Dear Brothers and Sisters, Happy Easter!
Today the Church renews the proclamation made by the first disciples: “Jesus is risen!” And from mouth to mouth, from heart to heart, there resounds a call to praise: “Alleluia, Alleluia!” On this morning of Easter, the perennial youth of the Church and of humanity as a whole, I would like to address each of you in the opening words of my recent Apostolic Exhortation devoted especially to young people:
“Christ is alive! He is our hope, and in a wonderful way he brings youth to our world. Everything he touches becomes young, new, full of life. The very first words, then, that I would like to say to every young Christian are these: Christ is alive and he wants you to be alive! He is in you, he is with you and he never abandons you. However far you may wander, he is always there, the Risen One. He calls you and he waits for you to return to him and start over again. When you feel you are growing old out of sorrow, resentment or fear, doubt or failure, he will always be there to restore your strength and your hope” (Christus Vivit, 1-2).
Dear brothers and sisters, this message is also addressed to every person in the world. The resurrection of Christ is the principle of new life for every man and every woman, for true renewal always begins from the heart, from the conscience. Yet Easter is also the beginning of the new world, set free from the slavery of sin and death: the world open at last to the Kingdom of God, a Kingdom of love, peace and fraternity…..
Read full article here; http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/messages/urbi/documents/papa-francesco_20190421_urbi-et-orbi-pasqua.html
Last Sunday, a group of strangers stopped the car of Fr. Zhang smashed the glass of the window and started beating Fr. Zhang. They took him, threw him to the ground and then dragged the priest into their car and took him away. Fr. Zhang, 49, an underground priest of Xuanhua, who does not agree to join the Patriotic Association (PA), the controlling body of the Chinese Catholic Church. The faithful are worried and afraid because their priests are not safe and risk disappearing in the hands of the police at any time.
Also last Sunday, in the diocese of Lanzhou (Gansu) another unofficial priest, Fr. Hong Wanxi, 60, was forcibly taken to his home village by the United Front. He was forced to leave his Church and forcibly moved to his home town. The reason is always the same: refusal to join the PA and to be part of the official diocese of Shijiazhuang. At least 10 people, including policemen and members of the United Front and the Religious Affairs Office, took him, put him in the car and dragged him away.
Meanwhile, news has arrived that last April 12, in Hubei, a Catholic church was destroyed: It was Xutang, in Xiangtao.
Source: http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Xuanhua-worshipers-call-for-the-return-of-their-priest-kidnapped-by-security-forces-46775.htmlRead More »
More than 200 people were killed and at least 450 others were injured in eight coordinated attacks on churches and hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday. The death toll continues to rise, with at least 207 people dead, according to police.
The attacks marks some of the worst violence the country has seen since the end of its civil war a decade ago. Police have imposed a 12 hour curfew that began at 6 p.m. local time. Officials have said flights will continue through that curfew, albeit with extra security checks.
Sri Lanka’s prime minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, released a statement condemning the “cowardly attacks on our people” and asked “all Sri Lankans during this tragic time to remain united and strong.”
Christians are a minority in Sri Lanka, with the majority of Christians in the country being Roman Catholic. As Easter is one of Christianity’s holiest days, many of Sri Lanka’s Christian population were worshipping at church when the attacks took place.
What we know so far;Read More »