Yesterday, thousands of people joined Pope Francis at St Peter’s Square for his weekly recitation of the Angelus, where afterward, he reflected on the Gospel story of when Jesus was asked, “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?”
The Pope noted that the question was “insidious,” because there were more than 600 precepts in the Old Testament. But, he said, “Jesus answered without hesitation: "You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind" and adds, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself’.”
In answering the Pharisees who had posed that question, Jesus sought to help them put their religious devotion in the right order, to help them understand “what truly matters, and what is less important.”
Pope Francis concluded his remarks with the prayer that “the Holy Virgin might help us to welcome into our lives, the great commandment of love of God and your neighbour.”
To Mexico now, where the Mexican Bishops' Conference and Caritas Mexico has announced that more than $900,000 US has been raised to assist with relief and rebuilding after the 2 earthquakes struck the country last month.
The money will be used to build relief centres and shelters for those who were left homeless, after the two earthquakes decimated parts of Mexico on September 7th and on the 19th.The first earthquake leveled parts of the southern Chiapas states, leaving 100 dead and damaging more than 100,000 homes. The second earthquake struck just south of Mexico City, claiming 369 lives in the nation’s capital. Complaints have begun to surface, however, over allegations that some politicians in certain places are pilfering donations, but Church officials have promised to be good stewards of what was donated.
According to the latest estimates from the Mexican Bishops' Conference, approximately 996 Catholic churches were damaged in 19 different dioceses and about 80 priests had their parish residences destroyed. Our friends at Catholic Relief Services has this report.
Here in Canada, the CBC is reporting that the members of the Canadian Paediatric Society are “increasingly” being asked by parents, about the option of physician-assisted suicide for children, and, that a recent survey amongst its members found some qualified support for expanding the assisted-suicide law to include children.
A total of 45 doctors responding to the survey said they have received explicit requests for assisted death from parents, involving a total of 91 children, and more than half of the requests involved a child under a year old.
Since the beginning, the Canadian Catholic Bishops have been vehemently outspoken against this bill. The conference president, Bishop Douglas Crosby issued a statement last year saying that “Declaring physician-assisted suicide as a "right" is not true caring and not humane in the least. It is ultimately a false act of mercy, a distortion of kindness to our fellow man. Physician-assisted suicide is an affront to what is most noble, most precious in the human endeavour and a grave injustice and violation of the dignity of every human person whose natural and inherent inclination is indeed the preservation of life."
Now 16 months later, Canadian pediatricians are urging for improved palliative care for children and youth as a key part of preparing for the possibility of the legalization of euthanasia for certain patients under age 18.
Finally, US pilgrims are starting to partake on a new pilgrimage of a different kind: - walking the historic trails of St. Francis on a 155-mile journey from Assisi to Rome. This now from CNS.
The Way of St. Francis is a network of walking trails that connects Assisi to Rome. Created 15 years ago by the government of Italy's Umbria province, it attempts to mirror the path likely trod by St. Francis of Assisi when he went to Rome to meet Pope Innocent III in 1209.
That is all for today. Join us again tomorrow when I bring you more news and stories from the Perspective of a Catholic lens.
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