Rohingya refugees react as aid is distributed Sept. 19 at a camp in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh. CNS photo/Cathal McNaughton, Reuters
NAYPYIDAW, Myanmar -- Faced with a powerful military keen to have martial law declared in Rakhine state, which nearly half a million people fled in three weeks, Myanmar's de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, avoided any mention of ethnic cleansing of Muslim Rohingya while broadly condemning human rights violations in her first major address on the issue. More ... Thursday, September 21, 2017
BANGKOK -- This commentary and analysis, written by Michael Sainsbury for ucanews.com, was published Sept. 18, the day before Aung San Suu Kyi's speech condemning human rights violations. More ... Thursday, September 21, 2017
SITTWE, Myanmar -- The U.N.'s World Food Program, which provides regular food aid to 120,000 Rohingya Muslims displaced and living in camps in Myanmar, was working against the clock to deliver basic survival rations to up to 50,000 people. More ... Thursday, September 21, 2017
COX'S BAZAR, Bangladesh -- Bangladesh is bracing for a massive humanitarian crisis because of a lack of food, sanitation, medicines and even basic housing following the exodus of as many as 350,000 Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar, fleeing violence in which at least 1,000 were killed in just two weeks. More ... Thursday, September 21, 2017
MEXICO CITY – Mexican Church leaders offered prayers and urged generosity after an earthquake struck the national capital and its environs, claiming more than 240 lives – including at least 20 children trapped in a collapsed school.
The U.S. bishops joined them in prayer, asking for the protection of "Our Lady of Guadalupe, comforter of the afflicted and mother most merciful."
The magnitude 7.1 earthquake Sept. 19 added to the misery of Mexicans who suffered a magnitude 8.1 earthquake 12 days earlier. That quake left nearly 100 dead in the country's southern states and left thousands more homeless.
MEXICO CITY – A Catholic bishop and a Caritas worker in Mexico said the situation was extremely serious after the Sept. 19 earthquake, and much aid would be needed.
"The situation is complicated, because the first earthquake (Sept. 7) had already affected thousands of people in Chiapas and Oaxaca," Alberto Arciniega, head of communications for Caritas Mexico, told Catholic News Service Sept. 20. "The church is continuing to assist those dioceses, but with what happened yesterday, the emergency situation is being re-evaluated to get a more exact assessment of the aid that is needed."
LONDON – Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster described the attempted bombing of a rush hour Tube train in London as "yet another cowardly attack" and said he was praying for the 22 people being treated for burns and other injuries.
The device detonated Sept. 15 on a London Underground train but failed to explode as intended.
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Supreme Court has temporarily blocked part of a lower court ruling that would have allowed certain refugees into the country even though they had been banned by a presidential executive order.
The Trump Administration asked the Supreme Court to overturn part of the ruling by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that said grandparents, grandchildren, cousins and other close relatives of people in the United States should not be prevented from entering the country.
VATICAN CITY – A magnitude 8.1 earthquake struck the Pacific coast of southern Mexico and Guatemala, causing buildings to collapse and tremors that rocked as far as Mexico City and Guatemala City.
The Sept. 7 quake occurred shortly before midnight and prompted warnings from the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center of "tsunami waves reaching more than three meters (9.8 feet)" along the Mexican coast as well as lower-level waves in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Costa Rica.
We, the Catholic Bishops of New Jersey, are pastors to over four million men, women and children who trace their roots to almost every country of the world and represent every race and ethnicity.
That is one of the reasons we ask the New Jersey Congressional delegation to support the Dream Act of 2017 (S.1615/H.R. 3440). The Dream Act of 2017 would protect almost 800,000 DACA youth (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) who entered the United States as children and know America as their only home. These youth call themselves Dreamers because they seek the American Dream of liberty.
The following message was issued Tuesday, Sept. 5, by Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M.:
The Trump Administration has announced the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program or “Dream Act” this morning, establishing an expiration date on the legal status of some 800,000 people who entered the United States illegally as children.
The future of these “Dreamers,” as they are commonly known, is now in the hands of the United States Congress, which has roughly six months to enact a permanent legislative solution to their situation.
WASHINGTON – Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Sept. 5 that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program is "being rescinded" by President Donald Trump, leaving some 800,000 youth, brought illegally to the United States as minors, in peril of deportation and of losing permits that allow them to work.
Although the Department of Homeland Security will immediately stop accepting applications to the DACA program, current recipients would not be affected until March 5, which Sessions said will "create a time period for Congress to act – should it choose."
WASHINGTON – "Excessive inequality" threatens cooperation among all people in society "and the social pact it supports," said Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, in the U.S. bishops' annual Labor Day statement.
In the message, Bishop Dewane cited the words of Pope Francis, who told factory workers in Genoa, Italy, "The entire social pact is built around work. This is the core of the problem. Because when you do not work, or you work badly, you work little or you work too much, it is democracy that enters into crisis, and the entire social pact."
WASHINGTON – Catholic agency leaders and the bishop who chairs the U.S. bishops' Committee on Migration strongly urged President Donald Trump to continue the federal program Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, known as DACA.
"A decision to end this program would turn our nation's back on immigrant youth who are seeking to reach their full God-given potential and fulfill the promise of gratefully giving back to the only country most have ever known," they wrote in a letter to the president sent Aug. 30.
Catholic News Service recently published the following news briefs on these topics: Venezuelan exiles; Ending contraceptive mandate; Canadian outreach to asylum seekers; the Vatican on terrorism, immigration; Typhoons hit Macau Diocese. More ... Friday, September 1, 2017
Catholic dioceses in Texas and charities are quickly organizing to help in the aftermath of a Category 4 hurricane that made landfall with winds of 130 miles per hour late on Aug. 25 into the Rockport, Texas area, northeast of Corpus Christi.
The hurricane, named Harvey, is said to be the strongest one to hit the United States in more than a decade and perhaps the strongest one to make landfall in Texas.
Catholic Charities USA, as well as the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Disaster Services, announced early on Aug. 26 that they're mobilizing to help those affected by the hurricane. More ... Saturday, August 26, 2017
HOUSTON – Hurricane Harvey's pending landfall is bringing up memories of the last major storm that aimed for the Texas Gulf Coast.
Almost 12 years ago, Hurricane Rita churned through the Gulf of Mexico, aiming straight for the Texas coastline. While Houston escaped most major damage after landfall, the massive Category 3 storm brought weeks without electricity, winds more than 100 mph and mass evacuation headaches for the Greater Houston area, including Carla Martin.
WASHINGTON -- The just-war criteria that would justify armed conflict with North Korea over its nuclear testing and threats to launch missiles have not been met, said ethicists interviewed by Catholic News Service. More ... Thursday, August 24, 2017
WASHINGTON -- The Trump administration renews its commitment to the protection of religious minority groups threatened by the Islamic State in the Middle East, according to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in the preface of the annual State Department report on international religious freedom, released Aug. 15. More ... Thursday, August 24, 2017