Both parties will face questions related to their identity. Will the Republican Party remain Trump’s party, or will it carve out a new identity for itself? Even without Trump, can it wean itself from a win-at-any-cost ethos that has deprived it of any real interest in governing to a renewed civic-mindedness, once associated with Middle America.
News in World Issues
The Democratic Republic of the Congo faces being broken up by prolonged violence, say Catholic leaders in the country. Msgr. Andre Massinganda told Catholic News Service that the Church was concerned with "how to bring peace to those areas where war continues, and how to end the killings and massacres so people can live safely again".
Unfettered access to the EU single market cannot exist simultaneously with “taking back control”, the core slogan of the Brexit campaign. The single market presupposes uniform standards amongst all who take part. No competitive advantage was to be gained by hidden government subsidies, nor by treating workers less well, nor by taking short cuts over safety or environmental standards.
It is not a triumphant vision, rather more human. For such well loved and equally reviled figures, it is no surprise that popes, real and imagined, continue to fascinate film makers and provide fertile ground for their creativities.
In Belarus, a revolution has been underway for over three months. It is a peaceful, popular protest led by three courageous women linked to people who before the presidential elections were either imprisoned by the police or forced into exile. The “White-Red Revolution,” as it has been described, began immediately after President Alexander Lukashenko, who has been in power for 26 years, officially announced the results of the presidential elections of August 9, 2020.
According to much of the journalistic commentary, Pope Francis has just issued an encyclical on economics. Reuters, the New York Post, MSN…, the list goes on. All have similar headlines along the lines of: “Pope says trickle-down policies fail society” or “Pope says free market has failed in the pandemic”. Some of the headlines are true but lack any context. Others are just lazy.
Pope Francis calls for "a change of direction" and a robust ethical framework capable of overcoming "today's widespread and quietly growing culture of waste". Addressing representatives of the 193-member world body in a video message because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the pope appealed for a joint commitment towards a better future through multilateralism and collaboration among states.
Beijing wants the Vatican to derecognize the Republic of China but the way forward for Rome is fraught with dange. As talks progress between the Vatican and Beijing on a new deal on bishop appointments, or extension of the existing deal signed in September 2018, the Vatican is facing an increasingly thorny problem with Taiwan: its diplomatic derecognition of the effectively independent nation is something that Beijing craves.
The new executive is supported by the so-called “right-wing bloc,” a coalition of eight parties, several of which are small. It is the largest government in the history of the country, with as many as 34 ministers and 16 deputy ministers. In this regard, during the inaugural debate, a leading member of the opposition, Yair Lapid (who was initially an ally of Gantz), noted: “There are more ministers and deputy ministers in the government than people hospitalized for the coronavirus.”
Democracy and efforts to build a more just world are under attack in many countries, according to Father Arturo Sosa SJ, superior general of the Jesuits. He said human lives and jobs are not the only things threatened by the coronavirus pandemic.
The former governor of Hong Kong fears that the Holy See may be making a serious misjudgement in seeming to appease the Beijing government over the status of the Catholic Church, just as China is slipping back into the most hardline dictatorship since Mao.
Evariste Ndayishimiye, a practising Catholic who is known to bring the importance of God into politics, has been sworn as the president of Burundi. The president immediately promised to unite the people, promote peace and justice in the tiny East African country where majority are Catholics. He also swore to fight genocide ideology and discrimination.
Nine years have passed since the Syrian conflict began, since the optimism of the 2011 Arab Spring turned into tragedy. For Syria, it all began on March 15 of that year, when protesters took to the streets in Daraa, in the southwest of the country. Soon protests – mostly peaceful – spread throughout the country, demanding an end to the 40-year rule of the Assad family.
Sadly, and ironically, just last week, the abortion statistics for 2019 were released – and they broke my heart. For the second year running, we recorded the highest abortion figures ever experienced in England and Wales.
Cheer, clap, rattle our pots and pans to show how much we cherish our NHS staff and all who work on the front lines in care homes, pharmacies, stores, transport and delivery or one of the three-quarters-of-a-million volunteers. I am not alone in hearing in that glorious cacophony the sound of a people and a nation rediscovering their better selves.
This is what Pope Francis said in the Urbi et Orbi Easter Message, inviting Europe to give concrete proof of solidarity: “After the Second World War, this continent was able to rise again thanks to a concrete spirit of solidarity […]. It is more urgent than ever, especially in the present circumstances, that these rivalries do not regain force, but that all recognize themselves as part of a single family and support one another.” Today, the pope continued, “the European Union is presently facing an epochal challenge, on which will depend not only its own future but that of the whole world.”
An interview on ‘the courage to look ahead’. The whole planet is experiencing a crisis. At this most serious moment there is a need for guidance to accompany us and help us understand the meaning of what we are living through.
“How long, O Lord?” (Psalm 13). Before Covid-19, when I sang those words I used to think of my brothers and sisters in Iraq: how long will their suffering go on, decade after decade? Now they are the words in all our mouths. How long, O Lord, will this pandemic continue?
In a more recent book, the medical doctor and anthropologist Paul Farmer states that in the time of cholera there is also a need to critically question all the social, cultural and political conditions that characterize people’s lives and so should be an integral part of any intervention aimed at promoting health on the ground.