March 24, 2017

KENYA: Consolata Shrine Breaks Ground For Ultra-modern Allamano Office Block

NAIROBI MARCH 21, 2017 (CISA)-TheConsolata Shrine Parish in Westlands on March 18 broke ground for the construction of an ultra-modern office block dubbed Allamano Centre.

The centre estimated to cost KShs 500 Million and expected to complete in two years time will host offices, meeting rooms, car parking bays, Sunday school hall, a large auditorium and training centers.

Bishop Virgilio Pante of the Catholic Diocese of Maralal while presiding over the event noted that the effort by the Christians was a sign of our generosity.

“This building we are going to put up from today is for the service of God. We are alive to the fact that the project will be expensive but I believe people of good will, will stand by the project to the end,” he said.

“This is a project of the community for the community. It will enable Christians to meet easily in a comfortable way as they offer themselves to the service of the church. It will transform lives and help communities for generations to come,” said Fr Daniel Bertea, parish priest at Consolata Shrine.


VATICAN: Pope Apologizes for Church Failure During Rwandan Genocide

VATICAN CITY MARCH 21, 2017 (CISA) – Pope Francis on March 20 expressed his sadness for members of the Catholic Church who participated in the 1994 genocide, asking for forgiveness and assuring those who still suffer of his prayer.

He was speaking March 20, during a brief meeting with Rwandan president Paul Kagame at the Vatican.

According to a Vatican statement  the Pope “conveyed his profound sadness, and that of the Holy See and of the Church, for the genocide against the Tutsi.”

“He expressed his solidarity with the victims and with those who continue to suffer the consequences of those tragic events,” read the statement.

While evoking the gesture of Pope St John Paul II during the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000, the Pope implored God’s forgiveness “for the sins and failings of the Church and its members, among whom priests, and religious men and women who succumbed to hatred and violence, betraying their own evangelical mission.”

Pope Francis further noted the statement published by the Rwandan bishops at the conclusion of the Jubilee of Mercy last asking forgiveness for the failure of the Church and her members, and expressed his desire that his own “humble recognition” of the failings of that time, “which, unfortunately, disfigured the face of the Church, may contribute to a purification of memory.”

He also voiced his hope that the renewed apology “may promote, in hope and renewed trust, a future of peace, witnessing to the concrete possibility of living and working together, once the dignity of the human person and the common good are put at the center.”

During the visit, President Kagame and his entourage subsequently met with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State, and Archbishop Paul R. Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States.

The Rwandan genocide began April 7, 1994, after controversy over the plane crash that killed the then-president of Rwanda, a Hutu. In the aftermath, Hutu extremists killed over 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus.

About 57 percent of Rwanda is Catholic, with another 37 percent Protestant or Seventh day Adventist. The churches have worked to bring about healing and reconciliation as well.


KENYA: Religious Leaders Mark Golden Jubilee of Vatican II Declaration

NAIROBI MARCH 21, 2017 (CISA) – Religious Leaders from different backgrounds including Muslim, Catholic, Hindu, on March 18 commemorated 50 years of Nostra Aetate (Vatican II Declaration) at Tangaza University College.

The Nostra Aetate document otherwise referred to as the Vatican II declaration shows how the church should relate with non Christian religions. The document was proclaimed by Pope Paul VI in October 28 1965 with the aim of promoting unity among Christians and non Christians across the world.

Archbishop Michael FitzGerald, the former president and secretary of the Pontifical Council for inter religious dialogue in the Vatican who was at the event noted that the event was rather late in the country compared to other countries that marked it in 2015.

“This document, Nostra Aetate was given to encourage Catholics to see the values of other religions and to encourage corporation with people of other religions. If the different religions are coming together and working together, this is a contribution to the intention and development of the Nostra Aetate,” he said.

The director of religious affairs at the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (SUPKEM), Dr. Sheikh Hassan Kinywa Omari, said the Nostra Aetate is one of the shortest Catholic documents, which has a lot of meaning to interfaith dialogue.

“We know that people are talking of peace and unity everywhere in the world, and this is the intent of inter-religious dialogue,”he said.


S SUDAN: Italian Bishops Conference Donates €1 Million to Fight Famine

JUBA MARCH 21, 2017(CISA) – Italian Catholic Bishops Conference (CEI) has donated €1 Million through Caritas International to help fight the famine in South Sudan.

Don Dante Carraro, director of Cuamm, one of the Non-Governmental organizations that will handle the donation allocated by the Italian bishops for the crisis, said that the hunger situation in the country and the horn of Africa was alarming and needed urgent interventions.

“Hunger in South Sudan and the Horn of Africa is a concrete and tangible reality and over 24 million people risk dying of starvation in the next weeks if more interventions are not put in place,” Reuters quoted Don Carraro as saying March 17.

He noted that the famine situation in South Sudan was further preceded by constant wars and state of anarchy in some parts of the world youngest nation.

On February 24, The Catholic bishops of South Sudan appealed for “immediate and unconditional concrete intervention” to end the humanitarian situation in the country.

The bishops warned in a statement that an estimated 4.9 million people will be in food crisis and many close to famine by April.

They added: “The figure is expected to rise to 5.5 million people at the height of the lean season in July if nothing is done to curb the severity and spread of the food crisis.”

Aid agencies said 100,000 people were affected by the famine, which threaten to affect a further one million people in the coming months.

“The situation is the worst hunger catastrophe since fighting erupted more than three years ago in South Sudan and we appeal for support to deal with the situation,” said a statement by the World Food Programme (WFP), UN children’s agency UNICEF and the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO).