“The Church needs true prophets, who not only speak the truth fearlessly but also who empathize with the suffering of their people”. That was the Pope’s message during his homily at his daily morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta earlier today.
Reflecting on the liturgical reading of the day, the Holy Father noted that the Church needs prophets. "What's more: it needs each of us to be prophets, not critics.” He who just criticizes and is never happy with anything is not a prophet. The Pope explained that a prophet is he who prays, looks to God, looks at his people and when the people err, he weeps. A true prophet, if he does his job well, risks his own skin, so that others may find hope", Pope Francis said.
Now with the 2018 Synod, on Youth and Discernment being just over six months away, preparations for the following Synod of Bishops in 2019 began last week as the Pope met with the members of his preparatory council. The theme chosen by the Pope for that synod meeting is: "The Amazon: New paths for the Church and for an integral ecology."
The council members and several experts on the Amazon were invited to Rome to discuss the pastoral needs in the territory, especially the need "for a more incisive inculturation of the Gospel for the people who live there, particularly the indigenous people", a statement from the Vatican said.
During the Pope’s recent visit to the indigenous people of the Amazon in January, he pledged the Church's "whole-hearted option for the defense of life, the defense of the earth and the defense of cultures."
The Amazon region includes territory belonging to nine countries in South America. It has experienced significant deforestation, negatively impacting the indigenous populations in the area and leading to a loss of biodiversity. Here now is a story from CNS that highlights some of the issues.
We go to the Philippines now where government authorities have arrested, detained and intend to deport a 71-year-old Australian nun for allegedly engaging in illegal political activities.
Ucan News is reporting that Philippine immigration officers arrested Sister Patricia Fox, Superior of the Sisters of Our Lady of Sion, at her convent in Quezon City yesterday. And although the prosecutor in charge found no probable cause for her arrest and ordered the nun's release for further investigation, immigration officials insisted on the nun's detention claiming that Sister Fox failed to surrender her passport to the bureau.
Immigration officials have accused the nun, who has worked in rural communities for 27 years, of being an "undesirable alien" for joining protest rallies and visiting political prisoners.
Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said that this is political and "the government is trying to intimidate individuals and groups who are in pursuit of social justice for the oppressed and the poor." Thankfully, she was released earlier today.
That is all that we have time for today. Join us again tomorrow, when I bring you more news and stories from the Perspective of a Catholic Lens.