“Tourism has come to a complete standstill. The hotels are empty. Restaurants and bars which are usually full of tourists are closed and some have even been looted. Tourism is one of the most important sectors for the economy, together with the tolls for crossing the Suez Canal and the oil and gas sector,” said Fr Luciano. “In terms of food, Egypt produces fruit and vegetables, so at least there is still some food security.”
Egypt is currently ruled by the military, by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. Fr Luciano Fides relays to Fides his impressions gathered in Tahrir Square: “On the transition into the hands of the military, I have heard various things. Some fear that the Minister for Defence, Tantawi, who has shown a certain reluctance for reform, may impose a crackdown, after the protesters have left the streets. Others rather, are confident that the army can lead the Country through the transition to democracy, because according to them, the army has not been contaminated by the corruption of the regime. However I do not know how true this is. One thing is certain: the army was reorganized by the United States, which subsidizes it with one and a half billion dollars a year, not counting the hundreds of instructors and technicians sent to Egypt for training the local armed forces.”
Finally, regarding how the U.S. is seen by the protesters, the missionary reports: “The United States has been the subject of negative slogans, both from one side and the other. One of the slogans shouted by the demonstrators in Tahrir Square, was 'Mubarak servant of Israel and America'. Instead, the pro-Mubarak protesters accuse the U.S. of being responsible for the revolution and of supporting the revolutionary movement.”
Jakarta (AsiaNews) - An environmental restoration project on the slopes of Mount Merapi - theatre last October of a series of eruptions - which involves the planting of more than 110 thousand trees in an area about 75 hectares, over three villages . This is the initiative launched by an Indonesian inter-faith forum, made up of Christians and Muslims, which has enthusiastically joined the local youth movement. Among the supporters is Mgr. Johannes Pujasumarta Pr, Archbishop of Semarang, who defines the preservation of a "pressing problem" for the economy and population growth.
The project originated on the slopes of Mount Merapi, located on the border area between the provinces of Central Java and Yogyakarta, it is important for two reasons: it aims to qualify the area hit by a series of volcanic eruptions, which caused death and devastation in October and November. It will also promote joint initiatives between Christians and Muslims in the name of multiculturalism and brotherhood, with the involvement of young people. "A month after installation as bishop of Semarang and three months after the volcanic eruption of Merapi - said Mgr. Pujasumarta - I received an invitation from a group called PALM, formed by inter-religious leaders of central Java, to support projects of reforestation of areas affected by the lava flow. "
The group name is an acronym of the Indonesian slogan "Penghijauan Area Lereng Merapi " - the regeneration of the slopes of Mount Merapi, through reforestation programs - and is supported by numerous organizations that promote interfaith dialogue. Among others Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) - the world's largest moderate Muslim country - of Yogyakarta, the Sisters of St. Charles Borromeo, Catholic scientists and biologists, and university professors are participating.
The reforestation project covers an area of 75 hectares, including three villages situated on the slopes of the volcano. "We want to plant at least 112,500 trees," said the archbishop, of which 51,750 have already been grafted and that 85,875 will be provided by other donors. "The preservation of the environment - continues the archbishop - is an urgent matter to be encouraged, in addition to restoring the economy of the local population and a sustainable environmental ecosystem."
All participants involved in the project at the end of the meetings loudly sing the national anthem and recite prayers of Indonesia following the instructions of the leaders of the interfaith movement. Fr.Aloys Budipurnomo Pr, head of the interreligious commission for the Archdiocese of Semarang, underlines the enthusiastic support of the project by local youths, "a source of hope - the religious states – we are planting the seed of brotherhood among the young activists of all faiths, thanks to this project".The initiative for reforestation of the slopes of Mount Merapi follows in the footsteps of a project begun last December by a Xaverian priest, Fr Rodolfo Cyrus, who with the help of groups and institutions promoted the reconstruction of an irrigation system destroyed by the lava flow.
Many of these migrants were seized by drug gangs who use them as runners to bring drugs into the United States, or to act, under threat of death, as hit men in the struggle between criminal groups and Mexican cartels to maintain control of the territories for the sale of drugs. Precisely because of this continual violation of human rights Father Solalinde has repeatedly raised his voice, managing to attract the attention of many, and receiving threats and intimidation (see Fides 03/01/2011).
In recent days Fr Solalinde has been disappointed by the fact that the Mexican Government and other Central American countries have given up interest in the problem rather than implementing measures to put an end to the kidnappings and criminal extortion. According to statements by the priest to the local press, the Mexican government can not seek only to “clean up the country's image”, but must fight crime, because we can not deny that these crimes are happening in Mexico. Father Alejandro Solalinde is also the Pastoral Care Coordinator for human mobility in the South Pacific region.
CATH NEWS REPORT: Cairns and Townsville church properties have come through Cyclone Yasi in remarkably good condition - despite Cairns bearing the brunt of the category 5 cylcone's ferocity, said a report in the Catholic Leader.
Schools and churches around Tully and Silkwood in the Cairns diocese have reported some damage.
Cairns diocese Catholic Education Services communication officer Andrea Gregory said this was mainly to guttering, fencing, signage and water in classrooms although there was some relatively minor structural damage in a couple of instances.
She said St Clare's School, Tully, and St John's School, Silkwood, which had been amongst the most hard-hit schools, were aiming to open on Monday, February 14.
Townsville diocese Catholic Education communications officer Julie Plath said schools around Ingham - Our Lady of Lourdes, Gilroy Santa Maria College, Canossa at Trebonne and St Peter's at Halifax - were to open last Tuesday."However, a definite reopening date is yet to be advised," she said.
Cyclone Yasi's damage bill will exceed $500 million, but a clearer picture wil be known in the next few days.
St. Catherine de Ricci
MYSTIC AND COUNSELOR TO FUTURE POPES
Feast: February 13
|Sirach 15: 15 - 20|
|15||If you will, you can keep the commandments, and to act faithfully is a matter of your own choice.|
|16||He has placed before you fire and water: stretch out your hand for whichever you wish.|
|17||Before a man are life and death, and whichever he chooses will be given to him.|
|18||For great is the wisdom of the Lord; he is mighty in power and sees everything;|
|19||his eyes are on those who fear him, and he knows every deed of man.|
|20||He has not commanded any one to be ungodly, and he has not given any one permission to sin|
Psalms 119: 1 - 2, 4 - 5, 17 - 18, 33 - 34
1Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the LORD!2Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart,4Thou hast commanded thy precepts to be kept diligently.5O that my ways may be steadfast in keeping thy statutes!17Deal bountifully with thy servant, that I may live and observe thy word.18Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.33Teach me, O LORD, the way of thy statutes; and I will keep it to the end.34Give me understanding, that I may keep thy law and observe it with my whole heart.
Corinthians 2: 6 - 10
6Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away.7But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glorification.8None of the rulers of this age understood this; for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.9But, as it is written, "What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him,"10God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.
|Matthew 5: 17 - 37|
|17||"Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfil them.|
|18||For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished.|
|19||Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.|
|20||For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.|
|21||"You have heard that it was said to the men of old, `You shall not kill; and whoever kills shall be liable to judgment.'|
|22||But I say to you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother shall be liable to the council, and whoever says, `You fool!' shall be liable to the hell of fire.|
|23||So if you are offering your gift at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you,|
|24||leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.|
|25||Make friends quickly with your accuser, while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison;|
|26||truly, I say to you, you will never get out till you have paid the last penny.|
|27||"You have heard that it was said, `You shall not commit adultery.'|
|28||But I say to you that every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.|
|29||If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and throw it away; it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell.|
|30||And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.|
|31||"It was also said, `Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.'|
|32||But I say to you that every one who divorces his wife, except on the ground of unchastity, makes her an adulteress; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.|
|33||"Again you have heard that it was said to the men of old, `You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.'|
|34||But I say to you, Do not swear at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God,|
|35||or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.|
|36||And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black.|
|37||Let what you say be simply `Yes' or `No'; anything more than this comes from evil.|