Independent Catholic News
Amazonia: Dorothy Stang’s Struggle tells the story of US-born Dorothy Stang (1931-2005), who joined the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur and then lived Laudato Si’ long before it was written. With every breath, Sister Stang made the protection of the poor and respect for creation her life’s mission – and she did it in one of the most essential, most threatened, and most coveted ecosystems on Earth.
As a result of her support for the indigenous peoples of the Amazon – and of the environment in which they lived – she was assassinated in February of 2005 by the hired gunmen of prominent landowners whose abuses Sister Stang had denounced again and again.
“We made this film in the spirit of Pope Francis’s encyclical Laudato Si’,” Fr Gabriel Roussineau, Net for God’s Director, told Catholic Ecology. “We wanted to demonstrate an authentic witness to the commitment to ‘integral ecology’ advocated by Pope Francis. Sr Dorothy Stang’s life continues to bear fruit today, inspiring many local initiatives for the protection of biodiversity.” Continue reading New documentary on life of Sr Dorothy Stang →
By John L. Allen Jr.
EL PASO — Pope Francis’ Feb. 12-17 swing through Mexico reaches a crescendo on Wednesday in Ciudad Juárez, just across the US border from El Paso. So far history’s first Latin American pontiff has been a sensation, drawing rapturous crowds and saturation media coverage.
In the United States, Wednesday’s border stop is likely to be viewed through the prism of the politics of 2016 and debates over immigration reform, but Mexicans value the gesture for another reason, too: Ciudad Juárez is also associated with their country’s epidemic of gang- and drug-related violence. Continue reading As pope winds up Mexico trip, thoughts on the big picture →
By Ignatius Banda
BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe, Feb 23 2016 (IPS) – Sijabuliso Nleya has been kept busy in the past few weeks digging up sand. He is not a sand poacher like scores of people who local district councils across the country say are digging along dry river beds for sand used in the construction of houses. “The situation is terrible,” said Nleya, who owns a plot in Douglasdale, a small farming community on the outskirts of Bulawayo.
Together with other men, he has been filling up dry wells and boreholes, as groundwater increasingly becomes an unforeseen casualty of climate change, thanks to the absence of rainfall for long periods across the country. “The dry wells have become dangerous when in the past they were a source of our livelihood. It’s better to fill them with sand than dream that they will provide us with water one day,” Nleya told IPS. Continue reading Groundwater Crisis Worsens Food Insecurity →
South African President Jacob Zuma has delivered his annual State of the Nation address in the country’s parliament. After more than an hour of disruptions and interruptions, mostly by members of the opposition Economic Freedom Fighters, Zuma finally got down to business. Or did he?
The Conversation Africa’s Politics and Society editor Thabo Leshilo and Voice of Wits presenter Tsholofelo Semenya put some questions to Professor Susan Booysen. You can listen to the audio or read the transcript below.
(Download) Continue reading South Africa: Zuma delivers “no hope” State of the Nation →
Independent Catholic News
Catholic Bishops of Sudan and South Sudan, in a pastoral letter, have said that the suffering and misery caused by “insecurity and wars” must end. “People are hurting beyond bearable proportions. This unacceptable situation cannot go on forever,” they said in a statement after meeting in Rome last month.
The conflict that erupted in South Sudan two years ago, according to the UN, has left 6.4million people in need of emergency aid, 1.7 million people without homes to return to, and more than 640,000 South Sudanese living as refugees in neighboring countries. Continue reading Catholic Bishops of Sudan, South Sudan call for more to be done to honour peace agreement →
At least 3,000 barrels of crude oil have been spilled in an Amazonian region after leaks from Peru’s main oil pipeline, the state oil company said.
The oil has polluted two rivers that at least eight indigenous communities rely on for water, the government and indigenous leaders said.
Petroperu has promised a full clean-up and is also providing food and water. Continue reading Peru oil spill pollutes Amazon rivers used by indigenous group →
In a Greek village at the heart of the refugee crisis, Father Schuff calls on priests and monasteries to do more.
Matthew Vickery, Kelly Lynn Lunde
Boats of refugees have been coming to Skala Sikamineas, a village on the coast of Lesbos that was originally founded by those fleeing the 1919-1922 Greco-Turkish war, for almost two decades.
The secluded village of fewer than 200 people is a gateway to Europe that has brought joy, but also grief as death blights the waters around this Greek island.
The fishermen and other residents of the village have been saving their passengers for that long too. But these days the numbers are hard to cope with. A few years ago a boat arrived every week, carrying mostly refugees from Afghanistan. Now 40 boats packed with Iraqis, Syrians, Somalis, Afghans and other nationalities can come in a single day. Continue reading ‘We have the same God’: A priest helps Syrian refugees →
Ignatian Solidarity Network
NICARAGUA – Fr. Fernando Cardenal, S.J., died earlier today, February 20, 2016 at the age of 82. Cardenal had entered a Managua hospital intensive care unit on February 9th.
Fr. Cardenal, born in 1934 in Granada, Nicaragua, led of life of advocacy and active commitment to the poor that emulated the Jesuit approach to injustice throughout the Americas since the Second Vatican Council. Continue reading Social Justice Advocate Fr. Fernando Cardenal, S.J., Dies at Age 82 →
Religious News Service
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis on Sunday called for the worldwide abolition of the death penalty, saying the commandment “You shall not kill” was absolute and equally valid for the guilty as for the innocent.
Using some of his strongest words ever against capital punishment, he also called on Catholic politicians worldwide to make “a courageous and exemplary gesture” by seeking a moratorium on executions during the Church’s current Holy Year, which ends in November. Continue reading Pope Francis: Abolish the death penalty worldwide →
by CIMI – Portuguese
Indigenous organizations and those linked to the cause have expressed their outrage over Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s veto of Bill (PL) 5.954-C/2013, authored by Senator Cristovam Buarque, which seeks to ensure that indigenous communities can utilize their native languages in basic education, in professional education and in higher education, as well as their own processes of learning and assessment that respect their distinct cultures. Continue reading Brazil’s Rousseff vetoes indigenous education project →