Clashes with security forces in Yangon. Rumours of two deaths. One dead and several wounded in Kale. Following global protestations, the military leaders ask security forces not to use lethal weapons. ASEAN runs for cover. Singapore: No to violence, free Aung San Suu Kyi, dialogue for peace. Democratic leader charged with two other violations.
During his first hours in Iraq, Francis met with Iraq’s president, political leaders and diplomats. “May God grant that we journey together as brothers and sisters in ‘the firm conviction that authentic teachings of religions invite us to remain rooted in the values of peace… mutual understanding, human fraternity and harmonious coexistence’.” The pontiff will travel in a bullet-proof car and wear a mask.
Francis leaves for Baghdad tomorrow to meet a “martyred Church” and visit places devastated by the Islamic State. The trip includes a visit to Ur of the Chaldeans and a meeting with Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani, leader of the Shia community, which is the majority religion in Iraq and in neighbouring Iran. Before his departure, Francis released a video message.
At the general audience, Francis asks to pray for the journey that begins on Friday. In Myanmar, "aspirations for peace must not be stifled by violence". Before knowing Jesus, he said, "we really did not know how to pray: what words, what feelings and what languages were appropriate for God."
A Christian's mission, Francis said at the Angelus, is "ignite little lights in people's hearts; be little lamps of the Gospel that bring a little love and hope ". In Lent a "fast" from gossip. A prayer for children suffering from rare diseases.
Commentary on the Gospel of the 2nd Sunday of Lent B (Mark 9, 2-10).
The theme from Ps 103: 3: "He forgives all your sins". A guide "to offer some suggestions to allow parishes and Christian communities to prepare themselves to live the initiative 24 hours for the Lord.”
This year's work program for Catholics has been drawn up by bishops and the Patriotic Association. Deepen the history of the Party, the Long March, Socialism, aligning with the leadership of Xi Jinping. A Theological Forum on Sinicization is also planned. More than a "pastoral" program, it is a political program in which the "independent and autonomous Church" is exalted.
The Gospel of the first Sunday of Lent reminds us of “this cunning enemy, interested in our eternal condemnation, our failure”. Yesterday afternoon Francis visited Ms Edith Bruck, a poet who survived the Holocaust.
The Holy See’s total revenues reached € 260.4 million against € 310.1 million in expenses, with an expected deficit of € 49.7 million in 2021. Most spending (68 per cent) will go apostolic activities; 17 per cent will pay for patrimony and other assets management, and 15 per cent to administration and service activities.
The church was built in 2000, with all the permits and praise of the local authorities. There are two reasons for the destruction: the land’s commercial value and erasing the "showy" symbolism of the religious building. The policy of "sinicization" launched by Xi Jinping and implemented in Zhejiang and Xijiang. 16,000 mosques were also destroyed or damaged. The appeal to the Pope and the Vatican.
In a video message to the 65th Religious Education Congress organised by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Francis states that there is a need for a community that can support us, that can help us and in which we help each other to look forward, to a tomorrow in which we will have to “act in the Samaritan’s style”, that is, by “letting myself be struck by what I see.”
Global debt is equal to 355 percent of global GDP. China's debt jumped by 335 per cent of GDP. Countries are going into greater debt to support companies and workers. The trend will continue in 2021. Finding a balanced exit strategy will be the big challenge.