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11th July 2020

Lampedusa: Key to Understand Francis Papacy

What elevated Lampedusa into iconic status wasn’t just its gripping human drama, but the fact that an electric new pope chose the spot for his first trip outside Rome on July 8, 2013. The visit was just four and a half hours long, but rarely has a mere half-day in the life of a papacy been so replete with both symbolism and substance. Upon his … Read more

Italy/DR Congo: Reciprocal Mission

But Ombeni stressed that he would never say one Catholic community is better than the other, and each has its own riches to share with the universal Church. “I am here to see another way of living in the Church,” he explained. “I know I have a responsibility. I was sent here to share what I learned here with my people.” He underlined the importance … Read more

Bishops from across the Globe Decry Exploitation of Vulnerable Workers by Multinationals

According to the Bishop signatories, big multinational corporations are exploiting their vulnerable workers and, during the pandemic, giving the workers the raw end of the deal that includes cancelling the raw deals at the last minute. “With the outbreak of COVID-19, humanity faces an unprecedented global crisis. In addition to the threat to public health, the economic and social disruption threatens the long-term livelihoods and … Read more

Religious Imagery: Does a Black Jesus Matter?

We began by asking: Does a black Jesus matter? Paraphrasing this, we ask again: Does a Dalit Jesus matter? Or a poor Jesus? Does a Jesus matter who asserts the place of women in his life? Yes, it does. This is what incarnation means — Jesus is a wholly Jewish man, with a brown face and skin, a black body, Mongolian features and a Polynesian … Read more

Letter from Taizé

Brother Paolo writes: There are now a number of tents dotted over the camping field in Taizé, and at prayer times there are as many “other people” in the church as brothers of the community. This week there are more than 100 meeting participants, mostly from France and Germany. Visitors in the church need to sit on crosses marked with tape on the floor… Although the … Read more

Our Families: Pope’s Prayer Intention for July

The family ought to be protected. It faces many dangers: the fast pace of life, stress… Sometimes, parents forget to play with their children. The Church needs to encourage families and stay at their side, helping them to discover ways that allow them to overcome all of these difficulties. Let us pray that today’s families may be accompanied with love, respect and guidance, and especially, that they … Read more

Pope Francis on Unity and Prophecy

On the feast of the two Apostles of this City, I would like to share with you two key words: unity and prophecy. Unity. We celebrate together two very different individuals: Peter, a fisherman who spent his days amid boats and nets, and Paul, a learned Pharisee who taught in synagogues. When they went forth on mission, Peter spoke to Jews, and Paul to pagans. And … Read more

DR Congo – Belgium: The Difficulty of Facing up to the Colonial Past

The story is painfully well known to the Congolese. Under King Leopold’s rule, murder, mutilation and slavery were the hallmarks of the pursuit of the era’s most valuable new commodity: rubber. This was needed to replace the old “boneshaker” tyres on bicycles and cars with pneumatic tyres, invented by Dunlop, which allowed a much smoother ride. Source: The Africa Report Read more

Slavery: How France Taxed Haiti on its Freedom

I’m a specialist on colonialism and slavery, and what France did to the Haitian people after the Haitian Revolution is a particularly notorious examples of colonial theft. France instituted slavery on the island in the 17th century, but, in the late 18th century, the enslaved population rebelled and eventually declared independence. Yet, somehow, in the 19th century, the thinking went that the former enslavers of the Haitian … Read more

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