Thursday, March 26, 2009
Saturday, March 21, 2009
“Africa is called to hope through you and in you! With Jesus Christ who had walked on the African soil, Africa can become the continent of hope”, said Pope Benedict XVI addressing the bishops of Cameroon, the representatives of the African Bishops’ Conference, the priests and the faithful, during the Mass celebrated in the Amadou Ahidjo stadium of Yaoundé on the occasion of the publication of the Instrumentum Laboris of the 2nd Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for Africa - to be held in Rome next October. On the liturgical Feast of Saint Joseph marked today, the Pope exhorted all the fathers and mothers of family “to trust in God” encouraging them “in this time, in which many unscrupulous persons are trying to impose the kingdom of money thus despising indigent people” not to let themselves be lured by false glory and false ideals,” but to ask God “the strength to educate your family as He wish”. Emphasising the many difficulties faced each day by African populations in social contexts that are profoundly changing, Benedict XVI in particular addressed the youth calling on them to “keep their courage in facing the hardships of life” for “your existence is extremely valuable in God’s eyes”. The mass was preceded this morning by a meeting with the representatives of the Muslim community in Cameroon, held in the Apostolic Nuncio’s residence of Yaoundé. The Pontiff defined the meeting as a “clear sign of the desire” to “find occasions for exchanging views on how religion is making a fundamental contribution to the understanding of our culture and of our world and to the peaceful coexistence of all the members of the human family”. Benedict XVI ended his speech to the Muslim community, encouraging everyone “to work together in order to build a civilisation of love. May the enthusiastic co-operation between Muslims, Catholics, and other Christians in Cameroon be, for other African regions, a bright light on the huge potential of an inter-religious commitment to peace, justice, and common good”. Speaking yesterday to the Bishops of Cameroon, Benedict XVI invited them to “firmly preserve the fundamental values of the African family, making its deep evangelisation one of their main priorities”. Pope Benedict XVI this afternoon will visit the national rehabilitation centre for disabled and this evening will discuss with the next Synod with the Bishops, giving a new speech and new recommendations.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
"Human rights are closely linked to the church's mission in the world. They are the basis of social and international peace. What social, economic, political, or cultural program that describes itself as "humanistic" could fail to bring "the human person" to the fore? Yet human rights are violated, undermining these humanistic premises." John Paull II, Redeemer of Man #17
Sunday, March 8, 2009
For International Women's Day we missionaries know well the price women have paid in the 19 countries we work worldwide. This song is a tribute to those women who carry great burdens and yet continue to feed and nurture their families.
The main purpose of interreligious dialogue is to break down walls between religions, said Archbishop Joseph Marino, apostolic nuncio to Bangladesh.
Bhai Piara Singh speaking at the gathering. Archbishop Joseph Marino is seated behind (extreme left).
He was speaking to a gathering of 150 Christians and Sikhs at a Sikh temple in Dhaka on Feb. 28. The Interreligious Dialogue Commission of the Bangladeshi bishops' conference organized the event, which is believed to be the first such dialogue between the two religions.
"We learn from each other through such dialogue," said Archbishop Marino at the event. The Christian participants included Catholic nuns, seminarians, priests and a few Protestant pastors.
Ten speakers addressed the theme "Unity of God and of mankind."
"We believe in only one God who wants all mankind to be united," stated Bhai Piara Singh, head grantha or chief priest at the Gurdwara Nanak Shahi temple stated.
Nurul Islam, chairman of the University of Dhaka's Department of World Religion, stressed that "we must have interreligious dialogue for religious pluralism, and respect and tolerance between followers of different religions."
Islam, who is also director of the university's Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue, added, "I have profound respect for the teaching of Christ who taught mankind to be united with God."
He pointed out, "Though Christians are few in number in Bangladesh, they can bring about peace through dialogue."
The event included a question-and-answer session to help Christians and Sikhs understand each other's religions better. After this, they attended a worship session led by the Sikhs, and ended the gathering with a lunch.
Narayan Robi Das, executive member of the Bangladesh Gurdwara Management Committee, told UCA News that such "interreligious dialogue will be continued in the future."
Das' committee manages all Sikh religious activity in the country,
There are about 150 million people in Bangladesh. Muslims form 88.3 percent, Hindus 10.5 percent, Buddhists 0.6 percent and Christians 0.3 percent. There are only about 100,000 Sikhs, who form approximately 0.07 percent of the population.