The visit of the Holy Father to Ireland on the occasion of the World Meeting of Families was a welcome one. The four-day congress that began last Wednesday in Dublin was positive, the Saturday night Festival of Families in Croke Park was uplifting and the final Mass, held at the Papal Cross in the Phoenix Park was as poignant as it was powerful. The problem however of a Church plagued with past clerical sex abuse scandals unfortunately overshadowed the entire visit.
The United Nations should have taken action on the situation in Nigeria – yet they still remain silent. Both the Catholic Bishops’ Conference in Nigeria and leading Christian organisations demanded that the President take action and asked the international community to defend Christians that are under constant attacks by the Fulani herdsmen. But there has been no answer, no statement, no action taken.
Lord, we thank you for saving your children.
Lord, you said that if two or three are gathered in your name, whatever they ask for would be granted. In past days, we took these words at their face value, and we prayed. Around the world, people in their thousands, perhaps even millions, prayed that the lives of these little ones, trapped in a cave in Thailand, would be spared from drowning or starving to death. We prayed that they might make it out through the narrow caves. You heard our cries Lord, ours and theirs, and now they are safely out.
On the 25th of May 2018, the Irish people voted overwhelmingly to empower Dáil Éireann- the Irish Parliament – to change their Constitution, thus paving the way for the legalisation of abortion in the Republic of Ireland. As a result of the referendum, article 40.3.3 of the Irish Constitution will be repealed. This article, commonly called the Eight Amendment, had since its insertion into the Constitution thirty-five years ago, guaranteed to protect as far as practicable the equal right to life of the unborn and the mother. It prohibited abortion in almost all cases. By repealing the Eight Amendment, the Irish people empowered their Government to legislate for abortion up to twelve weeks and indeed beyond, should the will of certain political parties be granted.
In the days of Pentecost, the first Christians celebrated the coming of the Holy Spirit, who empowered the Apostles to proclaim the Good News to all nations- according to the teachings of Jesus Christ. Since then that same Spirit continues to urge us on.
Now two thousand years of Christianity cannot be understood however without taking into account two millennia of religious persecution. Over this period of time, there has never been a moment where somewhere in the world, believers risked their lives because of their Christian faith. Moreover, today Christianity is the most persecuted religion in the universe where more than half of the religiously persecuted people in our world are followers of Jesus Christ.