What a whirlwind weekend it was for the Pope who immediately after his Apostolic trip to Egypt, was back at it and addressed the pilgrims at St.Peter’s Square for his weekly Regina Coeli address.
But first, let's have a quick at what was perhaps the most significant ecumenical event during the Pope’s visit to Cairo. On Friday, the Pope made a courtesy visit to the Coptic Pope, Tawadros 2nd where the two leaders signed a joint declaration at the Coptic Orthodox Cathedral. I have Deacon Pedro now with the details: Deacon Pedro.
On the flight back to Rome, the Pope held his traditional in-flight “press conference” with journalists where he touched on a wide range of issues including, His concern for the North Korean crisis for which he urged for diplomatic mediation.
A diplomatic solution must be found to the escalating tension between North Korea and the United States, Pope Francis told journalists.
When asked about President Trump's decision to send warships in response to North Korea's continued missile tests and threats to launch nuclear weapons, he said that the path to take, is the path of negotiation and of a diplomatic solution".
However, when asked by journalists, "What do you say to these leaders who hold responsibility for the future of humanity?" His response was simply, "I will call on them. I'm going to call on them like I have called on the leaders of different places," he said. "There are many facilitators and mediators around the world who are always ready to help with negotiations", the Pope said.
The situation in North Korea, has been heated for a long time, "but now it seems it has heated up too much, no?" "I always call for resolving problems through the diplomatic path, negotiations" because the future of humanity depends on it, he said.
Now in Rome yesterday, The Pope addressed the pilgrims at St.Peter’s Square for his weekly Regina Coeli address. In his message before the Marian Prayer, The Pope asks for Prayers for Venezuela and for all Countries in difficulty.
I ask the Lord to Bless All the Egyptian People, the Authorities and the Christian and Muslim Faithful. May He give Peace to that Country
Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!
Tragic news does not cease to arrive about the situation in Venezuela and the worsening of the clashes, with numerous dead, wounded and arrested. While I unite myself to the grief of the families of the victims, for whom I assure prayers of suffrage, I address a heartfelt appeal to the Government and to all the components of the Venezuelan society to avoid all further forms of violence; may human rights be respected and may negotiated solutions be sought to the grave humanitarian, social, political and economic crisis that is distressing the population. We entrust to the Most Holy Virgin Mary the intention of peace, of reconciliation and of democracy in that dear country. And we pray for all countries that are going through grave difficulties, I am thinking in particular these days of the Republic of Macedonia.
And you can read the entire address on our website listed here.
Finally now, here in Canada, A Saskatchewan judge has ruled that the provincial government must stop subsidizing Catholic Schools for non-Catholic students to attend attend catholic schools in that province.
This judgement is a result of a court case initiated in 2005 when the Good Spirit Public School Board launched legal action against the Christ the Teacher Catholic School board.
The Good Spirit public board was forced closed its school in the rural community of Theodore due to declining enrollments. The Catholics families in the area successfully petitioned the government to form a new Catholic school division in the town and purchased the closed public school and renamed it St. Theodore.
When the Catholic school opened, it accepted local non-Catholic students that made up more than 60 percent of the student population.
In the judgement, Justice Donald Layh wrote that funding "non-minority faith students" in Catholic schools violates the Charter of Rights and "the state's duty of religious neutrality." He has given the province until June 30, 2018, to end the practice.
Now, it’s unknown exactly how many non-Catholic students attend Catholic schools. Estimates say that up to one-third of the students in some Catholic school divisions are not Catholic. If the government is forced to end funding for non-Catholics students in Catholic schools, the result could be teacher layoffs and Catholic school closures and overcrowding in some public schools.
And that's it for Perspectives today. Join us again tomorrow when we bring you more news and stories through the Perspectives of a catholic lens. From all of us at the Salt and Light, thank you for joining us and we'll see you again tomorrow.