Christmas 2020: Inauguration of Tree and Nativity Scene in Saint Peter’s Square

The traditional inauguration of the Nativity Scene and the lighted Christmas tree will be held, despite the COVID-19 limitations, in Saint Peter’s Square on Friday, December 11, at 4:30 pm.

According to a Vatican note, the ceremony will be presided over by Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, President of the Governorate of Vatican City State, and Bishop Fernando Alzaga, Secretary-General of the same.

Given the circumstances the world is experiencing due to the pandemic, this year’s Christmas decoration is intended to be “a sign of hope and trust” and an expression of the “certainty that Jesus comes among His people to save them.”

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Holy See Urges Clear, Just Rules for Exercise of Universal Jurisdiction

The Holy See on November 3, 2020, urged the United Nations to observe clear and just rules in the application of the principle of universal jurisdiction, which allows states or international organizations to claim criminal jurisdiction over an accused person regardless of where the alleged crime was committed, and regardless of the accused’s nationality, country of residence, or any other relation with the prosecuting entity.

Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, Apostolic Nuncio and Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations made the appeal during the Seventy-Fifth Session of the UN General Assembly, Sixth Committee Agenda Item 87 on “The Scope And Application Of The Principle Of Universal Jurisdiction” at the United Nations, New York, November 3, 2020.

“The Holy See believes that the only way forward consists of delineating clear rules for the exercise of this jurisdiction, based on just process, subsidiarity, and respect for the jurisdictional privileges of States,” the archbishop said. “The application of universal jurisdiction should be limited to crimes of the gravest concern — genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. As an international norm, impunity for these crimes should be unacceptable, and no safe haven should be given for those who perpetrate them. ”

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Report: Catholic nuns in China forced out of convent amid government harassment 

CNA Staff, Nov 4, 2020 / 05:57 pm (CNA).- Due to pressure from the Chinese government, eight Catholic nuns have reportedly been forced to leave their convent in the northern province of Shanxi. Their current whereabouts have not been reported.

“Officials declared us ‘dangerous persons’ and repeatedly harassed us,” said one of the nuns, according to Bitter Winter, an Italian magazine that focuses on human rights and religious liberties in China.

“They asked us to write down what we had done since kindergartens and demanded to disclose everything we did over the past few months. They even wanted us to remember the license plates of the vehicles we used during our trips.”

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