In Rome yesterday, the Pope addressed the crowds in St.Peter’s square for the recital of the weekly Angelus prayer, after which he expressed his closeness and grief for the victims of a landslide that engulfed a village in south-western China.
“I am close to the population of the Chinese village of Xinmo that was struck yesterday morning by a landslide caused by heavy rains”. “I pray for the dead and for the injured, he said, and for those who have lost their homes. May God comfort affected families and sustain their rescuers.”
Close to 100 people are still missing after a huge landslide buried homes in Xinmo and hopes of finding survivors are fading. The bodies of fifteen people have so far been recovered, but emergency workers are still digging through the debris for some 93 people who remain unaccounted for.
Just days after rebels in Colombia turned over the last of their weapons to international observers, the Vatican announced details of a Papal trip to the war-torn country in September. Colombian president, Juan Manuel Santos, announced that the pontiff had promised that he would visit Colombia if the government and the rebel group known as the FARC signed a peace agreement. Although Colombian voters rejected a referendum on a peace agreement last year with the rebels, Santos negotiated a modified deal with Colombian opposition leader and former President with the help from the Vatican and the pope, who met with the two men in late 2016.
The rebels began turning in their weapons to the UN in early June bringing 52 years of war to an end. Pope Francis is scheduled to visit four cities, starting in the Colombian capital of Bogota on Sept 6th, followed by day trips to Villavicencio and Medellin on the 8th and 9th, then back to Rome on the 10th. According to some estimates, more than 220,000 people have died, tens of thousands have been injured, and more than 7 million were displaced in the past five decades. Of course, we will televise some of the events of this trip, so I will bring you more details when they become available.
And finally tonight, I present to you the last segment of my one-on-one interview with a man who, for more than a quarter century, worked quietly behind the scenes serving the past three popes - first as the director of Vatican Radio, then, General Director of Vatican TV and most recently, as the Director of the Vatican Press Office, and is now retired. I’m talking about no other than Fr. Federico Lombardi.
Now, what is it exactly about the Martyrs Shrine in Ontario that has so much meaning for a European Jesuit like Fr. Lombardi? Of all the places he could have visited during his recent trip to Toronto, he chose this place to visit. And here’s why.
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