Grace on the Margins: The Vatican has remained silent as Uganda and Nigeria passed anti-homosexuality legislation. Where is Pope Francis?
It has been two months since Fr. Raphael Ayiga Lebu has had a good night, or a good day, of sleep.
His parish in the village of Dzaipi, 18 miles from the border of South Sudan, has become a safe haven for refugees fleeing the conflict that began in Juba, the fledgling country's capital, in mid-December.
The greatest influx began Jan. 8. Ayiga said the number of the refugees was so great that he and two fellow priests at the parish felt their efforts fell far short of what the beleaguered people needed.
A call for greater acceptance of gays and lesbians has put African and Western churches on a collision course.
Uganda's Catholic bishops have begun reviewing a text of the country's new anti-gay law in order to come up with "an educated" response, said a senior church official.
Uganda's Catholic bishops reaffirmed their opposition to homosexuality, but reserved judgment on a recently ratified bill imposing harsh punishment for homosexual acts in the East African nation.
"Our reaction from the church is very clear, we don't support homosexuality," Msgr. John Baptist Kauta, secretary-general of the Uganda Episcopal Conference, told Catholic News Service by phone Feb. 26.
He said that when the anti-gay bill was first discussed, the country's bishops had been against the harsh penalties it involved for homosexual acts, including the death penalty.
The issue is especially pressing in Africa, where Nigeria recently adopted harsh prison terms for people in same-sex relationships.
With little more than two months to go before Britain’s first same-sex marriage, the College of Bishops issued a statement saying that “no change” to the teaching on marriage is proposed or envisioned.
While so many of us worry about the lack of pediatric care in depressed areas of the world, Mercy Sr. Karen Schneider, a pediatrician at Johns Hopkins Children's Center, has found a creative, positive way to address children's needs by founding Mercy Medical Missions.
Sr. Camille: When and how did this come about?
NCR Today: A great friend to NCR, Thomas Patrick Melady served as U.S. ambassador to Burundi, Uganda and the Vatican.
But for the tragedy in the Philippines, 2013 is ending as a quiet year for humanitarian events, right? Not necessarily.