#ShortNews: 700 churches closed in Rwanda

Rwanda has ordered 700 churches in Kigali Province to suspend activities from today (1 March) because of concerns over health and safety.

Professor Anastase Shyaka, Chief Executive Officer of the Rwanda Governance Board (RGB), which monitors public and private organisations, told reporters on 19 February: “Some churches conduct their worship services in shoddy and unclean structures – to the detriment of people’s health and safety. Cases of noise pollution have also been reported, while some operate without the required operation permits.”

Church representatives said the authorities were being too strict. “Those that failed to implement a few requirements should be reopened and allowed to work while fixing the problems raised,” said Bishop Innocent Nzeyimana, president of the Churches’ Forum in Nyarugenge district, as reported by AFP.

Read More: https://www.worldwatchmonitor.org/coe/rwanda-700-churches-closed-down-in-just-one-province/


#ShortNews: Catholic men’s movements are on the rise

The rise in men’s movements within the Church is both a reaction to cultural confusion and a support and formation for what it means to be a man of God. The Church teaches the complementarity of men and women, the idea of different strengths, perspectives and roles, while advocating for the equal worth and dignity of both. There is a natural strength in relationships when lived out in union with God. Women can wholeheartedly support Catholic men’s programs because they are about men becoming Christlike for the benefit of their wives, children and communities.

Sam Guzman said, being a Catholic gentleman means that you are faithful and a man of virtue. “We must practice things like self-control, honesty and self-discipline,” he said. “We find that the happiest people are the holiest people.” Guzman points out that we have daily opportunities to choose between selfishness and selflessness and to follow Christ, which is what being a Catholic gentleman is about.

Read More: https://www.osv.com/Article/TabId/493/ArtMID/13569/ArticleID/24352/Catholic-men%E2%80%99s-movements-are-on-the-rise.aspx

Read more about how to be a Catholic Gentleman: https://www.catholicgentleman.net/

#ShortNews: “Faith is not a spectacle, but conversion to Christ”

According to Pope Francis, faith and religion are not a “show”, but a way of converting our thoughts to the ways of Christ. Delivering a homily at his morning Mass on Monday at the Vatican’s Casa Santa Marta chapel, Pope Francis said that through the readings of the day, the Church wants us to reflect on the conversion of our thoughts, way of thinking, as well as our actions and feeling in conformity with Christ.

Pope Francis said that the Church urges us to convert our actions through fasting, almsgiving and penance. Our actions, he said must be like Christ, in the spirit of the Beatitudes.

Pope Francis said one can recite the entire Creed or the dogmas of the Church but unless one does it with a “Christian spirit”, it means nothing. The Pope thus asked Christians to pray for the grace of discernment and conversion of thought.

Read More: http://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope-francis/mass-casa-santa-marta/2018-03/pope-francis-homily-santa-marta-spectacle-thinking-like-christ.html

#ShortNews: Why do Hispanics leave the church?

While approximately 57 million U.S. residents identify as Latino or Hispanic, the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate reports that only 30 million Hispanics identify as Catholic. About 70 percent of U.S. Latinos identified as Catholic in 2006, but today the number is closer to 57 percent.

Alejandra Bravo, the Hispanic youth ministry coordinator for the Archdiocese of Denver, said young adult Catholics just want to serve. Ms. Bravo said young Latinos face many problems today, sometimes including challenges related to their immigration status. Others simply do not feel that they belong in a parish.

The archbishop encouraged regional representatives to share their ‘faith and struggles and doubts’ with young people. “If you go into the church these days, it looks like a convention for senior citizens,” said Bishop Oscar Solis of Salt Lake City. “The young people aren’t just the future of our church, they are our church right now.”


#ShortNews: In Australia, Catholic primary schools face overhaul

Catholic primary schools in Victoria are facing one of the most significant overhauls in their 150-year history, with principals pushing to strip priests of their power over schools. The report, which was written by Australian Catholic University researchers, comes as parish priests in the Sale diocese have surrendered their power in schools.

This comes as the Catholic Education system faces criticism about transparency and funding, including in a 2016 report by the Victorian Auditor General. Victorian Catholic schools receive more than $2 billion a year in federal and state government funding.


#ShortNews: Christians in Iraq are ‘scourged, wounded, but still there’

“Without an end to this persecution and violence, there is no future for religious pluralism in Iraq or anywhere else in the Middle East for that matter,” said Iraqi Archbishop Bashar Warda of Erbil in a speech at Georgetown University on Feb. 15.

After an attack by ISIS displaced more than 125,000 Christians, Warda said that there is a core of the faithful who will not leave their ancestral homeland in the Nineveh plains in Iraq. “And, yet, we are still there, scourged, wounded, yet still there,” he noted.

Read More: https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/archbishop-of-erbil-christians-in-iraq-are-scourged-wounded-but-still-there-62878

To donate for Christians in Iraq: http://iraqichristianrelief.org/donate/

#ShortNews: South Korean Catholics fight to keep abortion illegal

The Catholic Church in South Korea has gathered over a million names on a petition to keep the country’s anti-abortion law in place. The CBCK (Committee for Bioethics of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Korea)  held a special Mass at Myeongdong Cathedral in Seoul on Feb. 12 and presented the petition of 1,005,000 signatures. It launched the campaign on Dec. 3.

“[This] shows how desperate the church is to fulfill its mission of protecting all forms of life,” said Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung, who presided over the Mass.

Read More: https://www.ucanews.com/news/south-korean-catholics-fight-to-keep-abortion-illegal/81602