30 July 2016
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    30/07/2016 - POLAND – VATICAN – WYD

    Young pilgrims are coming in from around the world to be at the Field of Mercy in Brzegi (Wieliczka). Tonight they will take part in a vigil with Pope Francis and worship the Blessed Sacrament. Among those who will bear witness, one is a young Syrian from Aleppo; another is a former addict.


    by V.F.P.

    30/07/2016 - WYD

    Pope: the disciple of Jesus goes into the world to serve and live as a witness to the Gospel


    Francis celebrated Mass at the sanctuary dedicated to Saint John Paul II. "Jesus sends. From the beginning, he wants his to be a Church on the move, a Church that goes out into the world. And he wants it to do this just as he did. He was not sent into the world by the Father to wield power, but to take the form of a slave; he came not “to be served, but to serve”. He also “wants hearts that are open and tender towards the weak, never hearts that are hardened. He wants docile and transparent hearts that do not dissimulate before those whom the Church appoints as our guides.”


    30/07/2016 - CHINA – VATICAN

    Mindong Bishop Mgr Vincent Huang Shoucheng dies

    by Wang Zhicheng

    Unrecognised by the Chinese government, he was liked by both official and underground Catholics as a humble and capable pastor. Almost everyone in Diocese of Mindong belongs to the underground Church, 80,000 out of 90,000 members. The authorities would like to see a low profile funeral, with the body without Episcopal insignia. The faithful plan otherwise. Mgr Huang spent 35 years in prison, house arrest and forced labor. He ordained his successor, Mgr Vincent Guo Xijin, in 2008.


    29/07/2016 - WYD

    Pope: Via Crucis, “Unless those who call themselves Christians live to serve, their lives serve no good purpose”


    “Where is God? Where is God, if evil is present in our world, if there are men and women who are hungry and thirsty, homeless, exiles and refugees? Where is God, when innocent persons die as a result of violence, terrorism and war?” Yet, “In the face of evil, suffering and sin, the only response possible for a disciple of Jesus is the gift of self, even of one’s own life”. Indeed, "I wish that we, as Christians, could stand by the sick the way Jesus did with silence, a touch, a prayer”. He also called to embrace “our Syrian brothers and sisters, who fled war.”


    29/07/2016 - NEPAL

    World Tiger Day: Nepal wants to save big cats from Chinese market

    by Christopher Sharma

    The species is still endangered even though its numbers are up. Poaching to meet demand from China remains the main threat. In Chinese culture, tiger meat has magical powers, and tiger parts go into local pharmacopeia and religious items.


    29/07/2016 - INDIA – ASIA

    An activist and a singer from India among 2016 Asian “Nobel” Prize laureates


    Bezwada Wilson, a Dalit anti-manual scavenging activist, and Thodur Madabusi Krishna, a traditional singer, are recognised along with associations and volunteers from the Philippines, Indonesia, Laos and Japan. In India, waste collection is handed down from one generation to the next. About 180,000 Dalits clean 790,000 public and private facilities. Each year, the Magsaysay Award acknowledges leading Asian figures.


    29/07/2016 - POLAND

    Pope: Auschwitz, "Lord forgive such cruelty!"


    On a day seemingly dedicated to suffering, Francis visited Auschwitz and Birkenau and in the afternoon will go to a children's hospital, before the Way of the Cross this evening. In silent prayer in the cell of St. Maximilian Kolbe. Meeting with some survivors and 12 "Righteous Among the Nations".


    29/07/2016 - NORTH KOREA – CHINA

    North Koreans smuggled into China


    Migrants work on cattle ranches or soybean farms. Despite paying fines for long absences, they still make more than in North Korea.


    28/07/2016 - WORLD YOUTH DAY

    Pope tells young people to say no to those who “say that things cannot change” and to “vendors of smoke”


    Francis takes part in WYD welcoming ceremony. The Church “wants to learn from you, to be reassured that the Father’s Mercy has an ever-youthful face.”


    28/07/2016 - CHINA

    Heavy rains spare ancient Forbidden City, flood modern skyscrapers (photos)


    Built 600 years ago, the imperial palace has a drainage system that works better than modern ones. Despite weeks of pounding rains across China, hundreds of “water spitting” dragon-shaped drainage points in the Forbidden City release excess water and prevent flooding. Online humour stresses how “modern drainage systems can't even beat the ancient ones that were erected six centuries ago!"


    28/07/2016 - FRANCE-ISLAM

    Second terrorist who murdered Fr. Jacques Hamel identified: a 19 year old youth


    The young man had tried to go to Syria to fight with the Islamic State. In a video, Abdel Malik Nabil Petitjean and Adel Kermiche, the two terrorists, swear allegiance to the "Caliph" Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Religious representatives in France: No to religious war. Muslim thinkers: To defeat Isis, guarantee religious freedom for non-Muslim communities in Islamic countries. Others ask for the revision of alliances with Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Turkey, supporters of the Wahabi jihadism and indirect supporters of the Islamic State.


    28/07/2016 - POLAND - VATICAN

    Pope: "God saves us in littleness, being close hand, with a simple and open heart "


    Francis celebrates 1050th anniversary Baptism" of Poland" at Jasna Gora. Being attracted by power, greatness and visibility is tragically human, and it is a great temptation that tries to penetrate anywhere; giving to others, eliminating distances, abiding in the smallness and concrete situations of everyday life, this is purely divine".


    28/07/2016 - SOUTH KOREA – JAPAN

    Protests in Seoul at the opening of foundation for "comfort women"


    The foundation is part of the historic agreement reached last year on sex slaves in Japan’s military. Tokyo is providing a billion yen to help survivors and presented a verbal apology. Students, activists and Korean Church leaders slam Japan’s refusal to admit official responsibility.


    27/07/2016 - POLAND – VATICAN

    Pope says "the world is at war”, a “war for real” but “not a war of religions”


    On the plane taking him to Krakow for the 31st World Youth Day, Pope Francis spoke about the murder of Father Jacques Hamel, the priest killed in Saint Etienne du Rouvray. The issue of migration “requires a supplement of wisdom and mercy to overcome fears and achieve the greatest good.” At the same time, “we must encourage international collaborations and synergies in order to find solutions to conflicts and wars”.


    27/07/2016 - EGYPT-ISLAM-FRANCE

    The Grand Imam of Al Azhar condemns the killing of Fr. Jacques Hamel in France

    by Pierre Balanian

    Ahmad Al Tayyeb offers condolences to the French president, the archbishop of Rouen, the victims' families and to the whole of France. The assailants "devoid of any sense of humanity." In Islam "there is the order to respect the sacred places of worship and the sanctity of non-Muslims”. Counter terrorism means also fighting “extremist thought” in Islam.


    27/07/2016 - CHINA - HONG KONG

    Two Hong Kong journalists sentenced in Shenzhen for publishing gossip about Chinese leaders


    The publisher Wang Jianming and editor Guo Zhongxiao sentenced to five years and three months and two years and three months. The episode brings to mind the disappearances and detentions of the five book publishers. Beijing fears Hong Kong freedoms can "pollute" Chinese society. The principle "one nation, two systems" belittled.


    26/07/2016 - POLAND - CHINA - WYD

    Beijing's tricks and violence to stop Chinese youth from reaching WYD

    by Vincenzo Faccioli Pintozzi

    26/07/2016 - POLAND – CHINA – WYD

    "Our dream is to bring World Youth Day to China, despite government obstacles”


    The big Chinese delegation in Krakow for 31st World Youth Days has not lost hope. “The government has done so much to discourage us, but they cannot win all the time.” One day the Pope “will celebrate young people in China." Participants express the joy and the wonder of being in Poland. “Religious aspect of this trip aside, the trip is a source of wonder. At home, it is like living in a kind of cultural prison”; what impresses here “the most so far is meeting the world.”


    26/07/2016 - CHINA

    General Guo Boxiong gets life for corruption


    A former vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission and Politburo member, the senior officer used his influence to get promotions and took bribes. However, many believe his real crime was his loyalty to former president Jiang Zemin, not current leader Xi Jinping, and maintaining close ties with him even after he left office.


    26/07/2016 - ISLAM - EUROPE

    Fr Samir: Islamic terror in France and Germany a crisis of integration, but above all of politics

    by Samir Khalil Samir

    The kidnapping and murder of a priest near Rouen (France) and the various attacks in Würzburg, Munich, Ansbach (Germany) were carried out by young people, who were indoctrinated with ease. Germany was a model for the integration of refugees. But radical Islam cannot be assimilated. It is supported by Saudi Arabia and Qatar. There is no other road other than integration. But we must tell the truth: the Koran contains elements of war and violence. Western politicians suffer from ignorance and a loss of all moral sentiment.


    26/07/2016 - JAPAN

    "Euthanasia for Disabled": 19 disabled persons killed by 26-year old Japanese


    The murderer, Satoshi Uematsu, had worked in the center that houses 150 disabled. He had written to parliament seeking euthanasia for the disabled who can not "be active in society." He turned himself in to the police with a bag full of knives still dirty with blood.


    25/07/2016 - JAPAN

    "Rent a friend": New boom of increasingly lonely Japanese society


    Boom in number of people who pay out 1000 yuan per hour for conversation with a stranger. The "ossan" men between 45 and 55 years, are paid to listen to people and their problems, which can not be told to friends and family. A psychologist: "The Japanese have a hard time finding someone to confide in."


    25/07/2016 - POLAND – VATICAN – WYD

    WYD in Krakow, a “bridge of love and closeness for the Catholics in mainland China”

    by Vincenzo Faccioli Pintozzi

    A small informal delegation from Taiwan came to Poland to meet with mainland Chinese Catholics.  For its members, “it is very difficult for us to show our love and support to our brothers and sisters” in the mainland. Teresa Wang, from Kaohsiung’s Rosary Cathedral wants to work with disabled people in the mainland, “But political tensions between Beijing and Taipei make this wish almost impossible." An appeal is made to bishops not to forget religious freedom in Asia.


    24/07/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: Appeals and prayer for Munich and Kabul massacres. The prayer of Our Father


    At the Angelus, Pope Francis makes the pilgrims pray for the victims of terrorist attacks in Germany and Afghanistan, against the "dark security and peace prospects." "The word 'Father' is the 'secret' of the prayer of Jesus, is the key that He gives to us so we too can enter into that confidential relationship of dialogue with the Father who accompanied and supported all his life”. The Pope’s upcoming trip for World Youth Day in Krakow, from 27 July.


    23/07/2016 - POLAND - VATICAN - WYD

    Krakow, young people from all over the world and high alert for WYD


    A few days before the opening of the 13th World Youth Day security levels have been raised at Wawel, in the Market Square and the rest of the historic center. But the "peaceful" invasion of the young people is filling the  streets with colour. The first vocational stands and “street confessionals” are appearing, ready for the events led by the pontiff. A Taiwanese delegation travels 42 hours to reach the cultural capital of Poland: "exhausting but beautiful".


    23/07/2016 - CHINA

    Flood hit Xingtai inhabitants against police: silence and futile efforts to save children from flood (video)


    Rains hit northern, northeast and central China. In Xingtai (Hebei) the local government has kept silent on the victims. According to the population there were no alerts and aid is not enough.


    22/07/2016 - CHINA - TIBET

    Chinese authorities bring demolition of Buddhist Larung Gar center forward


    The center houses up to 10 thousand Tibetan and Chinese people. The authorities want to reduce the number of monks and nuns. They suspect that the monastery has ties with "separatist forces in exile". Religious freedom shrinking since Xi Jinping became president. Similar to case of Zhejiang’s crosses and churches.


    22/07/2016 - ASIA – WYD

    Card Gracias: young Asians bring Asian values to World Youth Day in Krakow

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    "Our Asian pilgrims not only bring the grandeur, the vitality and beauty of Asia, but also the multi-cultural diversity, pluralism as well as Asian values of hospitality and family and, of course, the Church of the young.” Asia youth come to discover Krakow and the charisma of John Paul II, founder of the WYD.


    22/07/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: the Church and the world are still in need of contemplative religious


    Apostolic Constitution "Dei Vultum quaerere – Seeking the Face of God" indicates 12 "themes of reflection and discernment" on women’s contemplative life in general. Yes to social media, but not  as a means of "wasting time or escaping from the demands of fraternal life in community". No to "recruiting" sisters to avoid closing monasteries. Prayer “must enlarge your heart to embrace all humanity, especially those who suffer” and not close monastic life in on itself.


    22/07/2016 - CHINA

    Former village chief of Wukan arrested for corruption. But people support him


    Lin Zuluan has "confessed" his misdeeds on television, but people continue to demonstrate for his release, waving red flags.


    21/07/2016 - HONG KONG - CHINA

    Occupy Central: Joshua Wong, Nathan Law and Alex Chow convicted of unlawful assembly

    by Paul Wang

    The three young people who gave rise to the protest of the "umbrellas" will likely face a few years in prison. Occupy Central was born to demand full democracy in the territory. Wong: "We do not regret what we have done." The threat to freedom of expression.






    Editor's choices

    POLAND - CHINA - WYD
    Beijing's tricks and violence to stop Chinese youth from reaching WYD

    Vincenzo Faccioli Pintozzi

    The government yesterday blocked a group of 50 young pilgrims who had already boarded a plane bound for Krakow. Interrogated for hours by immigration, they were "admonished" and sent home with orders not to contact anyone abroad. Meanwhile, "young Chinese Catholics" hang around central World Youth Day locations in groups of five or six, with the task of spying on fellow countrymen. They work for cultural institutes or Chinese companies in Poland.


    ISLAM - EUROPE
    Fr Samir: Islamic terror in France and Germany a crisis of integration, but above all of politics

    Samir Khalil Samir

    The kidnapping and murder of a priest near Rouen (France) and the various attacks in Würzburg, Munich, Ansbach (Germany) were carried out by young people, who were indoctrinated with ease. Germany was a model for the integration of refugees. But radical Islam cannot be assimilated. It is supported by Saudi Arabia and Qatar. There is no other road other than integration. But we must tell the truth: the Koran contains elements of war and violence. Western politicians suffer from ignorance and a loss of all moral sentiment.


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