In brief

In brief George Weigel
World Youth Day 2023 organisers urge youth to join ‘great national movement’

The organisers of World Youth Day 2023 invited young Portuguese Catholics this week to prepare for the event by taking part in a two-day nationwide mission.

They urged youngsters to join a “a great national movement that intends to bring hope and joy to the whole country,” reported ACI Digital November 13.

Organisers invited young people across the country to dedicate November 28-29, the weekend marking the start of Advent, to the mission.

“We challenge each young person to do a mission wherever they are, thus giving expression to the theme proposed by Pope Francis for WYD Lisbon 2023,” they said.

The Pope announced in June 2019 that the theme of the next World Youth Day would be “Mary arose and went with haste,” a verse taken from St Luke’s Gospel describing the Virgin Mary’s visitation to her cousin Elizabeth after the Annunciation.

George Weigel praises Courage apostolate for fidelity, heroic witness

Catholic author George Weigel this week praised the heroic witness displayed by members of Courage, an apostolate that ministers to people experiencing same-sex attraction.

He encouraged them to stand firm amid societal pressures and recent controversy over comments from Pope Francis regarding same-sex civil unions.

“Brave men and women of ‘Courage,’ thank you for your witness. Please continue to take up the challenge that St John Paul II issued on October 22, 1978: ‘Be not afraid! Open the doors to Christ!’” Mr Weigel wrote in a November 11 open letter published at First Things.

Courage offers resources to people experiencing same-sex attraction to help them live chaste lives according to Church teaching. Founded in 1980, the group today has more than 150 chapters in 18 countries.


Biden to open US to refugees with increase in resettlements

Presumptive president-elect Joe Biden says he plans for the U.S. to resettle far more refugees in 2021 than in recent years. The move would be a reversal of standing Trump administration policy.

In an announcement for the 40th anniversary celebration of Jesuit Refugee Services (JRS), a Catholic organisation which supports and helps resettle refugees in the U.S., Mr Biden stated his intent to multiply the number of refugees accepted by the U.S. in 2021.

“The Biden-Harris administration will restore America’s historic role in protecting the vulnerable and defending the rights of refugees everywhere, in raising our annual refugee admission target to 125,000,” Mr Biden said on Thursday evening.

The current limit on refugee acceptance for FY 2021 is just 15,000, the lowest-recorded number since the U.S. refugee resettlement program began in 1980.


China’s five-year plan stresses eugenics in birth policy, says expert

The Chinese government’s latest five-year plan proposal contains a birth policy with an emphasis on eugenics, a China scholar said this week.

China, known for its decades-long one-child policy, is now looking to counter its aging population by encouraging Chinese women to have more babies – but only certain kinds of women.

Among the Chinese Communist Party’s goals listed in its policy blueprint for the years 2021-2025 is to “optimise its birth policy” and “improve the quality of the population.”

“I am actually very worried,” Columbia professor Leta Hong Fincher told a panel of China experts via video link at a virtual event by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) November 13.