#ShortNews: South Korean Mass for peace attracts 20,000 faithful

The Committee for the Reconciliation of the Korean People of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Korea (CBCK) held a special Mass on June 25 at Peace World Park in Imjingak, near the demilitarized zone dividing North and South Korea. Celebrated by South Korean bishops and 20,000 Catholics prayed for peace on the divided peninsula on the 69th anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War (1950-53).

During the Mass titled “Blessed are the peacemakers,” the bishops’ committee released a letter asking all Koreans to move away from struggles and confrontations and seek peace. In his homily, Archbishop Kim, president of the CBCK, appealed to leaders of the two Koreas to work for the common goal of Korean people for reconciliation and prosperity rather than their personal pride or political causes.

“For peace, there should be no preconditions. We need to repent the history of using force of arms against each other. I wish the year 2020, the 70th anniversary of the Korean War, will bring the signing of the termination of war and an agreement for peace. The war ended with a truce, leaving the peninsula technically still at war,” he said.

Read full story; https://www.ucanews.com/news/south-korean-mass-for-peaceattracts-20-000-faithful/85503

#ShortNews: Caritas India has rescued over 140 people from human trafficking

According to Indian government statistics, 8,132 cases of human trafficking were reported in 2016. Nonetheless, even the official figures indicated that the problem is getting worse as this constituted a 20 percent increase on 2015.

The United Nations defines human trafficking as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons by threats or force for the purpose of exploitation. The definition includes the provision of money or benefits to obtain the consent of a person to exploit somebody under their control.

Assistant director Father Jolly Puthenpura said that since then the Catholic social services organization has initiated an anti-trafficking program in 75 villages in the north-eastern Indian states of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. He said Caritas India, through collaborative interventions, has so far rescued 141 people, repatriated 69 and rehabilitated 72 others.

Christian leaders active in this field stress that awareness building needs to be carried out in tandem with poverty reduction. According to official government figures, nearly a quarter of India’s 1.2 billion people are poor or very poor.

Read some of the victims’ stories here; https://www.ucanews.com/news/indian-catholics-vs-human-traffickers/85483

#ShortNews: 14 nuns, martyred during Spanish Civil War, beatified in Madrid

Homily of Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu

“Dear brothers and sisters,

These words of Saint Paul, proclaimed in the first Letter, can be applied today to the fourteen nuns of the Franciscan Order of the Immaculate Conception (Conceptionists) killed during the religious persecution that sought to eliminate the Church in Spain. They remained strong in the faith: they did not take fright in the face of outrages, anguish and persecutions. They were ready to seal with their life the Truth they professed with their lips, joining to the martyrdom of Jesus their martyrdom of faith, hope and charity…

All the testimonies we have received enable us to affirm that these Conceptionist nuns died because they were disciples of Christ, because they did not want to deny their own faith and break their religious vows. When at the beginning of the war, in the republican zone the Communities transferred to the homes of relatives and friends, they adapted without complaint, giving an example of heroism. They never had attitudes of animosity towards those who were the cause of their sufferings, but they responded with charity. They approached sacrifice, glorifying God and forgiving their executioners, following the example of Christ Who on the cross said, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do” (Lk 23: 34).

…These fourteen new Blesseds, who remained steadfast in their faith even in the moment of supreme oblation, represent an encouragement to continue with joy and hope in bearing witness in every environment to the love and mercy of God, who never abandons us, especially at the moment of failure and defeat.”

Read the full Homili: http://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/en/bollettino/pubblico/2019/06/22/190622b.html