In brief

In brief A protester takes part in a demonstration against the DSEI arms fair outside of Parliament in London in this file photo from 2013. Photo: CNS
UK bishops criticise upcoming arms fair

A major arms fair in London has drawn fire from Catholic bishops and justice and peace groups who say the trade in weaponry fuels conflict around the world.

In a joint statement, they criticized the DSEI arms fair, which will bring together more than 1,600 companies that develop, manufacture and sell a vast range of weaponry.

They said such events, which will run at London’s Docklands September 14-17, were part of a trade that Pope Francis had claimed was “drenched in blood. We recognise the right of every country to defend itself against attack, but we must never ignore, or allow ourselves to become complicit in, the destruction of human life and violations of human dignity made possible by the sale of weaponry,” said the September 7 joint statement.


Priest shot dead in Haiti

Father André Sylvestre, 70, was shot to death in Cap-Haitien September 6, outside a bank where he had just completed a transaction.

The priest was attacked by several persons on motorcycles and, according to the Haiti Standard, the attackers did not take the money he was carrying.

Fr Sylvestre was taken to hospital, but soon thereafter died of his injuries.

The priest was serving at Notre Dame de La Mercie parish.

Haiti has seen a surge of violence in recent years, and the number of kidnappings for ransom has increased in that time.

A criminal gang calling itself “400 Mazowo” kidnapped 10 Catholics, including priests and nuns, on April 11. The kidnap victims were all eventually released weeks later after the Catholic Church openly criticised the government’s “inaction,” and called for all Catholic schools and institutions – except hospitals and clinics – to close in protest.


Six nuns from the same convent die in less than a week

Six nuns from the convent of the Franciscan Sisters of the Holy Family of Mary congregation in Curitiba, Brazil, died in less than a week, five of them from Covid-19.

Other nuns at the convent also came down with the illness and some were admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU). Sister Madalena Ryndack of the Curitiba convent said that “with the prayers of many friends” the situation is gradually “returning to normal.”

The Archdiocese of Curitiba published the death notices of the nuns.


Cardinal says Pope Francis’ visit changed Iraq

An Iraqi cardinal said that Pope Francis’ historic visit to Iraq in March had a profound impact on the country.

Delivering his testimony at the 52nd International Eucharistic Congress in Budapest, Hungary, on September 7, Cardinal Louis Raphaël Sako explained that the Pope’s trip had changed the atmosphere in the Middle Eastern country.

“The Pope touched the hearts of all Iraqis by his messages, especially Muslims. And now, something has changed in the streets, in the Mass, the population,” he commented.

“Christians are proud of that and now they are very appreciated also.”

Cardinal Sako was speaking on the third day of the International Eucharistic Congress, which opened on September 5 with a 1,000-strong choir and a Mass featuring First Communions.