The Vatican released early this week
, the agenda for the Pope’s much anticipated Apostolic visit to both Myanmar and Bangladesh which will take place at the end of November of this year.
This Papal trip to Myanmar is scheduled for November 27th to the 30th, and in Bangladesh from the 30th to December 2nd. This trip will offer moments to recognize each nation's struggle for independence, underline interreligious respect and encourage the local minority Catholic communities.
This visit comes as serious questions have been raised about the Myanmar government's treatment of the Muslim Rohingya people. The Pope has publicly appealed for their protection on several occasions, calling them brothers and sisters who have been tortured, killed, "just because they want to keep their traditions and their Muslim faith."
This will be the Pope’s 21st trip in his 5-year pontificate. According to the latest Vatican statistics, Myanmar has about 659,000 Catholics out of a population of about 51 million. Bangladesh, on the other hand, has about 357,000 Catholics which accounts for 0.3% of its total population which is mainly Muslim.
Rest assured that we will broadcast some of the events and I’ll bring you more details closer to the date.
The death penalty, no matter how it is carried out, is, in itself, contrary to the Gospel. This is the declaration that the Pope made yesterday, marking the 25th anniversary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Addressing participants at an encounter to mark the anniversary of the Catechism, the Pope said that the Catechism needs to be even more explicitly against capital punishment, saying that it heavily wounds human dignity and is inhumane.
During the ceremony, the Pope repeated his insistence that capital punishment is "inadmissible" under any circumstance. He said that the death penalty violates the Gospel and amounts to the voluntary killing of a human life, which "is always sacred in the eyes of the Creator."
The Catechism of the Catholic Church, issued a quarter century ago by St. John Paul II to give Catholics an easy, go-to guide for church teaching, doesn't exclude recourse to the death penalty.
In other news, a special mass, was celebrated today at the Basilica of St. Mary Major to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Vatican Congregation for Eastern Churches. I have highlights from the event from CNS.
And finally tonight
, we have a very special program for you, coming soon to Salt and Light. That special show airs on October 22nd at 7:30 pm and 11:30 pm
Eastern. For more details, be sure to check out our website here for more details.
And that is all we have time for this week. Join us again on Monday when we bring you more news and stories from the Perspective of a Catholic lens.