News Briefs

More than 210,000 people worldwide contract Hansen’s disease each year, even though it is preventable, Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, president of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Ministry, reported on World Leprosy Day (Jan. 30). • South African Catholics prayed for the recovery of the 92-year-old anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela after he returned home following treatment for a respiratory infection. • Catholic missionaries are ready to set up faith communities in Bhutan after the predominantly Buddhist and Hindu country announced on Jan. 27 that it would accept the registration of Christians for the first time. • It is “unacceptable” to evangelize without addressing the urgent problems of poverty, injustice and oppression, Pope Benedict XVI said in a message released on Jan. 25 in preparation for World Mission Sunday next October • The Italian inventor Onorio Frati has devised an “electronic rosary,” a pocket-size egg-shaped gadget. • Catholic Relief Services’ international staff and their families in Cairo, Egypt, were evacuated to Jordan on Jan. 31 as pro-democracy demonstrations continued.

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 Pope Francis and Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski stand outside the presidential palace in Lima, Peru, Jan.19.(CNS photo//Mariana Bazo, Reuters)
“The degradation of the environment...cannot be separated from the moral degradation of our communities.”
Gerard O’ConnellJanuary 20, 2018
The U.S. bishops had an unusually busy year issuing positive and negative statements about the new president, but some hoped for more decisive action against his policies.
Michael J. O’LoughlinJanuary 19, 2018
Transgender patients “need to know they are welcome and they will not be looked down upon” if they come to Catholic institutions seeking treatment, says Sister Carol Keehan.
Kevin ClarkeJanuary 19, 2018
Francis is the first pope to come to the Amazon region, and he insisted that his first event and major speech of his visit to Peru should be to this place.
Gerard O’ConnellJanuary 19, 2018