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It was an important opportunity to get to know each other and dialogue on the issue of the role of women in the Church that the League still considers too marginal, in particular in reference to positions of leadership and responsibility. The three delegations agreed that the renewal of the Church cannot take place without the active involvement of women. Another delicate topic addressed during the assembly is the recent Instruction “The pastoral conversion of the parish community at the service of the evangelizing mission of the Church”, published last June 29 by the Congregation for the Clergy. A document that, as in Germany, has also aroused some debate in the Swiss Church, where there is a long tradition of collaboration between the clergy, religious and laity in ecclesial service. In particular, it is a question of understanding how to reconcile an experience that has by now been tested in the country, which still leaves some questions open, and the directives of the universal Church. During the work, the Swiss bishops then again took stock of the fight against pedophilia in the Church and the compensation of the victims. The statistics collected in 2019 by the various expert commissions set up in the dioceses were presented to the assembly. The data presented seem to indicate that the measures adopted by the bishops in 2002 are working, even if they are only the tip of the iceberg, as pointed out by Felix Gmür, president of the Swiss Bishops’ Conference who has again urged the victims to report the abuses suffered. Finally, another topic discussed at the meeting was the refugee emergency in Lesbos after the fires that destroyed the refugee camp of Moria. The bishops expressed their dismay at the further worsening of the situation on the Greek island and welcomed the recent decision by the Federal Council to welcome 20 minors from the Moria camp. (LZ)

19 September – INDIA Monsignor Pulloppillil’s appeal to be united to end human trafficking in Assam

“Human trafficking is negatively affecting the future of our young people in the region – we are united in this struggle,” said Bishop Thomas Pulloppillil, Bishop of Bongaigoan in the state of Assam and president of the United Christian Forum of northeastern India, in course of an online webinar, entitled “North East India Youth Summit”. The meeting was organized on 12 September to create awareness of human trafficking, especially against the backdrop of growing poverty and unemployment caused by the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, and to urge all church groups to commit themselves to ending trafficking especially of girls and boys who engage in prostitution. “The future of our young people is in danger” said the prelate. “Trafficking in human beings, mainly young girls, is rampant” in the region and abroad, said the bishop of Bongaigoan, stressing the need to increase the awareness of this reality. “Traffickers in particular prey on girls from weaker economic groups, especially those who live in conditions of poverty”. Expressing concern about the role of cybermedia in human trafficking, M. Devasitham, head of strategic development of the International Justice Mission, explained how “human traffickers are actively using cyberspace to attract young people through chats and calls. fraudulent “, taking advantage of the vulnerability of many of them, who have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus emergency.” The migration of people cannot be avoided, but we must know where our young people go to work and study. Gone are the days of traffickers visiting villagers. Internet platforms have made their job easier and cheaper because they don’t have to travel, “he added, insisting on creating awareness. (AP)

PHILIPPINES Gift of the relics of Saint Augustine and Saint Nicholas of Tolentino to the diocese of Laoag

Some first-class relics of Saints Agostino d’Ippo and Nicola da Tolentino, dating back to the 5th century AD. and in the fourteenth century, they were donated by an anonymous, on September 15, to the diocese of Laoag, in the province of Ilocos, north of Manila.