Pope Francis to approve five canonisations

Vatican City, June 14 (IANS/AKI) Pope Francis will approve five new saints including four men and a woman at a consistory on June 20, the Vatican said on Monday.

The sainthood candidates are: Guillaume-Nicolas-Louis Leclerq, an 18th-century Christian Brother martyred after the French revolution; Spanish bishop Manuel Gonzalez Garcia; Lodovico Pavoni, an Italian priest and founder of the Sons of Mary Immaculate order; fellow Italian priest Alfonso Maria Fusco, who founded the Congregation of the Baptistine Sisters of the Nazarene; and Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity, a French Discalced Carmelite mystic and writer.

Francis earlier approved miracles attributed to the five candidates. A consistory formally ends the process of approving a new saint.

Hunger used as ‘weapon of war’, says Pope

Roma, June 14 (IANS/AKI) Pope Francis on Monday decried starvation in the world, saying it is being used as a weapon of war in conflict zones, in violation of international law.

Urging the ‘denaturalisation’ of hunger, he said, “In some cases, hunger itself is used as a weapon of war.”

He was speaking to nearly 1,000 people during his first visit to the United Nations World Food Programme in Rome.

“The death count multiplies because the number of people dying of hunger and thirst is added to that of battlefield casualties and the civilian victims of conflicts and attacks,” he added referring to sieges preventing the distribution of food in conflict zones.

Francis said he fully supported the “great” goal agreed by all UN member states of eradicating hunger by 2030 and warned against consumerism that has inured societies to hunger and poverty.

“Little by little we are growing immune to other people’s tragedies, seeing them as something ‘natural’,” the pontiff stated.

“We are bombarded by so many images that we see pain but do not touch it, we hear weeping, but do not comfort it, we see thirst but do not quench it.”

He urged the international community to “debureaucratise” aid and eliminate food waste, praising WFP for its work at the frontline of fighting hunger.

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