Pope Francis: Politics and Society - This is the title of a new book available today by researcher Dominique Wolton, based on his meetings with Pope Francis over the past year. Wolton is a 70-year-old French sociologist and expert in media and political communication.
Between February 2016 and February 2017, the Pope granted 12 interviews to Wolton and is the basis of this 400 page book. It provides some very personal insights on the Pope’s thoughts on a variety of topics and even reveals that the Pope consulted a Jewish psychoanalyst once a week for six months when he was 42 years old. He conveyed that it “helped him at that moment in his life…when he needed to clarify things.” This is among some of the personal details the Pope disclosed.
He talks about subjects including the migrant crisis, pedophile priests, “the fear” that is gripping Europe today, politics and religion, dialogue between religions, globalization, the inequalities in today’s world, ecology, relations with Islam, fundamentalism, ecumenism, the family, communion for the divorced and remarried, joy and much else. At the moment, this 432-page book is only available in French and can be purchased on Amazon.fr.
In Colombia, where more than 1,000 Catholics are asking the Church to seek forgiveness for the role it played during the 50 year civil war that took the lives of over 200,000 people and left millions of victims. Some Catholics in that country say that the Church persecuted people for holding unpopular political opinions, and often placed itself at the right hand of power, rather than alongside the poor and oppressed.
Now, a collective of Catholic priests, religious and laity have publicly asked forgiveness for the Church's role in this civil war. Still, more than 1,000 Catholics have signed a letter calling for the Church to officially request forgiveness.
Several hundred Catholics attended the Mass in central Bogota early this month, asking for forgiveness from victims, who spoke of political persecution or of the Church failing to intervene, as death squads, paramilitaries, drug traffickers and military officials carried out violence against civilians in Colombia.
Pope Francis arrives in Colombia today after the signing of a peace deal between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces last November. The Papal five-day trip is intended to promote peace and reconciliation.
In the US, the announced end to the DACA program, is being called "re-prehensible" by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
A statement issued by the US Bishops yesterday, condemns the action taken by the US government and calls it “reprehensible" and that it "causes unnecessary fear" for the youths and their families. The bishops have called on the president to keep the program, telling DACA recipients that "You are children of God and welcome in the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church supports you and will advocate for you."
US Attorney General, Jeff Sessions announced yesterday, that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, also known as DACA is "being rescinded" by President Trump, thus leaving some 800,000 youth, brought illegally to the U.S. as minors, in peril of deportation and of losing permits that allow them to work.
The Department of Homeland Security will immediately stop accepting applications to the DACA program. However, current recipients will not be affected until March 5, which Sessions says, “will give a time period for Congress to act - should it choose to do so."
And finally, in Ireland, Irish Catholics are praying and preparing for their role in hosting the upcoming 2018 World Meeting of Families. This report now from CNS:
That's all for today. Join us again tomorrow, when we bring you more news and stories from the Perspectives of a Catholic lens.
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