In the midst of escalating tensions in the Middle East, Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments urged the faithful to pray for the Christians in the Middle East. He said we must pray for the Christians of the East and particularly in these tragic days for the Christians in Iraq. Cardinal Sarah said fear, anguish and despair cannot have the last word. Christians have been undergoing severe persecution in the Middle East, especially in Iraq, over the past few decades.
In order to mark the 47th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, thousands of Pro-lifers will take to the street of Washington D.C. on January 24, 2020, for the annual March for Life rally. This year’s Speakers include Jim Daly, President of Focus on the Family, Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of Susan B. Anthony List and Elisa Martinez, Founder of the New Mexico Alliance for Life. The annual Youth Rally will be held on January 23, 2020, at the Renaissance Hotel in Washington DC. Charlotte Pence, daughter of Vice President Mike Pence, will speak at the 2020 Youth Rally. Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life said they are thrilled to host such dedicated pro-life champions at this year’s March for Life and Youth Rally.
Human Rights Watch releases report on Christian persecution
New York-based monitoring group “Human Rights Watch” released a report on the religious persecution in Burkina Faso. According to the report around 250 civilians have been killed by armed Islamic extremists since April 2019. Corinne Dufka, West Africa director of Human Rights Watch said armed Islamist groups in Burkina Faso have attacked civilians with unmitigated cruelty and utter disregard for human life. He said that deliberately targeting farmers, worshippers, mine workers, displaced people, and traders are war crimes. Dufka urged the Burkina Faso government to take stronger steps to protect vulnerable communities from terrorist attacks.
Pope Francis has expressed grief and offered his prayers for the souls of 176 passengers who were killed in the Ukrainian plane crash on Wednesday. All the passengers on board were killed in the deadly crash. Those who were killed also included all the 11 crew members who were from Ukraine. The Vatican released an official statement expressing the Pope’s deep sorrow.
Bishop Peter Jugis announces ‘Year of St. Joseph’
Bishop Peter Jugis of Charlotte diocese has officially declared the year of 2020 as the “Year of St. Joseph.” The declaration came during the celebration of a mass on January 1 at St. Patrick Cathedral in the Diocese of Charlotte. The current year also marks the 150th anniversary of “Quemadmodum Deus,” a decree that communicated the decision of Pope Pius IX to declare St. Joseph as the patron of the Universal Church. Quemadmodum Deus was propagated in 1870. Bishop Peter Jugisin in his homily said that “We can use this special anniversary year as an opportunity to honor this great and holy man, the foster father of Jesus and the spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and in honoring him, draw attention to our own vocation to be holy.” Peter Joseph Jugis was appointed as the bishop of Charlotte, North Carolina, in the year 2003. The diocese has seen a steady increase in the number of priests and Catholics since then.