Fides News - Englishhttp://fides.org/Fides Agency NewsenContent on this site is licensed under aVATICAN - Catholic Church Statistics 2019http://fides.org/en/news/66809-VATICAN_Catholic_Church_Statistics_2019http://fides.org/en/news/66809-VATICAN_Catholic_Church_Statistics_2019Vatican City - On the occasion of the 93rd World Mission Sunday, October 20, 2019, which is celebrated in the context of the Extraordinary Missionary Month October 2019, announced by Pope Francis in the centenary of Pope Benedict XV's Apostolic Letter ‘Maximum illud’, Agenzia Fides offers some statistics chosen to give a panorama of the missionary Church in the world. The tables are taken from the latest edition of the "Church's Book of Statistics" published regarding members of the Church, church structures, healthcare, welfare and educational. The variation is indicated in brackets, increase or decrease compared to the previous year , according to the comparison made by Agenzia Fides. Finally, the picture of ecclesiastical circumscriptions dependent on the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples is reported.<br /><br/><strong>Link correlati</strong> :<a href="http://www.fides.org/en/attachments/view/file/STATISTICS2019OK.doc https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kf4VhI-THlU&t=1s">Special Dossier Catholic Church statistics 2019 Video with Graphics Elaboration of the statistics (in English)</a>Sat, 19 Oct 2019 12:32:13 +0200AFRICA/GUINEA BISSAU - The Bishop of Bissau proposes the creation of a national reconciliation commissionhttp://fides.org/en/news/66810-AFRICA_GUINEA_BISSAU_The_Bishop_of_Bissau_proposes_the_creation_of_a_national_reconciliation_commissionhttp://fides.org/en/news/66810-AFRICA_GUINEA_BISSAU_The_Bishop_of_Bissau_proposes_the_creation_of_a_national_reconciliation_commissionBissau - "Many Countries in Africa have already given the example, having created reconciliation commissions and achieved important results. Why do some of our Guinean brothers do not want to believe in the power of forgiveness?" asked His Exc. Mgr. Mons. José Camnate Na Bissing, Bishop of Bissau, launching an appeal for national reconciliation.<br />Archbishop Camnate addressed this appeal on the occasion of the celebration of perpetual profession, by sr. Eva Sambú and sr. Wally Fernando Cabral in the Church of St. John the Baptist in Brá, on the outskirts of Bissau, on 5 October.<br />Archbishop Camnate emphasized that if a politician thinks that by dividing the Guinean people he can take advantage of them, he is on the path to civil suicide. The Bishop of Bissau said that it is necessary for Guineans to resolve conflicts through dialogue.<br />"If we want to help those who are not Christians to understand the true meaning of consecrated, priestly and religious life, we can teach that all ethnic groups in Guinea-Bissau believe in God as the source of life and that every ethnic group tries to thank God for the a gift of life", continued Mgr. José Camnate.<br />"Consecrated life for the Catholic Church always carries this feeling of gratitude to God, as the Father of infinite goodness and mercy", he concluded. <br />Fri, 18 Oct 2019 13:14:21 +0200AMERICA/CHILE - Extraordinary Missionary Month: the international missionary school sows hope in the Diocese of Ancudhttp://fides.org/en/news/66811-AMERICA_CHILE_Extraordinary_Missionary_Month_the_international_missionary_school_sows_hope_in_the_Diocese_of_Ancudhttp://fides.org/en/news/66811-AMERICA_CHILE_Extraordinary_Missionary_Month_the_international_missionary_school_sows_hope_in_the_Diocese_of_AncudAncud - The Fazenda International Missionary School has sown hope in the diocese of Ancud, Chile, as witnessed by the Bishops’ Conference of Chile with the note sent to Fides. Among the celebrations promoted for the Extraordinary Missionary Month, the "Fazenda de la Esperanza" dedicated forty days of mission in which it visited several countries, including Chile.<br />According to the note, 50 volunteer missionaries left on September 20 to "live" the International Missionary School. In this group there are people from Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Germany and Mexico. The bus that brought them traveled through Chile, and will now have to go to Argentina, then Uruguay, Bolivia and Paraguay.<br />In Chile the missionaries were in the Diocese of Talca and now in Ancud. At each stage of the journey we pray, we celebrate the Eucharist, we share moments of reflection and then exchange experiences.<br />The Fazenda Missionary School has the characteristics of welcoming people who have suffered for some reason or have had serious problems, and then find the strength to get out.<br />The practice of service to others, the visit to the elderly, prisoners and the sick in the hospital or to those who live in poverty, mark a type of missionary life that "recovers" people who for various reasons have closed themselves in their existential problem.<br />La Fazenda has several places that welcome young people or people in situations of need. In Chile there is the Chiloé headquarters, open since April 2018. <br />Fri, 18 Oct 2019 13:08:32 +0200OCEANIA/PAPUA NEW GUINEA - Resignation of the Bishop of Kimbe and appointment of his successorhttp://fides.org/en/news/66813-OCEANIA_PAPUA_NEW_GUINEA_Resignation_of_the_Bishop_of_Kimbe_and_appointment_of_his_successorhttp://fides.org/en/news/66813-OCEANIA_PAPUA_NEW_GUINEA_Resignation_of_the_Bishop_of_Kimbe_and_appointment_of_his_successorVatican City - The Holy Father has accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Kimbe, Papua New Guinea, presented by His Exc. Mgr. William Regis Fey, O.F.M. Cap.<br />The Pope has appointed the Reverend John Bosco Auram, of the clergy of Kimbe, currently acting Rector of the Sacred Heart preparatory seminary in Rapolo, as Bishop of the same diocese.<br />The Reverend John Bosco Auram was born on 19 October 1972 in the village of Kandoka, Province of West New Britain . He began his formation at the Saint Peter Chanel minor seminary in Ulapia, and then completed his philosophical and theological studies at the Sacred Heart major seminary in Rapolo. He was ordained a priest on 17 January 2004, for the clergy of the diocese of Kimbe, the second ordained priest after the creation of the see.<br />Since his ordination to the priesthood he has held the following positions: parish vicar of Kimbe Cathedral ; vice-rector of the minor seminary of Saint John Vianney of Vanimo ; vice-rector of the major seminary of Saint Charles Borromeo of Vanimo ; six months of pastoral work in the parish of Kaiai ; formator and professor at the Saint Peter Chanel minor seminary in Ulapia and at the Sacred Heart major seminary in Rapolo ; parish priest of Silanga, diocese of Kimbe ; studies at the Institute of Priestly Formation in Omaha and at the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical University in Rome, and pastoral ministry in the parish of Turuk, Kimbe ; formator at the Holy Spirit major seminary in Bomana ; pastoral ministry in the parish of Sara, Kimbe ; studies for the licentiate in pastoral theology at the University of Santo Tomas of Manila, serving as spiritual director in the seminary of Manila ; and since 2019, acting rector of the Sacred Heart seminary of Rapolo, in the archdiocese of Rabaul. <br />Fri, 18 Oct 2019 13:02:52 +0200ASIA/MYANMAR - Appointment of Coadjutor Bishop of Lashiohttp://fides.org/en/news/66814-ASIA_MYANMAR_Appointment_of_Coadjutor_Bishop_of_Lashiohttp://fides.org/en/news/66814-ASIA_MYANMAR_Appointment_of_Coadjutor_Bishop_of_LashioVatican City - The Holy Father has appointed as Coadjutor Bishop of the diocese of Lashio, Myanmar, the Reverend Father Lucas Dau Ze Jeimphaung, S.D.B., currently provincial counsellor and Rector of the Salesian Philosophate of Pyin Oo Lwin.<br />The Reverend Father Lucas Dau Ze Jeimphaung, S.D.B., was born in the village of Hpa Hping, district of Northern Shan State on 18 October 1962. He carried out his philosophical studies at the Saint Joseph Salesian Philosophate of Anisakan, also attending the University of Yangon, where he was awarded a bachelor’s degree in history , and his theological studies in the Saint Joseph National Seminary of Yangon. He gave his religious vows on 6 May 1993. On 21 April 1996 he was ordained a priest. From 2003 to 2006 he carried out his specialist studies in the Philippines, obtaining a diploma in family counselling in 2004 from the Jesuit University, and a master’s degree in pastoral sociology from the Asian Social Institute.<br />Since ordination he has held the role of bursar of the Nazareth Aspirantate of Anisakan, Pyin Oo Lwin, in the archdiocese of Mandalay ; carried out specialisation studies in the Philippines ; and served as rector and parish priest of the Nazareth Community of Anisakan ; delegate for youth ministry and provincial counsellor ; responsible for the Wa Mission in the diocese of Lashio ; provincial counsellor - 2nd triennium ; and rector of the Salesian Philosophate of Pyin Oo Lwin . <br />Fri, 18 Oct 2019 12:58:39 +0200ASIA/TURKEY - Turkish media: the military offensive in Syria is not against Christianshttp://fides.org/en/news/66812-ASIA_TURKEY_Turkish_media_the_military_offensive_in_Syria_is_not_against_Christianshttp://fides.org/en/news/66812-ASIA_TURKEY_Turkish_media_the_military_offensive_in_Syria_is_not_against_ChristiansIstanbul - The Turkish military intervention in the north-east of Syria does not aim to hit or penalize the Christian communities present in that area, and the alarms launched in this regard by the media and organizations are part of the propaganda put in place to stir up anti-Turkey and anti-Erdogan sentiments in the public opinion of Western countries. Turkish media considered close to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his AKP Party took the field against those labeled as disinformation campaigns. In some cases, the media "counteroffensive" refers to circumstantial situations and episodes to refute the thesis - credited to some Western media - according to which Christian communities present in north-eastern Syria represent a targeted target of the Turkish military offensive.<br />In particular, according to reports from Abdulkadir Selvi, a correspondent for the Turkish daily Hurriyet, Kurdish militiamen have launched artillery shells from Tel Abyad against Agkcakale, placing mortars to launch bullets between the churches and buildings that in that city host institutions of local Christian communities, with the intention of guiding the predictable Turkish retaliation against those same buildings and places of worship, and thus being able to make believe that the Turkish military offensive had been unleashed to hit not only the Kurdish militias, but also Christian objectives. Other Turkish media such as Sabah and Milliyet give ample emphasis to statements and declarations made by Syriac Christian organizations and Assyrians often operating outside the Middle East - such as Assyria TV, a television channel based in Germany, and the World Syriac Federation, based in Sweden - with the intention of denouncing the pressures put in place by Kurdish militia linked to the Kurdish Democratic Party on the Christian communities of north-eastern Syria to push them to take part in the armed reaction against the Turkish military offensive.<br />The Turkish media, from the beginning of the military operation in Syrian territory called "Source of peace" , also competed in publishing statements of ecclesiastical institutions and exponents who declared their own understanding and support for the offensive desired by Erdogan. Among others, Mor Gregorius Melki Urek, Syrian Orthodox Metropolitan of Adiyaman, recalled that the military operation was aimed at closing the "terrorist corridor" that was forming in the south-east of the Turkish border with Syria. While Armenian apostolic Archbishop Sahak Masalyan - currently in charge of coordinating the ongoing process for the election of the new Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople - reiterated that the authority of the Patriarchate "is on the side of peace", adding that "unfortunately, the establishment of peace cannot always be achieved with peaceful means". <br />Fri, 18 Oct 2019 12:53:52 +0200ASIA/VIETNAM - "Make your dreams come true": the Academic Year begins at the Xuan Loc Higher Institutehttp://fides.org/en/news/66808-ASIA_VIETNAM_Make_your_dreams_come_true_the_Academic_Year_begins_at_the_Xuan_Loc_Higher_Institutehttp://fides.org/en/news/66808-ASIA_VIETNAM_Make_your_dreams_come_true_the_Academic_Year_begins_at_the_Xuan_Loc_Higher_InstituteXuan Loc - "You have chosen the school, place where you have nurtured your dreams, now fulfill them, transforming the teachings received into 'capital of life' and become witnesses of God in the various environments of your life": with these words Fr. Giuseppe Nguyen Van Uy, Director of the "Hoa Binh Xuan Loc" Educational Institute addressed the 552 graduates who in recent days received their diploma. The diploma ceremony took place simultaneously with the inauguration of the 2019-2020 academic year. Mgr. Giovanni Do Van Ngan, Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese Xuan Loc, President of the Institute's Board of Directors, and Fr. Trinh Thanh Toan, deputy director of the Institute were also present at the ceremony.<br />After the ceremony, the solemn thanksgiving Mass presided by Mgr. John Do Van Ngan was celebrated. In his homily the Bishop urged the students to "always live united, in study and work, making the most of the talents received from the Lord to glorify God in life". And he then asked God to "help everyone in the new academic year so that it may bear much fruit in natural and spiritual life".<br />In 2019 the Hoa Binh Xuan Loc Institute welcomed 1,580 new students. There are currently 3,650 students enrolled and those who have completed high school but were not admitted to university, follow a three-year high school diploma. They are students from 26 dioceses and from 52 cities in Vietnam.<br />The most important purpose of the Institute - the Director pointed out - is "to form good Christians and good citizens who can help the poor and weak", according to a concept of "integral promotion of the person".<br />In addition, the Institute also aims to promote the meeting and exchange between students and teachers, especially in the field of research, establishing contacts with other institutes and universities inside and outside the country.<br />Currently the Hoa Binh Xuan Loc Institute is the only higher Catholic institution in Vietnam, managed and directed by the Diocese of Xuan Loc. It was founded in 2012 at the beginning as a vocational school, where students could learn different trades. In 2017 it was promoted to a higher institute. <br />Fri, 18 Oct 2019 11:46:46 +0200ASIA/MALAYSIA - Extraordinary Missionary Month: priests ready for the mission ad genteshttp://fides.org/en/news/66807-ASIA_MALAYSIA_Extraordinary_Missionary_Month_priests_ready_for_the_mission_ad_genteshttp://fides.org/en/news/66807-ASIA_MALAYSIA_Extraordinary_Missionary_Month_priests_ready_for_the_mission_ad_gentesKuching - The priests of the archdiocese of Kuching, in Malaysia and of the Apostolic Vicariate of Brunei have renewed their commitment to the mission ad gentes. In living the extraordinary missionary Month, announced by Pope Francis for October 2019, 84 priests from all over the Malaysian region of Sarawak and Brunei participated in a five-day spiritual retreat held in past days at St. Peter Seminary, in Kuching.<br />Father Antonio Pernia, former Superior General of the Society of the Divine Word , a Catholic congregation with the specific charism of missionary work, animated the retreat, urging priests present to "always be ready to leave their comfort zones and welcome in particular foreigners and the poor in parishes and communities, in the light of the teachings of the Church, the Bible and Pope Francis".<br />The reflection focused on the "mission ad gentes" and allowed priests to reflect "on the idea and meaning of 'mission', on its challenges and on new approaches in spreading the Good News in Malaysia and Asia", said to Fides Father David Au, one of the participants.<br />Moreover, in a multicultural society like the Malaysian one, "there is always the need to be more inclusive and to appreciate the diversity of cultures within the Church", said the priest. Both Malaysia and Brunei are Muslim-majority countries and multicultural societies, where Christians are a minority. <br />Fri, 18 Oct 2019 10:35:15 +0200AFRICA/MALAWI - Extraordinary Missionary Month: lay people committed to evangelizationhttp://fides.org/en/news/66806-AFRICA_MALAWI_Extraordinary_Missionary_Month_lay_people_committed_to_evangelizationhttp://fides.org/en/news/66806-AFRICA_MALAWI_Extraordinary_Missionary_Month_lay_people_committed_to_evangelizationLilongwe - It will be the parish of St. Pius, in the archdiocese of Blantyre, to host the culminating event of the Extraordinary Missionary Month, that is, the Sunday Eucharistic Celebration in which the Church celebrates World Mission Sunday, October 20.<br />As reported to Fides by the Bishops' Conference of Malawi, already during the opening Mass of the month of the Rosary, presided by Fr. Vincent Mwakhwawa, National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies of Malawi, Fr. George Kaliati, parish priest of St. Pius, invited the faithful to "be protagonists of the mission", with a greater commitment to evangelization works and services. "We are happy and honored to have been chosen as the model parish for this important occasion. The Bishops have entrusted us with this Sunday's Eucharistic celebration", said Fr. Kaliati.<br />The parish priest of St. Pius invited the faithful to achieve the goals set by Pope Francis for this Month: "Let us focus on the Gospel: with faith let us strengthen our spiritual and family life, let us continue to pray to the Blessed Virgin Mary, entrusting her our life", he insisted. The parish, among other activities, aims to increase charitable works and visits to Catholic faithful but also to non-Catholic families, helping everyone to face the challenges of family and social life. <br />Fri, 18 Oct 2019 10:30:13 +0200EUROPE/ITALY - The beatification of Father Cremonesi, martyr, on the eve of Mission Day in the Extraordinary Missionary Monthhttp://fides.org/en/news/66804-EUROPE_ITALY_The_beatification_of_Father_Cremonesi_martyr_on_the_eve_of_Mission_Day_in_the_Extraordinary_Missionary_Monthhttp://fides.org/en/news/66804-EUROPE_ITALY_The_beatification_of_Father_Cremonesi_martyr_on_the_eve_of_Mission_Day_in_the_Extraordinary_Missionary_MonthCrema – On Saturday 19 October, on the eve of World Mission Sunday, in the heart of the Extraordinary Missionary Month announced by Pope Francis for this October 2019, the solemn liturgy of the Beatification Father Luigi Cremonesi, missionary of PIME , killed in hatred of the faith in Myanmar on 7 February 1953, where he had spent 28 years of mission, will be held in the Cathedral of Crema, his diocese of origin. The rite will be chaired, in the name of the Holy Father, by Cardinal Angelo Becciu, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, together with the Bishop of Crema, Mgr. Daniele Gianotti, and the Bishop of Taungngu, in Myanmar, who will be accompanied by a diocesan delegation.<br />In giving news of the recognition of the martyrdom of Father Cremonesi, first martyr in the history of this diocese, Mgr. Gianotti had emphasized that "the testimony of Fr. Alfredo will be able to help us keep the fire of the mission alive, the desire to bring to everyone the good news of Jesus Christ" .<br />Also father Pier Luigi Maccalli, the missionary of the Society for African Missions who was operating in Niger, kidnapped 13 months ago belonged to the diocese of Crema. <br />In the beatification celebration of Fr. Cremonesi prayers will be held "for those who in every part of the world are persecuted because of faith, for Father Pierluigi Maccalli deprived of his freedom, for all those who suffer for the witness to the Gospel".<br />Alfredo Cremonesi was born in Ripalta Guerina, in the diocese of Crema, on 16 May 1902. In 1911 he entered the diocesan seminary. Once his missionary vocation matured, in 1922 he was accepted in the Lombard Seminary for the Foreign Missions of Milan. On 12 October 1924 he was ordained a priest and a year later he was sent to Toungoo, Burma. The following August he was transferred to Yedashé, and in 1929 he moved to the village of Donoku. He dedicated himself to the indigenous world and, despite the difficulties, he obtained good spiritual fruits, also committed to the human promotion of the very poor population. His pastoral service was based on an intense life of prayer, nourished by Eucharistic adoration, especially at night, according to the monastic style, which had always fascinated him.<br />Father Cremonesi published numerous articles in the journal of his Institute, "The Catholic Missions", presenting the evangelizing activity and informing about the political situation in Burma. At the end of the Second World War, the country gained independence from England, but a bloody civil war broke out between the various ethnic groups. Religious minorities, like Catholics, became the object of great hostility, which not infrequently manifested itself with the expulsion of European missionaries. Father Alfredo was not afraid to denounce the crimes, arguing that only peace could resolve the disputes. In 1950 he was forced to leave Donoku, where however he wanted to return in 1952, despite being aware of exposing himself to serious risks. On 7 February 1953, while he was in the village of Donoku, he was involved in a clash between a group of government soldiers and some rebels. He welcomed the soldiers and defended his faithful, suspected of favoring the anti-government rebels. Some soldiers, due to their anti-Christian hatred, killed him, shooting him in the eye, then destroyed every building marked with a cross. According to the testimony of those present, Father Alfredo was assassinated while praying. He was the only one to die, while the population was spared and was able to bury his body, after a night vigil, in the village cemetery. The conviction that the missionary had been killed in hatred of the faith and was therefore a martyr was immediate and unanimous. <br />Fri, 18 Oct 2019 10:26:25 +0200AMERICA/COLOMBIA - Extraordinary missionary month: the missionary Rosary transmitted by digital channels and social mediahttp://fides.org/en/news/66798-AMERICA_COLOMBIA_Extraordinary_missionary_month_the_missionary_Rosary_transmitted_by_digital_channels_and_social_mediahttp://fides.org/en/news/66798-AMERICA_COLOMBIA_Extraordinary_missionary_month_the_missionary_Rosary_transmitted_by_digital_channels_and_social_mediaBogotà - In the Extraordinary Missionary Month and on the eve of World Mission Sunday, at 7 pm today, October 17, at the headquarters of the Pontifical Mission Societies of Colombia, the missionary Rosary will be recited and transmitted by digital channels and social networks of the PMS and the Colombian Bishops' Conference.<br />According to information sent to Fides, Father Ramiro Antonio López, director of the Missionary Animation Department of the Conference and a community of missionary families will participate in the Missionary Rosary. <br />Father López will present the work carried out by the Colombian Bishops in favor of the missions, as well as his missionary experience. The initiative responds to Pope Francis' invitation to all believers to join their missions in a personal and community way through prayer. In this circumstance we will pray for Colombia and for all Colombians, for the environment, for the missions and missionaries in the Amazon region, in the Orinoquía region, in the Andean region, in the Caribbean region and in that of the Colombian Pacific.<br />Last week the social networks of the PMS of Colombia broadcast the prayer of the Missionary Rosary for the five continents, led by Father Alexis Gil Henao, National Director of the PMS of Colombia. The National Director stressed that the first thing missionaries need is prayer to be supported by God in their task. Therefore they need to be helped in many material needs that arise in missionary territories, such as the means of transport to reach the different communities, foodstuffs, catechetical subsidies ... In the world there are 1,115 ecclesiastical districts entrusted to the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, 12 missionary territories are in Colombia.<br />At the beginning of October , the Bishops' Conference invited all parishes, religious communities, movements and apostolic groups, families and the faithful in general to pray with the recitation of the saint Rosary for missions, especially in this Extraordinary Missionary Month. <br />Thu, 17 Oct 2019 11:17:06 +0200EUROPE/SPAIN - "With you, Luigi, we suffer, we pray and we hope": the missionaries recall and wait for Father Maccallihttp://fides.org/en/news/66796-EUROPE_SPAIN_With_you_Luigi_we_suffer_we_pray_and_we_hope_the_missionaries_recall_and_wait_for_Father_Maccallihttp://fides.org/en/news/66796-EUROPE_SPAIN_With_you_Luigi_we_suffer_we_pray_and_we_hope_the_missionaries_recall_and_wait_for_Father_MaccalliMadrid - "It has been more than a year since we received the news of the abduction of Father Pier Luigi Maccalli, our friend and confrere. I still remember having received a call at the end of the celebration of mass in the parish of Bugu, in Benin, and that everyone, including the faithful who had accompanied me, were left speechless". Thus began the note that Father Marcos Delgado Arce, a priest of the Society for African Missions , the new Provincial in Spain, sent Fides on the occasion of the umpteenth anniversary - 13 months - since the kidnapping of father Pier Luigi Maccalli, which occurred in Niger on 17 September 2018 . "Everyone wonders why this gesture, what could have happened and why God allowed it", reflects the religious.<br />A few months later two other SMA confreres were forced to leave the mission in Torodi, Tillaberi region, south-east of Niger, 60km from Niamey, another 60km from the border with Burkina Faso, due to the risk they ran. "Thank God, they are returning to Niger, but to Gaya, on the border with Benin", added Fr. Marcos who was on a mission in Benin until July 2019.<br />"Last September 17th, one year after the kidnapping of Fr. Pier Luigi, we met in Madrid without the answers to those questions. The SMA province of Spain, with all the other confreres, has united in a great Eucharist, together with collaborators, friends and common people, to remember and pray for our dear friend".<br />"A banner with the words "With you, Luigi, we suffer, we pray and we hope" sums up what we are experiencing. We unite in prayer which is the only thing we can do from here and, with him, we await his rapid release".<br />"In this period - concludes Fr. Delgado - we have released several interviews to talk about Fr. Maccalli and the reality of Niger and to invite everyone to join the chain of prayer we have launched. We hope that public opinion and political institutions can help us. Many people continue to pray every day and ask for his release. A photo of Pier Luigi is above the altar of our chapel, and helps us to stay close to him and to all the friends who work in this part of Africa". <br />Thu, 17 Oct 2019 10:46:27 +0200AMERICA/NICARAGUA - Hate campaign against the Church does not stop on social networkshttp://fides.org/en/news/66801-AMERICA_NICARAGUA_Hate_campaign_against_the_Church_does_not_stop_on_social_networkshttp://fides.org/en/news/66801-AMERICA_NICARAGUA_Hate_campaign_against_the_Church_does_not_stop_on_social_networksManagua - The Catholic Church has three characteristics: one, holy, catholic and apostolic, but another characteristic is missing, which should be included in the Creed, that of being persecuted. This is what Archbishop of Managua and President of the Bishops’ Conference of Nicaragua, Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes, said after the Mass celebrated on Sunday 13 October at the Cristo Rey School in Managua. The comment arose in the context of the resumption of attacks against the Church by the ruling party. Fides, like other news agencies, received several reports on social networks regarding hatred towards the Catholic Church and priests, with macabre depictions of mannequins with hanged black cassocks.<br />However, Cardinal Brenes attributed these acts to "lazy boys, who have nothing to do" and who "seek to distinguish themselves because they have no other way". However, he acknowledged that the Church in Nicaragua is constantly under siege, more frequently after 18 April 2018, when Bishops, witnesses and mediators in the national dialogue, had proposed the exit of Daniel Ortega and early elections as a way out of the socio-political crisis of the country. Elections that had to be free, transparent and with full democratic guarantees, as stated by more than one member of the Church in these months .<br />Father Edwin Román, parish priest of San Miguel church in Masaya, speaking on television said that the intellectual authors of the attacks against the Bishops and against the Church in Nicaragua have gained "a higher step" as protagonists and promoters of this campaign. "The world must know who those who promote hatred in Nicaragua are, they are always the same authors of so many dead and must be stopped", he reiterated.<br />Father Edwin Román told the press that it is not just priests, but every good citizen who wants justice, freedom and democracy for Nicaragua: "It is enough to raise your voice to ask these things to be reported as enemies of the government. There is no need to prove it, as demonstrated by the number of brothers in exile", underlined the parish priest of Masaya.<br />In concluding his speech, Father Edwin recalled a reality: "The attacks that the Church is experiencing today exceed the attacks of those who were victims in the 1980s during the civil war in our country. In the 1980s there was the dictatorship of Somoza, this instead is a dictatorship against unarmed people". <br />Thu, 17 Oct 2019 10:15:13 +0200AFRICA/NIGERIA - Appointment of the auxiliary Bishop of Owerrihttp://fides.org/en/news/66802-AFRICA_NIGERIA_Appointment_of_the_auxiliary_Bishop_of_Owerrihttp://fides.org/en/news/66802-AFRICA_NIGERIA_Appointment_of_the_auxiliary_Bishop_of_OwerriVatican City - The Holy Father Francis appointed the rev. Moses Chikwe of the clergy of Owerri, currently Director of Education of the Archdiocese of Owerri and collaborator of the parish of St. Thomas More, as auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Owerri , assigning him the Titular see of Flumenzer.<br />The rev. Moses Chikwe was born on 4 April 1967 in Uzoagba-Ikeduru . He completed his philosophical studies at the St. Joseph Major Seminary in Ikot-Ekpene and the theological studies at the Bigard Memorial Major Seminary in Enugu . In 2013 he completed a Doctorate in Educational Administration at the University of California in Los Angeles. He was ordained a priest on 6 July 1996, for the clergy of the Archdiocese of Owerri.<br />Since his ordination he has held the following positions: 1996-1997: Parish Vicar of the Holy Cross parish in Emii; 1997-1998: Parish Vicar of St. Columba's parish in Amaimo; 1998-2002: Adjunct Editor of the diocesan weekly The Leader and Deputy Director of Assumpta Printing Press, Archdiocese of Owerri; 2002-2005: Higher education studies at Loyola Marymont University in Los Angeles, United States of America; 2005-2010: Chaplain at the "Los Angeles Medical Centers", Archdiocese of Los Angeles; 2006-2013: a PhD at the University of California in Los Angeles, during his studies in the United States, he held various pastoral positions: among them; 2008-2010: Chaplain at the Veterans' Administration Medical Center in Greater Los Angeles; 2010-2016: Chaplain at the Veterans' Administration Medical Center in San Diego, at the same time, residing at St. Charles Borromeo parish and then at St. Joseph's Cathedral; 2016-2017: Collaborator of the Information Communications Technology Directorate, Archdiocese of Owerri; 2017-2018: Adjunct Director of Education, Archdiocese of Owerri; since 2018: Director of Education of the Archdiocese of Owerri, and collaborator at the St. Thomas More parish in Owerri. <br />Thu, 17 Oct 2019 09:53:25 +0200ASIA/PAKISTAN - Appointment of the Rector of the “St. Francis Xavier” interdiocesan philosophical Seminary in Lahorehttp://fides.org/en/news/66799-ASIA_PAKISTAN_Appointment_of_the_Rector_of_the_St_Francis_Xavier_interdiocesan_philosophical_Seminary_in_Lahorehttp://fides.org/en/news/66799-ASIA_PAKISTAN_Appointment_of_the_Rector_of_the_St_Francis_Xavier_interdiocesan_philosophical_Seminary_in_LahoreVatican City – On 7 August 2018 Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, appointed rev. Almas Daniel Archangelus, of the clergy of the diocese of Faisalabad, as Rector of the "St. Francis Xavier" interdiocesan Philosophical Seminary in the Archdiocese of Lahore .<br />The new Rector was born in Okara on 17 January 1973 and was ordained a priest on 1 October 2001. He studied philosophy at the "St. Francis Xavier Seminary" of Lahore and theology at the "Christ the King Serminary" in Karachi, he obtained a licentiate in Liturgy at "Sant'Anselmo" Pontifical Liturgical Institute in Rome, then attended a year of formation to work in the seminary in Dublin . After his diaconal ordination he carried out his pastoral ministry in the diocese of Hyderabad, until he was sent to Rome for studies in liturgy. Since 2009 he has been teaching liturgy at the National Catholic Institute of Theology in Karachi and since 2012 at St. Francis Xavier Seminary. <br />Thu, 17 Oct 2019 09:36:21 +0200AFRICA/KENYA - Priest kidnapped and killedhttp://fides.org/en/news/66800-AFRICA_KENYA_Priest_kidnapped_and_killedhttp://fides.org/en/news/66800-AFRICA_KENYA_Priest_kidnapped_and_killedNairobi - The body of Fr. Michael Maingi Kyengo, vice parish priest of Thatha, in the diocese of Machakos, was kidnapped on October 8, and found buried near the banks of the Mashamba river, in Makima, in Embu county.<br />Fr. Kyengo, 43, was last seen on October 8th. On October 11, family members reported the disappearance to the police.<br />The investigators managed to stop a suspect, who had taken possession of the missing priest’s cell phone, car and credit card. When cornered, the man led the police to the scene where Fr. Kyengo’s body was found. The murderer apparently strangled him and then cut the priest's throat.<br />The young man arrested, Michael Muthini Mutunga, 25, most probably had accomplices who are currently being sought.<br />Fr. Kyengo was ordained in 2012 and always served in the parish of Thatha. <br />Thu, 17 Oct 2019 13:30:36 +0200ASIA/AFGHANISTAN - Uncertain situation after the elections: "Afghans ask for peace, security, work"http://fides.org/en/news/66797-ASIA_AFGHANISTAN_Uncertain_situation_after_the_elections_Afghans_ask_for_peace_security_workhttp://fides.org/en/news/66797-ASIA_AFGHANISTAN_Uncertain_situation_after_the_elections_Afghans_ask_for_peace_security_workKabul - "Whether it is Ghani or Abdullah, the next president will have to struggle a lot before gaining the trust of Afghans, who ask for security, peace, work: things they have not had so far. The next president will also have to face the other big issue that has remained pending: the peace process with the Taliban. <br />Whatever happens, from the final election result of Afghanistan - which on paper should be revealed on November 7th, but will probably be postponed – nothing much is to be expected. According to available data, about 2 million Afghans voted regularly, one fifth of those registered on the electoral lists, one fifteenth of the total population. The deficit of legitimacy of the government and the institutions cannot be filled by such a partial and circumscribed vote". This is what Giuliano Battiston, analyst and author of several researches on Afghan civil society, tells Agenzia Fides with regards to the Afghan presidential elections held on September 28th.<br />The situation in the Asian country is still very uncertain: "After more than two weeks, the independent electoral commission has not yet clarified how many total votes, which should be considered valid and which are not, such as the voting percentages in each of the 34 Afghan provinces", notes Battiston. And he adds: "There are many controversies: on the reliability of the system adopted, on the inclusion or not in the final count of the votes that have not been validated through biometric identification tools, on the same transparency of the Electoral Commission, which undergoes political pressure from all parties involved, within a political climate of profound uncertainty and concern".<br />Meanwhile, the two main candidates, incumbent president, Ashraf Ghani, and "prime minister" Abdullah Abdullah, have both declared that they have won. From here, explains the researcher, the concern that the same situation as 2014 could repeat itself: "At the time, Ghani and Abdullah, accused each other of fraud, tension rose and the then US Secretary of State, John Kerry intervened, imposing a national unity government. <br />This time, however, the United States does not seem willing to play the role of mediator, and a further political compromise that does not respect the popular will would be poorly digested by the population, already critical of the excessive interference of the external actors in Afghan politics", concludes Battiston.<br />Meanwhile, in Afghanistan, the war continues. Among the recent attacks, on Wednesday, October 16, in the Alishang district an explosive-laden truck, located near a police headquarters, caused the death of at least three security officers and injured dozens of people, mostly children.<br />"We firmly believe that Jesus Christ is the Lord and King of the universe, He wants to reign over all nations. And his kingdom is "a kingdom of truth and life, a kingdom of holiness and grace, a kingdom of justice, love and peace". We pray the for our salvation in Afganistan", was the appeal launched a few weeks ago by the Barnabite priest, responsible for the Missio sui iuris in Afghanistan, Father Giovanni Scalese. <br />Thu, 17 Oct 2019 13:22:25 +0200AFRICA/MOZAMBIQUE - Peaceful vote, despite tensions on the evehttp://fides.org/en/news/66792-AFRICA_MOZAMBIQUE_Peaceful_vote_despite_tensions_on_the_evehttp://fides.org/en/news/66792-AFRICA_MOZAMBIQUE_Peaceful_vote_despite_tensions_on_the_eveMaputo - The presidential, political and provincial elections in Mozambique took place yesterday, October 15th. According to information gathered by Fides, the vote was not marked by episodes of violence, despite a tense eve, fueled also by the killing, by a special police unit on October 7 in the south of the country, of an electoral observer, Anastâcio Matavel, and instability in the north due to the presence of jihadist groups.<br />Some problems were also reported in the accreditation of electoral observers. For example, in the province of Tete, the local Diocesan "Justice and Peace" Commission complained that out of 698 own electoral observers, only 115 had received accreditation from the government in the immediacy of the vote. <br />The historic rivalry between the ruling party Frelimo and former armed opposition Renamo , which had clashed in the long civil war had rekindled in recent years. Renamo accuses Frelimo of being in power since 1975 by resorting to fraud and corruption.<br />On the eve of Pope Francis' visit to Mozambique, President Filipe Nyusi and leader Renamo Ossufo Momade signed a historic peace agreement on 6 August, which allowed the free and peaceful conduct of the vote .<br />In addition to the President of the Republic, the electors were called to elect 250 members of the Parliament, 794 members of the provincial assemblies and for the first time 10 provincial governors. <br />Wed, 16 Oct 2019 13:32:08 +0200VATICAN - Extraordinary missionary Month: the first missionary activity is prayerhttp://fides.org/en/news/66795-VATICAN_Extraordinary_missionary_Month_the_first_missionary_activity_is_prayerhttp://fides.org/en/news/66795-VATICAN_Extraordinary_missionary_Month_the_first_missionary_activity_is_prayerVatican City - "Pauline Jaricot, a French lay woman, now Venerable, who in 1822 founded the Society of the Propagation of the Faith, conceived and placed prayer at the beginning of the missionary activity. She gathered people to pray for the missions and, some years later, she created the 'living Rosary', a network that still exists today. These are groups of twenty people who, each month after a Eucharist, are given a Mystery of the Rosary to pray for. Each of them has a different Mystery, so all twenty mysteries will be recited in that month, thanks to the spiritual union of the group members. Today we want to emphasize that the prayer of the Rosary is still fundamental for the Pontifical Society of the Propagation of the Faith, which supports and finances many concrete projects of an ecclesial and missionary nature in the world. As Pope Francis remarked, the first missionary activity is prayer": this is what Fr. Tadeusz J. Nowak, of the Oblates of Maria Immaculate , Secretary General of the Pontifical Society of the Propagation of the Faith said, who spoke at the presentation of "ClickTo Pray eRosary", launched on the occasion of the Extraordinary Missionary Month, announced by Pope Francis for October 2019.<br />"ClickTo Pray eRosary" is a digital bracelet that activates by making the sign of the cross. It is an interactive, intelligent device, which works through a downloadable application at no cost, presented by the Pope's World Prayer Network. The App is called Click To Pray, and "is aimed primarily at young people, hoping to teach how to pray the Rosary". <br /><br />Wed, 16 Oct 2019 13:27:09 +0200ASIA/MIDDLE EAST - Middle East Council of Churches: the territorial unity of Syria must be safeguardedhttp://fides.org/en/news/66794-ASIA_MIDDLE_EAST_Middle_East_Council_of_Churches_the_territorial_unity_of_Syria_must_be_safeguardedhttp://fides.org/en/news/66794-ASIA_MIDDLE_EAST_Middle_East_Council_of_Churches_the_territorial_unity_of_Syria_must_be_safeguardedBeirut - The Middle East Council of Churches followed with deep sorrow and pain the martyrdom and wounding of hundreds of Iraqis last week, and is currently following with greater pain the Turkish attacks on northeastern Syria, which would potentially have "serious repercussions on its territorial integrity", and thus exacerbate the humanitarian situation of refugees and displaced persons. Therefore, the MECC raises its prayers for the "end of all forms of violence and for the protection of human dignity which is the pillar of any peace or stability, while affirming the right of peoples to self-determination, in line with Arab and international instruments, and upon values of love, justice, human rights and common responsibility in peacebuilding". The MECC calls upon the consciences of stakeholders to stop "the cycle of war and violence in the blessed region of the East".<br />The Middle East Council of Churches, founded in 1974 in Nicosia and currently based in Beirut, aims to facilitate the convergence of Middle Eastern Christian communities on topics of common interest and to favor the overcoming of contrasts of a confessional nature. <br />Professor Souraya Bechealany, Christian Maronite, professor of theology at the Université Saint-Joseph de Beyrouth, was elected Secretary General of the MECC in January 2018, and together with her collaborators undertook a process of restructuring the departments of the ecumenical body <br />Wed, 16 Oct 2019 13:15:51 +0200