Two Catholic churches set on fire in Chile
Two Catholic churches in the Chilean capital of Santiago have been destroyed by fire following arson attacks carried out by political demonstrators. Both incidents took place as tens of thousands of Chileans gathered in central Santiago to mark the one-year anniversary of mass protests that left over 30 dead and thousands injured. The fire at Our Lady of the Assumption in Santiago brought the church’s spire crashing to the ground, much to the jubilation of cheering crowds. Meanwhile the city’s St. Francis Borgia church was also gutted by fire. The parish is home to institutional ceremonies for the “Carabineros”. Pope appoints Bishop Marcello Semeraro as the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints Pope Francis has appointed a new prefect, or boss, to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints. He’s 73-year-old Bishop Marcello Semeraro. A native of Puglia in southern Italy, Bishop Semeraro is currently in charge of the Diocese of Albano, which sits just to the south-east of Rome. He’s also the Secretary of the Council of Cardinals and has been since 2013. In that post, Bishop Semeraro has assisted Pope Francis in drawing up plans to revise the Apostolic Constitution of the Roman Curia. Global Catholic population grows by 15 million The number of Catholics in the world continues to grow. That’s according to new statistics released this week by the Vatican. The latest figures, which were captured in 2018, show a rise in the global Catholic population of 15.7 million in comparison to the year previous. What is more, that growth was observed on all continents including Europe, which has continued to exhibit an upward trend for the past three years. Overall, that means that Catholics account for 17.7% of the world’s population. That’s one in six of all people on earth. Pope Francis appoints Father William Draper as bishop of Springfield The Diocese of Springfield in Massachusetts has a new bishop-elect. He’s Father William Draper Byrne. Father Byrne is a priest of the Archdiocese of Washington, DC. The 56-year-old is currently the pastor of Our Lady of Mercy Parish in Potomac in Maryland. Amongst other things, Father Byrne previously taught homiletics at the Pontifical North American College in Rome for nine years. His ability to communicate has also seen him become a popular columnist and YouTuber. Archbishop Fisher expresses concern over proposed law Archbishop Anthony Fisher of Sydney has spoken out against moves by the State of South Australia to liberalize its abortion law. Under proposed new legislation, the requirement that an abortion always be approved by two doctors would be removed, as would the requirement that the abortion occur in a hospital. Instead, it is proposed that a single doctor could sign off on all but late-term abortions, and that doctors would be able to send mothers-to-be, so-called “abortion kits” in the mail following a phone consultation only. Hundreds take to streets for Austria’s March for Life 2020 Despite COVID-19 restrictions, hundreds of pro-lifers participated in Austria’s ‘March for Life’ in Vienna on Saturday. The motto of this year’s event was “Love them Both” in reference to the child in the womb and his or her expectant mother. The event began with Holy Mass in the city’s Saint Charles Church offered by Bishop Emeritus Klaus Kung of the Diocese of Sankt Pölten. Austria held its first March for Life in 2018. Last year saw over 4,000 people take part. The country legalized abortion in 1975. Official logo for World Youth Day 2023 unveiled The official logo of World Youth Day 2023, to be held in the Portuguese capital of Lisbon, has been revealed. The design’s dominant element is the Cross, which is traversed by a road from which rises the Holy Spirit, depicted as a flame. This is an invitation to young people, say the event organizers, not to stand still but to play a major role in building a fairer and more fraternal world. The chosen colors of the logo are green, red and yellow which evoke the Portuguese flag. Meanwhile, the presence of a youthful Blessed Virgin Mary highlights the theme of the 2023 event which is Our Lady’s visitation to her cousin Elizabeth upon hearing of her kinswoman’s pregnancy.