Pope treats 35 Catholic saints, three three martyred children as sacred people

By NewsDesk, with Agency report

The Pope Francis has treated  35 new Roman Catholic saints as sacred persons, including three indigenous children martyred in 16th century Mexico and considered as first Christians killed for their faith in the New World.

Howevern, Francis took opportunity of the occasion to announced that he had decided to call a meeting of bishops, from countries in the Pan-Amazon region, which he said has been slated for October, 2019, during which him and delegates would be discussing condition of the Church in the area and that of plight of indigenous people.

According to him, the region on list of invitation includes Guyana, Suriname, French Guyana, Venezuela, Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia, Peru and Brazil.

It was repoted that the three children the pope canonized before a crowd of tens of thousands in St. Peter’s Square were of the Talaxcaltec people, an indigenous pre-Colombian group in what is now Mexico.

The Pop related that the first child, Cristoforo, was converted to Christianity by Franciscan missionaries and was killed in 1527 by his own father, a tribal chief who spurned his son’s attempts to convert him from paganism.

“The boy was beaten and thrown into a fire when he was 13” he added.

“Two other indigenous children from the same area, Antonio and Juan, were killed by Indios in the village of Cuauhtinchan in 1529 as a result of their conversion. They are believed to have been 12 or 13 when they were beaten to death for helping Dominican missionaries”.

The pope also canonized 30 martyrs who were killed for their faith in Brazil in 1645, the event which was reported to have included two Portuguese missionaries and 28 followers killed by Dutch colonial soldiers during a period of persecution of Catholics.

In announcing the 2019 synod for bishops from the Amazon region, Francis said that indigenous people at the zoes were often abandoned and without the prospect of a bright future, even due to the crisis of the Amazon Forest, a lung of utmost importance for our planet”.

Francis, an Argentine and the first Latin American pope, has often linked his calls for social justice, particularly for indigenous people, to those for defense of the environment, saying the poor will suffer the most from the effects of climate change.

In 2015 he wrote a landmark encyclical, or papal letter, on defense of the environment and he has called for special protection for the Amazon region because of its vital importance to the planet’s ecosystem.

In his comments on Sunday, the pope did not mention the role of the Church in suppressing native cultures in the New World.

But during a visit to Bolivia in 2015, Francis said “many grave sins were committed against the native people of America in the name of God”. He asked forgiveness for the Church, for “crimes committed against native peoples during the so-called conquest of America”.

On Sunday, Francis also canonized Father Faustino Miguez, a Spanish priest who lived in the 19th and 20th centuries, and Father Angelo d‘Acri, an Italian itinerant preacher who died in 1739 after serving in some of the most remote areas of mountainous southern Italy.

Vatican treasurer, Pell, arraign over sex violence

By Newsdesk

The Treasurer, Vatican church, Cardinal George Pell, has been arraigned before a magistrate court in Australia over alleged sexual offence in the country.

Pell, who is the most senior Roman Catholic Official, was arraigned before the court to answer what the police described as historical sexual offences.

The 76-year-old top adviser to Pope Francis did not speak as he was escorted to and from Melbourne Magistrates’ Court by police through a group of media, protesters and supporters.

He was not required to enter a plea, because the charges have not been made public, considering multiple complainants from worshipers.

Pell’s lawyers have disclosed recently at a previous hearing that he would plead not guilty to all charges when arraigned before the magistrate.

At a 20-minute hearing, the magistrate adjourn the case to next year for a committal hearing to determine whether it should proceed to a full trial.

CAN sues for peace, unity during Nigeria Independence anniversary

By Newsdesk

As Nigeria celebrates its 57th Independence anniversary, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), has appealed to Nigerians to have hope in the country and not to lose faith in Nigeria’s ability to regain its lost glory.

The religious body argued that in spite of the pains and failures being experienced in some sectors in Nigeria, there were still many reasons to celebrate and be grateful.

Public Relations Officer of CAN, Northern chapter, Rev. John Hayab, on Saturday, made the appeal in a statement made available to newsmen in Kaduna state.

Hayab said that the next generation must be inspired by their parents and others to dream, work and hope for brighter future for the country.

“Our children must be made to see hope for a brighter future, our leaders and elders must strive to keep a good legacy. We should all work to ensure a peaceful society.

“Those who specialise in speaking evil and instigating others against their fellow citizens should have a rethink. Our government should learn to listen to the advice of citizens while the citizens should be patient with government and render honest support.

“We all should be patriotic and give our honest contributions to making this nation greater than what and where we are now,” the religious body spokesman added.

Hayab said that the country had mourned and cried enough and called on the citizens to always look for reasons to celebrate the country’s greatness rather than being negative all the time.

“God bless our great country Nigeria and we wish all a happy 57th independence anniversary,’’ the clergy said.

Yemeni Catholic priest rescue 18 months after abduction

By Newsdesk

After 18 months of abduction by militants from a home for the aged in Yemen, an Indian Catholic priest, Tom Uzhunnalil, has regain freedom from his captivity.

He was abducted by militants last year when they attacked the home, killing 16 persons including four nuns, and destroyed the chapel and the center before leaving.

Before his abduction, Uzhunnalil had been working for over four years as a chaplain at the home in southern Yemen established by Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, where no fewer than 80 residents use the home.

Confirming his rescue through his social media on Tuesday, India’s external Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj, disclosed that Uzhunnalil had been rescued but gave no details.

Pope Francis sustains head injury in Colombia

By Newsdesk

Pope Francis has sustained minor injuries after he lost his balance and bumped his head against a vehicle barrier while riding in the popemobile during his visit to Cartagena, Colombia.

The popemobile, is a customized vehicle designed with bulletproof glass designed, aimed at protecting him while he greets crowds during the tour.

It was gathered that the 80-year-old Catholic Pontiff appeared to be leaning outside a glass panel in front of him when the vehicle stopped and his face made contact with the barrier.

After the incident, sources narrated that he suffered bruised on his cheekbone and cut his left eyebrow with blood staining his white cassock after leaving the vehicle.

A spokesman for the pope confirmed the injuries, which were captured on video, saying, he has a wound on his cheekbone and eyebrow. And had started received ice treatment. But he is fine.

Pope Francis has been in the country since Wednesday, in a visit aimed at restoring peace to the country, has visited cities of Bogota, Medellin and Cartagena. But left Colombia also on Sunday after appealing to the country to untie the knots of violence following 50-year civil war.

Christian body to host women prayer camp meeting

By NewsDesk

A Christian body, Holy Spirit Mission, also known as Happy Family Chapel, would be hosting thousands of women to an extra-ordinary prayer conference slated between 16 and 19 of August, from  8.am to 12 noon at the Chapel in Akowonjo, Egbeda axis of Lagos.

Distinguished women from United States of America and Nigeria are to speak at the event tagged “When Mama Prays”.

The Chief Host of the prayer conference, Rev. Carol Ighele, said that the programme is a praying and teaching conference for females, under ages of 16 years and above, adding that, women are important member of  family and  homemaker and builder.

Through program features, the body stated that once  women have right focus, children would grow right, husband would be happy and society at large would benefit from it.

“Our focus is to train the woman and the girl child spiritually. It is our annual camp meeting. We expose the women on the challenges of womanhood and how they can become better persons in the society. After the conference, if you were a doctor, you would become a better doctor and if you were a teacher, you would become a better teacher.

“Ours is a kingdom agenda. We are working to ensure that the kingdom of God is experienced her on earth. The event would start on Thursday 16 August and end on Sunday.

“Our speakers are drawn from all over the world and in Nigeria. We empower women in every area. We teach them how to be entrepreneurs, ministers. It is a total package. We implore women to come with their children who are 16years and above,” he added.

Speakers for the even are: Pastor Angela Okotie-Eboh, Pastor Theresa Johnson and many others from USA.

Prayer: For trust in a special relationship

Prepared by Knowing Jesus

Oh God I come to You saddened in soul and with a heart that is breaking. You brought a special person into my life, for which I thank You Lord, and we were so happy together for a time – but for many reasons, including my jealous nature, things have gone sour between us and we have moved apart.

Lord I confess to You that I acted in a way that was not appropriate and did not permit trust between us to develop and to grow as it should. Look down on us in pity I pray – and ask that You would open up an opportunity for us to be properly reconciled so that we may build up our relationship together.

Lord I know that so often when we make foolish mistakes we have to take the responsibility for the outcome, which is not always the way that we would hope – but I do pray that our relationship is not finished and that in Your grace You would restore again the joy of being together and the special love we had for each other.

Change Me Lord – remove this jealous streak that has caused me so many problems in my life I pray,– for I know that this is not from You Lord – and make me more like the Lord Jesus, not only in my actions but in my attitudes and emotions. May Your will be done in our lives and even if we do not get back together – Lord, I pray that we may be reconciled, so that we may separate graciously and not in the current animosity. I ask this in Jesus name,

Amen
“The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.”
(Proverbs 31:11)

“Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God,”
(Romans 2:17)

“And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.”
(Isaiah 32:17)

“That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.”
(1 Corinthians 2:5)

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.”
(Proverbs 3:5)

“{A Prayer of David.} Bow down thine ear, O LORD, hear me: for I am poor and needy.”
(Psalm 86:1)“{Shiggaion of David, which he sang unto the LORD, concerning the words of Cush the Benjamite.} O LORD my God, in thee do I put my trust: save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me:”
(Psalm 7:1)

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
(Matthew 6:33)

“O LORD of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.”
(Psalm 84:12)

Pope John Paul’s ex-aide,Tettamanzi, passes on at 83

By Newsdesk

A former aide to late Pope John Paul II (Karol Wojtyła), Cardinal, Dionigi Tettamanzi, has passed on at age 83, barely 14 years after he contested for post of Pontiff with Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI).

Tettamanzi, a renowned Italian activist and writer, who helped Pope John Paul draft some of his encyclicals, died in Milan, Italy, the country he was made a cardinal 19 years ago.

The death of one upon a time possible contender to post of Pope was announced on Saturday by the Milan diocese, one of world’s largest dioceses with some 5 million faithful and 1,000 parishes.

Tettamanzi was made archbishop of the Italian port city of Genoa in 1995 and in 2002 moved to nearby Milan to continue his service to the church.

Few minutes after his death was announced, the Milan’s mayor, Giuseppe Sala, has reacted with a statement describing Tettamanzi’s death as disappearance of a key figure of Milan’s social and religious history has disappeared.

Also, Pope Francis wrote to Milan’s outgoing Archbishop, Angelo Scola, and his successor, Mario Delpini, to express his condolences over the departure of the late Cardinal which he described as one of most loveable and beloved prelates of the Milanese diocese.

Before his death,  the late prolific writer helped Pope John Paul draft some of his encyclicals and was seen by some Vatican watchers as a potential candidate to replace the Polish pontiff when he died in 2005. But he was little known outside his native Italy and fellow cardinals instead elected Josef Ratzinger as pope.

While as archbishop of Genoa, Tettamanzi defended anti-globalization protesters, who besieged a Group of Eight summit there in 2001. “A single African child sick with AIDS counts more than the entire universe,” he said at the time.

He stood out by deciding that pilgrims visiting Genoa for the 2000 Holy Year should stop not only at the city’s great churches but also an old people’s home to get a special indulgence for the jubilee millennium year.

Tettamanzi was born in Renate near Milan in 1934. He began studying as a priest at the age of 11 and was ordained at 23 by the then-archbishop of Milan, Giovanni Battista Montini, who went on to become Pope Paul VI.

Churches must join sexual health education campaign-Expert

By Newsdesk and agency report

The Eastern Regional Technical Coordinator of the Technical Support Unit of the Ghana Aids Commission (GAC), Golda Asante, has urged religious houses especially churches to give strong support to promotion of sexual health education.

Asante added that it should help provide the people, particularly the youth, with access to adequate information about their sexuality and sexual relationship.

The coordinator made the appeal to religious houses on sexual health at a meeting held with the Men’s Fellowship of the Ascension Presbyterian Church in Koforidua, Ghana, arguing that the platform to discuss ways of curbing rising prostitution, homosexuality and lesbianism in the area.

Asante said the church should double its effort to assist people to make the right decisions and choices, just as she indicated that this should be done through education and information, saying, people needed to take decisions on their sexual orientation and relationship from well informed position

According to her, enforcement of the law on sex alone was not enough to make people to change their sexual orientation and this was why the church’s involvement is important because of its tremendous influence on worshipers could help to make a difference.

She encouraged Christian parents to have confidence to talk and discuss sex with their children, that is, exposing them to sex health would enable their members to instill the family’s sexual values in the young ones.

Asante made reference to campaign to get people in the region to voluntarily go for HIV-AIDS test, and said, the response had been encouraging.

She announced that in excess of 8,000 people went for the voluntary test within a space of three days – during this year’s Kwahu Easter Festival.

Pope sacks Vatican doctrine leader, Cardinal Mueller,

By Newsdesk and agency report

Pope Francis has sacked leader of the Vatican doctrine watchdog, Cardinal Gerhard Mueller, following allegations that he was a critic of the pope.

The pope retrenchment of the cardinal came exactly five years after he was appointed as the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF).

It was learned that Pope Francis met with the 69-year-old Mueller, an arch-conservative, and informed him that his mandate had come to an end.

The German cardinal is seen as a leading critic of Francis’ landmark Amoris Laetitia document which in 2016 suggested that people who were divorced and remarried could, under special circumstances, be allowed to take the Holy Communion.

In March, Mueller’s congregation was accused by clergy sex abuse survivor, Marie Collins, of resisting the work of a papal commission on child protection.

Pope Francis stand in defence of the church has brought sanity into the Roman Catholic church in recent time.

Efforts to get the Vatican press office to react over the alleged sack has proved abortive.