ASIA/LEBANON - Maronite Patriarch: "A government is needed!"
21/07/2018

Beirut - National appeals are repeated asking the Lebanese political forces to urgently form a government to allow the country to concentrate its efforts and allow it to face the economic and regional challenges and therefore to give life to a new government. In an interview released yesterday to the newspaper "The Future", Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros Raie said aloud: "We want a government, I will repeat this appeal every day, I say today and I will say it tomorrow and every day and I hope everyone hears me".

The Patriarch referred to the consequences due to the delay in the formation of a future government, underlining the irregularities of this situation also from a juridical point of view. The situation of the country in general, and the economic situation in particular, make it essential to speed up the formation of the government, "May God help prime minister Saad Hariri who must please everyone!", said the Patriarch. The current government is considered a government of transition and management of current affairs, as the request formulated on May 24, 2018 by the President to the Prime Minister to form the government following the elections of May 8, with the official results of May 10, has still not brought fruit.

The Maronite Patriarch attended the meeting yesterday at the headquarters of the Economic and Social Council of Beirut . In that context, the Patriarch urged political parties to respond to national emergencies concerning the growth of the economy that translates into development, work for young people, progress and production. The Patriarch expressed his displeasure on how politics has lived and how power groups protect their particular interests by neglecting the common good. "Let us see how they are delaying the formation of the government, showing absolute disinterest in the economic and social suffering of the people. The formation of the government by the representatives of parliament belonging to all the current political currents does not end in starting a government for the simple management of current affairs, but must aim at creating a genuine government that reflects the balance between the various parties present in parliament, underlined Boutros. We must return to the Constitution, the Patriarch said, because "abandoning it" means not finding a solution to the crises afflicting Lebanon at all levels.

Cardinal Bechara Boutros Rai had received, at his summer residence in Diman last week, the leaders of the reconciliation, which took place on January 18, 2016 and recognized as "the agreement of Maarab" between the Free Patriotic Movement of General Aoun and the Lebanese Forces. In the meeting, which lasted 3 hours, the Patriarch invited Christian parties to work together for the good of the Country and not to fall into the polemics unleashed by the various media apparatus. The patriarch insisted on the urgency of the formation of the government without producing artificial delays, respecting the Constitution and safeguarding the functioning of public institutions.

AFRICA/BENIN - Appointment of the National Director of the PMS, Fr. Cosme Adjomale
21/07/2018

Vatican City - On 26 April 2018 Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, appointed the rev. Fr. Cosme Adjomale, of the clergy of the Archdiocese of Parakou as National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in Benin for five years .
The new National Director was born on June 12, 1970 in Bocanda and was ordained a priest on July 3, 2004. He obtained a baccalaureate in theology and a licentiate in pastoral theology. Among the positions held so far, he has been Vice-parish priest and parish priest, in charge of vocations.
AMERICA/PANAMA - Preparation for World Youth Day proceeds without forgetting the suffering of Nicaragua
21/07/2018

Panama - A few days ago, exactly on July 9th, the Director of the Holy See Press Office, Greg Burke, broke the news that "on the occasion of the next World Youth Day that will be held in Panama City, and welcoming the invitation of the Panamanian Government and Bishops, His Holiness Pope Francis will travel to Panama from 23 to 27 January 2019". The Vice President of Panama, Isabel de Saint Malo de Alvarado, has already held a meeting in the Vatican with the Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, to discuss the details of the organization of WYD 2019 and the visit of the Holy Father.
During this meeting it was recalled, according to what Fides learned, that Panama belongs to the Central American Integration System, whose goal is to establish a collaboration on the theme of migration. The Vice-President and Cardinal Parolin agreed on the importance of the region's challenges to democracy and human rights issues, in the context of the political and social crises that Nicaragua and Venezuela in particular are experiencing, and have agreed to work together to support the framework of diplomacy and international law.
In Panama, the Archbishop of Panama, Mgr. José Domingo Ulloa Mendieta, OSA, expressed his joy for the official confirmation of the Pope's presence, but at the same time wanted to express his solidarity with the Church of Nicaragua, also in the name of the youth of Panama. Mgr. Ulloa used harsh words to describe this reality, which he knows closely: "The government of Nicaragua goes beyond the limit of the inhuman and immorality. The criminal repression against civilians, mostly young students, is condemned at all levels: the international community cannot be indifferent!". "From this pilgrim Church in Panama, we want to unite ourselves to the condemnation, to the repudiation of acts of aggression against the Nicaraguan people, particularly to all the members of the Nicaraguan clergy", said the Archbishop. "This is nothing but the fruit of the lack of listening to the cry of the people".
On Wednesday 25 July, there will be a special prayer for Nicaragua at 5 pm in the Basilica of Don Bosco, "so that the Lord may grant the necessary light and, through dialogue, the people of Nicaragua will soon find the peace they desire", said Mgr. Ulloa. "With our prayer and solidarity with the Nicaraguan people and the pilgrim Church in Nicaragua, may the Lord bless you in these difficult times", he concluded.
At a diplomatic level, on Thursday, July 19, Panama, through Foreign Minister Luis Miguel Hincapie, expressed his readiness to participate in any dialogue process that could solve the serious crisis in Nicaragua.
CELAM yesterday published and sent a statement to Fides to express the solidarity of the members of this continental body to the Church and to the people of Nicaragua: "Faced with this serious situation, we are called to be the voice of those who have no voice, to assert their rights, to find paths for dialogue and to establish justice and peace, 'so that all may have life in Christ' ; in a special way, those who feel discouraged by death and violence. We encourage you to continue to be defenders of human rights and bearers of hope", says the document.
AMERICA/ARGENTINA - The religious for the respect and defense of life: Every life has infinite value
21/07/2018

Buenos Aires - "How many times have we reflected on the words of the book of the prophet Jeremiah: 'Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you" . We feel immensely loved people, with a mission, a project that we discover and build during our daily journey. This is why once again we reiterate with great hope that every life has infinite value in the eyes of the Father, it is a gift of his goodness". This is how the Argentine Conference of the Religious expresses itself in a statement sent to Agenzia Fides, "in defense of the dignity of every person".
In these days the Argentine Senate is discussing the bill that decriminalizes abortion, already approved by the Chamber of Deputies on June 14, allowing it in a "safe, legal, free" form for every woman who requests it within the fourteenth week of pregnancy. After this period, it is only possible in the case of sexual violence, if the mother is in danger of life or if the fetus has any form of malformation. The text is now being examined by the Senate.
The members of the Governing Council of Confar, "support the defense of the dignity of every person in the face of all forms of slavery and rejection" and join with what the Bishops said in the Eucharistic celebration on Sunday 8 July in Lujan, where the Mass for life was celebrated: "life is a pure gift from God and therefore must be respected, cared for, defended and served" .
"As Mary, who 'hurried to her cousin Elizabeth's house' bringing Life into her womb, we too, as Consecrated Life, take care of our lives, that of our brothers, defend it and put ourselves at its service - concludes the statement -. Thus we can joyfully sing with you the Magnificat for the marvelous works that God accomplishes in our life and in that of many brothers".
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