19 August 2017
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  • 19/08/2017 - VATICAN - RUSSIA

    Card. Parolin in Moscow: Ostpolitik conquers distrust

    by Vladimir Rozanskij

    The theme is a meeting between Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill, not in Moscow, but in some holy place of the Christian East, or in Bari. An international conference on the future of Ukraine and Crimea. Commitment to Christians and Peace in the Middle East. 


    18/08/2017 - CHINA-VATICAN

    Chinese Priest: The differences between the funeral of Msgr. Xie and Msgr. Li

    by Shan Ren Shen Fu (山人神父)

    For the first, the bishop of Urumqi, priests and faithful were banned from taking part in the funeral mass; there was no episcopal insignia in the photos; only half an hour for the ceremony. The other, bishop of Taiyuan, was surrounded by the affection and  esteem of thousands of his priests and faithful. But "the saints who welcome the two bishops to the door of Paradise are equally numerous."


    18/08/2017 - VATICAN – SPAIN – ASIA

    Pope prays for Barcelona victims. Asian nations express their condolences


    Papal telegram is sent to the archbishop of Barcelona. Victims come from 20 countries, including some in Asia: China, Pakistan, the Philippines, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Putin and Xi Jinping call for greater unity and coordination to fight terrorism. Arab countries express their closeness.


    17/08/2017 - CHINA – VATICAN

    The funerals of Mgr Xie Tingzhe and Mgr Li Jiantang show the government’s double standards

    by Bernardo Cervellera

    The first, an underground bishop not recognised by the government, was cremated and hurriedly buried. The faithful and priests were forbidden to attend the funeral Mass, and taking pictures at the service was banned. The second, a bishop with the official Church and a political advisor to the Chinese parliament, was exposed for several days honoured and his funeral was open to concelebrants and the faithful.


    17/08/2017 - RUSSIA

    The Feast of the Assumption at the Kremlin

    by Vladimir Rozanskij

    The cathedral of the Dormition of the Mother of God, consecrated on August 15, 1327, is erected in the historic center of Moscow. The building that is seen today is the work of a Venetian architect who has integrated Italian, Byzantine and Russian styles. The church, still functional, but more like a museum of icons, is witness to the greatest events in Russian history.


    16/08/2017 - KOREA – UNITED STATES

    Rhetoric between Pyongyang and Washington toned down


    Kim Jong-un holds off on his threats against Guam. Tillerson says the US is open to talks with North Korea. South Korea, China and Russia continue to urge calm and demand no military action.


    15/08/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: May the Blessed Mary bring the grace that is Jesus Christ to our families


    During the Angelus of the Assumption, Pope Francis entrusted to Mary "the anxieties and sorrows of the populations who suffer in many parts of the world from natural calamities, social tensions or conflicts." God “works great things through humble people, unknown to the world, like Mary herself,” whilst “Our Lady also brought to us a new joy full of meaning”.


    14/08/2017 - RUSSIA

    'Extremism': the Russian state and the witch hunt against Jehovah's Witnesses

    by Vladimir Rozanskij

    A woman and her son arrested in Kursk for distributing invitations to the sect. Bible translations not originating from the Hebrew and Greek sources deemed 'extreme'. The same for translations of the non-Arabic translations of Koran. A Protestant pastor who cared for drug addicts arrested . Even the faithful of a bishop considered a holy man, branded as "extremists": they risk the prison.


    13/08/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: safety is found on the boat of the Church, not on the “bewitching boats” of ideologies, fashion, horoscopes and fortune-tellers


    During the Angelus, Pope Francis compared the lives of people and the Church to a boat, which face difficulties and trials. "Faith gives us the assurance of a Presence that pushes us to overcome the storms of life, [it is] the certainty of a hand that grabs us to help us cope with difficulties, pointing us towards the way even when it is dark."


    12/08/2017 - LEBANON – MIDDLE EAST – VATICAN

    For Eastern Catholic patriarchs, the genocide of Christians is an affront to all humanity

    by Fady Noun

    Afflicted by wars, emigration and insecurity, Christian communities have now become "a small flock" amid the indifference of the international community. Patriarchs appeal to Pope Francis and the international community. Catholics and Orthodox share the same problems. The end of Christians in the East would be "a shameful stigma for the whole 21st century".


    12/08/2017 - KOREA

    Korean Bishops say no to “unreasonable provocations', call for a stop to the nuclear escalation by working for the “coexistence of humanity”


    Korean bishops issued an Exhortation today on the rising tensions around the Korean peninsula. North Korea but also "neighbouring countries" are at risk of "hasty unrestrained action" that could lead to the "death of innumerable people" and "deep wounds for the whole of humanity." They call for reduced military budgets and more spending on human and cultural development. They urge using "conscience, intelligence, solidarity, piety and mutual respect". A prayer is set for the feast day of the Assumption, which is also Korean Independence Day.


    11/08/2017 - JAPAN – SOUTH KOREA – UNITED STATES

    Mgr Kikuchi: The Church in Japan praying for peace, while political leaders fuel tensions

    by Tarcisio Isao Kikuchi

    For the bishop of Niigata, tensions on the Korean peninsula go back 70 years, but new political leaders "have been fueling the existing fire." A solution involving US military aggression would only bring devastating results to everyone. Ten days of praying for peace are being held. Japanese and Korean bishops are working together.


    11/08/2017 - SYRIA - IRAQ – UNITED NATIONS

    UN report: Islamic State threat remains despite military blows


    The jihadist group continues to "motivate and enable" global attacks and funnel funds to supporters. Growing attacks in Europe and Asia confirm demonstrate that Isis is an international threat. Special care should be given to radicalized minors returning home after undergoing advanced IS training.


    10/08/2017 - RUSSIA – UKRAINE

    Kyiv slams Moscow after it closes Kerch Strait to build a bridge between Russia and Crimea


    Moscow unilaterally closes the international waterway to start construction. Only Russian ships can now sail through it. The closure is a serious blow to Ukraine’s fragile economy. The cities of Mariupol and Berdiansk, along the northern shore of the Sea of Azov, are the largest exporters of Ukrainian steel to the West. Russia’s action contravenes a treaty signed by Russia and Ukraine in 2003. In 2014 Russia annexed Crimea.


    09/08/2017 - RUSSIA

    Putin and the anniversary of the Old Believers, the 'true Russians'

    by Vladimir Rozanskij

    The result of a 17th century schism and excommunication, the Old Believers consider themselves the ‘true’ Russian Orthodox Church. Presently, it has communities abroad, including Uganda and Pakistan. On several occasions, the Russian president showed goodwill and openness towards them.


    07/08/2017 - KOREA

    South Korean, US and Japanese foreign ministers meet in Manila to assess Pyongyang's position


    Proposed mediation by South Korean President Moon Jae-in is backed by China and partly by the US. North Korean and South Korean foreign ministers have their first handshake since Moon took over. The UN resolution supports diplomacy in an attempt to ward off war. Moon and Trump talk by phone.


    06/08/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: Transfiguration and holidays, to meet Jesus and to be at the service of our brothers


    In the Angelus the ascension of the disciples to Mount Tabor to contemplate the transfigured Jesus, is compared by Pope Francis with the "time of rest and detachment from daily occupations", useful for "reviving the forces of the body and the spirit, deepening the spiritual path" . He reminds that in the summer there are those who "cannot take holidays because they are prevented by age, health or work reasons, economic constraints or other problems."


    04/08/2017 - RUSSIA

    New US sanctions against Moscow, a war within Russia

    by Vladimir Rozanskij

    Economic changes due to sanctions strengthen opposition. Sanctions have become the theme of the Aleksej Naval'nyj campaign. Vedomosti newspaper: In the struggle against "the outer enemy" Russia has been able to punish itself. Grigory Javlinskij: Putin's foreign policy a total fiasco.


    04/08/2017 - CHINA - VATICAN

    For Chinese Catholics: Praying with St. Ignatius (2)

    by Ottavio De Bertolis

    The space, the position, silence, questioning the Spirit, contemplation. The simple and concrete steps of how to meditate on the Gospel. Serving the spiritual formation of Chinese Catholics, and those worldwide.


    03/08/2017 - CHINA-VATICAN

    For Chinese Catholics: The Holy Hour, how to meditate on the Gospel (1)

    by Ottavio De Bertolis

     Today AsiaNews begins publishing a book that explains the way, techniques, contents of Gospel meditation, in the wake of the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola. A service to the Church in China in its urgent need for spiritual formation for bishops, priests, religious, laity.


    02/08/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: With baptism, the Christian becomes "Christopher", “Bearer of Christ” in the world


    As the General Audience resumes after the summer break, Pope Francis recalls the symbolism of ancient churches structured from west to east: the west is "where the light dies”; The East is "the place where darkness is defeated by the first light of the dawn and calls upon us the Christ, the Sun raised from above on the horizon of the world". Christians "are oriented men and women”: they do not believe in the darkness, but in the light of day." "The Church's Life is a Contamination of Light". Pilgrims from Iraq, Syria and Japan present.


    01/08/2017 - VATICAN

    Vatican issues statement on sustainable tourism as development tool


    Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, which Pope Francis recently set up, issues its first statement. Tourism represents 10 per cent GDP and 7 per cent of total exports. One person in 11 is employed in the sector. Sustainable tourism must protect the environment, the cultural heritage of peoples, the dignity of workers, and the disadvantaged. The Dicastery and the UN are on the same wavelength.


    01/08/2017 - HONG KONG - VATICAN

    From today, Msgr. Michael Yeung is bishop of Hong Kong: he is a friend of Zen and Tong

    by Bernardo Cervellera

     The announcement given today in the Vatican and Hong Kong. Tomorrow the new bishop will hold a press conference. Kneeling in front of Cardinals Tong and Zen: "Two Great Trees". He is optimistic for China-Holy See dialogue, but it is "difficult to obtain immediate results". Commitment to safeguarding Hong Kong's freedom.


    01/08/2017 - RUSSIA - VATICAN

    The relics of Saint Nicholas return to Bari, on the anniversary of Stalin's 'Great Terror'

    by Vladimir Rozanskij

    In two months, 2.5 million pilgrims visited the relic, with queues taking up to 12 hours, in rain, wind and high temperatures. Patriarch Kirill thanks Pope Francis: the rib of Saint Nicholas more effective than diplomacy. Stalin exploited the Orthodox Church for its "cult of personality". The "slaughter" of gulags and "shared memory".


    31/07/2017 - INDONESIA

    Youth from all over Asia in Yogyakarta for Asian Youth Day

    by Mathias Hariyadi (*)

    Participants come from India, Myanmar, Vietnam, Singapore, Mongolia, Philippines, Hong Kong, and Cambodia. Indonesians have come from some of the remotest regencies to attend the event. For Bishop Pius Riana Prapdi, the young are the heart of the Church.


    31/07/2017 - INDONESIA

    Denpasar, young people from Malaysia and Cambodia for Asian Youth Day 'Days in the Diocese'

    by Emiliana Saptaningsih

    Over 150 young people from Malaysia, Cambodia and other Indonesian dioceses arrived in the island of Bali for the Asian Youth Day. Acclimatizing in witness of faith in an Islamic and multicultural majority.


    30/07/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: everyone against the modern slavery of human trafficking. Treasure and pearl


    Pope Francis has Hail Mary recited at the Angelus “to support the victims of trafficking and convert the hearts of traffickers.” The world seems to be getting used to this "aberrant plague", which is “ugly, cruel, criminal!" The pontiff mentioned the parables of the treasure and precious pearl. The quest "is the essential condition for finding". The discovery of the treasure and the pearl entails "sacrifice, detachment and renunciation”. The joy of the farmer and merchant in the parable "is the joy of each of us when we discover the closeness and consoling presence of Jesus in our lives."


    29/07/2017 - INDONESIA

    Mgr Pius Riana Prapdi: Young people, Asian Day, new evangelisation

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    Asian Youth Day opens tomorrow with 3,000 young people from all over Asia. The final ceremony will see 20,000 young people from all of Indonesia's provinces. At the start, young people will stay with families in 11 dioceses. AYD activities will follow. The event sparks memory of John Paul II, who urged young people to be missionaries in daily life together with their peers.


    28/07/2017 - FRANCE – ISLAM

    Nîmes imam: Unless political Islam is condemned, there will be more victims like Fr Hamel


    Dr Hocine Drouiche calls on Muslims to "take their share of responsibility" in terrorist attacks. France’s Islamic leaders tried to disrupt the Muslim March against Terror. Most Islamic leaders in France and Europe come from political Islam or work for foreign countries who use political Islam for their policies.






    Editor's choices

    LEBANON – MIDDLE EAST – VATICAN
    For Eastern Catholic patriarchs, the genocide of Christians is an affront to all humanity

    Fady Noun

    Afflicted by wars, emigration and insecurity, Christian communities have now become "a small flock" amid the indifference of the international community. Patriarchs appeal to Pope Francis and the international community. Catholics and Orthodox share the same problems. The end of Christians in the East would be "a shameful stigma for the whole 21st century".


    KOREA
    Korean Bishops say no to “unreasonable provocations', call for a stop to the nuclear escalation by working for the “coexistence of humanity”



    Korean bishops issued an Exhortation today on the rising tensions around the Korean peninsula. North Korea but also "neighbouring countries" are at risk of "hasty unrestrained action" that could lead to the "death of innumerable people" and "deep wounds for the whole of humanity." They call for reduced military budgets and more spending on human and cultural development. They urge using "conscience, intelligence, solidarity, piety and mutual respect". A prayer is set for the feast day of the Assumption, which is also Korean Independence Day.


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