We being in Rome today where, during the Pope’s weekly general audience, he improvised yet another appeal for what he called the martyred nation of Syria.
“We must pray for these brothers and sisters of ours”, he said, “and for all persecuted Christians”. During his main talk however, Pope Francis spoke about the Cross as being the first altar.
In Canada, a congregation of religious orders who have been curators of one of Canada's largest shrines since the 19th century called 'The Redemptorists' have announced that they will be leaving their monastery at Ste. Anne-de-Beaupre.
In a letter sent to pilgrimage organizers and donors, the rector of the sanctuary, Fr. Bernard Gauthier said that the decision was made after "several months of studies and reflections on the current state of the buildings, versus the financial resources available." Currently, 21 Redemptorists remain in the monastery but by May, only 10 will stay in a home next to the shrine to continue being the curators of the site. Most of the remaining members will live in various residences around Quebec City.
Last December, the Redemptorists met with the Archdiocese of Quebec to make plans for the future of the famous monastery. The surplus land and buildings, will be sold. And they expect to be completely moved out of their monestary in less than two years. And while the sanctuary of Ste. Anne de Beaupre was founded in 1658, the Redemptorists have been there since 1878.
To the Holy Land now where Christian leaders have announced they will reopen the Church of the Holy Sepulcher today, after the Israeli government set up a negotiating team to resolve a municipal dispute over property taxes; a dispute that led closure to protesting pilgrims.
On another note, the committee's formation was announced yesterday; two days after Christian leaders closed the doors of a Church, which was built on the site Jesus was buried. Church leaders sent out a brief press notice acknowledging that they had received a statement from the prime minister's office concerning the crisis, and said they were holding consultations.
The authority figures of Christian churches have recently expressed “gratitude, to all those who have worked tirelessly to uphold the Christian presence in Jerusalem, and to defend the Status Quo", the 19th-century agreement that governs Jerusalem's holy places.
Finally, dozens of Catholics were arrested yesterday in the US at the Senate building in Washington after asking lawmakers to help undocumented young adults, who are brought to the US as minors, maintain permanent legal status'.
That is all that we have time for today. Join us again tomorrow, when I bring you more news and stories from the Perspectives of a Catholic Lens.