World Notes & Quoutes

Sudan Expels Canadian Priest

REUTERS, Aug. 9—Sudan has expelled a Canadian priest from the country without cause, according to the wire service.

Father Gilles Poirer, 57, worked in a slum parish in Hillat Mayo, six miles south of the capital city of Khartoum, providing the poor with modest loans to start small businesses, said the article.

Officials of the Muslim government told him on July 15 that he had two weeks to leave the country. “No reason was given for his expulsion,” a Church official old Reuters. “This is another sign that the regime is once again trying to cripple the Church.” A Sudanese priest from the same parish is awaiting trial in connection with several bombings in Khartoum last year. The charges are seen as part of a government campaign of harassment against priests, said the report.

Chinese Religious Leaders Approve Ban

AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE, Aug. 4—China's officially sanctioned religious leaders applauded the government's recent ban on the Falun Gong sect, insisting it did not threaten religious freedom, the French news service reported.

“Falun Gong is not a religion, but an illegal organization that is like a cult,” said Jin Luxian, honorary chairman of the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association. The Patriotic Association was established by the communist regime and has no ties to the Vatican, said the article.

“[Founder of Falun Gong] Li Hongzhi used religious terminology and mixed it with fallacies,” Jin said, adding that the cult was “anti-science, anti-civilization and anti-religion.” Jin said he would try to get the 140,000 Patriotic Catholics in Shanghai to see the danger of Falun Gong, said the report.

China banned Falun Gong, which advocates breathing and meditation exercises to attain inner strength, on July 22, accusing it of being a threat to society. The underground Catholic Church in communion with Rome is also banned and is subjected to ongoing persecution.

Horace Vernet, “The Angel of Death,” 1851

Don’t Wait to Cram for Your ‘Final Exam’

“Each man receives his eternal retribution in his immortal soul at the very moment of his death, in a particular judgment that refers his life to Christ: either entrance into the blessedness of heaven — through a purification or immediately — or immediate and everlasting damnation.” (CCC 1022)

Francisco de Zurbarán, “The Family of the Virgin,” ca. 1650

Why Do We Ask Mary to Pray for Us?

“After her Son’s Ascension, Mary ‘aided the beginnings of the Church by her prayers.’ In her association with the apostles and several women, ‘we also see Mary by her prayers imploring the gift of the Spirit, who had already overshadowed her in the Annunciation.’” (CCC 965)