AMERICA/DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - The Archbishop of Santo Domingo: Church and government must work together in the fight against crime
20/09/2020

Santo Domingo - The authorities need to find an effective way to fight crime and insecurity affecting society. And, on the front of education to legality and a culture of mutual respect, justice and peace, the Catholic Church is ready to offer her contribution, for the common good of the country: this is what Metropolitan Archbishop of Santo Domingo, Msgr. Francisco Ozoria Acosta, who during the celebration of a thanksgiving mass yesterday for the new management of the national government, asked for the full support of the population and God's blessing on the rulers.
The Church, the Archbishop remarked, intends to offer her collaboration to create a social climate of harmony, peace and construction of the development and well-being of everyone, starting with the poorest. The relaxed relations with the civil authorities could be a benefit for the nation: after the celebration, the new Minister of Interior, Jesus Vásquez Martínez, called on members of the Catholic Church to be present and active in the local security commissions that are being created, in different cities, in order to build a culture of legality and help fight crime. The Minister expressed the hope to see "all sectors of society and civilians present in every municipality of the country, alongside the action of the national police, in order to fight crime and delinquency, starting from the culture and mentality of young people".
The Dominican Republic inaugurated a new government under the leadership of Luis Abinader in the midst of the global pandemic. On 5 July he was elected president with 52.52% of the votes.
In recent years, the scourge of violence has gripped the country: family and social violence has often involved the world of youth. In the past, the Dominican Bishops renewed an appeal for greater attention and investment in education, "a key point for the nation's take-off". And they have indicated poverty and corruption as factors that undermine civil coexistence and foster crime, on which the government is called to act promptly.
AFRICA/MAURITIUS - A Salesian missionary: at work with young people so as not to waste the heritage left by the Pope's visit
20/09/2020

Port Louis - "The Pope's visit, one year ago, left an indelible mark in Mauritius. Unfortunately, the pandemic arrived a few months later and blocked the Church's plans to put Francis' words into practice. It was really difficult to try to give continuity to what we saw and heard and so we decided to turn to the essential and focus on young people and on the care of the 'common home', giving these aspects priority, as the heartfelt words of the Pope asked us. Children here still wear t-shirts that recall Pope Francis' visit to Port Louis. From their enthusiasm we started again in order not to waste such a great heritage". This is what Father Heriberto Cabrera, a Chilean Salesian, who works in the diocese of Port Louis, tells Agenzia Fides.
Thanks to a timely and prudent action put in place by the government from the very first days of the year, Mauritius was able to contain the spread of the virus and limit the damage on an island at high risk given the huge influx of tourists and foreigners. But the Church, troubled by the situation, began a reflection on pastoral action and role in society. "Here, the impact of Covid-19 was not as devastating as in other places, but it has equally alarmed everyone and triggered reflection even within the Church. Cardinal Maurice Piat stressed that it is wrong to think of easily returning to normality after the pandemic, we must rethink everything, the liturgy, the way of being among people, charity, which cannot only be 'Caritas' but must be a new way of living in society".
What further complicated a difficult situation was the natural disaster caused at the end of July by cargo MV Wakashio. Over a thousand tons of fuel spilled into the waters off the island of Mauritius, close to the coral reef.
The Salesian says: "It was a tragedy that caused an infinite series of problems. Loss of tourism , total blocking of all activities and, of course, stop to all tourist trips on the whole island even if the disaster affects only the south-eastern part. The damage to the population is incalculable, even mentally. They try to encourage local tourism, but for the moment it is not working. Not to mention the ecological catastrophe, the smell that for weeks forced some schools to close, the enormous loss of fish and therefore jobs for fishermen".
The disaster has increased the effects of a crisis that has long affected the island and sharpened divisions. "We can speak - Father Heriberto continues - of a social crisis, also of a crisis of trust in the authorities that is assuming ever greater dimensions since the Wakashio disaster. People say they are tired of the government and the prime minister’s arrogance, of the fact that the people are not listened to and also of the corruption that remains a big problem. I must say, however, that I was impressed by the response of civil society: thousands of volunteers made themselves available to clean the beaches, the trees, the sea, a moving phenomenon that united us all, beyond divisions. And, returning to the Pope's visit, perhaps it is one of the fruits of the central nucleus of Francis' message: to return to being united. In our very fragmented society, this is a decisive bet".
NEWS ANALYSIS - Africa, the sisters of the Good Shepherd alongside the exploited of cobalt
20/09/2020

Lualaba - "It was the bishop of Kolwezi who asked us to come here in 2012, worried about the living conditions of the population, especially children. When we first arrived, there were very few people around. But where is everyone? - we asked. In the mine, to dig". Thus begins the story reported to Agenzia Fides by Sister Pascaline Mikebo, Director of the "Bon Pasteur Kolwezi economic empowerment project", managed by the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd. It is the story of an indissoluble bond between this congregation founded in France in 1835 by Santa Maria Euphrasia Pellletie and now present in about seventy Countries, and the "people of cobalt", that is hundreds of thousands of individuals - at least a third of whom, children up to 7 years of age - 'employed' in the mines of the province of Lualaba, formerly Katanga, in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The mission of the sisters is concentrated in this small area which alone guarantees between 60 and 70% of the world need of cobalt and which in recent years, since the decision was made in the world to focus on electric cars that require at least a dozen kg of this material, has inevitably become a hub of unregulated attraction for many multinationals. For the companies that wind their way through the supply chain, profits have literally multiplied. For the local population, however, the situation marks a dramatic return to industrial revolution parameters, yet another example of the curse of resources that transform many African Countries, very rich in raw materials and capable of producing indigenous fortunes, in areas of humanitarian emergencies. .

Link correlati :Continue to read news analysis on "Omnis Terra" website
EUROPE/SWITZERLAND - Towards World Mission Day: support for missionaries who "remain" and announce the Gospel in difficult situations
20/09/2020

Friborg - "We will not give up and we will stay here": this phrase, repeated in different languages by about thirty men and women on mission in more than twenty-five countries, is the heart of the message contained in the video #WeAreStillHere, the result of international synergy between different national Directions of the Pontifical Mission Societies in the world, some of which have chosen to identify themselves with the name "Missio". These missionaries are and remain in mission lands, on the path with the local people, announcing and living the Gospel even in the most difficult situations. The missionaries count on the closeness and the concrete presence of the universal Church especially during missionary October. "Missio in Switzerland is part of a global network, we are connected with all communities in all parts of the world", explains to Fides deacon Martin Brunner-Artho, director of "Missio Switzerland" who participated in the #WeAreStillHere project.
Everything has changed, everything is uncertain, the pandemic is producing an epochal change, but only one thing is certain: missionaries, women and men from all over the world, will not leave the land where they were sent on mission. "We will remain here… we have always been here… and we always will be… we will continue our mission… we will not give up… because we are missionaries", explains the campaign promoted in the PMS video.
"Missionary Month of October is the time when the Catholic Church around the world gathers to celebrate and support the mission of the Church", explains Martin Brunner-Artho. World Mission Day, will be celebrated in Switzerland on October 18 with special attention paid to the Church of Guinea-Conakry, in West Africa, and to its pastoral and social commitment.
Missio Switzerland recalls the role of the laity in the ecclesial community, both in Switzerland and in the Guinean one. As part of the national campaign to promote the Missionary Month, Missio Switzerland has made 12 short videos in which men and women of Italian-speaking Switzerland say what it means for them "to be missionaries, baptized and sent". The theme of the Pope's message for World Mission Day echoes in their words: "Here I am, send me".
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