Early this morning, Pope Francis left Rome for a 15-hour flight to Santiago, Chile. This will be his 6th visit to Latin America, since his election as Pope. He will travel tirelessly to six different cities in under a week, with the mission of bringing a message of hope and comfort to the people of those countries. His journey will begin in the Chilean capital of Santiago, where, in addition to saying Mass for the faithful, the Holy Father will meet with civil and religious leaders, then visit a women’s prison. Wednesday, the Pope will go to Temuco, a city with a large indigenous population, before returning to Santiago for a meeting with young people. The Pope will spend his final day in Chile in the northern port city of Iquique after which he will depart for the second leg of his tour to Peru.
Aboard the papal flight, the Pope spoke to journalists, about his fear of a return to the use of nuclear weapons. He shared with everyone on the plane a photo taken in 1945, of a Japanese boy in Nagasaki waiting at a crematorium to bury his baby brother, with the words: ‘the fruits of war’ printed on the back, alongside his signature.
The Holy Father said he was very moved by the image and wanted to share it, because of his fears that the world is moving once again, towards the use of nuclear weapons. His comments come two days after residents of Hawaii received false warnings of an imminent ballistic missile attack.
You may recall, last November, the Pope addressed a Vatican conference on disarmament, saying the possession of nuclear weapons is to be “firmly condemned” because “nuclear weapons create nothing but a false sense of security and cannot constitute the basis for peaceful coexistence between members of the human family.” They exist, he said, “ in the service of a mentality of fear that affects the entire human race”.
Again, we will be broadcasting some of these events live on the network, so for details, be sure to check our website listed below.
Here in Canada, the Catholic Bishops are taking a stand against a new summer job policy implemented by the federal government, which they say, is a direct violation of religious freedom and infringes on the freedom of conscience. On January 11, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a statement saying that the new summer job policy that requires all applicants to attest both the job and the organization’s “core mandate” of support to the “right to access to safe and legal abortions,” represents a violation of the guaranteed freedoms of religion, offered by Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms, under Section 2. Government is required, at law, to be neutral in matters of conscience, However, it now appears the government wants to direct our consciences against our will. This is simply wrong, they say.
The Canada Summer Jobs program gives wage subsidies so employers can offer quality summer jobs for students aged 15 to 30, to give them work experience. The Canada Summer Jobs website, says faith-based groups, non-profits, and small business are welcome to apply for funding, but will now have to comply with these new regulations.
In other news today, the incorrupt relic of St.Francis Xavier made a one day stop at St.Michael’s Cathedral Basilica last Friday, during its 15-city trek across Canada. Cardinal Thomas Collins, the Archbishop of Toronto, spoke to the media about the significance and importance of the relic before opening the viewing to the public. Now the Relic has continued on its tour and moved on westward. It will be at Winnipeg's St.Mary’s Cathedral tomorrow
. For more information on where the relic will be, you can visit the CCO website listed here
And that is all that for today. Join us again tomorrow, when I continue our highlight coverage of the Pope's apostolic trip to Chile and Peru.