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Fire breaks out in church in northern France, no casualties | SW NEWS | 247 A fire broke out in a 19th-century church in Wazemmes, northern France, on the evening of Monday, May 3. Thankfully, there …More
Fire breaks out in church in northern France, no casualties | SW NEWS | 247
A fire broke out in a 19th-century church in Wazemmes, northern France, on the evening of Monday, May 3. Thankfully, there are no casualties and the building is more or less intact as the flames were brought under control within no time. According to the prefect of Hauts-de-France Michel Lalande, an investigation will be undertaken to determine the cause of the fire which broke out in the church of St Peter and Paul in central Lille. Delegation of Catholic Church visits strife-torn region of Ethiopia In conflict-torn Ethiopia, a delegation of the Church has visited North Shoa which witnessed violence recently to take stock of the situation. The delegation led by Abba Teshome, who is the Secretary General of the Bishops’ Conference of Ethiopia, found that ethnic clashes have occurred in five parts of the area leaving hundreds dead and displacing more than 250,000 people. West Texas city in US approves bid to outlaw abortion A city in West Texas in the US has given approval to a measure aimed at outlawing abortion. Residents of Lubbock voted on Saturday, May 1, to declare the city as a sanctuary for the unborn bypassing the City Council’s rejection of the proposal in 2020. Although the proposal received 62 per cent votes, it remains unclear if it would come into effect. Catholic Church calls for calm in restive Papua region In Indonesia, the region of Papua has been witnessing an escalation of violence ever since the government decided to declare two local outfits as terror organisations. Condemning the violence, Father Marthen Kuayo, the apostolic administrator of Timika Diocese, has appealed for peace in the region. In a statement issued on May 1, Fr Marthen urges (quote) “restraint in order to find a dignified, humane, open and respectful solution together.” Pope Francis to meeting that discusses Italy’s “Demographic Winter” Once again, the worrying demographic decline of Italy is in the limelight with the Holy Father scheduled to open a meeting on May 14 to study the challenge of a “demographic winter”. Organised by the Forum of Family Association, the meeting is a first of its kind in Italy. Association president Gianluigi De Palo said dipping birthrates represent a national tragedy and he expressed hope that the May 14 meeting will be an opportunity to explore ways to tackle this crisis. Pope to altar servers: Offer Jesus your hands, thoughts and time The Holy Father has exhorted altar servers to quote “Offer Jesus your hands, your thoughts and your time.” He said this in a letter addressed to the President of the Portuguese Bishops’ Commission for Liturgy and Spirituality Bishop Jose Manuel Garcia Cordeiro. On May 1, acolytes from across the nation undertook the 25th National Pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima. Pope calls for strengthening and building media for common good On World Press Freedom Day, which is commemorated on May 3, the Holy Father has called for building and strengthening the powerful instrument of media for the common good. His appeal comes amid a report from media watchdog Reporters Without Borders which says that there has been a decline in press freedom around the world with the introduction of harsh laws to enforce lockdowns. Pope to raise India’s first lay martyr, Charles Foucauld and 5 others to altars The Holy Father approved the canonisation of seven candidates during the consistory on Monday, May 3. They include the first lay martyr of India Devasahayam Pillai and hermit Charles de Foucauld who was killed for the faith in Algeria. However, the date of canonisation is yet to be finalised because of the pandemic. Devasahayam Pillai was born into an aristocratic Hindu family in South India in the 18th century.