‘War has Only Losers, but Those Who Suffer Most are the Poorest’

“We are living here in a time of war that has already lasted three years. It began with an attack on the police station, then on the distant villages, passing through the larger villages until it reached the center of the cities. Four cities have already been almost completely emptied. By now, this war has killed more than 2,000 people and we now have more than 500,000 displaced people.” This is how Dom Luiz Fernando Lisboa’s interview with the pontifical foundation ACN begins. The Brazilian cleric is Bishop of the Diocese of Pemba, in Cabo Delgado in the north of Mozambique, where there are continued attacks by a terrorist group.

Minutes before the interview, Bishop Luiz received more sad news from Nangololo, where the Mission of the Sacred Heart of Jesus used to be: “The second most important mission of the Diocese has been totally destroyed, the church, the priests’ house, the sisters’ house, the community radio, the outpatient clinic – totally devastated. The people had already fled the mission through the woods, to other cities, and here to Pemba. We help many people so that they can go to safer places.”

Helping others has become Dom Luiz Fernando’s priority in recent years: “Over half a million displaced people need everything! They need food, clothes, medicine, pots, they need attention, a place to live, everything. It is a war that has brought much suffering to all of us.” The Catholic Church has been present in the region since the beginning of the conflict, denouncing and helping. “The Church has lent its voice to be the voice of the poor, of those who have no time, of those who do not have the opportunity of being in front of a camera, as I am now, and of being able to speak. This is the first work: to speak, to show reality. The Church has worked through Caritas, which is its humanitarian arm, to respond to this emergency we have experienced.”

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Ohio legislature passes bill to require burial or cremation of aborted babies

Denver Newsroom, Dec 7, 2020 / 06:01 pm (CNA).- The legislature of Ohio has passed a bill that would require the bodies of babies killed in surgical abortions to be cremated or buried at the abortion clinic’s expense.

Senate Bill 27 would allow women seeking abortions to decide— and put down in writing, via confidential form— whether they would like the remains of their unborn child to be cremated or buried.

If the woman opts not to choose, the abortion facility must choose cremation or burial. The facility would have to pay, unless the woman wants her fetus buried at a different location than the facility provides. The abortion facility would be required to document the subsequent cremation or burial of the remains, and maintain a list of locations that the abortion facility uses to cremate or bury remains.

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Indonesian Catholic bishops call for justice in local elections

CNA Staff, Dec 7, 2020 / 05:07 pm (CNA).- The bishops of Indonesia urged Catholics to participate in the upcoming local elections by voting for Catholics who honor the common good while fighting unjust practices.

The Indonesian Bishops’ Conference (KWI) issued an exhortation on Dec. 4, asking people to vote for candidates who avoid corruption and represent national values, UCA News reported.

The exhortation was signed by Archbishop Vincensius Sensi Potokota of Ende, who serves as chairman of the KWI’s Commission for the Laity, and Father Paulus Christian Siswantoko, executive secretary of the commission.

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