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Rome & the World: young Jorge, the student • nuns help girls escape poverty • & more …

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JORGE MARIO BERGOGLIO,POPE FRANCIS,YOUNG

AFP Photo | Ho | Bergoglio Family

I.Media for Aleteia - published on 04/26/22

Every day, Aleteia offers a selection of articles written by the international press about the Church and the major issues that concern Catholics around the world. The opinions and views expressed in these articles are not those of the editors.

Tuesday 26 April 2022
1. Pope Francis talks about his past as a student
2. Indigenous leader criticizes the planning of Pope Francis’ trip to Canada
3. Spanish Cardinal Omella says victims of abuse are their top priority
4. In Zambia, Catholic nuns offer vocational training to young women to help them escape poverty
5. On Italy’s liberation day, recalling a priest who gave his life for freedom

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“I think I had the psychology of a normal student: studying too little, walking too much, attending too many parties,” Pope Francis told a group of Catholic students from Northern Ireland who came to meet him on Monday, April 25. In his youth, the Pontiff studied chemistry before discovering that his vocation was to become a priest. As part of his studies, he worked every morning in a laboratory, which imposed a rather strict rhythm of life. One of his regrets, he told the students from Queen’s University in Belfast, was that he was forced to study without a “community of friends,” a mistake he said may have been the reason for his lack of motivation. The Pope’s final piece of advice on student life? Play pranks and have a sense of humor, but “always with a clear mind, a pure heart.”

Katholisch.de, German

Indigenous leader criticizes the planning of Pope Francis’ trip to Canada

Pope Francis is expected to visit Canada at the end of July for a tour that, according to the local press, should take him to Quebec City, Edmonton, and Iqaluit, the capital of the Inuit territory of Nunavut. No official confirmation has yet been provided by the Holy See. The organization of this papal visit is causing some disappointment among the representatives of the First Nations, who complain that they are not involved in the preparation. Gérald Antoine, Regional Chief of the Assembly of First Nations for the Northwest Territories, believes that the Vatican and the Canadian bishops have made “a misstep” by not taking into account the expectations of the indigenous “family.” The Canadian Conference of Bishops has promised to better involve indigenous organizations. It recalls that the Pope had asked the Canadian bishops to work with them on a “renewed, fruitful path, where encounters and shared projects will be of great help.”

CBC, English

Spanish Cardinal Omella says victims of abuse are their top priority

The president of the Spanish Episcopal Conference and archbishop of Barcelona, Cardinal Juan José Omella, asserted before all the country’s bishops that  “victims of abuse are our absolute priority.” The Cardinal made this statement at the Episcopal Conference’s Plenary Assembly, the first since their decision to commission an independent law firm to investigate the cases of abuse in the Church of Spain. Cardinal Omella expressed his “profound pain for the crimes committed by our brothers” and pledged to work closely with the authorities in order to establish the truth. The Spanish high prelate also stressed that the Church has come “a long way” in the fight against abuse; this phenomenon is now treated with more “transparency, technical rigor and legal consistency.”

Vida Nueva Digital, Spanish

In Zambia, Catholic nuns offer vocational training to young women to help them escape poverty

In Chawama, one of the largest slums in the Zambian capital, Lusaka, the Missionary Sisters of the Holy Family offer vocational training to young women in order to help their prospects for the future. In their home “Cheshire Divine Providence” the Catholic nuns, who have been in Africa since the 18th century, have created a school for training in handicrafts, a computer school, and primary and secondary schools. The Homecraft training school enrolls more than 100 female students per year and focuses on teaching things such as cooking, sewing, and knitting. Most students end up working in restaurants, sewing shops, hotels, and lodging facilities, or start their own businesses. “I can’t wait to live my dream and lift myself out of poverty,” says one student who wants to become a fashion designer. 

Development and Cooperation, English

On Italy’s liberation day, recalling a priest who gave his life for freedom

In Italy, April 25 is “Liberation Day.” It was on this date in 1945 that the Committee for National Liberation, the main umbrella group for the Italian resistance, called for a nationwide uprising against the fascists and the Germans. In light of this remembrance, for Crux editor John Allen it is important to recall the memory of Father Giuseppe Morosini. Initially offering spiritual advice, this Vincentian priest gradually became increasingly involved in the resistance, eventually helping provide weapons, information, and other supplies. At one point in 1944, a German army official who was remorseful about the occupation even passed a series of secret plans to Morosini, who passed them onto the “partigiani,” the Italian resistance forces. He was denounced by a Gestapo mole, arrested and tortured, and sentenced to death. The German army ordered a squadron of Italian soldiers to execute Father Morosini, but 10 out of the 12 soldiers fired into the air, resulting in a German officer having to finish the execution. A survivor who knew him in prison said, “he blessed his own firing squad while shouting ‘God forgive them, they know not what they do,’ like Christ on Golgotha.”

Crux, English

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