Assessing Needs in Ethiopia
In the Ethiopian province of Tigre, Domingo Sotero, the Association’s program administrator for Ethiopia, visited St. Mary’s Clinic.
The clinic, in operation since 1988, is staffed by four nursing sisters who see up to 100 patients a day and perform as many as 10 operations a week.
The Tigreans often walk for more than four hours to the clinic. Many are malnourished, or infected with typhus, tuberculosis, severe scabies, measles or the virus that causes AIDS.
Catholic Near East provided $22,805 to build and support the clinic.
Armenian Archbishop of Baghdad Visits New York
Archbishop Paul Coussa, the Armenian Catholic Archbishop of Baghdad, visited our offices in New York in late May.
He noted that much of Baghdad has returned to normal, but medicines, food and other basics are in short supply because of the embargo. The American Catholic bishops have asked the UN to lift the embargo thus allowing Iraq to import these necessities.
Archbishop Coussa is in the United States seeking assistance for the Armenian Catholic community in Baghdad, which numbers more than three thousand.
Cardinal Arinze Visits States
“Prejudices are not our fault, but we inherited them,” asserted Francis Cardinal Arinze in a March press conference at the Association’s headquarters.
As president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, the cardinal is intimately involved with building bridges with those believers who do not follow Christ.
“Every genuine prayer;” he stated, “is motivated by the Holy Spirit.”
Israelis Desire Communication
Ambassador Moshe Gilboa, advisor to the minister of Religious Affairs for Israel, met with Msgr. Stern, Father Moynihan and Brother David Carroll at the Association’s New York headquarters in early May.
Ambassador Gilboa expressed his hope that frank and open communications will facilitate relations between government and religious officials and help to bring peace to the Holy Land.
Catholic Near East Lauded
At the annual Catholic Press Association convention, Catholic Near East received awards for best photo story, best article and general excellence.
“The skillful photography illustrating the covers and inside pages of this magazine,” the judges noted, “along with colorful maps and engaging text, seem to capture the mood and spirit of the troubled lands of the Near East.”
Problems Continue to Plague Ethiopia
One year after the end of the civil war in Ethiopia, social and economic problems continue, said Brother Vincent Pelletier, F.S.C., the Association’s representative in Addis Ababa.
One of the most serious problems, he remarked during a press conference at the Association’s New York headquarters, is the hundreds of thousands of former soldiers who are now unemployed. Most do not own land and have no job skills.
Another challenge is presented by the thousands of children orphaned by the war, especially in Eritrea. Catholic Near East must be certain these children are not “warehoused,” Brother Vincent declared.