#ShortNews: Increasing numbers of Catholic missionaries come from Mexico

“Mexico is among the emerging nations in terms of the gift of missionaries, because more and more faithful from this country leave to bring the Good News of Christ to distant lands”: says Mgr. Giampietro Dal Toso, Assistant Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and President of the Pontifical Mission Societies, as he begins his visit in the Mexican capital.

The Archbishop emphasized “the presence of so many Mexican missionaries, priests, men and women religious, but also lay people and families, who leave their land to bring faith everywhere in the world”. “Mission – he notes – is not something which belongs to the past, but is current, and is a call of every baptized: this is why Pope Francis always speaks of ‘a Church that goes forth’, which means missionary Church”.

Full article: http://www.fides.org/en/news/64853-AMERICA_MEXICO_Archbishop_Dal_Toso_Mexico_a_generous_nation_in_the_gift_of_missionaries

#ShortNews: 100 young missionaries have been killed since 2000

In an interview given to Fides News Agency on the occasion of the annual “Day of prayer and fasting in memory of missionary martyrs” on 24th March, Archbishop Giovanni Pietro Dal Toso, Adjunct Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and President of the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) observed: “In the ancient Church there were many young martyrs. Thinking of them, we can say that the testimony of faith, even of blood, knows no limits: the call to the gift of life touches every baptized person, and young people can give a precious example. When you are younger you have a strong enthusiasm and willingness to give your life. There is so much generosity in the hearts of young people”. “I do not believe that today’s young people – continues the President of the PMS – are less generous than past generations. Youth, like other ages of life, has endemic weaknesses, but even the millennials, the young people of today, show generosity: just think of the experiences of young people and volunteers who go to mission countries”(Fides 23/03/2018).

In the short profiles we have presented, we have tried to include the diversity of the states of life (priests, religious, seminarians, lay people), the circumstances and geographical locations where they were killed and the activities through which they were witnessing the Gospel. They are grouped together in age (under 40 years old when they were killed), dying within a time span from 2000 to 2017, (the beginning of the millennium) and by the deep missionary commitment that motivated them. We have identified 12, like the Apostles, about whom we have been able to find information and eye-witness accounts which have allowed us to build up a basic identikit. There then follows a series of short notes about another 90 missionaries killed in the same period and, we have been able to ascertain, are within the same age group. These lists cannot, however, be considered complete. The term ‘martyr’ is not used in any case, only in its etymological meaning of ‘witness’, so as not to affect the judgment that the Church might give on some of them, something that has happened recently with the beatification and canonization of some young missionary martyrs.

Read more: https://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=38990

#ShortNews: Kim Jong-un invites Pope Francis to visit North Korea

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has invited Pope Francis to visit Pyongyang, a spokesman for South Korea’s presidential Blue House said Tuesday.

“Chairman Kim said he will ‘ardently welcome the pope if he visits Pyongyang,’” spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom said according to a readout of the news briefing. The spokesman was announcing details about South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s planned visit to Europe next week, which includes a stop at the Vatican on Oct. 17 and 18.

Read full article: https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/10/09/asia-pacific/north-koreas-kim-invites-pope-francis-visit-pyongyang-seoul-says/#.W8Q2tbPQ7IV

#ShortNews: Filipino nun tagged as Communist fears for life

A Catholic nun who has been active in social justice issues in the southern Philippines is fearing for her life after she was tagged as a communist by the military. The nun said the attempt to link her to the underground rebel movement was a “malicious and vile design to put her life in danger, especially as Mindanao is under martial law.”

To be linked to a terrorist communist group is to condemn a person as all-out anti-government. The nun has been actively involved in local and regional special government bodies in the region in the past 30 years, “how can I be a terrorist, an enemy of the state, when I have been engaging with officialdom?” she asked.

Read full article: https://www.ucanews.com/news/filipino-catholic-nun-tagged-as-communist-fears-for-life/83511

#ShortNews: Indian Catholics, Protestants join in prayer for protection from persecution

Christians of different confessions in India today observe, October 1st, a special day of prayer for the Christian communities present in India and will live a time of assiduous prayer in the month of October, in communion with Pope Francis. “It is the second year in which a special prayer vigil is organized at a national level, to entrust Indian Christians to God in times when they are still touched by violence and persecution”, explained to Agenzia Fides Shibu Thomas, Christian Protestant leader, among the organizers of the day.

“Prayer is the need of today and is the only resource we have. Indian Christians desperately need to resort to continuous, ardent, coherent prayer, full of faith for the persecuted Church and against the forces of evil, as Pope Francis asks”, he continues.

Read full article: http://www.fides.org/en/news/64842-ASIA_INDIA_Indian_Christians_pray_against_evil_and_violence_in_communion_with_the_Pope

#ShortNews: Students in Chinese Schools Forced to Renounce Their Christianity

More than 300 Christian children in two high schools in Zhejiang province, which has been referred to as the “Jerusalem of the East” for its strong Christian presence, have been asked to fill out a form stating that they did not follow a religion, World Watch Monitor has been told by a trusted local source.

Our source said children in China are pressured in a variety of ways: “In these cases it would be using words only. It seems teachers recently were tasked with pressuring children by separating them from the other students to ‘counsel’ or talk to them sternly about the ‘consequences’ of talking about being a Christian believer at school, urging them to write “No religion” on their questionnaire. This is for the child’s sake and to limit any growth of Christianity amongst young people through evangelism or simply becoming known as the ones who could answer questions other pupils may have about Christianity.”

Source: https://www.worldwatchmonitor.org/2018/10/china-christian-schoolchildren-forced-to-tick-no-religion-box/

#ShortNews: German bishops apologize for thousands of sex abuse cases

A top German bishop has apologized for thousands of sexual abuse cases that took place inside the Catholic Church in Germany, according to a devastating report released Tuesday that concludes at least 3,677 people were abused by clergy between 1946 and 2014.

“Sexual abuse is a crime,” Cardinal Reinhard Marx, who is also the head of the German Bishops Conference, told reporters. “I’m ashamed for so many (of us) looking away, not wanting to recognize what happened and not helping the victims. That goes for me as well.”

The apology came on the same day that Pope Francis acknowledged that the sex abuse scandal rocking the Catholic Church was driving people away. He said the church must change its ways if it wants to keep future generations.

Read more: https://www.apnews.com/094a6ca616a24799ab7866f9ca71b992