Let’s begin in the US where the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City will have one of its very own priests beatified on Saturday, bringing him one step closer to sainthood.
Father Stanley Rother will be the first American-born martyr in the history of the Church. The US priest was gunned down in Guatemala in 1981, shortly after making the heroic decision to return to his mission parish, despite knowing his name was on a death list.
In 1968, the Archdiocese had sent Fr. Stanley to its mission in Guatemala, where he helped build a hospital, schools, and launched its first Catholic radio station. By 1981, Guatemala was at the height of a decades-long, violent conflict. Fr. Stanley, accused by the government of being a rebel sympathizer, suffered the same fate as many of his parishioners. He was gunned down in the rectory and his killers were never identified or caught.
Pope Francis recognized Father Stanley's martyrdom last December, making him the first martyr born in the United States.
Earlier today, the Pope met with the Italian Anti-mafia Parliamentary Commission in the Vatican. In his address to the group, the Pope spoke about how “corruption always finds a way to justify itself. Corruption presents itself as the normal condition, and the solution for those who are shrewd and that it has a contagious and parasitic nature, because corruption does not nourish what good produces, but subtracts and robs.” "Fighting mafias," the Pope continued, "entails two levels of commitment. The first, a political one, through greater social justice and the second, an economic one, through the correction or removal of those mechanisms that generate inequality and poverty everywhere."
The Pope recalled the three public figures killed by the mafia: Magistrates, Giovanni Falcone, Paolo Borsellino, and Rosario Livatino who were killed over 25 years ago.
Next week, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops will hold its yearly Plenary Assembly in Cornwall, Ontario. This year, the Bishops will discuss many topics, including, inter-religious dialogue with Islam, and the situation in the Middle East and Interfaith Dialogue. The Bishops will also reflect on human trafficking, with presentations on the work of the Santa Martha Group, the RCMP and other institutes of religious life, involved in anti-human trafficking work.
Finally, while it may still be hot outside, winter is just around the corner. And to help children-in-need, who might otherwise suffer through the harsh coldness of winter, the Knights of Columbus have kicked off their annual Coats for Kids in Chicago with some NFL and Major League Baseball celebrities. Have a look:
That's all for this week. Join us again on Monday, when we bring you more news and stories from the Perspective of a Catholic lens.
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