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Quotes and news

Bishops’ prayer to save Venezuela

After President Nicholas Maduro’s ‘victory’ in last Sunday’s poll in Ve­nezuela, the country’s bishops pray­ed for Our Lady’s intercession to liberate the country. The prayer, transmitted via Twitter, read: “Most Holy Virgin, Mother of Coromoto, heavenly Patron of Vene­zue­la, free our homeland from the claws of communism and socialism.”

In the run-up to the poll, the bishops’ conference said it was “unconstitutional as well as unnecessary, inconvenient and damaging to the Venezuelan people”.

“It will be a biased and skewed instrument that will not resolve but rather aggravate the acute problems of the high cost of living and the lack of food and medicine that the people suffer and will worsen the political crisis we currently suffer,” the statement said.

Human trafficking is a ‘plague’ – Pope

At last Sunday’s Angelus, Pope Fran­cis said human trafficking was an “abhorrent plague, a form of modern slavery” and called for a universal commitment to combat it.  He said “every year, thousands of men, women and children are innocent victims of labour exploitation, and sex and organ trafficking”. The eradi­cation of human trafficking has consistently been one of the highest priorities of Pope Francis’ papacy.

In an April 2017 message to the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe in Vienna he called human trafficking a “form of slavery, a crime against humanity, a grave violation of human rights, an atrocious scourge, and it is all the more to be condemned when it takes place against children”.

Christianity and Islam are engaged in ‘contest for souls’

At a bishop’s ordination, Cardinal John Onaiyekan of Abuja, Nigeria, said: “It is my desire to ‘Christianise Nigeria’ by all means of peaceful persuasion and conviction. But I am also aware that there are others who have a similar desire, in respect of their own faith. I therefore respect the right of those who claim that they want to ‘Islamise Nigeria’.

“We are therefore engaged in a contest for the souls of Nigerians – a contest that is legitimate, but must be carried out strictly with  non-violence, justice, freedom and sincerity before God. This is not only possible, but also necessary, for peace to reign in our land…

“Evangelisation, spreading the Good News, entails but goes be­yond making converts and swelling the statistics of our Church membership. We must also endeavour to generate a critical mass of witnesses to truth, justice and love, who, in collaboration with other men and women of good will, can make a positive impact in society.”

(Compiled by Fr Joe Borg)

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