AMERICA/COLOMBIA - The "historical" problem of crop replacement is still open
21/10/2017

Tumaco – Mgr. Orlando Olave Villanoba, Bishop of Tumaco, said that the only way out of the crisis for this region of the department of Nariño is to implement a comprehensive plan of investment, education and alternative work for peasant and afro-descendant communities.
In an interview with Colombian Radio RCN, the Bishop explained that one of the most important problems that the port of Tumaco faces is the lack of attention from the State to meet the basic needs of the population. "It is a region without roads, with very low education levels, where peasants cannot satisfy many of their primary needs ... there is abandonment and injustice towards these communities", Mgr. Orlando Olave Villanoba pointed out.
One of the most complex and serious problems at the moment is that of replacing illegal crops and the presence of a number of armed groups that are generating violence and terrorizing the population. "It is a "historical" issue in the region, because many people are able to live only through those crops", he stressed, adding that "the presence of armed groups and the violent death of several social leaders are a reflection of the lack of government presence and intimidation by these organizations that want to impose themselves with violence".
Even Mgr. Olave reiterated that it is very important to listen to the community in this regard, as "we cannot apply solutions that have been served elsewhere, but which may not fit the reality of these communities". Yesterday, the Colombian Bishops' Conference issued a statement condemning the murder of French leader José Jair Cortés in Tumaco on October 17, pointing out that "when a leader is murdered the situation in the country worsens, society falls into poverty" and urge the authorities to commit themselves to incorporating these areas into the economic process and in the spirit of peace-building decided by the Colombians.
AFRICA/NIGERIA - Mgr Kaigama to the Fulani and the Irigwe after the massacre of 29 people: "Speak to each other in order to seek peace"
21/10/2017

Juba - "For over two years now, Plateau State has enjoyed happy and peaceful coexistence... but peace has unfortunately been rudely interrupted by the outburst of recent killings in Bassa Local Government between the Fulani and the Irigwe", denounces His Exc. Mgr. Ignatius Ayau Kaigama, Archbishop of Jos and President of the Episcopal Conference of Nigeria, in a message sent to Agenzia Fides. On October 16, at least 29 civilians, many of whom women and children, refugees in an elementary school, were brutally killed in Plateau State, by a group of armed men who attacked the building.
"The attacks come on the heels of a national spiritual gathering of Catholics all over Nigeria in Benin City to re-consecrate our dear Country to the Blessed Virgin Mother and pray for peace, unity and reconciliation among Nigerians", recalls the Archbishop.
"The occasion marked the conclusion of the centenary of the apparitions of the Blessed Mother in Fatima in 1917, when the world was experiencing the terrible effects of the First World", the Archbishop underlined.
Recalling the failed reconciliation attempt by the governor of
Plateau State, Simon Bako Lalong, Mgr. Kaigama points out that "it is however still not too late" to seek peace, highlighting the points of contact between the two populations.
"It is a fact that many Fulani speak the Irigwe language and many Irigwe speak the Fulani language which goes to show the long period of peaceful coexistence, but the events of the past week indicate that the peaceful, harmonious and fraternal coexistence has been severely wounded", the Archbishop says. "The two tribes offering the olive branch to each other is what can restore normalcy, healing, trust and confidence. The burial on Monday 16th October in Nkiedonwhro of 29 persons shows that a lot more needs to be done by both tribes to face their collective future with greater optimism".
"Our thoughts go to all those affected, with fervent prayers that God will grant them all the needed consolation and the ability to say “never again” to the destruction of human lives, animal lives, farm produce, houses and all others means of livelihood. May the dead rest in peace", says Mgr. Kaigama.
The Archbishop finally denounces the responsibility of the law enforcement in preventing the massacres: "It is so worrisome that despite the presence of security agents people could still be killed in a primary school where they took refuge, even during the hours of a curfew imposed on the Local Government".
The army is strengthening its military presence in the area and even the military airforce is deploying some fighters to try to block clashes.

VATICAN - The Cloister is mission
21/10/2017


Vatican City - "Teresa of Lisieux wanted 'to be love in the heart of the Church'. Today cloistered nuns are like a heart pumping blood, that is, the charity of Christ, to the entire body of the universal Church. Thus their love reaches all missions and all missionaries, who are the hands that baptize or the arms that welcome the poor and the suffering. If the heart does not pump blood, the body dies. Pope John XXIII said that the Pontifical Mission Societies are like the vascular system in the human body, that network that allows God's love to reach every tissue. The nuns, with their prayer and their daily sacrifice, are the pulsating heart from which everything originates": this is how Fr. Ryszard Szmydki, OMI, Undersecretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, presents the video produced by Agenzia Fides and released, on the occasion of World Missionary Day, to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the proclamation of Teresa of Lisieux "Patroness of the missions". On December 14, 1927, it was Pope Pius XI who declared St. Teresina of Lisieux "special patroness of missionaries, men and women in the world", a title equal to St. Francis Saverio.
In the new effort of multimedia production , Fides entered a Carmelite monastery where the nuns, according to the path traced by Santa Teresina, embrace the whole world.
In the interview with Fides, Fr. Ryszard Szmydki recalls that mission and contemplation belong to every baptized: "The missionary, as the Redemptoris Missio affirms, must be a 'contemplative in action'. The answer to the problems he gives in the light of God's word and in personal and community prayer. If the missionary is not a contemplative, he cannot proclaim Christ in a credible manner".
VATICAN - Dossier for World Mission Day: the number of Catholics in the world is increasing
21/10/2017


Vatican City - The number of Catholics in the world is increasing: almost one billion and 300 million, 17.7% of the world's population.
According to figures from the Church’s Book of Statistics and elaborated by Agenzia Fides, the baptized are 12 million and a half more than the previous year . This is one of the data in the Dossier published by Agenzia Fides on the occasion of the 91st World Mission Day, which is celebrated on Sunday, October 22, 2017, which offers a panorama of the Church in the world.
According to the Dossier, 1 billion and 100,000 people live in Africa, 19.42% are Catholics , with an increase of 0.12%. In America, out of 982.2 million inhabitants, 63.6% are Catholics , with a decrease of 0.08%.
In Asia, out of 4.3 billion people, 3.24% of the population are Catholics, an unvaried figure.
In Europe, the population is increasing , but for the second year in a row, the number of Catholics is 39.87% , a decrease of 0.21%.
38.7 million people live in Oceania, 26.36% are Catholics , with an increase of 0.24% compared to the previous year.
The Catholic ecclesiastical circumscriptions in the world are 3,006 : 538 in Africa, 1,091 in America, 538 in Asia, 758 in Europe and 81 in Oceania.
The number of Bishops in the world increases by 67 units while the number of priests decreases by 136 units .
Fides’ Dossier also informs that there are 351,797 lay missionaries in the world while 3,122,653 are catechists.
The Catholic Church runs 216,548 schools in the world, attended by over 60 million pupils. In addition, almost five and a half million young people attend Catholic institutes during high school and university studies. Finally there are about 118 thousand Catholic social and charitable institutes scattered throughout the world.
In Fides’ Dossier there is also an overall picture of the missionary cooperation activity of the Pontifical Mission Societies which, in their support to local Churches , granted subsidies which amount to 134 million US dollars in 2016.
In order to illustrate the Dossier, a motion graphics is available on Agenzia Fides' Youtube channel that you can freely download and reproduce on other websites.

Link correlati :Dossier Agenzia Fides Statistics, in English
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...the heart of the action and
missionary cooperation
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