The Valley Catholic June 11, 2019 - Page 13 | June 11, 2019 IN THE CHURCH 13 U.N. Declares Special Day to Remember Victims of Violence Against Religion WASHINGTON (CNS) -- On May 28, the U.N. General Assembly adopt- ed a resolution establishing August 22 as the Day to Commemorate Victims of Violence Based on Religion. The resolution invites all member states, relevant organizations, civil society, individuals and the private sector to observe the international day and show appropriate support for vic- tims of religiously motivated violence. In the wake of recent religiously motivated terrorist attacks, the reso- lution notes a serious concern for “continuing acts of intolerance and violence based on religion or belief against individuals, including against persons belonging to religious com- munities and religious minorities around the world, and at the increas- ing number and intensity of such incidents.” Poland initiated work toward the commemorative day, but united with Brazil, Canada, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Ni- geria, Pakistan, Poland, and the United States to co-draft the resolution. Ultimately, 88 U.N. member states People pray in Kabul, Afghanistan June 4, 2019. On May 28, the U.N. General Assem- bly adopted a resolution establishing August 22 as the Day to Commemorate Victims of Violence Based on Religion. (CNS photo/ Omar Sobhani, Reuters) A pilgrim prays near the Marian shrine of Fatima in central Portugal May 12, 2019. On May 28, the U.N. General Assembly adopted a resolution establishing August 22 as the Day to Commemorate Victims of Violence Based on Religion. (CNS photo/ Pedro Nunes, Reuters) voted to co-sponsor the resolution. “The right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, which is commonly referred to as the right to freedom of religion or belief, is a uni- versal right of every human being and the cornerstone of many other rights,” Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs Jacek Czaputowicz said in his keynote speech before the vote. In response, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom in Washington issued a statement prais- ing the resolution. “We applaud the U.N. General As- sembly for adopting this resolution, which acknowledges and honors vic- tims of violence based on religion or belief around the world,” said Tenzin Dorjee, chair of the commission. “But we must not stop at condemnation. Like-minded governments must also increasingly work together to hold perpetrators accountable, whether they are state or nonstate actors re- sponsible for the abuses.” The Vatican, too, commented on the resolution after its adoption in a statement released by its Perma- nent Observer Mission to the U.N. The statement recalled the recent religiously motivated violence in Sri Lanka, New Zealand, California and Burkina Faso. “This resolution and the interna- tional day it establishes is an opportu- nity for the international community to focus on the victims and to strengthen efforts to eradicate such violence and acts of terrorism targeting persons be- cause of their religion or belief,” it said. The Vatican also reminded the U.N. that religion and belief cannot be blamed for these acts. They are, rather, deviations from religious practices and must be condemned. CCH153_CarDonateAd2_4.937x6in_PressQuality.pdf 1 8/10/15 7:41 PM Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the Marian shrine of Sumuleu Ciuc in Miercurea Ciuc, Romania, June 1, 2019. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) Leave Divisions Behind, Embrace Fellowship, Pope says at Marian Shrine MIERCUREA CIUC, Romania (CNS) -- At a Marian shrine in the heart of Transylvania, Pope Francis called on Romania’s Catholics to leave resent- ments behind and to embark on a jour- ney of unity. Celebrating Mass June 1 at the Sumuleu Ciuc shrine, an important place of pilgrimage for Romanians and for Catholics from across the border in Hungary, the pope called on the faith- ful to ask God “for the grace to change past and present resentments and mis- trust into new opportunities for friend- ship.” The pope said that “complicated and sorrow-filled situations from the past must not be forgotten or denied, yet neither must they be an obstacle or an excuse standing in the way of our desire to live together as brothers and C M Y sisters.” Because of severe rain and fog, the pope’s originally scheduled land- ing at an airport in Bacau and subse- quent helicopter ride to the shrine was cancelled. Instead, his plane landed at Transylvania Airport in Targu Mures and he was driven by car to Sumuleu Ciuc. Tens of thousands of pilgrims wearing colorful raincoats, surrounded by green pine forests clouded by mist, waited for the pope outside the shrine. Rain, mud and fog did little to dampen their spirits as they sang and waved happily awaiting the pope’s arrival. Among the pilgrims at the Mass were Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dancila and Hungarian President Ja- nos Ader, who attended “as a simple pilgrim,” the Vatican said. CM MY CY CMY K Donating Your Vehicle Rebuilds Hope Vehicle Donations Support Catholic Charities’ Refugee & Immigrant Programs Free Towing  •  Fast & Easy  •  100% Tax Deductible Contact Us Today at or 1 (866) 565-5912