The children of the youth village "Benposta Nacion de Muchachos" come from all parts of Colombia. They are here because they are victims of the armed conflict in Colombia – in their home country they were forcibly recruited by armed groups or were victims of sexual violence.

Children frolic, a rooster crows, and it almost seems as if a small paradise exists up here in the mountains above the Colombian capital Bogota. But the young residents of the have anything but a happy past behind them. At the Benposta educational facility, they will experience protection and security, says director Daniel Campo Romero, explaining the project's goals.

Christina Cherry
First of all

Cardinal George Pell at the Vatican (Archive) © Robert Duncan/CNS photo (CBA)

Australian cardinal and former Vatican finance chief George Pell arrived in Rome on Wednesday. The occasion is unknown. This is the first visit since July 2017. He left waiting journalists standing.

In the meantime, Pell was charged and convicted of sexual abuse in Australia, but then acquitted at the highest court of law. His mandate as head of the Vatican Secretariat for the Economy ended in February 2019.

According to Italian media, Pell arrived at Rome's Fiumicino airport at noon and headed from there to his apartment near the Vatican, across the street from the Swiss Guard barracks. He left questions from waiting journalists unanswered.

Christina Cherry
Commodities are 'great misfortune'

The Archbishop of Bukavu in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Francois-Xavier Maroy Rusengo, sees the country's wealth of raw materials as the reason for ongoing violence, poverty and unfair trade.

The archbishop of Bukavu in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Francois-Xavier Maroy Rusengo, sees the country's wealth of raw materials as the reason for the ongoing violence. "Raw materials are a great misfortune for us," he told the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung" (Wednesday). Since the valuable mineral coltan had been found in the ground at the end of the 1990s, various rebel groups had occupied the country and tyrannized the population.

Christina Cherry

Hans Zollner, President of the Center for Child Protection and Vice-Rector of the Pontifical Gregorian University © Francesco Pistilli (CBA)

The Child Protection Center CCP at the Pontifical Gregorian University is being expanded. Father Hans Zollner explains why the fight against abuse must be broadened thematically. And he criticizes: Other institutions lag behind.

CBA: The Child Protection Center CCP at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome will be expanded into a larger "Institute of Anthropology – Interdisciplinary Studies on Human Dignity and Care for Vulnerable Persons" (IADC). Father Zollner, what are the substantive reasons for expanding the CCP??

Christina Cherry

Women's rights activist and founder of the Cologne-based aid organization medica mondiale, Monika Hauser, receives the "Alternative Nobel Prize" this year. The gynecologist receives the award for her "tireless commitment to women" who have suffered the most horrific sexual violence in crisis regions, the Right Livelihood Award Foundation of German-Swedish Jakob Uexkull announced Wednesday. Hauser fought for social recognition of the suffering of these women and for their compensation.

Christina Cherry

Ore miners in southern Congo © Harald Oppitz (KNA)

Around half of the world's cobalt comes from Congo © Harald Oppitz

In Congo, ores for our smartphones are mined under inhumane conditions. Amnesty International is now drawing attention to cobalt mining specifically. The Catholic relief organization missio has been criticizing the "blood minerals" for years.

Interviewer: missio has been drawing attention to the situation in the Congo for a long time. What do you know now specifically about the situation in the cobalt mines?

Christina Cherry

Hans Langendorfer in September 2020 © Julia Steinbrecht (KNA)

As secretary of the German Bishops' Conference, he has experienced and worked with four presidents since 1996. Before the spring plenary assembly, Father Hans Langendorfer looks back on his many years in office.

When the Catholic bishops meet digitally next week for their spring plenary assembly, one will be sorely missed: the DBK's longtime secretary is no longer on board. For almost 25 years, the most diverse concerns of the bishops were in the best hands with Father Hans Langendorfer. He retired at the beginning of this year. In the great our site- Interview the Jesuit looks back self-critically and gives as a pilot of many years again important ecclesiastical position statements. The interview in full length can be found here.

Christina Cherry
Explosive revelations of ridicule and blasphemy

Donald Trump, president of the United States, speaks during the first presidential debate © Patrick Semansky/AP

Explosive revelations: U.S. President Donald Trump privately mocks his religious followers, according to former staffers. These could play an important role in the election.

When Michael Cohen, the president's ex-house counsel, still had the status of a member of the family, Donald Trump apparently talked to him about others without mincing words. So, too, on the day in 2015 when, according to research by The Atlantic magazine, he called Cohen into his office to show him an article about an evangelical preacher.

Christina Cherry
Gabriel calls for more action

On World Refugee Day this Tuesday, politicians, religious leaders and aid agencies urge greater international effort to alleviate the suffering of refugees. Among other things, minimum standards are demanded.

"Violent conflicts, persecution and massive human rights violations are forcing more and more people to flee around the world," German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel (SPD) said Tuesday. Often, they cannot return safely to their home countries for years and are dependent on reliable international protection.

Christina Cherry

The CDU candidate for the office of Lord Mayor of Cologne and avowed homosexual Peter Kurth does not expect any resistance from Cardinal Joachim Meisner against his candidacy. "I don't see why he should have a problem with me," Kurth told the "Kolner Stadt-Anzeiger" (Thursday). He said there were known members of the Catholic clergy in the city who supported him. "I confess not only to all aspects of my personality, but also to being a practicing Catholic," said the former Berlin finance senator.

Christina Cherry