25 February 2018
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  • 24/02/2018 - PHILIPPINES

    “Working with our brothers behind bars has been both frightening and, at the same time, fulfilling,” priest says. Quezon City Jail is the second largest prison in the Philippines. Built for 800 inmates, it currently holds 3,600.


    by Santosh Digal

    23/02/2018 - VATICAN

    Pope: A Day of Fasting and Prayer for South Sudan, Congo and Syria


    Francis recalled it at the conclusion of the spiritual exercises. The Spirit of God "also flies and works outside" the Church, "it also works in unbelievers, in 'pagans'".


    23/02/2018 - MALAYSIA – ISLAM

    Rapper arrested for insulting Islam with a video for the Year of the Dog


    Dancers with dog masks make suggestive moves in front of a building believed to be a mosque. The musician defends himself saying said that it was the Prime Minister's Office. This year's Chinese New Year has been a sensitive issue. Dogs are deemed impure by Muslims who are 60 per cent of the population.


    23/02/2018 - PHILIPPINES

    Mindanao, Colonel warns: 'Jihadists ready for insurrection'


    The Mautos have a force of about 200 fighters and have launched a series of clashes with the Manila army. They recruit new soldiers, thanks to money, guns and jewels stolen from the city's banks and private houses during the Marawi siege.


    23/02/2018 - RUSSIA - VATICAN

    Kirill: the meeting with Francis in Havana saved the world

    by Vladimir Rozanskij

    The conflict in Syria was likely to lead to a confrontation between Russians and Americans. With the Pope "we were able to agree on many important issues, above all by focusing on the dangerous situation that had arisen in Syria".


    22/02/2018 - CHINA – VATICAN

    Chinese priest talks about the enflamed climate surrounding China-Vatican talks

    by Cheng Zhi

    Some media in favour of a deal speak in "disgusting" ways. Those who oppose it are not against an agreement or against diplomatic relations, but are against reaching one at any cost. "[W]here does the Church truly exercise her rights?"  The author is a priest in the underground Church in eastern China.


    22/02/2018 - VATICAN

    Pope to the young: Like Mary, do not be afraid. The WYD is for the brave


    The Message for the 33rd World Youth Day, which will be celebrated on 25 March next at the diocesan level, released today. Bearing in mind the October Synod, the Pope urges young people to "not fear", to "name" their fears and to live in discernment of  God's call to a "love full of audacity and entirely projected towards the gift of self".


    22/02/2018 - VIETNAM

    Phan Thiết Catholics celebrate New Year with poor families

    by Ngoc Lan

    Vietnam has two million poor families, 11 per cent of the population living with less than 15 dollars a month. The Diocese of Phan Thiết and the Archdiocese of Huế help Catholics and others. “These are gestures of love and compassion, actions that encourage us in life,” Buddhist man says.


    22/02/2018 - MYANMAR

    Bomb in Lashio: two dead and 22 wounded


    The victims were employees of Yoma Bank, employed for the branch located in the heart of the city. At the moment no suspects are identified. The end of the civil war is the highest priority declared by Aung San Suu Kyi. Fighting between army and ethnic minority rebels intensifies.


    21/02/2018 - INDONESIA

    Mass and Muslim solidarity after church attack

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    Four people were wounded in the attack on 11 February. The 23-year-old Islamic extremist Suliyono who attacked the church armed with a sword has been forgiven. The Islamic organisations Muhammadiyah and Gus Durians show solidarity with Catholics.


    21/02/2018 - THAILAND

    Air pollution warning for Bangkok

    by Weena Kowitwanij

    Thammasat University is currently hosting a conference on public health and the environment. With the application of the Euro 4 standard to vehicle emissions, PM2.5 levels dropped by 25 per cent between 2013 and 2017.


    21/02/2018 - VATICAN-CHINA-RUSSIA

    The Ostpolitik of today and the 'outgoing' Church (III)

    by Stefano Caprio*

    The collapse of Soviet communism gave reason to the Vatican political choices in opening up to Russia and Eastern Europe. The new Ostpolitik announces a new world without geographic or confessional delineations. Pope Francis pushes the Church towards the peripheries and towards the high sea, as St. John Paul II had hoped. Part III of an expert analysis.


    20/02/2018 - INDONESIA – RUSSIA – UNITED STATES

    Indonesia sees no consequence of Russian jet sale on relations with United States

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    Half of the US$ 1.14 billion deal will be paid with a barter scheme. In recent years, Indonesia has turned to Russia to upgrade its air force, turning down the offer of US F-16s. Since 2013, the Kremlin has supplied the Indonesian Air Force with five Su-27 and eleven Su-30 aircraft.


    20/02/2018 - THAILAND-JAPAN

    Surrogacy, Japanese man given 'lone custody’ of 13 children


    In 2014, the case caused a scandal, prompting the authorities to enact a law that prevents foreigners from seeking services of commercial subrogation in Thailand. Wombs for rent industry first moved to Cambodia and, after a ban there, to Laos.


    19/02/2018 - PHILIPPINES

    Church offers prayers and solidarity to Filipino migrants abroad

    by Santosh Digal

    About ten million Filipinos work abroad. From January to November last year, they sent home about 1.4 trillion pesos (US$ 2.6 billion). They often endure abuse and exploitation. The country’s bishops back the government’s "the total ban" on workers going to Kuwait.


    19/02/2018 - VATICAN-RUSSIA-CHINA

    The old and new Ostpolitik of the Holy See (I)

    by Stefano Caprio*

    The Vatican’s latest openings to China resemble the path traced by the old Ostpolitik of Card. Agostino Casaroli. Then as now, the Holy See’s moves have provoked and provoke disagreements, criticism and charges of forgetting the persecuted Church and human rights violations. Casaroli himself had doubts about his effectiveness, although he was eager to implement the dimension of dialogue, rediscovered with the Second Vatican Council. Part One.


    17/02/2018 - SINGAPORE-CHINA

    First New Year in Singapore for Keyuan, an orphan with no ears


    His story moved his new adoptive family. Every year in China, 900 thousand children are born with disabilities. The number has increased by 70% in the last 20 years. Many end up in orphanages, abandoned by families. In the absence of social support and with the age limit of adoption at 14, some are not adopted at all.


    17/02/2018 - HONG KONG - CHINA - VATICAN

    The Church 'doesn't care about politics and human rights' ... Wrong!

    by John Mok Cit Wai

    In an attempt to please China, several commentators dare to conceal or manipulate the teaching of the Church. The Church's mission is linked to support for human rights and commitment to society. Jesus never challenged the Roman Empire, but created a revolution. Msgr Romero defending the poor and the Church, had to face the military junta. A comment by John Mok Cit Wai.


    16/02/2018 - INDONESIA

    Thirteen priests and three deacons ordained in Sumatera and Kalimantan (Photos)

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    Four of them are ethnic Dayak, a mostly Christian ethnic group on Borneo. The Order of Capuchins welcomed eight confreres. The Sacred Heart of Jesus has five new priests. Catholics are a small minority in Riau province, and for them even a diaconal ordination becomes a historic moment.


    16/02/2018 - ASIA

    Bloomberg: Thailand, Singapore and Japan are least miserable economies in the world


    The ranking is based on how inflation and unemployment affect people’s attitude towards the economy. The misery index covers 66 economies. This year’s forecast sees China, Hong Kong and Saudi Arabia doing worse, whilst South Korea joins the top ten least miserable economies.


    16/02/2018 - VATICAN

    Pope: fasting is real when concerned with helping others


    Fasting is "stripping oneself a little"; maybe thanking the Lord because we are able to fast: "poor people", they must fast because they do not have anything to eat "and you even despise them ". Do penance in peace: "You cannot talk to God on one side and talk to the devil on the other" because it is inconsistent.


    16/02/2018 - VATICAN

    Young people from all over the world in Rome in preparation for the October Synod


    From March 19 to 24, the Pre-Synodal Meeting will prepare a document that will flow into the working document of the Synod. An encounter to "listen" to young people. To participate concretely through social media, young people will simply have to go to the website www.synod2018.va, where they will find the link to register with the Facebook Group of one of the 6 languages ​​provided.


    16/02/2018 - SINGAPORE-VATICAN

    Archbishop of Singapore: 'Building a vibrant, evangelical and missionary Church' (III)

    by Paolo Fossati

    "The faithful crave the Word of God and feel the need to find a link between faith and their lives". "We have to prepare students for the new evangelization among the many cultures and religions of our continent". The formation of lay people "fundamental to mission". Every year there are 3 thousand new baptisms.


    16/02/2018 - VIETNAM

    Lunar New Year: Redemptorists for homeless veterans

    by Hung Quoc

    Lộc Hưng parish set up a shelter for 13 war veterans. Since 2013, priests have organized initiatives for health care and spiritual support for over 6,000 veterans, 3,500 since 2017. Most are Buddhist or follow ancestral worship, but some of them have become Catholics.


    15/02/2018 - SINGAPORE-VATICAN

    Singapore Archbishop calls on Europe 'to let itself be inspired by religion' (II)

    by Paolo Fossati

    "The West has become rationalist, materialistic and individualistic. Religion, however, cannot be explained, it is something that comes from the heart, it is an encounter. Faith and reason do not contradict each other, but faith is greater than reason". In Singapore, many entrepreneurs become philanthropists.


    15/02/2018 - USA-CHINA

    South China Sea, US Navy: 'Seven new bases built by Beijing'


    Facilities include hangars, barracks, radar, armed positions and 3 km-long landing strips. To counter the expansionist ambitions of China, the US relies on the historical regional allies.


    15/02/2018 - VATICAN

    Pope encourages young priests to seek guidance in older priests


    The ages in the priesthood, with their peculiar characteristics, risks and potentialities were the subject of which Pope Francis spoke today to the clergy of Rome gathered in the Basilica of St. John Lateran for the traditional meeting of the beginning of Lent.


    14/02/2018 - VATICAN

    Lent is a time to defeat the demons of distrust, apathy and resignation, says pope


    In celebrating Ash Wednesday, Francis calls on the faithful to look and contemplate "the real face of Christ crucified out of love for everyone, without exception” and to “Return to the house of your Father”.


    14/02/2018 - SINGAPORE - VATICAN

    The Church’s real challenges are in Asia, says Singapore archbishop (I)

    by Paolo Fossati

    “The Asian continent is different from all the others since it is extremely varied in terms of religions, cultures and economic realities," the prelate said. In Singapore, faith is a “fundamental component for the country’s development.”


    14/02/2018 - VATICAN

    Pope: Prayer of the Faithful are for concrete needs of the Church and of the world


    Continuing his catechesis on Mass, Francis spoke of the Creed and the Prayer of the faithful, recalling Christ’s monition: "ask and you will be given". "We do not ask for this, because we have little faith, but if we had the faith Jesus speaks of, we would have everything". It a time to ask for the important things. But "the claims of worldly logic do not rise towards Heaven, just as self-referential requests remain unheard".

     






    Editor's choices

    BANGLADESH
    Snehonir, the 'house of tenderness' for the disabled (photos)



    Founded 25 years ago by Shanti Rani Sisters and PIME missionaries in Rajshahi, the facility is open to the mentally and physically disabled, deaf, blind, orphans, poor, and abandoned. The guiding principle is to start them in life.


    KOREA
    Defeated on ice, but 'first' in history, joint Korean hockey team players hug



    After losing to Sweden in their last match, the Korean team ends up in seventh place. Players burst into tears at their imminent separation. "Politicians made that executive decision [to have a joint team]. Our players and staff are the ones that made it work,” said the team’s proud Canadian coach. One South Korean athlete hopes the country is proud of them. "It was bigger than hockey."


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