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Posted on 09/22/2023 22:30 PM (CNA Daily News)
ACI Prensa Staff, Sep 22, 2023 / 18:30 pm (CNA).
Two civil society organizations have launched a mobile unit traveling the main streets of Mexico City with the message “Classrooms are for learning, not for indoctrination!” in order to make known “society’s complaint due to the illegal indoctrination promoted by the federal government.”
The campaign, led by the National Union of Parents (UNPF) and the CitizenGO platform, demands that educational institutions stop using the controversial school textbooks developed for the 2023-2024 school year by the Mexican government under President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
The organizations maintain that distributing the textbooks was illegal because they were changed without either the parents or the educational community having been consulted about the content as stipulated by Article 48 of the General Law on Education.
The online petition calls out López Obrador for ordering the distribution of the textbooks throughout the country in violation of a judicial order to halt printing the books until the consultation could take place in accordance with the law.
The petition calls the distribution of the textbooks “arbitrary, illegal, and authoritarian.”
Furthermore, the UNPF and CitizenGo make the accusation that the educational material has the objective of “forming party members for the [president’s] political cause. They don’t want to form Mexicans with values or competitive abilities to move Mexico forward,” the petition states.
At the kickoff event for the truck, Karla García Escudero, a representative of the National Union of Parents, and Edith Juárez from the Citizen Initiative platform said the truck will travel the streets carrying a message to “demand that our children be the center of scientific education and not a pretext for political, much less ideological, issues.”
They also announced that through the CitizenGO platform they are collecting signatures from all those who want to join this cause. “To date, there are more than 118,000 of us compatriots who have freely given our support” through various means.
They stressed that “as long as the federal government and state governments continue to act illegally,” parents and citizen organizations will continue “acting together through public complaints, through legal means, and with signature collection campaigns.”
“Children are the future of our country and they need to be educated on a scientific basis and not with ideological ideas. That’s why we are and will continue to fight together, parents and citizens,” the organizers said at a press conference.
This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.
Posted on 09/22/2023 22:00 PM (CNA Daily News)
ACI Prensa Staff, Sep 22, 2023 / 18:00 pm (CNA).
Dominican Sister Lucía Caram, who lives in Spain but is Argentinian, said during a recent television program that she is in favor of homosexual couples being able to “marry in the Church.”
In the show called “Cuentos Chinos” (“Tall Tales”), host Jorge Javier Vázquez, who is openly homosexual, asked the religious: “Would you be in favor of gays getting married in the Church?” to which the nun responded: “I would be in favor of gays getting married in the Church because God always blesses love.”
In a previous comment, Caram also noted: “My best friend is gay. He’s Juan Carlos Cruz, who is a global LGTBI leader.”
Cruz is a Chilean activist and a victim of sexual abuse by the late Fernando Karadima, a priest who was dismissed from the clerical state.
In March 2021, Cruz was appointed by Pope Francis as a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors chaired by the archbishop of Boston, Cardinal Sean O'Malley.
When asked if two men who have sexual relations would be committing sin, Caram said: “I am not anyone to say that someone commits sin in anything. I think each person knows. To commit a sin… It is very complicated to want to do wrong. I am nobody to condemn anyone. And Jesus says we should not condemn anyone. So I would not condemn or say ‘this is a sin or this is not a sin.’ Not about anyone.”
The television host then asked if the nun would recommend two homosexual people to have sexual relations. “If they love each other… What do you want me to tell you! They do not have the vow of chastity that I have,” she responded.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church dedicates paragraphs 2357-2359 to chastity and homosexuality. The Church teaches that homosexual acts “are intrinsically disordered. They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.”
The Catechism also states that homosexual inclination constitutes for most people “a trial” and therefore “they must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity,” avoiding “all signs of unjust discrimination.” These people are called “if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.”
Finally, the compendium of the Church’s faith states that “homosexual people are called to chastity” and are encouraged to “by the virtues of self-mastery” with the support of disinterested friendship, prayer, and sacramental grace “to gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.”
After the nun’s response, the host of the program stated that Caram ought to be pope, to which she replied: “No. With Francisco we are very well. We have the best pope in history.”
When asked by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner, sources at the Order of Preachers in Spain explained that “the friars of Spain do not have any type of legal or canonical authority over the sisters” and that they understand that “Sister Lucía’s opinions or her statements are not in the name of the order; they are personal.”
In 2017, Caram sparked another controversy on a television program by questioning a principal dogma about Mary, the Mother of God. The sister said she understands that it is “very difficult to believe, to adhere to the issue of Mary’s virginity.”
Furthermore, the Dominican stated on that occasion that the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph had the relationship of a “normal couple,” which involved “having sex and having the normal relationship of a couple.”
On that occasion, the federation of Dominican nuns of the Immaculate Conception, which encampasses monasteries from Spain, Argentina, and Chile, said in a statement that “her status as a contemplative Dominican is not compatible with her activity in the communications media especially in those where the most sacred truths of our Catholic faith are denied and ridiculed.”
This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.
Posted on 09/22/2023 20:45 PM (CNA Daily News)
Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Sep 22, 2023 / 16:45 pm (CNA).
Catholic bishops in Canada will gather next week, the final week of September, to discuss a series of issues including the growth of euthanasia, the Church’s work in overseas development, and the protection of minors.
The 2023 Plenary Assembly of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), which is held annually, will begin on Monday, Sept. 25, and conclude on Thursday, Sept. 28. The meeting will take place in King City, Ontario, just outside of Toronto, and 79 Latin and Eastern-rite bishops are expected to participate.
One of the main topics to be discussed is the growth of euthanasia throughout Canada, which is known legally as Medical Assistance in Dying, or MAiD. Although voluntary euthanasia has been legal in Canada since 2016, a revision of that law going into effect in March 2024 will vastly expand eligibility.
More than 30,000 Canadians died from euthanasia between 2016 and 2021, and it has seen a growth in use annually. The revision, which will go into effect in less than six months, will make mental illness an eligible condition to receive approval for MAiD, opening the procedure up to significantly more people.
The Standing Committee for Family and Life, chaired by Archbishop Christian Lépine, will hold a panel discussion on this topic, which is meant to help the Church “engage with the urgency of promoting palliative care” rather than euthanasia.
Another aspect of the meeting will focus on Development and Peace — Caritas Canada, known as DPCC. This project encompasses charity and development work overseas. Clergy on the DPCC National Council will update the bishops on the activities since last year and will be joined by DPCC President Brenda Arakaza and Executive Director Carl Hétu.
The bishops will also discuss “safeguarding persons in vulnerable situations,” which includes minors. The Standing Committee for Responsible Ministry has been studying this issue over the past year and intends to discuss how to define vulnerability, how to reduce risks, and what behaviors to encourage on the part of the ministry.
Part of the meeting will also focus on the upcoming Synod on Synodality. According to the CCCB, there will be four Canadian bishops taking part in the synod and four non-bishop Catholics chosen by the Vatican.
“In order to help prepare the episcopal delegates, bishops present at the Plenary Assembly meeting will reflect on one of the three dimensions of synodality (communion, participation, and mission), guided by the questions in the Instrumentum Laboris and the results of the ‘national’ and ‘continental’ stages of the synod process,” a statement from the CCCB read.
The bishops will also review various reports from subcommittees, which will include topics such as liturgy, catechesis, and evangelization. Cardinal Luis Antonio Gokim Tagle from the Philippines will address the bishops virtually and the apostolic nuncio to Canada, Archbishop Ivan Jurkovič, will also give an address.
“A meeting of the Plenary Assembly is a solemn and momentous event in the life of the Church in Canada because it gathers together all the members of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), who total 79 bishops of the Latin and Eastern Churches across Canada,” a statement from the CCCB read. “Decisions taken by the Plenary Assembly are the highest instance of authority within the CCCB and represent the unity of action of all the bishops on a national level.”
Posted on 09/22/2023 19:30 PM (CNA Daily News)
CNA Staff, Sep 22, 2023 / 15:30 pm (CNA).
Isabel Vaughan-Spruce, the woman twice arrested for silent prayer outside U.K. abortion clinics, has received a police apology and confirmation that she will not face charges for violating a local “buffer zone” protection order.
Though Vaughan-Spruce said she would return to the clinic to pray, she warned that her treatment has implications for the future of basic freedoms in the U.K.
“This isn’t 1984, but 2023 — I should never have been arrested or investigated simply for the thoughts I held in my own mind,” Vaughan-Spruce said, alluding to George Orwell’s dystopian novel. “Silent prayer is never criminal,” she said in a Sept. 22 statement.
On March 6, Vaughan-Spruce was arrested for praying in a “buffer zone” outside an abortion clinic on Station Road, Birmingham. Local authorities had declared a Public Space Protection Order near the clinic, using a legal mechanism intended to prevent antisocial behavior.
Prohibited activities in this zone include approval or disapproval of abortion through protest, which “includes but is not limited to graphic, verbal, or written means, prayer, or counseling.” The order also bars interference, intimidation, or harassment, recording or photographic clinic staff or clients, and the display of any text or imagery related to abortion.
Vaughan-Spruce was previously arrested Dec. 6, 2022, for silent prayer outside the same abortion facility, which was closed at the time. In February, the Birmingham Magistrates’ Court acquitted her of all charges related to the first case.
West Midlands police apologized to Vaughan-Spruce for taking so long to close her second case. They said there would be no further investigation and no further action taken.
Vaughan-Spruce welcomed the end of the investigation and the police apology but said her case highlights “the extremely harmful implications” of what happened to her.
“What happened to me signals to others that they too could face arrest, interrogation, investigation, and potential prosecution if caught exercising their basic freedom of thought,” she said.
Police initially told Vaughan-Spruce the delay was due to her case being referred to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for charges, though CPS has denied this claim, according to ADF UK. CPS had no information about her second case and said police should not refer such cases to the CPS when they have the power to decide on charges themselves.
Vaughan-Spruce is the director of March for Life UK and helps support women in crisis pregnancies. She has regularly prayed near abortion clinics for 20 years.
“Now that authorities have twice settled on the conclusion that silent prayer is not a crime — a conclusion also reached by the Home Secretary last week — I am thankful to resume my practice of praying silently for women in crisis pregnancies,” she said.
Posted on 09/22/2023 18:53 PM (CNA Daily News)
Rome Newsroom, Sep 22, 2023 / 14:53 pm (CNA).
In Marseille on Friday, before a memorial to people lost at sea, Pope Francis said humanity is at a crossroads between fraternity and indifference regarding the migrant crisis.
“We can no longer watch the drama of shipwrecks, caused by the cruel trafficking and the fanaticism of indifference,” he said Sept. 22. “People who are at risk of drowning when abandoned on the waves must be rescued. It is a duty of humanity; it is a duty of civilization.”
“On the one hand, there is fraternity, which makes the human community flourish with goodness; on the other, indifference, which bloodies the Mediterranean. We find ourselves at a crossroads of civilization.”
The pope spoke during a meeting with local religious leaders at a memorial dedicated to sailors and migrants lost at sea on the first of a two-day visit to Marseille.
“Before us,” he said, “is the sea, a source of life, yet this place evokes the tragedy of shipwrecks, which cause death.”
“We are gathered in memory of those who did not make it, who were not saved. Let us not get used to considering shipwrecks as news stories, and deaths at sea as numbers: No, they are names and surnames, they are faces and stories, they are broken lives and shattered dreams,” he continued.
Francis is in Marseille to participate in the Mediterranean Encounter, the “Rencontres Mediterraneennes” — a gathering of some 120 young people of various creeds with bishops from 30 countries.
The day after the pope’s visit — and the concluding day of the encounter, Sunday, Sept. 24 — is the World Day of Migrants and Refugees.
The first quarter of 2023 was the deadliest since 2017 in the Central Mediterranean, with at least 441 people dying, though that’s considered an undercount. The U.N.’s International Organization for Migration (IOM) calls it a “persisting humanitarian crisis” that is “intolerable.” More than 20,000 people have died on Central Mediterranean migration routes since 2014.
Earlier this year, Pope Francis marked the 10-year anniversary of his first trip as pope: to Lampedusa, an island between Sicily and Tunisia and Libya, and the center of many migrant disasters.
In personal comments with journalists aboard the papal plane from Rome earlier in the day, Pope Francis lamented the “cruelty, a lack of humanity,” on Lampedusa, where hundreds of migrants have arrived almost every day in recent weeks.
The Italian island, which is smaller than eight square miles and has a population of about 6,400, has declared a state of emergency as it struggles to respond to the situation.
“I hope I have the courage to say everything I want to say,” the pope told Spanish journalist Eva Fernández of COPE Radio.
“After the Libyan concentration camps they throw them into the sea,” he said upon seeing a photo of a migrant child who arrived on Lampedusa.
At the memorial, Pope Francis asked for a moment of silence.
“We need to show some humanity: silence, weeping, compassion, and prayer. I now invite you to spend a moment of silence in memory of these brothers and sisters of ours: Let us be moved by their tragedies,” he said.
“God will bless us,” the pope added, “if on land and at sea we know how to take care of the weakest, if we can overcome the paralysis of fear and the disinterest that, with velvet gloves, condemns others to death.”
The memorial to those lost at sea is a Camargue cross, which comes from the Camargue area of France. The design of the cross represents the three theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity. The three tridents represent faith, the anchor represents hope, and the heart represents charity.
Posted on 09/22/2023 18:33 PM (CNA Daily News)
CNA Staff, Sep 22, 2023 / 14:33 pm (CNA).
Pope Francis on Friday entrusted a meeting of Mediterranean bishops and youth to the Virgin Mary during the first appointment of a two-day trip to Marseille, France.
After landing in the historic port city Sept. 22, the pope made his way to the Basilica of Notre Dame de la Garde, or the Basilica of Our Lady of the Guard, to ask for the intercession of Mary together with local priests, deacons, and religious.
The 19th-century basilica sits on the foundations of an ancient fort on a 489-foot limestone outcropping, the highest point of the city in southern France. Before the basilica, there was a medieval chapel on the same site.
Pope Francis is in Marseille to participate in the Mediterranean Encounter, the “Rencontres Méditerranéennes” — a gathering of some 120 young people of various creeds with bishops from 30 countries. The encounter is a “cultural festival” drawing together associations and groups committed to dialogue and ecological issues.
“We place under [Mary’s] mantle the fruit of the Rencontres Méditerranéennes, together with the expectations and hopes of your hearts,” the pope told clergy at the basilica Sept. 22.
The pope will join in the Mediterranean Encounter on the morning of Sept. 23.
Francis’ 27-hour trip will include an address to religious leaders, a private encounter with the poor, and the celebration of Mass. He will also meet with France’s President Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne.
The last pope to visit Marseille was Clement VII in 1533.
Father Karol Wojtyla, the future Pope John Paul II, also visited the city and the Basilica of Notre Dame de La Garde when he was a young priest studying in Rome.
Pope Francis said he is “in the company of great pilgrims” who have visited the basilica, such as Pope John Paul II, St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus, and St. Charles de Foucauld.
“In the biblical reading, the prophet Zephaniah exhorted us to joy and confidence, reminding us that the Lord our God is not far away, he is here, near to us, in order to save us,” the pope said.
“In a way, this message reminds us of the history of this basilica and what it represents,” he continued. “In fact, it was not founded in memory of a miracle or a particular apparition, but simply because, since the 13th century, the holy people of God have sought and found here, on the hill of La Garde, the presence of the Lord through the eyes of his holy Mother.”
“That is why, for centuries, the people of Marseille — especially those who navigate the waves of the Mediterranean — have been coming up here to pray,” he said.
Francis encouraged the 119 priests of the Archdiocese of Marseille, which serves approximately 742,000 Catholics, to take Mary and her gaze as an example for their priesthood.
“Even with all the many daily concerns, I beg you, do not detract from the warmth of God’s paternal and maternal gaze,” he said. “It is marvelous to generously dispense his forgiveness, that is, to always, always, loosen the chains of sin through grace and free people from those obstacles, regrets, grudges, and fears against which they cannot prevail alone.”
He reminded the priests of the beauty and joy of making the sacraments available to people in both happy and sad moments, “and of transmitting, in the name of God, unexpected hopes for his consoling presence, healing compassion, and moving tenderness.”
“Be close to all, especially the frail and less fortunate, and never let those who suffer lack your attentive and discreet closeness,” he said. “In this way, there will grow in them and also in you the faith that animates the present, the hope that opens to the future, and the charity that lasts forever.”
“Like Mary, let us bring the blessing and peace of Jesus everywhere, in every family and heart,” Pope Francis said.
Posted on 09/22/2023 17:42 PM (CNA Daily News)
CNA Newsroom, Sep 22, 2023 / 13:42 pm (CNA).
The Vatican on Sept. 21 released the final list of names of those participating in the upcoming Synod on Synodality assembly in October, including laypeople who will be full voting delegates at a Catholic Church synod for the first time.
The delegates are made up of representatives selected by bishops’ conferences and Eastern Catholic Churches, leaders in the Roman Curia, and 120 delegates personally selected by Pope Francis.
In total, 363 people will be able to vote in the 16th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, according to statistics released by the Holy See Press Office on July 7. Among them, 54 of the voting delegates are women.
In addition to the voting members, 75 other participants have been invited to the synod assembly to act as facilitators, experts, or spiritual assistants.
Here is full list of participants:
Cardinal Mario Grech of Malta
His Beatitude Ibrahim Isaac Sedrak, Patriarch of Alexandria, head of the Synod of The Coptic Catholic Church, Egypt
Cardinal Carlos Aguiar Retes, archbishop of Mexico City, Mexico
Archbishop Gerardo Cabrera Herrera, OFM, of Guayaquil, Ecuador
Archbishop Timothy John Costelloe, SDB, of Perth, Australia
Bishop Daniel Ernest Flores of Brownsville, Texas, USA
Bishop Lúcio Andrice Muandula of Xai-Xai, Mozambique
Father Giuseppe Bonfrate, Italy
Sister Maria De Los Dolores Palencia, CSJ, Mexico
Momoko Nishimura, SEMD, Japan
Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, SJ, archbishop of Luxembourg
Father Giacomo Costa, SJ, Italy, president of Fondazione Culturale San Fedele of Milan, national spiritual companion of the Italian Christian Workers Associations
Father Riccardo Battocchio, Italy, rector of the Almo Collegio Capranica, president of the Italian Theological Association
Commission for Information
President: Paolo Ruffini, prefect of the Dicastery for Communication, Vatican City
Secretary: Sheila Leocádia Pires, communications officer, Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC), Mozambique
From the Eastern Catholic Churches
His Beatitude Ibrahim Isaac Sedrak, Coptic Church Patriarch of Alexandria, head of the Synod of the Coptic Catholic Church
His Beatitude Youssef Absi, patriarch of Antioch of the Greek-Melkites, head of the Synod of the Greek Melkite Catholic Church
His Beatitude Ignace Youssef Iii Younan, patriarch of Antioch of the Syrians, head of the Synod of the Syrian Catholic Church
Cardinal Béchara Boutros Raï, OMM, patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites, head of the Synod of the Maronite Church
Bishop Mounir Khairallah of Batrun of the Maronites
Cardinal Louis Raphaël I Sako, patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans, head of the Synod of the Chaldean Church
His Beatitude Raphaël Bedros XXI Minassian, ICPB, patriarch of Cilicia of Armenians, head of the Synod of the Armenian Catholic Church
His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk, Major Archbishop of Kyiv-Halyc, Kyiv, head of the Synod of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church
Bishop Teodor Martynyuk, MSU, Titular Bishop of Mopta, auxiliary bishop of Ternopil-Zboriv
Monsignor Bohdan Dzyurakh, CSSR, Apostolic Exarch of Germany and Scandinavia, titular bishop of Vagada
Cardinal George Alencherry, major archbishop of Ernakulam-Angamaly, head of the Synod of the Syro-Malabar Church
Metropolitan Archbishop Andrews Thazhath of Trichur, president of the Catholic bishops’ conference of India
Archbishop Joseph Pamplany of Tellicherry, India
His Beatitude Cardinal Baselios Cleemis Thottunkal, head of the Synod of the Syro-Malankara Church
Bishop Cristian Dumitru Crişan, titular bishop of Abula, auxiliary bishop of Fagaras Si Alba Iulia Dei Romanians
Cardinal Berhaneyesus Demerew Souraphiel, metropolitan archbishop of Addis Abeba, president of the Ethiopian and Eritrean bishops’ conference, president of the Council of the Ethiopian Church
Metropolitan Archbishop William Charles Skurla of the Byzantine Archeparchy of Pittsburgh, president of the Council of the Ruthenian Church
Bishop Milan Lach, SJ, auxiliary bishop of Bratislava, Slovakia
Metropolitan Archbishop Menghesteab Tesfamariam of Asmara, president of the Council of the Eritrean Church
Metropolitan Archbishop Fülöp Kocsis of Hajdúdorog for the Byzantine Catholics, president of the Council of the Hungarian Church
Northern Africa (CERNA)
Cardinal Cristóbal López Romero, SDB, archbishop of Rabat, Morocco
Angola and Sao Tome
Bishop Joaquim Nhanganga Tyombe of of Uíje, Angola
Archbishop Coffi Roger Anoumou, bishop of Lokossa
Botswana, South Africa, and Eswatini
Archbishop Anton Dabula Mpako, archbishop of Pretoria, military ordinary of South Africa
Burkina Faso and Niger
Archbishop Gabriel Sayaogo of Koupéla, Burkina Faso
Archbishop Georges Bizimana, bishop of Ngozi
Archbishop Emmanuel Dassi Youfang of Bafia
Bishop Philippe Alain Mbarga of Ebolowa
Bishop Nicolas Nadji Bab of Laï
Republic of Congo
Bishop Ildevert Mathurin Mouanga of Kinkala
Democratic Republic of Congo
Archbishop Marcel Utembi Tapa of Kisangani
Bishop Pierre-Célestin Tshitoko Mamba of Luebo
Côte D’ivoire (Ivory Coast)
Archbishop Marcellin Kouadio Yao of Daloa
Archbishop Markos Ghebremedhin, CM, apostolic vicar of Jimma-Bonga, titular bishop of Gummi of Proconsulari
Archbishop Jean-Patrick Iba-Ba of Libreville
Gambia and Sierra Leone
Archbishop Edward Tamba Charles of Freetown, Sierra Leone
Bishop Emmanuel Kofi Fianu, SVD, of Ho
Archbishop Gabriel Charles Palmer-Buckle of Cape Coast
Archbishop Vincent Coulibaly of Conarkry
Bishop Juan Domingo-Beka Esono Ayang, CMF, of Mongomo, president of the Episcopal Conference
Archbishop Martin Kivuva Musonde of Mombasa, president of the Episcopal Conference
Archbishop Anthony Muheria of Nyeri
Bishop John Joale Tlhomola, SCP, of Mohale’s Hoek
Bishop Anthony Fallah Borwah of Gbarnga
Auxiliary Bishop Jean Pascal Andriantsoavina of Antananavarivo, titular bishop of Zallata
Archbishop George Desmond Tambala, OCD, of Lilongwe, apostolic administrator of Zomba
Bishop Hassa Florent Koné of San
Archbishop Inácio Saure, IMC, of Nampula
Archbishop Liborius Ndumbukuti Nashenda, OMI, of Windhoek
Bishop Donatus Aihmiosion Ogun, OSA, of Uromi
Archbishop Ignatius Ayau Kaigama of Abuja
Archbishop Lucius Iwejuru Ugorji of Owerri
Indian Ocean (CEDOI)
Bishop Alain Harel of Port Victoria
Central African Republic
Bishop Nestor-Désiré Nongo-Aziagbia, SMA, of Bossangoa
Bishop Edouard Sinayobye of Cyangugu
Senegal, Mauritania, Cape Verde, and Guinea-Bissau
Bishop Ildo Augusto Dos Santos Lopes Fortes of Mindelo, Cape Verde
Archbishop Stephen Ameyu Martin Mulla of Juba, South Sudan
Archbishop Jude Thaddaeus Ruwa'ichi, OFM Cap, of Dar-Es-Salaam
Bishop Flavian Kassala of Geita
Bishop Dominique Banlène Guigbile of Dapaong
Bishop Sanctus Lino Wanok of Lira
Archbishop Ignatius Chama of Kasama
Bishop Raphael Macebo Mabuza Ncube of Hwange
Archbishop Charles Jason Gordon of Porto of Spain
Bishop Óscar Vicente Ojea of San Isidro
Archbishop Marcelo Daniel Colombo of Mendoza
Archbishop Carlos Alfonso Azpiroz Costa, OP, of Bahía Blanca
Bishop Pedro Luis Fuentes Valencia, CP, of La Paz, Titular Bishop of Temuniana
Bishop Joel Portella Amado of São Sebastião do Rio De Janeiro, titular bishop of Carmeiano
Bishop Pedro Carlos Cipollini of Santo André
Cardinal Paulo Cezar Costa of Brasília
Archbishop Leonardo Ulrich Steiner, OFM, of Manaus
Bishop Dirceu De Oliveira Medeiros of Camaçari
Bishop Marc Pelchat of Québec, titular bishop of Lambesi
Bishop Raymond Poisson of Saint-Jérôme-Mont-Laurier
Archbishop John Michael Miller, CSB, of Vancouver
Bishop William Terrence Mcgrattan of Calgary
Archbishop Luis Fernando Ramos Pérez of Puerto Montt
Bishop Carlos Alberto Godoy Labraña of Santiago de Chile, titular bishop of Pudenziana
Archbishop Luis José Rueda Aparicio of Bogotá
Archbishop Ricardo Antonio Tobón Restrepo of Medellín
Archbishop José Miguel Gómez Rodríguez of Manizales
Bishop Javier Gerardo Román Arias of Limón
Bishop Marcos Pirán of Holguín, titular bishop of Boseta
Archbishop Luis Gerardo Cabrera Herrera, OFM, of Guayaquil
Bishop David Israel De La Torre Altamirano, SsCc, of Quito, titular bishop of Bagai
Bishop William Ernesto Iraheta Rivera of Santiago De María
Bishop Juan Manuel Cuá Ajacúm of Los Altos, titular bishop of Rosella
Archbishop Launay Saturné of Cap-Haïtie, president of the episcopal conference
Archbishop José Vicente Nácher Tatay, CM, of Tegucigalpa
Bishop Gerardo Díaz Vázquez of Tacámbaro
Bishop Oscar Efraín Tamez Villarreal of Ciudad Victoria
Archbishop Faustino Armendáriz Jiménez of Durango
Bishop Adolfo Miguel Castaño Fonseca of Azcapotzalco
Bishop Sócrates René Sándigo Jirón of León
Bishop Edgardo Cedeño Muñoz, SVD, of Penonomé
Bishop Miguel Ángel Cabello Almada of Concepción En Paraguay
Archbishop Héctor Miguel Cabrejos Vidarte, OFM, of Trujillo
Bishop Edinson Edgardo Farfán Córdova, OSA, Bishop Prelate of Chuquibambilla
Cardinal Archbishop Pedro Ricardo Barreto Jimeno, SJ, of Huancayo
Bishop Rubén Antonio González Medina, CMF, of Ponce
Bishop Ramón Alfredo De La Cruz Baldera of San Francisco De Macorís
United States of America
Bishop Timothy Broglio, military ordinary of the United States of America
Bishop Daniel Ernest Flores of Brownsville, Texas
Bishop Robert Emmet Barron of Winona-Rochester, Minnesota
Bishop Kevin Carl Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Indiana
Cardinal Timothy Michael Dolan, archbishop of New York
Bishop Milton Luis Tróccoli Cebedio of Maldonado-Punta Del Este-Minas
Bishop Juan Carlos Bravo Salazar of Petare
Archbishop José Luis Azuaje Ayala of Maracaibo
Cardinal Giorgio Marengo, IMC, Apostolic Prefect of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Archbishop Bejoy Nicephorus D’cruze, OMI, of Dhaka
China (Chinese Regional Bishops’ Conference)
Bishop Norbert Pu of Kiayi, Taiwan
Archbishop Peter Chung Soon-Taick, OCD, of Seoul
Bishop Pablo Virgilio S. David of Kalookan
Cardinal Archbishop Jose F. Advincula of Manila
Bishop Mylo Hubert C. Vergara of Pasig
Archbishop Tarcisio Isao Kikuchi, SVD, of Tokyo
Cardinal Filipe Neri António Sebastião Do Rosário Ferrão, archbishop of Goa and Damão
Archbishop George Antonysamy of Madras and Mylapore
Bishop Alex Joseph Vadakumthala of Kannur
Cardinal Anthony Poola, Archbishop of Hyderabad
Bishop Antonius Subianto Bunjamin, OSC, of Bandung
Bishop Adrianus Sunarko, OFM, of Pangkalpinang
Archbishop Dominique Mathieu, OFM Conv, of Tehran-Ispahan of the Latins
Laos and Cambodia
Father Enrique Figaredo Alvargonzalez, SJ, Apostolic Prefect of Battambang, Cambodia
Cardinal William Seng Chye Goh, archbishop of Singapore
Bishop John Saw Yaw Han of Kengtung
Monsignor Paolo Martinelli, OFM Cap, apostolic vicar of South Arabia
Monsignor Khalid Rehmat, OFM Cap, apostolic vicar of Quetta
Bishop Raymond Kingsley Wickramasinghe of Galle
Cardinal Francis Xavier Kriengsak Kovithavanij, archbishop of Bangkok
Cardinal Virgilio Do Carmo Da Silva, SDB, archbishop of Díli
Bishop Joseph Đo Manh Hùng of Phan Thiêt
Bishop Louis Nguyên Anh Tuán of Hà Tinh
Archbishop Arjan Dodaj, FDC, of Tiranë-Durrës
Archbishop Franz Lackner, OFM, of Salzburg
Bishop Koenraad Vanhoutte of Mechelen-Brussels, titular bishop of Tagora
Bishop Aliaksandr Yasheuski, SDB, of Minsk-Mohilev, titular bishop of Fornos Major
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bishop Marko Semren, OFM, of Banja Luka, titular bishop of Abaradira
Bishop Strahil Veselinov Kavalenov of Nicopolis
The Czech Republic
Bishop Zdenek Wasserbauer of Praha, titular bishop of Butrint
International Episcopal Conference of Sts. Cyril and Methodius
Archbishop Ladislav Nemet, SVD, of Beograd, Serbia, president of the episcopal conference
Bishop Ivan Ćurić, Auxiliary of Ðakovo-Osijek, titular bishop of Tela
Archbishop Paolo Pezzi, FSCB, of Mother of God in Moscow
Bishop Alexandre Joly of Troyes
Bishop Jean-Marc Eychenne of Grenoble-Vienne
Bishop Matthieu Rougé of Nanterre
Bishop Benoît Bertrand of Mende
Bishop Georg Bätzing of Limburg
Bishop Bertram Johannes Meier of Augsburg
Bishop Franz-Josef Overbeck of Essen, military ordinary for the Federal Republic of Germany
Great Britain (England and Wales)
Archbishop John Wilson of Southwark
Bishop Marcus Stock of Leeds
Great Britain (Scotland)
Bishop Brian Mcgee of Argyll and the Isles
Archbishop Georgios Altouvas of Corfu, Zakynthos, and Kefalonia
Bishop Brendan Leahy of Limerick
Bishop Alexander Aloysius McGuckian, SJ, of Raphoe
Archbishop Roberto Repole of Turin, bishop of Susa
Bishop Franco Giulio Brambilla of Novara
Archbishop Bruno Forte of Chieti-Vasto
Archbishop Domenico Battaglia of Naples
Archbishop Mario Enrico Delpini of Milan
Archbishop Zbigņev Stankevičs of Riga
Bishop Algirdas Jurevičius of Telšiai
Archbishop Charles Jude Scicluna of Malta
Bishop Theodorus Cornelis Maria Hoogenboom of Utrecht, titular bishop of Bistue
Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki of Poznań
Archbishop Adrian Józef Galbas, SAC, coadjutor archbishop of Katowice
Archbishop Marek Jędraszewski of Kraków
Bishop Virgílio do Nascimento Antunes of Coimbra
Bishop José Ornelas Carvalho, SCI, of Leiria-Fátima
Archbishop Gergely Kovács of Alba Iulia, apostolic administrator, Ad Nutum Sanctæ Sedis of the Ordinariate for Catholics of the Armenian Rite residing in Romania
Bishop Czeslaw Kozon of København, Denmark
Bishop Marek Forgáč of Košice, Titular Bishop of Seleuciana
Bishop Maksimilijan Matjaž of Celje
Archbishop Vicente Jiménez Zamora, archbishop emeritus of Zaragoza
Archbishop Luis Javier Argüello García of Valladolid
Bishop Francisco Simón Conesa Ferrer of Solsona
Bishop Felix Gmür of Basel
Bishop Massimiliano Palinuro, apostolic vicar of Istanbul, apostolic administrator Vacant See of the Apostolic Exarchate of Istanbul
Bishop Oleksandr Yazlovetskiy of Kyiv-Zhytomyr, titular bishop of Tulana
Bishop Gábor Mohos Mohos of Esztergom-Budapest, titular bishop of Iliturgi
Archbishop Patrick Michael O'Regan of Adelaide
Bishop Shane Anthony Mackinlay of Sandhurst
Archbishop Paul Gerard Martin, SM, coadjutor of Wellington
Bishop Paul Patrick Donoghue, SM, of Rarotonga, Cook Islands
Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands
Bishop Dariusz Piotr Kałuża, MSF, of Bougainville
Bishops Without an Episcopal Conference
Archbishop Selim Jean Sfeir of Cyprus of the Maronites
Presidents of International Meetings of Episcopal Conferences
Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa And Madagascar (SECAM)
Cardinal Fridolin Ambongo Besungu, OFM Cap
Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC)
Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, SDB
Federation of Catholic Bishops’ Conferences of Oceania (FCBCO)
Bishop Antony Randazzo
Council of Bishops’ Conferences of Europe (CCEE)
Bishop Gintaras Grušas
Latin American Bishops’ Council (CELAM)
Bishop Jaime Spengler, OFM
The Union of Superiors General and the International Union of Superiors General
Sister Mary Theresa Barron, OLA, president of the International Union of Superiors General (UISG)
Sister Elizabeth Mary Davis, RSM
Brother Mark Hilton, SC, superior general of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart
Sister Elysée Izerimana, Op SDN, general councilor of the Working Sisters of the Holy House of Nazareth
Abbot Mauro-Giuseppe Lepori, O Cist, abbot general of the Cistercian Order
Sister Patricia Murray, IBVM, executive secretary of the International Union of Superiors General (UISG)
Sister Nirmala Alex Maria Nazareth, AC, superior general of the Sisters of the Apostolic Carmel
Brother Ernesto Sánchez, FMS, superior general of the Marist Brothers
Father Arturo Sosa, SI, superior general of the Society of Jesus
Father Gebresilasie Tadesse Tesfaye, MCCJ, superior general of the Comboni Missionaries of the Heart of Jesus
Heads of Dicasteries of the Roman Curia
Cardinal Pietro Parolin, secretary of state
Archbishop Edgar Peña Parra, sostituto for the Secretariat of State
Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, secretary for the Relations with States
Cardinal Luis Antonio G. Tagle, pro-prefect of the Dicastery for Evangelization
Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella, pro-prefect of the Dicastery for Evangelization
Archbishop Víctor Manuel Fernández, future prefect of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith
Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, papal almoner, prefect of the Dicastery for the Service of Charity
Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti, prefect of the Dicastery for the Eastern Churches
Cardinal Arthur Roche, prefect for the Dicastery for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments
Cardinal Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, MCCJ, prefect of the Dicastery for Interreligious Dialogue
Archbishop Robert Francis Prevost, OSA, prefect of the Dicastery for Bishops
Cardinal Lazarus You Heung-Sik, prefect of the Dicastery for the Clergy
Cardinal João Braz De Aviz, prefect of the Dicastery for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life
Cardinal Kevin Joseph Farrell, prefect of the Dicastery for the Laity, Family, and Life
Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, prefect of the Dicastery of the Causes of Saints
Cardinal Kurt Koch, prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity
Cardinal José Tolentino De Mendonça, prefect of the Dicastery for Culture And Education
Cardinal Michael Czerny, SJ, prefect of the Dicastery for the Service of Integral Human Development
Archbishop Filippo Iannone, O Carm, prefect of the Dicastery for Legislative Texts
Paolo Ruffini, prefect of the Dicastery for Communication
Members nominated by Pope Francis
Cardinal Carlos Aguiar Retes, archbishop of Mexico City, Mexico
Enrique Alarcón García, president of the Christian Fraternity of People with Disabilities of Spain, Spagna
Bishop Juan Ignacio Arrieta Ochoa De Chinchetru, secretary of the Dicastery for Legislative Texts, Vatican City
Cardinal Jeans-Marc Aveline, archbishop of Marseille, France
Father Riccardo Battocchio, rector of the Almo Collegio Capranica in Rome, president of the Italian Theological Association, Italy
Father Giuseppe Bonfrate, Italy
Bishop Dante Gustavo Braida, bishop of La Rioja, Argentina
Sister Simona Brambilla, superior general of the Consolata Missionaries, Italy
Archbishop Erio Castellucci, archbishop of Modena-Nantola-Carpi, Italy
Father Luis Miguel Castillo Gualda, rector of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Valencia, Spain
Bishop Stephen Chow Sau-Yan of Hong Kong, China
Father Giacomo Costa, SJ, president of the San Fedele Cultural Foundation of Milan; national spiritual companion of the Italian Christian Workers’ Associations, A.C.L.I., Italy
Archbishop Timothy Costelloe, SDB, archbishop of Perth, Australia
Cardinal Blase Cupich, archbishop of Chicago, USA
Cardinal Jozef De Kesel, archbishop emeritus of Mechelen-Brussels, Belgium
Archbishop Ignace Bessi Dogbo, archbishop of Korhogo, Ivory Coast
Bishop Lizardo Estrada Herrera, OSA, auxiliary bishop of Cuzco, Peru, titular bishop of Ausuccura, secretary general of the Latin American bishops’ conference (CELAM)
Archbishop Paul Dennis Etienne, archbishop of Seattle, USA
Cardinal Juan De La Caridad García Rodríguez, archbishop of San Cristóbal de La Habana, Cuba
Bishop Felix Genn, bishop of Münster, Germany
Cardinal Wilton Gregory, archbishop of Washington, D.C., USA
Cardinal Jeans-Claude Hollerich, SI, relator general of the Synod on Synodality, archbishop of Luxembourg
Bishop Nicholas Gilbert Hudson, auxiliary bishop of Westminster, Great Britain
Archbishop Dražen Kutleša, archbishop of Zagreb, Croatia
Cardinal Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, SJ, prefect emeritus of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, Vatican City
Father James Martin, SJ, USA
Cardinal Robert Walter McElroy, bishop of San Diego, USA
Bishop Marco Mellino, secretary of the Council of Cardinals, Vatican City
Bishop Gjergj Meta, bishop of Rrëshen, Albania
Bishop Lucius Andrew Muandula, bishop of Xai-Xai, Mozambique
Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Vatican City
Bishop Antonello Mura, bishop of Nuoro, Italy
Archbishop Robert Christopher Ndlovu, archbishop of Harare, apostolic administrator of Masvingo, Zimbabwe
Bishop Manuel Nin, OSB, apostolic exarch for Byzantine Rite Catholics in Greece, titular bishop of Carcabia, Greece
Cardinal Seán Patrick O’Malley, OFM Cap, archbishop of Boston, USA
Bishop Stefan Oster, SDB, bishop of Passau, Germany
Cardinal Marc Ouellet, PSS, prefect emeritus of the Dicastery for Bishops, Vatican City
Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, Vatican City
Bishop Joseph-Csaba Pál, bishop of Timişoara, Romania
Sister Maria De Los Dolores Palencia, CSJ
Sister Samuela Maria Rigon, SSM, superior general of the Sisters of Our Lady of Sorrows, Italy
Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga, SDB, archivist emeritus of Tegucicalpa, Honduras
Archbishop Angel S. Rossi, SJ, archbishop of Córdoba, Argentina
Father Elias Royón, vicar for consecrated life of the Archdiocese of Madrid, Spain
Archbishop Grzegorz Ryś, archbishop of Lodz, Polonia
Cristina Inogés Sanz, theologian, Spain
Father Antonio Spadaro, SJ, director of La Civiltà Cattolica, Italy
Archbishop Joseph Spiteri, apostolic nuncio to Mexico, Mexico
Sister Xiskya Lucia Valladares, Nicaragua, co-founder of Imisión, director of the communication department of the Centro De Enseñanza Superior Alberta Giménez (CESAG), Comillas Pontifical University
Sister María De Fátima Vieira Diniz, SSmoS, superior general of the Servants of the Blessed Sacrament, Venezuela
Bishop Giuseppe Yang Yongqiang of Zhoucun in the Shandong Province of China
Bishop Giuseppe Yang Yongqiang of Zhoucun in the Shandon Province of China
Bishop Radoslaw Zmitrowicz, OMI, auxiliary bishop of Kamyanets-Podilskyi, Ukraine
From the Continental Assemblies (also selected by Pope Francis)
Father Vitalis Chinedu Anaehobi
Father Michel Jean-Paul Guillaud
Sister Ester Maria Lucas, FC
Sister Josée Ngalula, RSA
Norha Kofognotera Nonterah
Father Agbonkhianmeghe Emmanuel Orobator, SI
Sheila Leocádia Pires
Sister Marie Solange Randrianirin, FSP
Sister Solange Sahon Sia, NDC
Father Rafael Simbine Junior
Cynthia Bailey Manns
Father Ivan Montelongo
Sister Leticia Salazar
Erika Sally Aldunate Loza
Jesus Alberto Briceño Cherubini
Sister Rosmery Castañeda Montoya
José Manuel De Urquidi Gonzalez
María Cristina Dos Anjos Da Conceição
Sister Gloria Liliana Franco Echeverri, ODN
Sônia Gomes De Oliveira
Father Francisco Gerardo Hernández Rojas
Valeria Karina López
Néstor Esaú Velásquez Téllez
Vanessa Cheng Siu Wai
Rosalia Minus Cho Cho Tin
Father Joel Casimiro Da Costa Pinto, OFM
Father Clarence Devadass
Father William La Rousse, MM
Father Momoko Nishimura, SEMD
Anna Teresa Peter Amandus
Sister Lalitha Thomas, SJT
Father Vimal Tirimanna
Eastern Churches and the Middle East
Father Khalil Alwan, ML
Sister Houda Fadoul
Sister Caroline Jarjis
Caroline Rafaat Awd Narouz
Geert De Cubber
Giuseppina De Simone
Sister Anne Ferrand
Sister Anna Mirijam Kaschner, CPS
Father Jan Nowotnik
Father Luis Manuel Romero Sanchez
Father Denis Nacorda
Sister Mary Angela Perez, RSM
Father Sijeesh Pullenkunnel
Under-Secretaries of the General Secretariat of the Synod
Bishop Luis Marín De San Martín, OSA, Titular Bishop of Suliana
Sister Nathalie Becquart, XMCJ
Members of the Ordinary Council
Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, SDB, archbishop of Yangon, Myanmar
Bishop Jaime Calderón Calderón of Tapachula, Mexico
Cardinal Joseph Coutts, archbishop of Karachi, Pakistan
Archbishop Anthony Colin Fisher, OP, of Sydney, Australia
Archbishop Andrew Nkea Fuanya of Bamenda, Cameroon
Cardinal Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Bombay, India
Cardinal Gérald Cyprien Lacroix, ISPX, archbishop of Québec, Canada
Archbishop Gabriel Mbilingi, CSSp, of Lubango, Angola
Cardinal Dieudonné Nzapalainga, CSSp, archbishop of Bangui, Central African Republic
Cardinal Juan José Omella Omella, archbishop of Barcelona, Spain
Cardinal Sérgio Da Rocha, metropolitan archbishop of São Salvador Da Bahia, Brazil
Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, OP, archbishop of Wien, Austria, president of the Episcopal Conference of Austria
Cardinal Daniel Fernando Sturla Berhouet, SDB, Archbishop of Montevideo, Uruguay
Cardinal Joseph William Tobin, CSsR, archbishop of Newark, USA
His Beatitude Ignace Youssef Iii Younan, Syrian Patriarch of Antioch, head of the Synod of the Syrian Catholic Church, Lebanon
Cardinal Matteo Maria Zuppi, archbishop of Bologna, Italy
Father Alois, prior of the Taizé Community, France
Luca Casarini, Mediterranea Saving Humans, Italy
Sister Nadia Coppa, ASC, former president of the International Union of Superiors General (UISG)
Monsignor Severino Dianich, theologian, Italy
Eva Fernández Mateo, Catholic Action
Margaret Karram, Work of Mary-Focolare Movement
Father Hervé Legrand, OP, theologian, France
Monsignor Armando Matteo, secretary of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, Vatican City
Father Thomas Schwartz, Germany
Father Timothy Peter Joseph Radcliffe, OP, Oxford Monastery, Great Britain
Mother Maria Ignazia Angelini, OSB, Monastery of Viboldone, Italy
Referent for the Liturgy
Father Matteo Ferrari, OSB Cam, Della Comunità Di Camaldoli
Experts and Facilitators
Father Dario Vitali, Italy, coordinator of theological experts
Wissam Abdo, Lebanon
Father Adelson Araújo Dos Santos, SI, Brazil
Father Mario Antonelli from Italy
Father Paul Béré, SJ, Burkina Faso
Sister María Luisa Berzosa González, FI, Spain
Monsignor Philippe Bordeyne, France
Monsignor Alphonse Borras, Belgium
Father Andrea Bozzolo, SDB, Italy
Father Pedro Manuel Brassesco, Argentina
Father Agenor Brighenti, Brazil
loy Bueno De La Fuente, Spain
Monsignor Valentino Bulgarelli, Italy
Father Juan Jorge Bytton Arellano, SJ, Peru
Sister Daniela Adriana Cannavina, CMR, Colombia
Sister María Suyapa Cacho Álvarez, Honduras
Father Carlo Casalone, SJ, Italy
Sandra Chaoul, Lebanon
Sister Maria Cimperman, RSCJ, USA
Monsignor Piero Coda, Italy
Professor Eamon Conway, Ireland
Sandie Cornish, Australia
Father Ian Cribb, SJ, Australia
Professor Klára Antonia Csiszár, Romania
Sister Christina Danel, superior general of the Congregation of Xavières, from France
Father Hyacinthe Destivelle, OP, France
Sister Anne Béatrice Faye, CIC, Ivory Coast
Paolo Foglizzo, Italy
Father Carlos Maria Galli, Argentina
Iris Gonzales, Dominican Republic
Eva Gullo from Italy
Father Gaby Alfred Hachem, Lebanon
Sister Philomena Shizue Hirota, MMB, Japan
Austen Ivereigh, Great Britain
Claire Jonard, Belgium
Sister Jolanta Maria Kafka, RMI, Poland
Christina Kheng, Singapore
Leonardo Lima Gorosito, Uruguay
Mauricio Lopez Oropeza, Ecuador
Sister Laurence Loubières, XMCJ, Canada
Professor Rafael Luciani, Venezuela
Father Anthony Makunde, Tanzania
Father Miguel Martin, SJ, Brazil
Father David Mc Callum, SJ, USA
Father Vito Mignozzi, Italy
Sister Paola Nelemta Ngarndiguimal, SPC, Chad
Susan Pascoe, Australia
Father Asaeli Raass, SVD, Fiji Islands
Sister Yvonne Reungoat, FMA, France
Father Gilles Routhier, Canada
Anna Rowlands, Great Britain
Father Ormond Rush, Australia
Father José San Jose Prisco, Spain
Monsignor Pierangelo Sequeri, Italy
Thomas Söding, Germany
Andrew Spiteri from Australia
Sister Nicoletta Vittoria Spezzati, ASC, Italy
Péter Szabó from Hungary
Father Christoph Theobald, SI, France
Erica Tossani, Italy
Monsignor Juan Fernando Usma Gómez, Colombia
Myriam Wijlens, Holland
General Secretariat of the Synod
Father Justo Ariel Beramendi Orellana
Thierry Bonaventura, Communication Manager
Father Pasquale Bua
Alfonso Salvatore Cauteruccio
Karina Fujisawa Simonetti
Tanyja George, MId
Father Ambrogio Ivan Samus
Monsignor Tomasz Trafny
Paola Volterra Toppano
Pedro Paulo Oliveira Weizenmann
Sister Marie-Kolbe Zamora, OSF
Posted on 09/22/2023 16:30 PM (CNA Daily News)
ACI Africa, Sep 22, 2023 / 12:30 pm (CNA).
Father Paul Sanogo and seminarian Melchior Maharini, who were kidnapped from their Missionaries of Africa community in Nigeria’s Catholic Diocese of Minna, came back to the community on Aug. 23 weary, traumatized, and sick.
The two had spent three weeks in captivity, where they were flogged almost daily, made to sleep on rocks out in the open, and forced to walk for miles barefoot as their kidnappers moved from spot to spot in the forest they were taken to following their Aug. 3 abduction.
When they spoke to ACI Africa on Sept. 1, about a week after their release, the two said the trauma they experienced during their captivity was a blessing, as it had strengthened their faith.
“When the men took us, I had so much fear in my heart, thinking of the worst that could happen to us. I couldn’t stop praying. And as time went by, I felt my faith grow stronger. I accepted my situation and surrendered everything to God,” Maharini, a native of Tanzania, said.
He added: “I thought about the suffering that our fathers, the early Missionaries of Africa, endured at the start of our congregation in Africa. Many died, but those who survived didn’t give up on the mission. While I was taken captive, I made a firm decision never to give up on my mission. For me, it is forward ever, backward never!”
Sanogo, a native of Mali, reiterated Maharini’s sentiments, adding: “What we have is faith built on persecution. Everything I experienced while in captivity is what priesthood entails. Jesus himself tells us that he is sending us out like sheep among wolves. We leave our homes not knowing what will happen to our lives.”
“What we went through is nothing compared to the passion of Jesus. I found great joy uniting my pain with the passion of Jesus,” the priest said.
Sanogo and Maharini remember being taken away at about 11 p.m. on the day of captivity by a gang of 12 men who broke into their community in Gyadna village in Nigeria’s Niger State.
“There were five of us in the house and we were just going to bed. The incident happened very fast. First, we heard gunshots and in a matter of minutes, the men had already broken into the house. Three of our brothers managed to escape and the two of us were taken,” Maharini recalled. “We were taken away barefoot and in our sleepwear. We didn’t have any other clothes for the whole time we stayed in captivity.”
The two remember walking for more than 100 kilometers (62 miles) and finding themselves in the middle of a thick forest the following day at 6 a.m.
In the forest were seven other people who had been taken captive, Sanogo said. “We never interacted with the other captives as they were released much sooner.”
“The men wanted money from us. We kept saying that we didn’t have any money. That infuriated them and they constantly beat us. We were in a very big forest and there were no villages nearby. They would give us something to eat and we slept on rocks and on the grass in the open,” said Sanogo, who has been in Nigeria for only a year and a half.
“We were their slaves,” Maharini added, “and having no freedom, not having the slightest idea of what they would do to us was troubling at first. We were very happy when one day they told us, ‘You are free. You may go back home.’”
Back at the community, the two found a festive mood. News had been spread across the congregation and to their families that their sons were alive and had regained freedom.
When Sanogo and Maharini spoke to ACI Africa, CNA’s news partner in Africa, on Sept. 1, they were preparing to travel to their respective countries to spend some days with their families.
The two expressed gratitude to their congregation for working tirelessly to secure their release and the people of God who prayed for them while in captivity.
They said that they had forgiven their abductors and were praying for their conversion.
“I started praying for the men who abducted us on the day they took us. I kept praying for their conversion so that they may one day realize that what they are doing is not right. I also forgave them a long time ago,” Maharini said.
This story was first published by ACI Africa, CNA’s news partner in Africa, and has been adapted by CNA.
Posted on 09/22/2023 16:25 PM (CNA Daily News)
CNA Staff, Sep 22, 2023 / 12:25 pm (CNA).
Following a report that Pope Francis and Vatican officials held a meeting earlier this month to discuss requesting the resignation of Tyler, Texas, Bishop Joseph Strickland, the prelate said on Wednesday he has not been contacted by the Vatican about such matters.
In addition, Strickland said if Pope Francis were to remove him from office he would respect the Holy Father’s authority but would not resign if asked.
“Last week an article was published on a website called ‘The Pillar,’ and the article alleged that a meeting was held with Pope Francis where some of the members of the Congregation for Bishops recommended that I be encouraged to resign as bishop of Tyler,” Strickland said in a Sept. 20 letter to his diocese.
“Let me be clear that I have received no communication from Rome regarding this. At this point it is simply an article discussing supposed leaked information from the Vatican,” he added.
“I have said publicly that I cannot resign as bishop of Tyler because that would be me abandoning the flock that I was given charge of by Pope Benedict XVI,” he said.
“I have also said that I will respect the authority of Pope Francis if he removes me from office as bishop of Tyler,” he added.
The reported meeting follows a Vatican-directed investigation into Strickland in June called an apostolic visitation, which, according to a source, addressed the firebrand bishop’s social media use but also questions related to diocesan management.
Strickland, 64, who has served as bishop of the Diocese of Tyler since 2012, has been outspoken on certain Catholic social issues such as abortion and gender ideology.
He has also been critical of Pope Francis, saying in a May Tweet that he rejects “his program of undermining the Deposit of Faith.”
Strickland’s statement on Wednesday marks his first public response following a Sept. 11 article by The Pillar, which, citing anonymous sources, reported that Pope Francis was to be presented with the findings of the apostolic visitation and would be encouraged to request the Tyler bishop’s resignation.
Strickland said he has not been contacted by any Church official since the apostolic visitation. He added that he wasn’t given a reason for why the visitation occurred and hasn’t received a report from the investigation.
Strickland said he is grateful for the support and prayers that many have expressed.
“I continue to love serving as your shepherd and thankfully during all of this I have been able to visit many of your parishes and celebrate our Catholic faith with you,” he said.
Strickland said he is “blessed” in his prayer life and feels “very close” to Christ, and supported by the Blessed Virgin Mary and the saints.
“I am at peace with whatever the Lord’s call for me is; let us continue to pray for Pope Francis, the Church, and the Diocese of Tyler that we call home,” he said.
In a July podcast, Strickland said that the apostolic visitation was “not fun” and added that the Vatican’s delegates were “looking at everything.”
The bishop compared it to “being called to the principal’s office.”
“It’s not something that I would volunteer for, to go through an apostolic visitation,” he said. “It kind of puts a shadow over the diocese.”
“There have been some administrative issues, and I’m sure people are concerned,” he said. “I’m sure there are people saying that there must be something really bad, and something’s really gone wrong for this apostolic visitation [to happen].”
“I’ve got nothing to hide,” he said in an excerpt of the podcast posted to YouTube.
Crediting God and the Catholic faithful, Strickland said the diocese is in good financial condition.
He said he thinks he was subject to the visitation “because I’ve been bold enough and loved the Lord enough and his Church, simply preaching the truth.”
Posted on 09/22/2023 14:30 PM (CNA Daily News)
Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Sep 22, 2023 / 10:30 am (CNA).
Global leaders adopted a United Nations resolution this week that urged member states to take certain actions when preparing for and responding to a pandemic — one of those actions appears to ask governments to secure access to abortion.
The resolution’s language states that the focus is “pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response” and asks states to commit to actions that are “driven by equity and the respect for human rights.” The section focused on equality includes a commitment by states to protecting “reproductive rights.”
“[We] call upon member states to take all measures necessary to ensure the right of women and girls to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health, including sexual and reproductive health, and reproductive rights,” operative paragraph 10 of the global “call to action” reads in part.
United Nations General Assembly resolutions are not legally binding and member states have wide discretion in how they interpret the text. However, some pro-life lawmakers are concerned about the language.
“And, for the pro-life community, they are now seeing that the work isn’t just here at home, it’s not just in our state capitols, it’s not just here on Capitol Hill,” Cammack said. “It’s a global fight that we have to undertake as well.”
The reproductive rights language was supported and endorsed by President Joe Biden’s administration earlier this year. In February, United States U.N. Ambassador Pamela K. Hamamoto specifically requested that the language be included.
“Our work must be inclusive and applicable for the improved health and well-being of all people,” Hamamoto said in her statement to the U.N. regarding the pandemic resolution.
“A commitment to ‘equity’ must address inequities not only between countries but also within them,” Hamamoto continued. “Not just protecting populations from pandemics — but also from illness, death, and disrupted access to essential health care services during pandemics, including sexual and reproductive health services.”
Stefano Gennarini, the vice president for legal studies at the Center for Family and Human Rights, told “EWTN News Nightly” that pressure from the Biden administration indicates that this section of the resolution is about global abortion access.
“We know, given the Biden administration’s support for abortion, we know this to mean an attempt essentially to create an international right to abortion,” Gennarini said.
World Health Organization Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus issued a statement praising the resolution. His statement referenced the WHO’s support for equity in health care but did not reference the statement on reproductive rights.
“I welcome this commitment by world leaders to provide the political support and direction needed so that WHO, governments, and all involved can protect people’s health and take concrete steps towards investing in local capacities, ensuring equity and supporting the global emergency health architecture that the world needs,” Ghebreyesus said.
The WHO is working with U.N. member states to amend international health regulations that focus on issues that arose during the pandemic.