Blessed Easter, April 16, 2017
KEYWORDS, PHRASES: SKYAC; Honorable courtship; footsteps of migrants; CHRISM Mass 2017; honoring priests; Encuentro Cross blessed; Daughters of Isabella State Convention; Fatima pilgrim statue; Mary Sharon Moore interview; Senate advances pro-life measures; love must be at the core of family life; Father John Forkuoh's car story; Confirmations; Sisters of Concordia; CNN hero Father Khalil Jaar
What Catholic leaders had to say about US missile strikes in Syria
Washington D.C., Apr 7, 2017 / 03:20 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The Melkite Archbishop of Aleppo expressed regret and disappointment at Thursday’s U.S. missile strikes in Syria, saying he hoped for “a political solution.”
“We were very sorry,” Melkite Archbishop Jean-Clement Jeanbart of Aleppo responded to Thursday’s night’s missile strike by the United States on a Syrian government airbase near Homs, in retaliation for what the U.S. said was a chemical attack conducted by government forces on civilians.
The archbishop had hoped the U.S. “would have done something toward peace and reconciliation and a political solution” in Syria, and would first have investigated to prove that forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad were indeed responsible for the use of chemical weapons.
The U.S. launched Tomahawk cruise missiles at the Shayrat Syrian airbase near Homs on Friday morning (local time), destroying several warplanes and killing six. Several civilians were injured, but all of those killed and seriously injured were soldiers. The missiles were launched from two destroyers in the Mediterranean Sea.
President Trump said the attack was in response to the deaths of dozens of Syrians from poison gas on Tuesday following a bombing in the Idlib province by Syrian government forces.
About 98 have died so far from the gas and over 5,000 are injured, a doctor on the ground in the area, Dr. Ahmad Dbais from the Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations, told CNA. They showed symptoms of exposure to sarin gas, a deadly nerve agent, and not chlorine, he said.
Trump blamed Assad and his forces for conducting a chemical weapons attack – a violation of international law and a war crime. Assad for his part has denied the culpability of Syrian forces in the deaths, and his Russian allies said that Syrian bombs had hit buildings where Syrian rebels were manufacturing chemical weapons, spreading the gasses.
The Syrian airbase used for Tuesday’s bombing was targeted on Thursday by U.S. forces, President Trump noted.
“Using a deadly nerve agent, Assad choked out the lives of helpless men, women, and children,” the President stated from Mar-a-Lago, Fla. on Thursday night. “Tonight, I ordered a targeted military strike on the airfield in Syria from where the chemical attack was launched. There can be no dispute that Syria used banned chemical weapons, violated its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention, and ignored the urging of the U.N. Security Council.”
Russia's military was informed of the strike in advance, the Pentagon has said.
Leading U.S. bishops called Friday for a political solution to the conflict in Syria. The president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, and the head of the International Justice and Peace Committee, Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, issued the joint statement.
“The use of internationally banned indiscriminate weapons is morally reprehensible,” they stated of the chemical attacks. “At the same time, our Conference affirmed the call of Pope Francis to attain peace in Syria 'through dialogue and reconciliation.'”
“The longstanding position of our Conference of Bishops is that the Syrian people urgently need a political solution. We ask the United States to work tirelessly with other governments to obtain a ceasefire, initiate serious negotiations, provide impartial humanitarian assistance, and encourage efforts to build an inclusive society in Syria that protects the rights of all its citizens, including Christians and other minorities.”
In late 2012 and throughout 2013, several reports came out of Syria alleging the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime against the Syrian people. In September 2013, UN chemical weapons inspectors confirmed that sarin was used in one of the attacks taking place Aug. 21, 2013. Estimated death tolls from these attacks range from at least 300 to as many as 1,500 killed. Over 3,600 people were wounded in the attacks.
On September 7, 2013, Pope Francis held a vigil for peace in Syria and other conflicts around the world. “Humanity needs to see these gestures of peace and to hear words of hope and peace,” Pope Francis said of the vigil.
After criticism of the attacks from the United States and the international community, U.S. and Russian delegations helped to strike an agreement in September 2013 requiring Syria to disclose its chemical weapons and facilities to the global chemical weapons watchdog, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. The organization moved to shut down and dispose of the facilities and weapons, and by the end of 2014, Syria’s chemical weapons were declared destroyed, along with 24 of the 27 chemical weapons production facilities.
However, U.S. intelligence reports indicated that Syria had not disclosed the entirety of its program to inspectors. Furthermore, reports kept surfacing of continued use of chemical agents in attacks against civilian targets in 2014, 2015, and 2016. In 2015 and 2016, the OPCW and UN partners conducted a fact-finding investigation into some of these attacks.
The group concluded it had “sufficient evidence” that the Assad regime targeted civilians with chlorine gas – a chemical weapon that was not specifically required for destruction by the previous agreement, but which is nevertheless banned by the Chemical Weapons Convention. The OPCW and UN panel also concluded that the Islamic State had used a “sulphur-mustard” chemical weapon in Syria in 2014 and 2015.
Archbishop Jeanbart expressed his wish that the U.S. had investigated first to ensure who were the perpetrators of Tuesday’s deaths by gas before taking military action.
“Of course, if the government in Syria has used the gas and chemical weapons, we agree that he shouldn’t do [this] and he must be punished,” he told CNA. “But I am afraid they didn’t have time to check and to make sure that he [Assad] did it himself.”
“What is making us unhappy and sad is that this strike has come too quickly,” he added. “They would have been able to do it any time later. They would have been able, in this situation, to ask Russia make pressure on the government to withdraw, and perhaps it could have been a reason to impose and oblige Bashar Assad to step out.”
“But I do not understand what happened, and it has been more destruction and more sadness and more terror coming to our people.”
By citing the responsibility borne by those in positions of political authority, Pope Francis “expects some kind of political response,” Dr. Joseph Capizzi, a professor of moral theology at the Catholic University of America, explained to CNA of Pope Francis’s appeal to the conscience of political leaders responsible for Tuesday’s atrocities.
Pope Francis was probably looking for the international community to “exert some pressure” on the perpetrators, he added, and this could include the proportional use of force.
Thursday night’s missile strike showed a “judicious use of force,” he said. Action was needed “to enforce international law and international treaties” on the use of chemical weapons.
While “one would prefer” that there be “international concerted action” instead of one world power – in this case, the U.S. – taking action, some variables could have prompted a unilateral action here, he explained.
First, the response to the use of chemical weapons – an attack on an airbase used to launch bombings in the region – needed to be swift and a surprise in order to be successful, he said, and an international action would have taken time to form – if it formed at all.
Also, he noted, the world was watching – in particular, North Korea and China. Amid North Korea’s ballistic missile test launch this past week, the Trump administration showed that it may act “in a more decisive manner” when international interests are at stake, Capizzi said.
With Chinese president Xi Jingping visiting the White House this week, Thursday’s attack could function as a message to China to hold North Korea in check.
However, there must be measures taken to prevent Thursday’s attack from morphing into a greater military struggle in the region, Capizzi acknowledged, especially as the situation in Syria has grown more complex in recent years with the involvement of Russia.
As history has shown, “small, limited uses of force on the international level can expand,” he reflected.
Don't send a mother who fled drug cartels back to Mexico, archdiocese pleads
Cincinnati, Ohio, Apr 8, 2017 / 05:32 am (CNA/EWTN News).- U.S. immigration authorities should show mercy on a detained Catholic mother with a special needs child, who fled Mexico when drug cartels began to persecute her family, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati said this week.
The archdiocese emphasized that Maribel Trujillo-Diaz has a pending asylum case, has no criminal record in the U.S., and is caring for her four children, one of whom has seizure-causing disabilities and requires special care.
“We urge that our elected and administrative officials exercise mercy for Maribel,” the archdiocese said April 6.
A parishioner and lector at St. Julie Billiart Parish in Hamilton, Trujillo-Diaz fled Mexico in 2002. She entered the U.S. illegally, but has a pending asylum case based on the fact that her family is being targeted by Mexican drug cartels.
Trujillo-Diaz and her family refused to work for a local Mexican drug cartel. Her father was kidnapped by the cartel last year, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports.
“We fully respect the Department of Homeland Security’s duty to enforce our immigration laws, and we recognize that this is not an easy task,” said the archdiocese. “At the same time, it is clear that the common good cannot be served at this stage by separating this wife and mother from her family.”
Trujillo-Diaz regularly reported to Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials. At her Monday April 3 appointment, the archdiocese said, she was told she could remain at home as her case was further reviewed.
On April 5, ICE officials arrived at her brother’s house as she was preparing for work and took her into custody for imminent deportation.
The Cincinnati archdiocese called her detention “cruel and unacceptable,” praising Trujillo-Diaz as “a devoted wife and mother and outstanding member of her church and community.”
“Maribel has made a life in Ohio based on positive contributions to her church and her community. She has no criminal history,” the Cincinnati archdiocese said. “She is a lay leader at her parish, whose members are surrounding her with prayers that she be permitted to remain with them and her family.”
“Maribel’s children, ages 14, 12, 10 and 3, are all U.S. citizens,” the archdiocese said. “Her 3-year-old daughter has recurring seizures and requires the attention and care of her mother.”
Kathleen Kersh, Trujillo-Diaz’s lawyer, said she is the only person who can care for her 3-year-old, having received medical training to detect and treat seizures. Another child suffers from early-onset diabetes.
An ICE spokesperson said the woman’s appeal efforts had been exhausted.
“Maribel Trujillo’s immigration case has undergone review at multiple levels of our nation’s legal system and the courts have uniformly held that she has no legal basis to remain in the United States,” the spokesperson said, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Trujillo-Diaz became subject to deportation in 2014 when the Board of Immigration Appeals dismissed her appeals. Last year her lawyer filed an effort to re-hear her case, citing her father’s kidnapping.
She was close to deportation in previous years. Thousands of area Catholics and other supporters rallied then to ask authorities to allow her to stay.
Last year, immigration officials, acting under prosecutorial discretion, decided she was low priority and no threat to public safety.
Her lawyer said at her March 6 check-in, officials implied they would seek her deportation.
“They told her, and this is exactly what they said: ‘We have a new president now. I don’t know if you are aware’,” Kersh said.
“I think the Trump administration is only looking at numbers and not looking for those people who are criminals or are a threat to public safety,” Kersh continued.
In a February letter, Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr of Cincinnati had spoken on behalf of Trujillo-Lopez.
“Our church and our community gain nothing by being left with a single-parent household when such a responsible and well-respected family can be kept together,” he said, citing Catholic teaching’s emphasis on the family as “the highest organization of human society.”
The archdiocese is asking Ohioans to contact U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Gov. John Kasich to encourage them to ask Immigration and Customs Enforcement to stop Trujillo’s deportation.
This Holy Week, look for Jesus in those who suffer, Pope says
Vatican City, Apr 9, 2017 / 03:48 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On Palm Sunday Pope Francis said that as Holy Week begins, we should contemplate not only the glory with which Jesus is recognized as king as he enters Jerusalem, but also the suffering he endures before his death, and which is seen in the many who suffer due to war, violence and slavery today.
As the Church enters into the week before Jesus’ Passion and death, the Lord “does not ask us to contemplate him only in pictures and photographs, or in the videos that circulate on the internet. No.”
Instead, Jesus is present “in our many brothers and sisters who today endure sufferings like his own: they suffer from slave labor, from family tragedies, from diseases.”
Many people also suffer from “wars and terrorism, from interests that are armed and ready to strike. Women and men who are cheated, violated in their dignity, discarded.”
The Pope’s words came at the same time a bomb attack took place on the Coptic Christian Church of Mar Gerges in the northern city of Tanta, Egypt, as worshippers packed the area to celebrate Palm Sunday Mass. According to the Associated Press, at least 21 were killed and around 40 others wounded in the blast.
“Jesus is in them, in each of them, and, with marred features and broken voice, he asks to be looked in the eye, to be acknowledged, to be loved,” the Pope said.
The presence of God in each of these brothers and sisters is not “some other Jesus,” the Pope said, but is “the same Jesus who entered Jerusalem amid the waving of palm branches. It is the same Jesus who was nailed to the cross and died between two criminals.”
“We have no other Lord but him: Jesus, the humble King of justice, mercy and peace,” he said, and encouraged faithful to reflect on Jesus’ suffering during Holy Week and to look for him in the faces of those among us who suffer.
As usual, Pope Francis celebrated his April 9 Palm Sunday Mass in St. Peter’s Square, beginning with the blessing of palms at the obelisk in the center of the piazza. After the blessing, he led a short procession up to the main altar, where he continued with the celebration of the rest of the Mass.
The Mass coincided with the 32nd World Youth Day, which this year holds the theme “The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name,” and is the first step in preparing for the global 2019 WYD encounter in Panama.
To mark the occasion, a delegation of 200 youth from Panama, a number of other Central American countries and Mexico were present in the square to receive the WYD cross and the Marian icon “Salus Populi Romani” from Polish youth, who hosted the global 2016 event in Krakow.
In his homily during Mass, Pope Francis said the celebration of Palm Sunday is “bittersweet,” since there is both joy and sorrow as the Church recalls the cries acclaiming him as king during his entrance into Jerusalem, but which is accompanied by the solemn proclamation of his Passion and death.
“In this poignant contrast, our hearts experience in some small measure what Jesus himself must have felt in his own heart that day, as he rejoiced with his friends and wept over Jerusalem,” he said.
“Jesus himself sees in this joyful welcome an inexorable force willed by God,” he said, but noted that while he enters the city in this glorious manner, Jesus “is no misguided purveyor of illusions, no new age prophet, no imposter.”
“Rather, he is clearly a Messiah who comes in the guise of a servant, the servant of God and of man, and goes to his passion. He is the great ‘patient,’ who suffers all the pain of humanity,” he said, and encouraged faithful to reflect on the suffering Jesus would face in the week before his death.
As we listen to the crowd joyfully acclaim Jesus as our King, let us also reflect on “the slanders and insults, the snares and betrayals, the abandonment to an unjust judgment, the blows, the lashes and the crown of thorns, and lastly, the way of the cross leading to the crucifixion,” the Pope said.
Pointing to the passage in the Gospel of Matthew where Jesus tells his disciples that if anyone wants to follow him, “let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me,” Francis noted that “Jesus never promised honor and success. The Gospels make this clear.”
Rather, the Lord had always warned his disciples that his was a path of suffering, and that the final victory would be achieved through his Passion and death on the cross.
“All this holds true for us too,” the Pope said, and urged those present to pray for the grace “to follow Jesus faithfully, not in words but in deeds.”
He also encouraged them to pray for the patience “to carry our own cross, not to refuse it or set it aside, but rather, in looking to him, to take it up and to carry it daily.”
Despite deadly attacks, Pope Francis will still go to Egypt
Vatican City, Apr 10, 2017 / 09:50 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Vatican confirmed Monday that Pope Francis' trip to Egypt at the end of the month will go on as planned, despite terrorist attacks which killed more than 43 people during Palm Sunday celebrations in the country.
The Director of the Holy See Press Office, Greg Burke, told journalists April 10 that “the Pope's trip to Egypt proceeds as scheduled.” The Pope himself also confirmed that the trip will take place, according to Franciscan Fr. Marco Tasca.
During a meeting April 10 with General Ministers of the Franciscan Order, Francis “very firmly confirmed his trip to Egypt,” Fr. Tasca said, adding that he is “very informed.”
Pope Francis plans to visit the Egyptian capital of Cairo April 28-29, in what is largely a bid to foster greater Catholic-Muslim dialogue, particularly on the point of ending extremist violence.
The first of Sunday’s attacks, a bomb at the Coptic Christian church of Mar Gerges in the northern city of Tanta, Egypt killed 27 people and wounded at least 71 more, according to BBC News.
A second blast took place shortly after outside of a Christian church in Alexandria, killing 17 and injuring another 35. The man, a suicide bomber, had tried to storm the entrance to the church before being stopped by police, three of whom died in the blast. ISIS has claimed responsibility for both attacks.
The attack in Alexandria narrowly missed harming the Coptic Patriarch Pope Tawadros II, who was participating in Mass inside the church.
After celebrating Palm Sunday Mass April 9, Pope Francis prayed for victims of “the attack that unfortunately took place today near Cairo,” voicing his closeness to Coptic Patriarch Pope Tawadros II, to and to the entire Coptic nation.
“I express my heartfelt sorrow,” he said, praying that the Lord would “convert the hearts of those who sow fear, violence and death, and those who make and traffic arms.”
His Holiness Pope Tawadros II is one of the religious leaders Pope Francis plans to meet with while in Cairo at the end of April. His schedule will also include a meeting with the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmed el-Tayyeb.
The Pope will leave Rome at 10:45 am, April 28, arriving in Cairo around 2:00 pm.
After a brief welcoming ceremony and visit with Egypt's President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Pope Francis and the Grand Imam will each give a speech at an international conference on peace.
Francis will then meet with state authorities and with the head of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, Pope Tawadros II.
On Saturday, April 29, Pope Francis will celebrate Mass in the morning, followed by a meeting with Egypt’s bishops over lunch. Pope Francis was invited to visit Egypt by Coptic Catholic bishops during their ad limina visit at the Vatican Feb. 6, during which they also gave a report on the state of the Church in their country.
In the afternoon Francis will meet with priests, religious and seminarians followed by a farewell ceremony before boarding the papal plane, which is scheduled to leave Cairo at 5:00 pm, arriving in Rome at 8:30 pm.
For a community already suffering from an attack which killed 30 at a church connected to the main Coptic Christian cathedral in Cairo in December 2016, Sunday’s attacks have given rise to even greater concern over the security in Egypt.
The Church and society need you, Pope Francis tells youth
Vatican City, Mar 21, 2017 / 02:07 pm (CNA/EWTN News) - On Tuesday Pope Francis released a video message to youth in advance of the next World Youth Day, to be held in Panama in 2019. He said that like the Virgin Mary, they are needed, and they should not be afraid to leave their mark on the world.
“Like the young woman of Nazareth, you can improve the world and leave an imprint that makes a mark on history, your history and that of many others,” Pope Francis said in the message, released March 21. “The Church and society need you.”
“With your plans and with your courage, with your dreams and ideals, walls of stagnation fall and roads open up that lead us to a better, fairer, less cruel and more humane world.”
The message, made in advance of the annual diocesan-level “World Youth Day” which takes place on April 9 this year, reflects specifically on the spiritual journey pilgrims will take before reaching Panama, encouraging young people to cultivate a strong friendship with Our Lady, saying they “will not regret it.”
“Speak to her as you would to a Mother. Together with her, give thanks for the precious gift of faith that you have received from your elders, and entrust your whole life to her. She is a good Mother who listens to you and embraces you, who loves you and walks together with you,” he said.
The theme for the upcoming local World Youth Day is taken from the words of Mary in the Magnificat: “The Mighty has done great things for me” (Luke 1:49).
Mary “recognized the great things that God was accomplishing in her life,” gave thanks for it, and then put it into action, going to help her cousin Elizabeth, the Pope said. She “was not a young couch potato who looks for comfort and safety where nobody can bother them.”
“Dear young people, God is also watching over you and calling you, and when God does so, he is looking at all the love you are able to offer,” Francis said.
In anticipation of World Youth Day in Panama January 22-27, 2017, the Pope also released a longer written message to youth, reflecting on themes from the last international World Youth Day in Krakow in July 2016 and on the themes of each year’s meeting leading up to Panama.
Continuing the Marian themes, in 2018 the theme will be “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God” (Luke 1:49) and in 2019, in Panama, it will be “I am the servant of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38), the Pope said.
Francis said that he hopes preparations for World Youth Day in Panama and for the Synod of Bishops in October 2018, “will move forward in tandem,” since the topic of the Synod will be youth, faith and vocational discernment.
At the Synod, “we will talk about how you, as young people, are experiencing the life of faith amid the challenges of our time,” the Pope said. “We will also discuss the question of how you can develop a life project by discerning your personal vocation...”
In discerning the plan God has for our lives, we can look to Mary, who was very young herself, as an example of the gift of faith lived out, he said.
Referencing an address he gave at World Youth Day in Krakow, Francis said to not be afraid, for though we might think, but “I am a sinner, what can I do?” the truth is that “when the Lord calls us, he doesn’t stop at what we are or what we have done.”
“On the contrary, at the very moment that he calls us, he is looking ahead to everything we can do, all the love we are capable of giving.”
How do we prepare to, like Mary, give this love? Pope Francis offered four practical suggestions. One, is to end each day doing an examination of conscience – reflecting on our day, remembering both “the good times and the challenges, what went well and those that went wrong.”
These can also be recorded in a journal if we like and is a good way of noticing what God is doing in our lives, he said.
Another suggestion the Pope made is to spend more time reading the Bible. If you, as young people, want to make your life a “gift for humanity” it is “essential to connect with the historical tradition and the prayer of those who have gone before you,” he said.
Doing lectio divina, a method of prayerfully reading the Bible and applying God’s word to your own life will help to “illumine your steps.”
Thirdly, Francis stressed the importance of going to Mass and frequent reception of the Eucharist, and the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
And lastly, he said that young people must speak to and learn from the wisdom of their elders, especially grandparents or other relatives. “Do you realize how extraordinarily enriching the encounter between the young and the elderly can be?” he asked.
“Young people have strength, while the elderly have memory and wisdom.”
“The genuine experience of the Church is not like a flash mob, where people agree to meet, do their thing and then go their separate ways,” Pope Francis continued.
“The Church is heir to a long tradition which, passed down from generation to generation, is further enriched by the experience of each individual. Your personal history has a place within the greater history of the Church.”
Even young people should be mindful of tradition and the past, he said, though this is not the same as being nostalgic or remaining stuck on a certain period of history as being the best. One of the gifts of youth is questioning and dreaming about the future, he said.
“God came to enlarge the horizons of our life in every direction. He helps us to give due value to the past so as to better build a future of happiness.”
“Many people think that young people are distracted and superficial,” Francis explained. “They are wrong! Still, we should acknowledge our need to reflect on our lives and direct them towards the future.”
“When God touches the heart of a young man or woman, they become capable of doing tremendous things.”
Spanish video seeks to erase the stigma of Down syndrome
Madrid, Spain, Mar 21, 2017 / 03:19 pm (CNA/EWTN News) - A recent video ad released by the Down Federation seeks to increase awareness of persons with Down syndrome.
Through a series of videos and photographs, the campaign seeks to challenge the prejudices faced by persons affected by disability, noting that “with appropriate supports, they can carry out any goal that is proposed.”
The campaign was launched in advance of World Down Syndrome Day, which is celebrated all over the world on March 21, and aims to “increase social awareness regarding people with this intellectual disability.”
In the video, four famous Spanish actors – Jordi Rebellón, Vanesa Romero, Eva Isanta and Jesús Olmedo – sit with their eyes closed in front of people with Down syndrome. Little by little, they open their eyes, and break away from the “prejudices, stereotypes, doubts, misgivings and appearances” that the video says “create an invisible blindfold that prevents one from seeing reality.”
The Down Federation of Spain video closes by inviting Spaniards to “open your eyes and look at the person in front of you,” as a concrete way to “change the view of Down Syndrome.”
The video is part of a larger campaign the organization is launching under the theme: “Change your view on Down syndrome.” The group has also hosted a performance by dancers with Down syndrome as well as a chance for the public to read both discriminatory messages and positive messages received by individuals with Down syndrome.
“We want to encourage real change” in the way society views people with Trisomy 21, the genetic disorder that causes Down syndrome, the organization said in a statement.
Agustín Matía, manager of the Down Federation of Spain, told the Spanish newspaper La Razón that “the number of people with this syndrome has remained stable in recent years, between 34,000 and 35,000, but the trend is that this number will decrease, although their lifespans are increasing. There are already people in their 70s and 80s, but births are falling.”
According to previous interviews in 2015 by Matía, Spain has one of the smallest populations of persons with intellectual disabilities in the world, and the lowest rate of Down syndrome diagnoses to births on the planet. In the past, Matía has blamed the abortion of those prenatally diagnosed with Trisomy 21 – along with societal biases – for these incredibly low rates.
“Disability is not assumed. Many people believe, when they see on the street some of these children, that they are unhappy, and it is the opposite. They are very wrong,” Mattia said in a statement on the group’s most recent project.
He also pointed to the need for support from the medical community when a couple is informed that they may have a child with the condition.
Matía also argued that children with Down syndrome “should be integrated into normal schools with the supports they need.” This is something that rarely happens Spanish schools.