Yesterday, we brought you the story of the increasing violence against Catholics in the Congo where police used tear gas and batons against some Mass-goers at a local church. We have some new video footage of the chaos that broke out after such an attack at one of the churches. Cardinal Laurent Pasinya issued a statement yesterday to National Public Radio, calling the attack, "nothing short of barbaric, where people at Mass, armed only with Bibles and rosaries, were attacked with tear gas”. Have a look.
Now the rector of St. Alphonse Parish in Kinshasa, told Radio France International, that the police have beaten and robbed Catholics when they sought refuge in his church, and that they have blown out the church's stained-glass windows with shotguns.
The bishops of that country are pressing President Kabila to step down and give up power, in a country where close to 50% of its 68 million people are Catholic. The President’s second and final term expired two years ago and he refuses to relinquish power. I will keep you up to date on this story as more details become available.
We go to central Asia now were the Bishops in Kazakhstan say "no" to Communion for divorced and remarried Catholics. Archbishop Tomash Peta and Bishop Athanasius Schneider recently published a statement called the “Immutable truths about sacramental marriage” where they say that no bishop or group of bishops have the authority to authorize communion for Catholics who are divorced and remarried unless the couple has received an annulment or has made a sincere pledge to abstain from marital relations.
Talking to CNS today, Bishop Schneider said that their statement was in response to some bishops' conferences issuing norms and guidelines in response to the Pope’s "Amoris Laetitia", that foresees the “possibility” of divorced and remarried Catholics returning to the sacraments. “In Kazakhstan,” the bishop said, "divorced people living with someone else wouldn’t dare ask for Holy Communion because they know they are living in a situation of sin. It would be blasphemy." "If people read our statement as a confrontation with the pope, that is their view, not ours,” he said. “It is not a rebuke, confrontation or challenge, but a service in charity and truth."
World Youth Day in Panama is a year away and the organizers have just released the latest World Youth Day Minute about the preparations for this highly anticipated world event. Have a look.
That is all that we have time for today. Join us again tomorrow when I bring you news and stories from the Perspective of a Catholic lens.
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