Fides News - Englishhttp://fides.org/Fides Agency NewsenContent on this site is licensed under aAFRICA/GAMBIA - President-elect Barrow for national reconciliation, Jammeh defeated after 22 years in powerhttp://fides.org/en/news/61312-AFRICA_GAMBIA_President_elect_Barrow_for_national_reconciliation_Jammeh_defeated_after_22_years_in_powerhttp://fides.org/en/news/61312-AFRICA_GAMBIA_President_elect_Barrow_for_national_reconciliation_Jammeh_defeated_after_22_years_in_powerBanjul - The President of Gambia, Yahya Jammeh will hand over power in January after losing the elections on December 1, won by Adama Barrow. Voters, in a democratic way, put an end to 22 years of Jammeh's government, who had taken power in a coup in 1994 and was re-elected three times. Jammeh however acknowledged the defeat. Barrow has already started consultations for the formation of the new government and met with the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for West Africa and the Sahel, Mohamed Ibn Chambas.<br />The first issue on the new president's agenda is the release of political prisoners and opponents of Jammeh. Barrow praised the latter for acknowledging the defeat, "a fact which is not always usual in Africa". The president-elect also said that Jammeh will continue to live in the country as an ordinary citizen and who does not want to "conduct a witch-hunt", paving the way to national reconciliation. Gambia has a population of 1,929,000 inhabitants, of which 43,000 Catholics. <br /><br />Mon, 05 Dec 2016 12:30:10 +0100AMERICA/VENEZUELA - First Mass of newly appointed Cardinal Porras in Mérida: a reference point for manyhttp://fides.org/en/news/61307-AMERICA_VENEZUELA_First_Mass_of_newly_appointed_Cardinal_Porras_in_Merida_a_reference_point_for_manyhttp://fides.org/en/news/61307-AMERICA_VENEZUELA_First_Mass_of_newly_appointed_Cardinal_Porras_in_Merida_a_reference_point_for_manyMerida - The newly appointed Venezuelan Cardinal, Baltazar Enrique Porras Cardozo, yesterday celebrated the first Mass as Cardinal in his Archdiocese in Mérida, attended by thousands of faithful from the state of Mérida and other cities in the country. According to information sent to Fides, the main concelebrants were the Apostolic Nuncio in Venezuela, Archbishop Aldo Giordano, and the Auxiliary Bishop of Caracas, His Exc. Mgr. Trino Fernández, representing the Archbishop of Caracas, Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino, who was absent for health reasons. Also Bishops, priests, seminarians and Venezuelan religious were present.<br />During the homily Mgr. Fernandez spoke about the strength and courage of Cardinal Porras in difficult times and stressed the pastoral work carried out throughout his priestly ministry and as a defender of the needy, becoming a reference point for many in the Catholic Church.<br />Addressing those present, Mgr. Trino Fernández affirmed the need to be united before the country's problems: "We have to do everything together, in order to continue to prepare ourselves to face the situations of life. Let us not be carried away by any message. Since we have faith, we must remember that we were built on rock and not on sand, in order to serve the poorest".<br />The Mass was celebrated yesterday, Sunday, December 4, in the Rincón Gutiérrez stadium of the Universidad de los Andes. In addition to closing the Jubilee of Mercy, the celebration also opened the dual Jubilee to celebrate 50 years of priestly ordination of the new Cardinal and his 25 years of service to the Church of Mérida . <br />Mon, 05 Dec 2016 12:23:22 +0100AFRICA/MADAGASCAR - Educating to life and love: a center in the diocese of Fianarantsoahttp://fides.org/en/news/61306-AFRICA_MADAGASCAR_Educating_to_life_and_love_a_center_in_the_diocese_of_Fianarantsoahttp://fides.org/en/news/61306-AFRICA_MADAGASCAR_Educating_to_life_and_love_a_center_in_the_diocese_of_FianarantsoaFianarantsoa - "Since 2013 the diocese of Fianarantsoa has been managing the E.V.A. Center , whose motto is 'Protecting life - Promoting Love'. This is what Father Albert Rainiherinoro, M.I. told Fides. "The center - continues Fr. Albert - is a tool at the service of life and family. Reception, listening, counseling and accompaniment, training, information, audiovisual materials, books and magazines are the services offered. There are also a dozen lay volunteers and a priest who are always available. The team also responds to external requests from various organizations concerned to E.V.A themes, such as schools, churches, prisons, etc. Given the growing demand for training, this year we have organized two training sessions. Among the issues addressed: What is E.V.A., family according to the Social Doctrine of the Church, philosophical foundations related to family, the spirituality of family, sexuality, family communication, natural birth methods. At the end of their training course, the participants will reinforce the Center's team, while continuing their permanent training by updating on the E.V.A. subject matters", concludes the Camillian missionary. <br />Mon, 05 Dec 2016 12:09:19 +0100AMERICA/PARAGUAY - "The indigenous suffer indifference, misunderstanding and lack of respect for their rights", denounces Mgr. Alferthttp://fides.org/en/news/61309-AMERICA_PARAGUAY_The_indigenous_suffer_indifference_misunderstanding_and_lack_of_respect_for_their_rights_denounces_Mgr_Alferthttp://fides.org/en/news/61309-AMERICA_PARAGUAY_The_indigenous_suffer_indifference_misunderstanding_and_lack_of_respect_for_their_rights_denounces_Mgr_AlfertCaacupé - During Mass yesterday, Sunday, December 4, in the Basilica of Caacupé, the Bishop of the Apostolic Vicariate of Pilcomayo, His Exc. Mgr. Lucio Alfert, O.M.I. criticized the treatment given to the indigenous of Paraguay. He urged young people to be the hope for ethnic groups and thus to put an end to injustice, inequality and rejection towards this sector of the population. "God created us all differently but with the same dignity", said Mgr. Alfert during the homily, and added: "we are called to live fraternally in a multiethnic and multicultural society".<br />According to information sent to Fides, the celebration was attended by about 2,500 indigenous from different parts of the country, mostly from Chaco. For this reason, a reading of the Mass and the prayers of the faithful were read in Nivaclé, the native language of Paraguay.<br />The Bishop complained that "for society being different is wrong". This generates rejection, mockery and lack of respect for the fundamental rights of the indigenous communities", he reiterated. "The real problem of the Paraguayans is ignorance of different cultures. Among us, the indigenous people are the ones who suffer indifference, misunderstanding, are driven away from their land, their rights are not respected", he said. He therefore harshly condemned politicians and drug traffickers who use ancestral lands for their particular purposes, abusing those who live there.<br />"It will not be easy to dream a new home if there are people with too much power; I just hope they listen to St. John the Baptist, who defines these people as a brood of vipers" concluded the Bishop. <br />Mon, 05 Dec 2016 11:58:54 +0100AFRICA/DR CONGO - The Bishops: Political crisis: "A compromise is possible, but the good will of all is needed"http://fides.org/en/news/61311-AFRICA_DR_CONGO_The_Bishops_Political_crisis_A_compromise_is_possible_but_the_good_will_of_all_is_neededhttp://fides.org/en/news/61311-AFRICA_DR_CONGO_The_Bishops_Political_crisis_A_compromise_is_possible_but_the_good_will_of_all_is_neededKinshasa - "A political compromise is still possible if the parties involved are committed and demonstrate good will. We remain available to offer our services", said a statement from CENCO sent to Agenzia Fides.<br />The statement, signed by His Exc. Mgr. Marcel Utembi Tapa, Archbishop of Kisangani and President of CENCO, and Mgr. Fridolin Ambongo Besengu, elected Archbishop of Mbandaka-Bikoro, Apostolic Administrator of Bokungu-Ikela and Vice President of CENCO, takes stock of the mediation between the majority and opposition that President Joseph Kabila asked the Bishops and supported by the international community.<br />The Bishops say that the work of mediation has allowed "to point out that there are several points of convergence between the parties" but which remain important divergences on the following: compliance with the Constitution and its implications with the current crisis; electoral calendar; financing of elections; independence of the Independent Electoral Commission and of the Higher Council of the Congolese audiovisual means; functioning of institutions during the transition period.<br />CENCO mediates between the majority and the opposition to establish dates and procedures for presidential elections, which were to be held by December 2016 at the expiry of the second and last term of Kabila, and to decide the interim government that will rule the country until the elections. Mon, 05 Dec 2016 11:48:26 +0100AMERICA/HONDURAS - Avoid waste and live with basic necessities, especially at Christmashttp://fides.org/en/news/61310-AMERICA_HONDURAS_Avoid_waste_and_live_with_basic_necessities_especially_at_Christmashttp://fides.org/en/news/61310-AMERICA_HONDURAS_Avoid_waste_and_live_with_basic_necessities_especially_at_ChristmasTegucigalpa - "Avoid waste and live with basic necessities especially at Christmas time, when so many people squander money even for superfluous things": is the appeal launched by Honduran Cardinal. Óscar Andrés Rodríguez, Archbishop of Tegucigalpa. During Sunday Mass in the city's Cathedral, the Cardinal also complained about "so much hatred and sense of challenge in society" and called on all to spiritual renewal. "We need our lives to change and be transformed, abandoning some attitudes, behaviors and changing our way of living". Cardinal Rodriguez stressed the fact that the world continues to be "immersed in its contradictions, violating and ignoring justice, peace and brotherhood among human beings". <br /><br />Mon, 05 Dec 2016 11:34:00 +0100OCEANIA - Cardinal Ribat: "The Church in Oceania has faith, but the populations are in danger"http://fides.org/en/news/61308-OCEANIA_Cardinal_Ribat_The_Church_in_Oceania_has_faith_but_the_populations_are_in_dangerhttp://fides.org/en/news/61308-OCEANIA_Cardinal_Ribat_The_Church_in_Oceania_has_faith_but_the_populations_are_in_dangerColombo - "The Church in Oceania is vibrant in faith. Overall we are a young Church with a vibrant and dynamic community at a pastoral and social level. We are committed to a permanent formation for our faithful. We have to thank the Churches of Asia, who have sent missionaries. But today we are concerned about the social condition of our people, affected by climate change": says to Fides Cardinal John Ribat, first Cardinal from Papua New Guinea, Archbishop of Port Moresby, who participated at the eleventh plenary assembly of the Federation of the Asian Bishops' Conferences , held in Negombo in Sri Lanka. The Cardinal took part in the meeting as president of the Federation of Episcopal Conferences of Oceania , which includes Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Fiji and 17 other small nations of the Pacific. He represents 84 dioceses in 21 countries, with different cultural, economic and religious characteristics, many of Christian majority.<br />"I take this opportunity to thank the Asian bishops for sending missionaries in our region", notes Ribat. "Most of our missionaries now come from Asian countries such as India, Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam". The 59-year-old Archbishop told Fides that in Oceania the celebrations for the 50th anniversary of the foundation of some dioceses in Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands have just finished, and "the growth of the local Church was possible thanks to the fraternal support of the Asian Churches". Cardinal Ribat is a member of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart, the Congregation founded in 1854 by Father Jules Chevalier in Issoudun, France.<br />With regards to current issues, the Cardinal told Fides: "Today an important issue for the populations in Oceania is that of climate change. Although we are not responsible of this problem, we are strongly affected", he complains. The negative effects, he explains, include increasing sea level, acidification of the oceans, rains in unusual periods, all of which seriously damage the fishing communities and farmers of the region.<br />"In some cases, entire regions and nations are threatened by the unquestionable rise of the sea level. For example, this concerns the Carteret islands, Fead Islands, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, the Mortlock Islands, the Nukumanu Islands, Tokelau and Tuvalu islands", he recalls.<br />Cardinal John Ribat is concerned about the life and the social status of the indigenous peoples of Oceania: "Affected by continuous flooding and drought, populations have significantly reduced the productive capacity of the land and the natives are often forced to flee", he notes, fueling the phenomenon of migration that touches the inhabitants of the continent. <br />Mon, 05 Dec 2016 11:28:39 +0100VATICAN - Cardinal Filoni: St. Francis Xavier is at the origin of modern missionaryhttp://fides.org/en/news/61305-VATICAN_Cardinal_Filoni_St_Francis_Xavier_is_at_the_origin_of_modern_missionaryhttp://fides.org/en/news/61305-VATICAN_Cardinal_Filoni_St_Francis_Xavier_is_at_the_origin_of_modern_missionaryRome - "Francis Xavier is at the origin of the nature of modern missionary that opened to new worlds and that asserted itself during the XV and XVI centuries", highlighted the Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, Cardinal Fernando Filoni, during the Mass he presided on Saturday evening December 3 in the Roman church of Jesus, the feast of the Patron Saint of the Missions.<br />America had been discovered fourteen years before Francis Xavier was born in 1506, and eight since the opening routes towards the East Indies. "It was at the dawn of that century which led the Holy See to take care of evangelization in the West, East and South of Europe" the Cardinal recalled, even though, one has to wait until 1599, a few decades after his death, to see the structure of the precursor of the Congregation of Propaganda Fide. "His letters, his relationships and his gestures had been so prominent in Europe to force the Popes at the time to show every attention not only in financing the apostolic missionary journeys, but to assume the missionary initiative".<br />"Francis Xavier is certainly the man who was totally captured by the grace of the Holy Spirit for mission", said Cardinal Filoni, but "today the task of evangelizing is increasingly urgent in front of us". Following the footsteps of Paul of Tarsus and Francis Xavier, an immense crowd of missionaries in these centuries have succeeded in bringing the Gospel to all the continents, and still today "the missionary challenge motivates us to welcome, with intimate adhesion, the invitation of Pope Francis in being a Church that goes forth, a missionary community that always takes the initiative to reach all peoples". A challenge that belongs to all the baptized, the task entrusted by the Risen Lord to his whole Church.<br />Then the Prefect of the Missionary Congregation compared Francis Xavier, "the great and extraordinary missionary traveler", Therese of the Child Jesus, and Pauline Jaricot, the young founder of the secular Society of the Propagation of the Faith, who, through the chain of the Rosary and the collection of offerings among the workers of the factory where she worked, made those young women participate in the missionary work. "Three personalities, different and so much in love of the missionary aspect – he highlighted -, zealous in spiritual and material support, beset by the desire that Jesus Christ was brought, known and loved by all men and all women".<br />In concluding his homily, Cardinal Filoni even pointed out that "the missionary aspect of the Church brings joy in announcing the Gospel, which is not a book of philosophy or edifying tales, but is the encounter with Christ; the missionary essence is to bring, to encounter Christ the Lord". <br /><br /><br/><strong>Link correlati</strong> :<a href="http://www.fides.org/it/attachments/view/file/C.Fil_SFrancSav_2016.docx">The full text of the Cardinal’s homily, in Italian</a>Mon, 05 Dec 2016 11:06:30 +0100AMERICA/GUATEMALA - Stanley Rother, first martyr born in the UShttp://fides.org/en/news/61303-AMERICA_GUATEMALA_Stanley_Rother_first_martyr_born_in_the_UShttp://fides.org/en/news/61303-AMERICA_GUATEMALA_Stanley_Rother_first_martyr_born_in_the_USAtitlan - It is official, Pope Francis yesterday, 2 December 2016 recognized the martyrdom of Father Stanley Rother of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City , making him the first martyr who was born in the United States. The recognition of his martyrdom opens the path for his beatification.<br />Stanley Rother known as father Aplas was an American diocesan priest who went on a mission in Guatemala. Rother was pastor of Santiago Atitlan, Solola . He arrived in Guatemala in 1968 as a missionary, and drove his Chevrolet from Oklahoma to Guatemala. He settled in the region and learned Spanish and Tzutuhil. <br />He was a parish priest in Santiago Atitlán for 13 years, and in addition to his pastoral duties, he translated the New Testament in Tzutuhil and started the regular celebration of the Mass in that same language. He left the country because of armed conflict but soon after he returned to give his support to parishioners. He was killed in the rectory of his parish on 28 July 1981. He was one of the 10 priests murdered in Guatemala that year. <br /><br />Sat, 03 Dec 2016 12:05:43 +0100AMERICA/NICARAGUA - Concern about the socio-political reality. Meeting church-OEAhttp://fides.org/en/news/61302-AMERICA_NICARAGUA_Concern_about_the_socio_political_reality_Meeting_church_OEAhttp://fides.org/en/news/61302-AMERICA_NICARAGUA_Concern_about_the_socio_political_reality_Meeting_church_OEAManagua - The Church in Nicaragua is concerned about the socio-political reality of the country and is ready to give its contribution to the common good. This is what emerged from the meeting held yesterday, December 2, between Luis Almagro, Secretary General of the Organization of American States, and representatives of the Episcopal Conference of Nicaragua. Almagro ended his visit in Nicaragua, where he arrived in recent days, after the agreements signed on October 15 with the government of Daniel Ortega, to collaborate with the country's institutions. The Secretary held meetings with different social groups: entrepreneurs, diplomats, politicians and social organizations. Yesterday, Friday, December 2, he met with religious leaders.<br />According to the note sent to Fides, the recent political developments in the country were discussed during the meeting which took place in a climate of openness, and in seeking the common good and peace. The Church of Nicaragua was represented by: Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Managua; Mgr. Silvio Baez, Auxiliary Bishop of Managua; Mgr. Pablo Schmitz Simon, OFM Cap, Bishop of the Apostolic Vicariate of Bluefields; Mgr. René Sándigo, Bishop of the Diocese of Juigalpa. The Bishops expressed their desire to support the people of Nicaragua with any action aimed at democracy, peace and genuine dialogue.<br />For the occasion, the Bishops' Conference delivered a copy of the document prepared by the Bishops in 2014 to Almagro "In search of new horizons for a better Nicaragua". . This document was prepared and delivered to President Ortega on 21 May 2014 and, according to what was said by Cardinal Brenes at the end of the meeting, "the president has not answered yet". <br />Sat, 03 Dec 2016 11:52:18 +0100ASIA/HOLY LAND - Christian cemetery of Kfar Yassif desecratedhttp://fides.org/en/news/61301-ASIA_HOLY_LAND_Christian_cemetery_of_Kfar_Yassif_desecratedhttp://fides.org/en/news/61301-ASIA_HOLY_LAND_Christian_cemetery_of_Kfar_Yassif_desecratedNazareth - The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, in communion with all the Churches of the Holy Land, expressed firm condemnation for the act of vandalism perpetrated against the Christian cemetery of Kfar Yassif, the town in Galilee situated 11 kilometers to the north east of Acre, where on Thursday, December 1 blasphemous and obscene graffiti in Arabic were discovered and written on the walls of the cemetery and the headstones of several graves. In a statement released through its official media, the Latin Patriarchate expresses its closeness and solidarity to the families of the deceased buried in the desecrated cemetery, and calls for the police to investigate as soon as possible in order to identify the authors of these acts of vandalism. <br />Sat, 03 Dec 2016 11:03:36 +0100ASIA - Cardinal Alencherry: help families meet Christhttp://fides.org/en/news/61300-ASIA_Cardinal_Alencherry_help_families_meet_Christhttp://fides.org/en/news/61300-ASIA_Cardinal_Alencherry_help_families_meet_ChristColombo - The Church in Asia has the mission to help families discover Christ: said Cardinal George Alencherry, major Archbishop of Ernakulam-Angamaly, in Kerala, president of the Syro-Malabar Bishops' Council, during the plenary assembly of the Federation of the Asian Bishops' Conferences , being held in Colombo from November 28 to December 4.<br />"We all need to find Christ in ourselves, to help others to discover him in the lives of our families and of our peoples: this is evangelization", stressed the Cardinal before the assembly made up of more than 140 Cardinals, Archbishops and Bishops from about 40 Asian countries, as well as some representatives as theologians and lay people involved in the Church in Asia.<br />The assembly, which is held every four years, is centered on the theme "The Asian Catholic family: The local Church of the poor in the mission of mercy. The Churches in Asia are wondering how to make Catholic families a tool to announce the Gospel of mercy.<br />In the wake of the Jubilee Year which has just concluded, "we are exploring what could be the mission of mercy of the Catholic family in Asia. It seems to me that our path is the same as that of the Apostles: to help every man encounter Christ in his life and help our families to discover the presence of Christ within and outside the family unit". "This is the common mission of the Church, it is the mission of Bishops, priests, consecrated, families", he added.<br />The Cardinal explained: "Families in Asia, who live in a multi-religious context are influenced by family models of other religious beliefs. Religions in Asia are a way of searching God. For us Christians, Christ is at the center of our testimony of faith. It is this uniqueness of Christ, the gift of Christ to the world that saves and marks our life. God is mercy and Jesus Christ manifests the face of God’s mercy for us".<br />In the past, added the Cardinal, Pastors appeared to have forgotten him, pointing out only the observance of the law, forgetting God's mercy.<br />"Christians are called to grasp the presence and action of Christ in man and in all creation, as St. Francis of Assisi did", he recalled.<br />"Having seen, heard and touched Christ, we must not give up the blessings that come from following Christ. Our families meet Jesus in their lives and receive his blessing. Let all this turn into good for the Church and for the Asian societies", he concluded. <br /><br />Sat, 03 Dec 2016 10:51:03 +0100AFRICA/DR CONGO - Sister Clara killed: she dedicated her life to improving the conditions of girlshttp://fides.org/en/news/61299-AFRICA_DR_CONGO_Sister_Clara_killed_she_dedicated_her_life_to_improving_the_conditions_of_girlshttp://fides.org/en/news/61299-AFRICA_DR_CONGO_Sister_Clara_killed_she_dedicated_her_life_to_improving_the_conditions_of_girlsKinshasa - A Congolese religious of the Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters of Christ the King School, Sister Clara Agano Kahambu has been killed. The incident occurred in the early afternoon of 29 November, at the Mater Dei parish in Bukavu, capital of South Kivu in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.<br />According to what local sources of the Archdiocese told Fides, Sister Clara was in her office with a student, when a man went up to the guardian saying he had to enroll his daughter at the religious school. Once the man entered he threw himself against the nun killing her with a knife in her neck. The man was captured but the religious died before reaching hospital.<br />"This true advocate of women's rights has died at the age of 40 ... She is added to the long list of human rights defenders who have died in our province", said a statement sent to Agenzia Fides by the "Justice and Peace" Diocesan Commission.<br />The statement denounces the deterioration of security in Bukavu on the eve of national elections; the resurgence of violence and attacks against the population in a city full of soldiers and policemen; circulation of dangerous and armed individuals, some of them mentally ill, attacking passers-by under the "smiling eyes of law enforcement". "Justice and Peace" reminds us that "even the Archbishop was attacked in his home in his sleep".<br />Sister Clara Agano was born on July 3, 1976 in Luofu parish, Diocese of Butembo-Beni, daughter of Jean-Pierre and Anastasia Kahindo fifth in a family with ten children.<br />On 16 November 2000 in Bukavu she became part of the Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters of Christ the King School, based in Spalato; postulant from August 5, 2001, she began her novitiate on August 25, 2002 and professed her perpetual vows on August 2, 2010.<br />She taught psychology, pedagogy and catechesis. She was Headmaster of "Marie Madeleine" School in Bukavu and of the "Mater Dei" pastoral center where she taught poor girls to read and write. <br />Fri, 02 Dec 2016 13:35:56 +0100VATICAN - Heroic virtues of Cardinal Guglielmo Massaja, among the greatest missionaries of the nineteenth centuryhttp://fides.org/en/news/61298-VATICAN_Heroic_virtues_of_Cardinal_Guglielmo_Massaja_among_the_greatest_missionaries_of_the_nineteenth_centuryhttp://fides.org/en/news/61298-VATICAN_Heroic_virtues_of_Cardinal_Guglielmo_Massaja_among_the_greatest_missionaries_of_the_nineteenth_centuryVatican City - Yesterday, 1 December, the Holy Father received in audience Cardinal Angelo Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, and authorized the Congregation to promulgate several decrees, including one regarding the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Guglielmo Massaja, of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin, Cardinal, born on June 8, 1809 and died on August 6, 1889.<br />Cardinal Guglielmo Massaja is considered among the greatest missionaries of the nineteenth century: he was the first to evangelize the tribal people of the Galla, in southern Ethiopia, to study its culture and to promote a series of social works. Born on June 8, 1809 in Piovà d'Asti , he took the Capuchin habit at 17 and was ordained a priest in 1832. Since his ordination he proved to be a strong supporter of the Society of the Propagation of the Faith, which supported Catholic missions. On April 26, 1846 Pope Gregory XVI created the Apostolic Vicariate of the Galla and just days after was entrusted to Massaja.<br />Consecrated Bishop in Rome, he left Italy on the night of June 2, 1846 to face a journey that lasted six years before reaching the Galla people. From 1852 to 1879 Massaja founded several missions, established the first Ethiopian Catholic monasticism, wrote the first catechism in Galla language, consecrated three Bishops, confronted the clergy and with the Ethiopian Muslim presence, favored scientific explorations, spread prophylaxis among the population against smallpox and carried out surgeries thanks to the practical experience gained in his youth. <br />Exiled in 1879 by Theodore II, he returned to Italy and settled in the convent of Frascati, where at the invitation of Pope Leo XIII wrote his autobiography in 12 volumes. On August 6, 1889 he died in San Giorgio a Cremano . The process of canonization was initiated in 1914 and came to a stop for about 70 years. <br />Fri, 02 Dec 2016 13:16:18 +0100ASIA/SYRIA - Bishop Abou Khazen: five "representatives" of east Aleppo chosen to negotiate an agreement with the armyhttp://fides.org/en/news/61297-ASIA_SYRIA_Bishop_Abou_Khazen_five_representatives_of_east_Aleppo_chosen_to_negotiate_an_agreement_with_the_armyhttp://fides.org/en/news/61297-ASIA_SYRIA_Bishop_Abou_Khazen_five_representatives_of_east_Aleppo_chosen_to_negotiate_an_agreement_with_the_armyAleppo - "In the neighborhoods of Aleppo, still in rebel hands and jihadist groups, five representatives have been appointed who should negotiate a kind of agreement with the Syrian army. We hope and pray that this path leads to a solution that will save from further suffering and destruction for all". This is what Bishop Georges Abou Khazen OFM, Apostolic Vicar of Aleppo for the Catholics of the Latin rite, refers to Agenzia Fides regarding the latest developments of the military operations taking place in the battered Syrian city, where the army is gradually regaining the neighborhoods that for years were controlled by paramilitary rebels, including jihadi militias such as the Jabhat al Nusra Front.<br />Regarding the situation in Aleppo, the Franciscan Bishop refers to Fides information that is hard to find in the reports of the international mainstream media. <br />"At least 20 thousand people have fled from areas controlled by rebels and were welcomed by the Syrian army and by aid organizations. Other 70 thousand remained in areas recently reconquered by the armed forces of the government, who distributed food and facilitated the strengthening of health relief. <br />In areas still in the hands of rebels, those of the al Nusra Front do not want the civilian population to leave. In some cases they prevented this by using weapons. We know that in some cases there have been popular demonstrations calling on the opposition militias to withdraw. Now we hope in a negotiation to reach an agreement, and if possible even in a reconciliation, through negotiators who obviously have been chosen with the consent of the armed groups". <br />Fri, 02 Dec 2016 12:54:22 +0100AFRICA/SOUTH SUDAN - Risk of an ethnic massacre: "in Yei people live in fear", says the Bishophttp://fides.org/en/news/61295-AFRICA_SOUTH_SUDAN_Risk_of_an_ethnic_massacre_in_Yei_people_live_in_fear_says_the_Bishophttp://fides.org/en/news/61295-AFRICA_SOUTH_SUDAN_Risk_of_an_ethnic_massacre_in_Yei_people_live_in_fear_says_the_BishopJuba - "Over a hundred thousand people live in fear and uncertainty and are unable to leave the city", denounces to Radio Easter His Exc. Mgr. Erkolano Lodu Tombe, Bishop of Yei, Equatoria city in South Sudan, hit by a wave of murders and massacres attributed to mixed military-civilian armed groups that target suspected supporters of former Vice President Riek Machar .<br />"There is no shooting in Yei at the moment, but the population lives in constant fear of a new wave of violence and murders" says Mgr. Lodu. The Bishop added that the population of the surrounding villages cannot travel to Yei, except for those who come by air from other counties and other States. Farmers cannot go and take care of their crops and the population will have to continue to use humanitarian assistance to feed themselves until 2017.<br />The civil war between the faction of President Salva Kiir and former Vice President Riek Machar has taken an ethnic dimension, opposing the Dinka to the Nuer. Other ethnic groups and tribes have allied to one of the two contenders, hoping to gain advantages in their local conflicts.<br />The US representative at the Council of the UN Human Rights in Geneva denounced that the South Sudanese government is preparing to support large-scale attacks against the population in Central Equatoria region. <br />Fri, 02 Dec 2016 12:24:52 +0100ASIA/INDIA - Christians to Prime Minister Modi: "work for inclusive growth"http://fides.org/en/news/61296-ASIA_INDIA_Christians_to_Prime_Minister_Modi_work_for_inclusive_growthhttp://fides.org/en/news/61296-ASIA_INDIA_Christians_to_Prime_Minister_Modi_work_for_inclusive_growthNew Delhi – May the Indian government take action to ensure inclusive economic growth, which does not cut off the broad masses of socially excluded populations. This is the appeal launched to Prime Minister Narendra Modi by Sajan K. George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians . The open letter to the Prime Minister, sent to Agenzia Fides, recalls that the nation is "split in two", marked by the serious issue of corruption, economic and social inequalities, by the problematic relationship with religious minorities.<br />The letter touches the effects of the recent decision of "demonetization" which wanted to be "a step towards India's transformation into an economy without cash". But, according to government estimates, "40 percent of Indians do not use formal banking services", notes the letter, and it is the poorest segments of the population and institutions working in the social service to be heavily penalized.<br />"Orphanages and homes for poor people, charity institutes can no longer handle the situation, given that India does not have a social safety net to sustain their needs", it says, entrusted only to the good heart of private donors. One has to take into consideration the condition of "more than two million women entrepreneurs and small farmers who are facing an uncertain future and hunger" notes the text. "Wages, businesses, agriculture: all realities which have been affected. These small economic realities now earn 30 percent of what they earned before the demonetization" remarked S. George.<br />The letter explains that "in rural areas the economy is based mainly on cash but it is not a black economy, it does not evade taxes. In rural areas, people save cash, pay cash, the agricultural economy works in cash".<br />Millions of citizens and small businesses "need the help of the government to resume their small businesses" so that the negative effects of demonetization mitigates. The letter ends with an appeal and a wish to "a new year of prosperity" for all Indian citizens, for a truly inclusive and non-selective well-being. <br />Fri, 02 Dec 2016 12:13:16 +0100AMERICA/PARAGUAY - Mgr. Cabello on the lack of decisions to combat criminals: "Something is wrong"http://fides.org/en/news/61294-AMERICA_PARAGUAY_Mgr_Cabello_on_the_lack_of_decisions_to_combat_criminals_Something_is_wronghttp://fides.org/en/news/61294-AMERICA_PARAGUAY_Mgr_Cabello_on_the_lack_of_decisions_to_combat_criminals_Something_is_wrongCaacupé - After the Mass for the novena in preparation for the feast of Our Lady of Caacupé, celebrated yesterday in front of hundreds of young people from across the country, His Exc. Mgr. Miguel Ángel Cabello Almada, Bishop of Concepción, met young people and the community present at the Sanctuary.<br />According to information sent to Fides, Mgr. Cabello Almada paused to talk about the reality that people live in his diocese where the "Joint Action Force" is ordered not to face the criminal group that calls itself "the Paraguayan People Army" . "We have talked with the FTC members several times and they tell us very clearly that there is a lack of decisions, they do not receive orders and are always exposed", said Mgr. Cabello. Then he added, "there is something wrong", because many times FTC members reach certain places and they are ordered not to intervene, and end up being attacked, as happened with the eight soldiers killed in Arroyito, Concepción, last August . <br />The Bishop explained that the local Church is aware of the situation, because it is part of community life and the task of evangelization is also to share the concerns of the daily life of the population and the military to whom security is entrusted.<br />Mgr. Cabello also commented that if all resources used for the FTC had been intended for the benefit of the area, now there would be a more well-equipped hospital, schools completely set up and paved roads throughout the area, which are the basic needs. He highlighted with regret that the fight against poverty is just a simple expression.<br />According to data from the local press the FTC cost more than $ 107 million over the past three years, but the actions of criminals of the Paraguayan People Army are becoming more frequent. There are still four people kidnapped in the north of the country. <br />Fri, 02 Dec 2016 11:38:05 +0100EUROPE/ITALY - International Day of Disability: solidarity initiatives for children and adults who are blindhttp://fides.org/en/news/61291-EUROPE_ITALY_International_Day_of_Disability_solidarity_initiatives_for_children_and_adults_who_are_blindhttp://fides.org/en/news/61291-EUROPE_ITALY_International_Day_of_Disability_solidarity_initiatives_for_children_and_adults_who_are_blindMilan - On the occasion of the International Day of disability which is celebrated on December 3 each year, CBM Italy, an NGO engaged in the fight against preventable blindness and disability in developing countries of the world, launches the third edition of Occhiolino, the first newspaper of the NGO dedicated to children . This issue will be on Christmas, with the story of the CBM project in Colombia for infants at risk of blindness, games and Christmas recipes, the illustrated story of the history of Saint Lucia. Attached to the magazine there is also a small crib as a gift. Also in this occasion, CBM will promote its laboratories, completely free of charge, at 'Casa dei diritti' in Milan. The goal is to allow children and adults explore the world of the five senses, with particular attention to sight, and raise public awareness about the living conditions of people with disabilities living in the poor countries of the world. A sensory journey of one hour which includes a series of activities to be carried out together. <br />Fri, 02 Dec 2016 11:24:16 +0100AMERICA/UNITED STATES - The fires devastate the tourist areas of the Great Smoky Mountainshttp://fides.org/en/news/61293-AMERICA_UNITED_STATES_The_fires_devastate_the_tourist_areas_of_the_Great_Smoky_Mountainshttp://fides.org/en/news/61293-AMERICA_UNITED_STATES_The_fires_devastate_the_tourist_areas_of_the_Great_Smoky_MountainsGatlinburg - There are many residents of the diocese of Knoxville who have lost their homes and their jobs or even business, in the fires that devastated the tourist areas of the Great Smoky Mountains region on November 29, said the Bishop of Knoxville His Exc. Mgr. Richard F. Stika in a statement sent to Fides. According to news agencies, there have been at least seven deaths and 45 people seriously injured. The next day, on November 30, two other people died when a tornado swept Tennessee. At least 300 structures were damaged or destroyed in Gatlinburg, another 700 in the Sevier County area.<br />"The Catholic community in East Tennessee continues to pray for those who have been affected by the fires in Gatlinburg" informs Bishop Stika, who has asked for concrete aid for the inhabitants of the area. Sister Mary Christine Cremin, director of Catholic Charities of East Tennessee, is coordinating aid to the population of Gatlinburg and Sevier County.<br />The Department of Agriculture has reported that there are still 47 fires under control, which have destroyed 6,000 hectares. The population of Knoxville, more than 180 thousand inhabitants, is on alert. The town of Gatlinburg, 4,100 inhabitants, has been evacuated. <br />Fri, 02 Dec 2016 11:08:54 +0100