The Church Around the World

The Church Around the World

Nigeria's bishops speak out on "unhealthy values"

Deploring "the continuous attempts by foreign agencies to introduce unhealthy values in our society in their campaigns for abortion, condom distribution and promotion of homosexual unions," Nigeria's bishops also attacked internal corruption, according to a Fides report. At the conclusion of their meeting in September, the bishops stated that "the fraudulent use of public money deprives citizens of basic services such as quality education, adequate health care, decent roads, continuous supply of electricity [and] drinking water."

According to a summary of the meeting on the Nigerian episcopal conference's website, the bishops renewed their "commitment to consistently pledge our unalloyed loyalty and obedience to the Holy Father".

Catholic World News

Catholic-Jewish relations at a new high

The World Jewish Congress provided a summary of its president's September meeting with Pope Francis saying that the Holy Father reiterated that to be a good Christian, "it is necessary to understand Jewish history and traditions".

A report from the WJC recounted that Francis wished Jews around the world a sweet and peaceful year 5774, when he met with Ronald S. Lauder to mark the Jewish New Year. Francis used the Hebrew words for "Happy New Year," wishing a " Shana Tova" to Jewish people worldwide.

According to the WJC report, Lauder and the Pope discussed Syria, as well as agreeing to speak out against attacks on religious minorities, such as the Coptic Christians in Egypt.

Francis reiterated a statement made last June that "a Christian cannot be an anti-Semite" and said that "to be a good Christian it is necessary to understand Jewish history and traditions." He added that Jews and Christians shared the same roots and that dialogue was the key to building a common future.

After the meeting, Lauder praised the Pope for his commitment to dialogue and said, "Pope Francis' leadership has not only reinvigorated the Catholic Church but also given a new momentum to relations with Judaism. Never in the past 2,000 years have relations between the Catholic Church and the Jewish people been so good. The leadership of successive popes over the past five decades has helped to overcome a lot of prejudice. This allows us now to work together in defending religious freedom wherever it is under threat and whichever community is affected."

Zenit News Agency

New Vatican Secretary Of State praised

Archbishop Pietro Parolin, the new Vatican Secretary of State, was praised by a Venezuelan cardinal as a "messenger of peace" for his former efforts at dialogue in the South American country. "I think the Holy Father Francis has made a great appointment," said Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino of Caracas.

"Archbishop Parolin is a well-prepared bishop with a great capacity to work," the cardinal noted. "He is a very intelligent man with extensive experience in the Church's international affairs, and here in Venezuela he did great work in service to the Church and to the Venezuelan people."

During his time as apostolic nuncio to Venezuela, Archbishop Parolin was a great promoter of dialogue, the cardinal said. "He took part in the meetings between the government of Venezuela and the bishops conference, which were very positive for the country and which we hope will continue."

Proving to be "a true messenger of peace in Venezuela", the archbishop played a lead role in "difficult negotiations for the Church" with Vietnam, China and Russia, Cardinal Urosa added.

Archbishop Parolin "is a man of great experience in diplomacy", he continued, and when Benedict XVI "decided to appoint him as his ambassador in Caracas in 2009, I didn't think he would be here for long, as he is a man of great prestige at the Vatican".

Archbishop Parolin continued with his duties in Venezuela until mid-October, when he transferred to the Vatican to replace the outgoing Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.

Catholic News Agency

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