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Quotes and news

Pope to legislators: ‘Build bridges’

In an address to the International Catholic Legislators Network last Sunday, Pope Francis said: “As long as the contribution of the Church to the great questions of society in our time can be put into discussion, it is vital that your commitment be constantly pervaded by her moral and social teachings, in order to build a more humane and just society.

“The laws you promulgate and apply ought to build bridges bet­ween different political perspectives: even when they respond to precise ends ordered to the promotion of greater care for the defenceless and the marginalised, especially the many who are constrained to leave their countries; and when they are in order to favour a correct human and natural ecology.”

No cautions for dissident theologians

The American Catholic newspaper the National Catholic Reporter remarks that the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) has not taken disciplinary action against dissident theologians since the election of Pope Francis. The Reporter contacted several theologians whose work had come under scrutiny by the Vatican’s doctrinal congregation in the past. None had heard from the CDF since Pope Francis was elected in March 2013.

Call for full rights for Rohingya minority

Pope Francis has again appealed for the persecuted Muslim Rohingya minority based mostly in Rakhine state in west Myanmar, to be given full rights. The Pope ex­pressed his closeness to the Ro­hingya and ask­ed pilgrims to pray for “the Lord to save them, to arouse men and wo­men of goodwill to help them, who give them full rights.”

Since last year alone, around 87,000 Rohingya have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh. But many have been detained and forced to return to the Rakhine state.

Nigerian bishops urge obedience

Bishop Peter Okpaleke, the troubled bishop of the Ahiara diocese in Nigeria, has found the support of the other Catholic bishops in the ecclesiastical province of Owerri in Nigeria. They are exhorting the people to “unconditionally obey the Pope, the Vicar of Christ”, and accept the leadership of Okpaleke.

Priests and lay Catholics in Ahiara have refused to recognise Bishop Okpaleke. The bishops of the province of Owerri described this disobedience as “the scandal and pain of disunity”.  Pope Francis wrote to the clergy saying that priests who did not accept the bishop’s authority within 30 days would be suspended from ministry.

(Compiled by Fr Joe Borg)

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