We begin in Toronto where the Archbishop of Toronto issued a statement Monday evening in the aftermath of the Yonge Street massacre where ten people were killed and fifteen others injured when a van was intentionally driven onto the sidewalk, mowing down pedestrians.
As news of the tragedy spread throughout the world, Cardinal Thomas Collins issued a statement saying, “I invite the Catholic community across the Archdiocese of Toronto to join me in offering our prayers for all those who were killed and injured in the violent incident earlier today.” The statement concluded, “Let us all unite in our efforts to bring comfort and care to those who are hurting today.”
Authorities are still trying to determine a motive for the attack, but are encouraging people to avoid unwarranted speculation. I’ll keep you up-to-date as the story unfolds.
Today, April 24th marks the 103rd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, also known as the Great Evil, which caused the death of over 1.5 million innocent people and started the Armenian diaspora.
On this day in 1915, the Turkish government in Constantinople arrested and executed more than 600 Armenians. It was the beginning of the Armenian extermination, "the first of the twentieth century", as declared by the Pope, during a Mass that he celebrated at St. Peter's, on April 12, 2015, in memory of the Armenian martyrs.
During the Pope’s homily on the 100th anniversary of that day, he said, “May this sorrowful anniversary become for all an occasion of humble and sincere reflection, and may every heart be open to forgiveness, which is the source of peace and renewed hope... May God grant that the people of Armenia and Turkey take up again the path of reconciliation, and may peace also spring forth.
We have developing news from Rome in the case of the seriously ill British baby Alfie Evans. The Italian government has granted citizenship to the baby, in a last-minute effort to prevent doctors in England from withdrawing life-support. This surprising development came after the baby’s father, Tom Evans met with the Pope before last week’s General Audience, begging for asylum for the baby so that he could be brought to the Pope’s hospital Bambino Gesu for treatment.
The baby's parents lost their legal battle on April 23 to prevent doctors from removing Alfie's life-support when the European Court of Human Rights refused to intervene.
In a brief statement released yesterday, the Italian foreign ministry announced that it granted Italian citizenship to little Alfie, in the hopes that being an Italian citizen would allow the immediate transfer of the baby to Italy.
And finally, I leave you with this. The Vatican Museum inaugurated today the opening of the Museum with a rather interesting concert performed by the marching band of the Italian Army running through the galleries of the museum playing their instruments. The rooms of Raphael, the Sistine Chapel and other treasures at the Vatican Museum will be open until October 26 for viewing until 11 pm each day.
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.