World News in Brief

Coup leaders agree to restore power to deposed Burkina Faso leader

Leaders of a September 16 coup in Burkina Faso are to restore to power the deposed president Michel Kafando.

The army and the Régiment Sécurité Présidentielle (RSP) have agreed that the latter should withdraw from their positions in the capital city Ouagadougou, while the army is to withdraw its troops 50km from the capital and guarantee the safety of the RSP members and their families.

Denouncing the coup, the country’s bishops had demanded that democratic elections go ahead as planned. Claiming that “the taking hostage of Faso's president and his government put a brutal end to the transition process and popular expectations,” the bishops condemned the coup’s “violence and their fatal consequences: loss of life, injuries and destruction of property" and offer "their sincere condolences to the families of victims".


Europe’s very identity is at risk, warns Luxembourg Archbishop

“The Christian identity of Europe is definitely in danger if we do not follow the values of the Gospel,”said Luxembourg’s Archbishop Jean-Claude Hollerich at the annual Mass for Europe, urging Europeans to help refugees regardless of their religious beliefs.

Calling on Europeans to remember their basic values, he said “the problems and complexity of situations must not lead to the disappearance of Europe's soul as the values that have become dear to us are forgotten”.

Europe’s citizens “might love Europe better, if it dares to build a foreign policy with a clear and strong commitment to peace”, Dr Hollerich said, continuing, “we should listen to the Spirit at work in this age and seize our chance”.


Borno’s citizens are returning

Despite recent Boko Haram attacks on Maiduguri, the capital of the Nigerian state of Borno, the city’s inhabitants are returning.

Fr. Gideon Obasogie, Maidguri diocese’s social communications director, said “most of our people are coming back to their communities”, but as the returning people “look sick, hungry and traumatised” and are finding that “many towns, homes, schools, hospitals, bridges have been razed down by the bombs of Boko Haram”, they need support.

Maiduguri’s Bishop Oliver Dashe Doeme has sent priests to the beleaguered communities, believing they should “accompany the people as they try to rebuild their lives”, and ordaining three new priests.

Although Nigeria’s current administration is winning the fight against the Islamist militants, Fr Obasogie said, “a lot of people are still afraid of the presence of suicide bombers around the city and villages”.


Columbian peace meeting is hailed

Archbishop Oscar Urbina Ortega, the Vice President of Colombia’s bishops’ conference, has welcomed a meeting in Cuba between Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos Calderon and the FARC guerrillas’ top commander.

Writing ahead of the meeting, during which a nine-point peace plan was agreed upon, Dr Urbina Ortega declared on behalf of Columbia’s bishops that “the Pope said that peace must be built within the legal, national and international system, therefore both sides should also consider this recommendation and seek what all Colombians want, that is to say the path of reconciliation”.

Maintaining that the Church will continue to accompany to victims of Columbia’s civil war, the archbishop acknowledged that as the country has been at war for more than 50 years, building a peace will be a slow process.


British bishops publish findings

Catechesis and evangelisation are vocations for all Christians, an Indian catechetics conference has been told.

Opening the conference in Chennai, at which the National Catechetical Directory was presented, Simdega’s Bishop Vincent Barwa saud, “A Christian has a big heart, ready to bring the message of salvation to every corner of the world. We ask God to transform our hearts in order to accomplish the mission of catechesis and evangelization entrusted to each of us, by virtue of our baptismal call”.

The Directory, which India’s bishops approved earlier this year and which the Salesian Fr Jayapalan Raphael has called “a milestone in the history of catechesis in India”, contains rules, principles, and guidelines for effective catechesis in an Indian context.