“Young People, Don’t Emigrate” Say African Bishops

“Young people, stay at home” is what the Archbishop of Addis Ababa, the capital and largest city of Ethiopia, in Eastern Africa, has told his country’s youth, exhorting them not to emigrate to Europe. Cardinal Berhaneyesus Demerew Souraphiel is only the last of a long list of African Catholic Bishops and Cardinals to have warned […]

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The Two Popes Film: Much Fiction, Little Truth & History

During the Christmas holidays I watched the film The Two Popes, directed by Fernando Meirelles, recently released by Netflix. It is based on the 2017 play The Pope by Anthony McCarten, in which he imagined conversations that never occurred between Pope Francis when he was still Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio and Pope Benedict XVI, and […]

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What is for Children the Magic of Santa Claus?

Christmas is behind us, now. But there is still something about that special time of the year that I’d like to reflect and write on. Something quite special in tragic circumstances happened to an American little child for Christmas. In December 2016, media reported that a terminally-ill five-year-old boy in Knoxville, Tennessee, expressed as his […]

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New Year but In Italy Not Enough New Babies

Italy is “one of the oldest countries in the world”: these are the words of the Italian official Institute of Statistics Istat, which in its Yearbook explains how the cause is the decrease in the birth rate together with the increase in life expectancy: In 2018 the decline in births continues, from 458,151 in 2017 […]

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What Christmas Is and What Christmas Is Not

There is in the UK, and possibly elsewhere, at least one TV channel, ITV4 (there could be more of which I don’t know), that very proudly during this season proclaims to be “Christmas free”. The people at the top of that channel must think it’s a unique trait: in fact all or nearly all television […]

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Christmas. Jesus Was Really Born 25 December

On this Christmas Eve, waiting for the Midnight Mass, I have a little (or big, according to your sentiments) Christmas present for you:  Jesus was really born on 25 December.   For some time now we’ve been hearing various people say that the 25th December is only a conventional date for the birth of Jesus […]

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Amalfi Underwater Nativity Scene in Emerald Grotto

Amalfi, the historic seaside town that gives its name to the celebrated Amalfi Coast of stunning beauty, is not the only location in Italy where an underwater Nativity scene is set up in December, but it is the first place to start that tradition in the 1960s. Not the first Nativity scene, which was created […]

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St Andrew, Patron Saint of Amalfi and Scotland, Celebrated Today in Amalfi

Today is 30th November, St. Andrew’s Day. The English-speaking world knows that Scotland celebrates this as the feast day of her own patron saint, the Apostle Saint Andrew, the first disciple of Jesus, to whom he introduced his brother Simon, destined to be called Peter by Christ and appointed by Him to be the Head […]

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