Vatican Roundup

Vatican Roundup Peruvian journalist Pedro Salinas
Pope kneels
 and begs
 Sudanese leaders

At the end of a highly unusual spiritual retreat for the political leaders of warring factions, Pope Francis knelt at the feet of the leaders of South Sudan, begging them to give peace a chance and to be worthy “fathers of the nation”. “As a brother, I ask you to remain in peace. I ask you from my heart, let’s go forward. There will be many problems, but do not be afraid,” he told the leaders, speaking without a text at the end of the meeting.

“You have begun a process, may it end well,” he said. “There will be disagreements among you, but may they take place ‘in the office’ while, in front of your people, you hold hands; in this way, you will be transformed from simple citizens to fathers of the nation.”

“The purpose of this retreat is for us to stand together before God and to discern his will,” he said in his formal remarks on April 11, closing the two-day retreat in the Domus Sanctae Marthae, the Vatican guesthouse where he lives.



After a court ruled in favour of an archbishop’s defamation lawsuit against him, Peruvian journalist Pedro Salinas said he was “pleasantly surprised” by a message of support from the country’s bishops.

Peruvian Archbishop Jose Eguren Anselmi of Piura won the case against Mr Salinas on April 8, but bishops in the country distanced themselves from the lawsuit and said the Church needs the help of journalists and survivors of clergy sex abuse to overcome the current crisis.

Archbishop Eguren, a professed member of the Catholic movement Sodalitium since 1981, filed the lawsuit after Mr Salinas wrote a 2018 article accusing the prelate of having known about the abuse. Losing the suit filed by the archbishop, he was given a one-year suspended sentence, fined $22,250 (€19,675) and ordered to do 120 days of community service. Mr Salinas has already announced an appeal.


Human trafficking creates ‘a wound in humanity’, Pontiff warns

Human trafficking is a “crime against humanity”, because it denies the human dignity of the victim, seeing him or her only as a piece of merchandise to be used to enrich or give pleasure to another, Pope Francis has said.

Human trafficking, “in its multiple forms, is a wound in the humanity of those who endure it and those who commit it”, the Pope said on April 11, addressing the closing session of a Vatican conference.

The Migrants and Refugees Section of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development organised the conference from April 8-11. The office brought together more than 200 bishops, priests, men and women religious, project coordinators, pastoral workers, representatives of Catholic organisations and foundations and trafficking experts from around the world to brainstorm and coordinate efforts to stop trafficking.