Breaking news about Pope Francis’ upcoming trip to Myanmar: A meeting with the head of the country’s armed forces has been added at the last minute. The pope also will meet with a small group of Rohinhgya in Bangladesh; Rohinhgya are Muslims, who have been persecuted in Myanmar in what has been called “ethnic cleansing.”
In other news about the Nov. 27-Dec. 2 papal trips to Myanmar and Bangladesh:
- Muslims and Catholics from Myanmar living in the United States are hopeful the pope will bring a message of compassion to their country.
- Columnist Tom Reese believes the trip is a mistake and, if the pope defends the Rohingya, could lead to increased persecution of Christians in Myanmar.
- Also, right-wing Hindu groups are raising the issue of the church’s missionary and conversion activity, ahead of the pope’s trip.
After seven years of war, Russia’s military role in Syria may be nearing an end, Russian President Vladimir Putin said after a surprise meeting with Syrian leader Bashar Assad.
Twenty-thousand Catholic teens gathered for the National Catholic Youth Conference in Indianapolis last weekend.
Also meeting this weekend were theologians and religion scholars at the annual American Academy of Religion meeting in Boston. Talk of Trump dominated the meeting, and some scholars, including Catholic ones, signed a declaration opposing his policies.
In Detroit, 60,000 gathered to mark the beatification of Franciscan Friar Fr. Solanus Casey.
Global Sisters Report Editor Gail DeGeorge reports from the International Union of Superiors General meeting in Manila.
NCR has two responses to the news that Pope Francis condemned even the possession of nuclear weapons by world governments, signaling a possible change in the church’s previous acceptance of nuclear deterrence. (The comments were made Nov. 10 at a high-profile Vatican conference on nuclear disarmament.)
- Retired Detroit Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, who helped draft the U.S. bishops’ 1983 peace letter, which accepted nuclear deterrence, says it’s time to reevaluate that document.
- Marie Dennis, co-president of Pax Christi International, believes we may be on the cutting edge of shift in Catholic dialogue with the world on issues of war and peace.
Phyllis Zagano reminds Americans, as they prepare to feast for Thanksgiving, to remember the poor and hungry.
Michael Sean Winters write that gratitude can be an antidote to pride.
Sr. Lynn Marie Welbig, a Sister of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, shares how her work as a state lobbyist is the work of the Gospel.
And yours truly reviews a book that argues that adoption can show us a new way of belonging and connecting.