12/19/2014MACAU - HONG KONG - CHINA Occupy effect: umbrellas banned during Xi Jinping's visit to Macau (despite the rain) by Paul Wang Hong Kong activists were expelled from the former Portuguese colony. At the Macau Ferry Pier, people opened their umbrellas to demand freedom for all Chinese political prisoners. Opponents to Occupy are up (plus 9 per cent, to 38). Some 43.1 per cent are opposed to China's electoral reform. At least 1.2 million people took part in the Occupy protest.
12/18/2014VATICAN Pope: God walks with us in history, and when we go wrong he correct history and brings it forward "Making history with his people means for God to walk with us and to test the ones he has chosen". But in the end He saves them: "Let us always remember, with confidence, even in the worst moments, even in times of illness, when we realize we have to ask for the Last Rites because there is no way out, to say: 'Lord, history did not start with me and will not end with me! You go ahead, I am willing to come with you'. And to put ourselves in the hands of the Lord".
12/17/2014VATICAN Pope: May God "convert the hearts of the violent who do not stop even before children" Prayers "for the victims of inhuman terrorist acts in recent days in Australia, Pakistan and Yemen." Tango dancers, a cake and birthday wishes in all languages for Francis' 78 years. The "meditations" on the family during the general audiences are part of a journey in which the Extraordinary Synod of October" was the first step."
12/16/2014IRAQ - VATICAN As 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul' continues, Mosul bishop notes that Jesus is born amid refugee containers by Amel Nona Persecuted by the Islamic state, refugees have lost everything: belongings, home, jobs, school, and their future. Yet, their faith and mission remain strong. For them, almost 900,000 euros have been raised and sent. Pope Francis sends a message of closeness. The campaign continues according to the Patriarch of Baghdad's proposal of fasting and moderation at Christmas and New Year, with the money saved offered to the Christians of Mosul.
12/16/2014HONG KONG Christmas in Hong Kong: discovering Jesus Christ "increases the desire for a real life" Fr Luigi Bonalumi, a missionary at the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions, heads the Parish of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in the New Territories. "Here it is all lights and celebrations, but not many people know what it all means. That is why, amid the Christmas carols and charity work in hospices and hospitals, we try as much as possible to bring attention to the birth of the Saviour." After the holiday, some 90 new catechumens will enrol in the parish. "Occupy has shown that values are changing, and people are looking for the truth."
12/16/2014AUSTRALIA - ISLAM Siege of Lindt Café in Sydney ends in bloodshed Two hostages and the gunman - an Iranian converted from Sunnism to Shiism - killed. According to the Prime Minister, he was "infatuated by extremism" and unstable from a mental point of view. Condemnation by the Council of Imams. Fears of attacks by young Australian sympathizers of al Qaeda or Isis that return home after fighting in the Middle East.
12/15/2014VATICAN For Pope, Catholics should avoid the "sins of the media: disinformation, slander and defamation" The "tasks" of those involved in social communication include speaking freely, without submissions to politics or economics; choosing the "path of understanding" the whole of reality; and avoiding attention-grabbing the user. "Genuine communication is not concerned with attention-grabbing. Alternating catastrophic alarmism and consolatory detachment - two extremes that we see continually in today's communication - are not a good service media offer to people."
12/15/2014HONG KONG - CHINA Hong Kong, no more occupied site. Catholics "will keep the fight for democracy" by Victoria Ma The Occupy Movement's last occupied site of Causeway Bay, a business and shopping district, was cleared by police today. Yesterday PIME fr. Franco Mella presided the Mass: "Don't be upset. We should have hope, like John the Baptist, who prepared the way for Jesus Christ".
12/14/2014VATICAN On the "Sunday of Joy", pope gives a prayer booklet, telling the faithful to "always carry it" After the Angelus prayer, Pope Francis gave the crowd a pocketbook of prayers "for the various times of the day and for different situations in life". Earlier, he had blessed the "Baby Jesus" figurines for Nativity scenes brought by the children from Roman oratories. He also said, "With Jesus, joy dwells in us". He also shared the Christmas candle in solidarity with Polish faithful.