of Makeni in Sierra Leone. From the analysis and comparison of the objective data collected on site and from their testimonies, a dramatic picture was highlighted. <br />According to the religious, Ebola is just a terrible aggravating circumstance of a more complex situation of longstanding civil wars, corruption, disintegrating civil, religious and political leadership. In three months three ministers of health alternated in Sierra Leone. All this led to the collapse of a health system which is already very fragile and unprepared, where even the basic instrumentation for diagnostic screening of the infection is lacking. <br />The situation is aggravated by the fact that the virus is having a severe impact in the most densely populated large urban centers. <br />In this context, the Camillians say, one dies of Ebola, but also due to ignorance, malaria and childbirth because, for fear of further infections and no means for a rapid diagnosis of the infection, the few hospitals present have been closed and the dead for endemic tropical diseases have increased exponentially. Access to basic therapies and vaccines, at the cost of a few dollars, remains a mirage for the majority of the population. Trade in goods has slowed and inflation is increasing prices. <br />The commitment of the Camillians in the hospital in Makeni provides support for the evaluation of the conditions for the reopening of the diocesan Holy Spirit hospital as well as the support for the work of the Church, providing pastoral and counseling support. Wed, 29 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0100