Bishops and experts comment on the nature and implications of the recent currency devaluation

ACN 20180511 71106

Just days after the introduction of the new economic measures by the government of Nicolás Maduro on 17 August this year, there is a sense of complete confusion and helplessness in Venezuelan society, both among the larger economic concerns and among the ordinary small traders.

The effects of the new measures are by no means clear, nor indeed is their practical implementation. The government has stated that it will cover the extra financial charges on the private sector for the first 90 days, but it doesn’t say how it will do so. It has also promised that it will not apply the new rate of VAT – which has increased from 12% to 16% – to foods and medicines. However the Official Gazette which has been published states that the tax will be a general one and makes no mention of any such exemptions.

What seems certain is that the new measures will lead to a savage increase in inflation, and in consequence to still more poverty and hunger for the ordinary people. The 60-fold increase in the national minimum wage, which has also been announced, is so enormous that it is feared that many companies and small businesses, which are already struggling to survive, will be forced either to close or to sack a large part of their workforce.

ACN 20180706 73221The Fiji Archipelago in the southern Pacific is a renowned destination for divers and tourists, above all from Australia, New Zealand and the United States. Its capital city, Suva, is also the commercial and political centre of Fiji. However, what few people realise is that parts of this seeming earthly paradise are in danger of extinction. Maria Lozano spoke to Archbishop Peter Loy Chong of Suva, on the Fiji Islands, during his visit to the central headquarters of the international Catholic pastoral charity and pontifical foundation Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) about the consequences of climate change for his country and the sufferings of the Fijian people.

 ACN to present the Church as the “Family of Families” at the World Meeting of Families

World Meeting of Families 2018 logo

The Charity and Pontifical Foundation is helping families from different parts of the world take part in the Dublin meeting.

From 21 to 26 August thousands of people will be descending on Dublin, Ireland to take part in the World Meeting of Families sponsored by the Holy See’s Dicastery for the Laity, the Family and Life.

The event will include a three-day congress with a varied programme for young people and adults. The international Catholic charity ACN will be involved, organising two meetings which will highlight the experiences, hopes and challenges facing families in such widely differing countries as Russia, Kenya and the Congo (on 22 August, Hall 3, at 7 p.m. and on 23 August, in Hall 8B, at 7 p.m.)

ACN 20180813 74962

It is the tenth anniversary of a horrific outburst of anti-Christian violence that, in August 2008, killed more than 100 Christians in the Kandhamal district of India’s Odisha State; the violence damaged or destroyed 300 churches and 6,000 homes, with 50,000 people ending up displaced. A nun was gang raped.

Tarun Kumar Nayak, 19, is a native of Odisha state, who is pursuing a Bachelor’s of Science. He was both witness and victim of Hindu mob violence at age of nine. Here, Tarun describes the destruction of both his home in the town of Bamunigoan and his father’s tailoring shop—an incident that turned out to be a prelude to the murderous rampage in August 2008:

TS Eliot's play MURDER IN THE CATHEDRAL directed by acclaimed actor Donald Macdonald and presented by Artes Christi, will be raising funds for Aid to the Church in Need Australia.
The play will run from the 27th of September to the 14th of October 2018.

MURDER IN THE CATHEDRAL is a beautiful poetic play written by TS Eliot portraying the life & death of St Thomas Becket who was martyred in Canterbury Cathedral in 1170.

Performances of the play will run at the historic 1880 Hall in Surry Hills and the play is being staged to coincide with the Canonisation of Blessed Oscar Romero on 14th October this year.
In 1980 in San Salvador, Blessed Oscar became the first Archbishop martyred at the altar since St Thomas Becket 800 years earlier.

Murder in the Cathedral

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