News Briefs

Pope Francis surprised a group of teenagers on April 23 in St. Peter’s Square, telling them that happiness is not a downloadable app and then hearing the confessions of 16 teens as he joined 150 other priests offering the sacrament of reconciliation. • Bishop Ägidius Zsifkovics of Austria refused to allow the installation of a fence on church property by border officials, arguing on April 21 that the barrier, meant to keep out refugees, was contrary to the spirit of the Gospel. • Zambians are shocked and ashamed of the xenophobic violence primarily against Rwandans in the capital, Lusaka, a church spokesperson said on April 22. • On the same day that Pope Francis brought 12 Syrian refugees to Rome from Greece, April 20, a merchant ship picked up 41 refugees in the Mediterranean who told human rights workers they had seen as many as 500 people drown when their boat capsized. • Pope Francis’ plea for humanitarian aid for Ukraine is bringing needed attention to a forgotten war, said Ukrainian Catholic leaders, as parishes throughout Europe prepared to take up a special collection the pope requested for Ukraine on April 24.

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