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Self-interest must not guide UK foreign aid, prelates write (The Guardian)

“We tire of being told what’s best for British interests; what is best for British interests is people around the world able to flourish in their own communities and an aid budget focused on that,” said Bishop John Arnold of Salford, chairman of CAFOD (the English bishops’ relief and development agency), who was joined by an Anglican prelate.

Do not obey orders to shoot civilians, Venezuelan cardinal tells Maduro regime's security forces (CNA)

“State security agencies exist not to take care of the government but to take care of the citizens,” said Cardinal Baltazar Enrique Porras Cardozo of Mérida. “Civil disobedience is also a fundamental right.”

Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord

The Solemnity of the Annunciation celebrates the coming of the Angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary to announce to her the special mission God had chosen for her in being the mother of His only son.We are continually reminded of the importance of this feast to our salvation in various devotional prayers. Two examples that highlight the importance of this feast are the joyous mysteries of the Rosary and the Angelus.The feast of the Annunciation began to be celebrated on this day during the fourth and fifth centuries, soon after the date for celebrating Christmas was universalized throughout the Church. This feast celebrates the Incarnation of the Second Person of the Trinity and the salvation of all mankind. This point of our salvation was deeply discussed by many of the Church fathers, to explain it to the faithful and to show the deep love God has for us. Some of the Church fathers who wrote on this were St. Athanasius, St. Gregory of Nyssa and St. Augustine.

Pope begins 1-day pastoral visit to Loreto (Vatican Press Office)

Several Popes have made pilgrimages to the Sanctuary of the Holy House of Loreto, but Pope Francis will be the first to celebrate Mass there since Blessed Pius IX, according to L’Osservatore Romano (Italian edition). Pope Francis will entrust to the Blessed Mother the fruits of the 2018 Synod of Bishops on Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment.

Pope appeals for Nicaragua peace, prays for victims of violence in Nigeria and Mali (Vatican News)

Pope Francis made his remarks at the conclusion of his March 24 Angelus address.

Spanish Civil War martyr beatified (ACI )

Blessed Mariano Mullerat i Soldevila (1897-1936) was a husband, father, physician, mayor, and journalist who was martyred in Catalonia during the Spanish Civil War. Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, presided at the Mass of beatification in Tarragona Cathedral on March 23 (video).

Chilean Cardinal Ezzati defends his record as he steps down as Archbishop of Santiago (Crux)

Pope Francis accepted the resignation of 77-year-old Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati Andrello, SDB, who has been accused of covering up sexual abuse.

'The Lord invites us to conversion,' Pope tells pilgrims (Zenit)

In his March 24 Sunday Angelus address (video), Pope Francis reflected on Luke 13:1-9, the Gospel reading of the day.

Hagia Sophia may again become a mosque, Turkey's president says (Daily Sabah)

Dedicated in 537, Hagia Sophia has been the cathedral of the Patriarch of Constantinople (until 1453), a mosque (until 1931), and a museum (since 1935).

Turkey's new Vatican ambassador, Erdogan's former press advisor, meets with Pope (Vatican Press Office)

Lütfullah Göktas, an alumnus of the Pontifical Gregorian University and former press aide to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is Turkey’s new ambassador to the Holy See. The nation of 81.3 million (map) is 99.8% Muslim.