In comments to Catholic News Service, Bishop Philip Egan of Portsmouth said: “It’s an amazing political mess after last night’s vote (against Theresa May’s Brexit agreement) in the House of Commons.

“This is a time of uncertainty, and I do think we should pray for our politicians and our leaders, that the Lord will guide them in order to find some kind of active plan and also that people will really get behind them in it.

“As Catholics we are related to all people of our continent and that peace project – that led to the formation of the EU – we are a link to that. We should pray for that peace.”

Click to pray

Pope Francis last Sunday launched Click To Pray (www.clicktopray.org),  a platform that invites people to pray with the Pope, to accompany him on a mission of compassion for the world. It has a website and a mobile app, both for Android and iOS, with its social networks, available in six languages.

Click To Pray has three main sections: ‘Pray with the Pope’ is the Pope’s monthly prayer intentions; ‘Pray every day’ provides three daily moments of prayer; and ‘Pray with the network’ that is a space where users (including the Pope) can share their prayers with the others.

Fighting human trafficking

The Vatican has released an online guide aimed at fighting human trafficking which has evolved into a $150 billion industry. The handbook – named ‘Pastoral Orientations on Human Trafficking’ – is split into 10 sections, each analysing human trafficking from a different angle and providing recommendations.

The guide is also aimed at consumers, as buying patterns can help or frustrate human traffickers. The guide notes that “the buying of so-called sexual services, in all forms, including pornography, internet-based cyber-sex, strip clubs and erotic dancing venues, is a serious offence against human dignity and human integrity.”

The guide states that since, as Pope Benedict wrote, “purchasing is always a moral – and not simply economic – act”, then “the consumer has a specific social responsibility, which goes hand-in-hand with the social responsibility of the enterprise”.

The guidebook also includes all the writings of Pope Francis on migrants, refugees and human trafficking, entitled ‘Lights on the Ways of Hope’. The searchable digital version will continue to be updated as the Pope comments on human trafficking in the future.

(Compiled by Fr Joe Borg)

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