war

Two Philippine prelates criticize country’s war on drugs

People mourned the loss of Leover Miranda, a 39-year-old victim of a drug-related killing, at a funeral Aug. 20 in Manila, Philippines. Manila Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle called the problem of drugs a “humanitarian concern that affects all of us.”

MANILA, Philippines — Two prominent Philippine bishops criticized the government's war on drugs after a week in which more than 80 people were reportedly killed in stepped-up efforts to end drug use.

In a pastoral letter read at Masses Aug. 20, Manila Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle called the problem of drugs a "humanitarian concern that affects all of us."

"The illegal drug problem should not be reduced to a political or criminal issue," he said.

After years in war zone, burnout rises among those who serve Syrians

Ramzi Abou Zeid, regional coordinator for Caritas Lebanon, checked on the distribution of winter clothes for 16 Syrian refugee families Jan. 4 in Zahle, Lebanon. In all, 150 refugee families who live in Zahle are being assisted by the coordinated distribution.

TORONTO — Humanitarian aid workers in Syria and Lebanon are exhausted, said Helene Tremblay-Boyko, who recently traveled to the region.

It isn't the exhaustion a person feels at the end of a long day, she said. This exhaustion comes from working in the same desperate conditions as the people they serve.

"We do not know here (in Canada) what is going on there," said Tremblay-Boyko, vice president of the Development and Peace national council. "They need peace. They need to be able to start rebuilding their lives. We need to do everything we can to enable a peace accord."

Philippine bishops urge All Souls' Day prayers for drug war victims

Men carry the coffin of Vicente Batiancila Oct. 23, who police say was among five victims of recent drug-related killings, during his funeral in Manila, Philippines. As Filipinos remembered their departed on All Souls’ Day, the country’s church leaders called on the faithful to also pray for those who fell victim in the government’s all-out war against illegal drugs.

MANILA, Philippines (CNS) — As Filipinos remembered their departed on All Souls' Day, the country's church leaders called on the faithful to also pray for those who fell victim in the government's all-out war against illegal drugs.

Father Jerome Secillano, executive secretary of the public affairs office of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines, said that praying for the dead on All Souls' Day is a "Christian obligation."

"More so, for those who died in violent circumstances," the priest added.

POPE’S MESSAGE | Walls aren’t answer to people fleeing war, climate change

Pope Francis lead his general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican Oct. 26. The pope’s catechesis focused on welcoming the stranger and clothing the naked, two of the corporal works of mercy.

VATICAN CITY — Closing doors to immigrants and refugees is not the answer — it only helps encourage the crime of human trafficking, Pope Francis said.

"The only way for resolution is through solidarity," where everyone pitches in because "all together we are a powerful force of support for those who have lost their homeland, family, work and dignity," he said Oct. 26 at his weekly general audience.

In his talk, the pope continued his series of reflections on the works of mercy, focusing on welcoming the stranger and clothing the naked.

POPE’S MESSAGE | World at war needs signs of brotherhood, friendship

A sick child greets Pope Francis during his general audience in Paul VI hall at the Vatican Aug. 3.

VATICAN CITY — In a world traumatized by war, young people gathered for World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland, gave strong signs of hope and brotherhood, Pope Francis said.

World Youth Day was a "prophetic sign for Poland and Europe" and took on a "global dimension" in a world threatened by a war fought in pieces, the pope said Aug. 3 at his weekly general audience.

"Precisely in this world at war, we need brotherhood, we need closeness, we need dialogue, and we need friendship. And this is the sign of hope: when there is brotherhood," he said.

POPE'S MESSAGE | War, greed, consumerism, 'cult of appearance' harm families

Pope Francis greeted the crowd as he arrived to lead his general audience May 27 in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican.

VATICAN CITY -- Families are weakened and destroyed by war, "the mother of all forms of poverty," as well as by economies and policies that worship money and power, Pope Francis said.

"It's almost a miracle" that, even in poverty and crisis, the family can keep on going, safeguarding its bonds and staying intact, he said at his weekly general audience June 3 in St. Peter's Square.

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