27 May 2016
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    26/05/2016 - CHINA - VATICAN

    Official and underground Christians have celebrated the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China, wanted by Benedict XVI. In a China marked by individualism and corruption, academics and scholars advise greater freedom for the economy and religious freedom for communities. Religions, viewed with suspicion by the leadership, are actually one of the few glues for a supportive and creative society. The strange silence of some commentators on persecution. The priority is formation of the clergy, the religious, the faithful. Now is the opportune time for the evangelization of China.

     


    by Bernardo Cervellera

    26/05/2016 - HONG KONG - CHINA

    Our Lady of Sheshan "helps Chinese Catholics “see hope in the dark"

    by Eugenia Cheung

    Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-fai, secretary of Propaganda Fide, celebrated Mass in Hong Kong’s St Jude Church on the Solemnity of Mary Help of Christians. During the service, he mentioned Fr Peter Yu Heping, who died in mysterious circumstances in 2015, but had great faith in the future of the Church in China.


    26/05/2016 - IRAQ

    Archbishop of Kirkuk: Against violence and extremism, a "wide awake and merciful" Church


    Msgr. Yousif says the upcoming assembly of Chaldean clergy in Erbil must "chart a new path" in an era of "enormous changes and challenges." The priests also "essential" for the Muslims, because they assume a "bridge" role with modernity. The work of Catholic education and health care. The refugees from Mosul witnesses of a faith stronger than terrorism.


    26/05/2016 - INDONESIA

    For Indonesian activists, chemical castration of paedophiles "is legalised revenge"

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    President Joko Widodo signed a decree amending sexual violence legislation. Culprits now face the death penalty or life imprisonment. For Catholic Women’s association, castration is contrary to fundamental human rights and “does not heal” what leads to rape. Medical practice should “never cause further harm.”


    26/05/2016 - SAUDI ARABIA - IRAN

    Riyadh: "Positive" talks with Tehran for Iranian Hajj pilgrims


    Another round of talks between the Iranian delegation and a Saudi representative held yesterday. Discussions focus on visa process for Iranian pilgrims. Deal expected within the next few days. Diplomatic tension between the two regional powers remains high.


    26/05/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: “doing” the Eucharist with Jesus and breaking the bread and our life to “feed” our brothers


    Francis celebrated Corpus Domini in St John Lateran. “How many mothers, how many fathers, together with the slices of bread they provide each day on the tables of their homes, have broken their hearts to let their children grow, and grow well!  How many Christians, as responsible citizens, have broken their own lives to defend the dignity of all, especially the poorest, the marginalized and those discriminated!”


    26/05/2016 - SRI LANKA

    Caritas hands out aid to flood victims and homeless people

    by Melani Manel Perera

    Heavy rains hit 237,000 people, including some 62,000 forced out of their homes. Death toll now stands at 102. Government has set up 250 sites for people displaced by floods. Catholic bishops have appealed to fellow Sri Lankans’ solidarity, and churches have opened their doors. Catholics and Buddhists are donating money slated for other uses, like personal birthday, and the Buddha’s own birthday.


    26/05/2016 - LEBANON – SOUTH AFRICA

    Patriarch Rahi in South Africa to reinforce the Lebanese identity in the Diaspora

    by Fady Noun

    From 18 to 23 May, the cardinal visited South Africa’s Maronite community. He saw two parishes, opened a gym and laid the first stone of a new hall. The Maronite Foundation in the World’s mandate is to reconnect migrants to their homeland so as to preserve their homeland’s delicate demographic balance.


    26/05/2016 - INDIA – ITALY

    Indian Supreme Court to allow Salvatore Girone to return to Italy right away


    The Italian marine had been held in India for four years. He could go home in a few days. The court accepted his application on humanitarian grounds. He is involved in the Enrica Lexie case in which two Indian fishermen were mistaken for pirates and shot dead. The court has set four conditions for his release, which he must respect or risk going back to India.


    26/05/2016 - INDIA

    Bishop of Pune: The new shrine to St. Anthony, "monument of mercy" for the poor

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    The structure will be inaugurated on May 29. The first stone was laid in 2012 by Msgr. Salvatore Pennacchio, Apostolic Nuncio in India. The sanctuary over the years has attracted the faithful of every religion. It became the "symbol of the relations among the faithful." The bishop of Pune hopes it will foster fraternity and friendship.

     


    26/05/2016 - MYANMAR

    Government returns land confiscated by the military in the north


    The beneficiaries are the residents of Tant-If, in the northwest of the country. Of the 4 thousand acres expropriated under the Ne Win dictatorship, only 1,200 remain in state hands. After 35 years, the junta agricultural project is acknowledged as a failure.

     


    25/05/2016 - MALAYSIA

    An audiobook Bible for tribal Malaysians in Kota Kinabalu


    After a year and a half of work, a Kadazan language version is available for the members of small ethnic groups in Sabah State. For Archbishop Joseph Marino, apostolic nuncio to Malaysia, the project is "a significant event in the life of the Church in Kota Kinabalu”, giving many people access to “the history of salvation.”


    25/05/2016 - NEPAL

    As Everest kills again, Nepali authorities try to downplay the challenges

    by Christopher Sharma

    As a result of the 2015 earthquake, old trails and tracks were wiped out, a major blow to one of the mainstays of Nepal’s economy recovers. In recent days, three climbers and a Sherpa died, which has led the authorities to downplay the gravity of the situation, noting that climbing “is not an easy task” and that people do die in accidents.


    25/05/2016 - PAKISTAN

    Activists from different religions pursue peace-building in Pakistan, against hatred and terrorism

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    Tehreek Rwadari, an interfaith movement that promotes respect for all religions and peace building in the country, celebrated its first anniversary yesterday. At the event, activists stressed the difficulties minorities, women and children face, as well as the lack of security. Extremism, mistrust and intolerance are the root causes.


    25/05/2016 - CHINA

    Eleven new priests ordained on the Day of Prayer for the Church in China

    by Victoria Ma

    Nine, all from ethnic minorities, were ordained by Ma Yinglin, Kunming’s illegitimate bishop. Mgr Wu Junwei, bishop of Yuncheng (Shanxi), ordained Fr Han Bo in Jinzhong Cathedral. Mgr He Zeqing, bishop of Wanzhou, ordained Fr Peng Yueyu of Chongqing.


    25/05/2016 - VIETNAM

    Vinh: Masses and torchlight processions for justice in sea pollution case


    Catholics took to the streets last Saturday to defend their bishop, vilified by state media. Mgr Hop had accused government authorities of ineptitude in tackling the environmental disaster. The diocese’s presbytery council signed a petition addressed to the authorities. Fishermen are caught between dead fish and Beijing’s fishing ban.


    25/05/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: "Our duty to protect all children, especially those exposed to high risk of exploitation"


    Prayer keeps the faith and transforms our desire modeling it according to the will of God, but "it is not a magic wand." A prayer for the victims of Monday's bombings in Syria. May Mary  "convert the hearts of those who sow death and destruction."


    25/05/2016 - INDIA - GERMANY

    India: Berlin awards Sister Hermanelde Pulm, for 50 years of service for poor

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    The missionary has worked in an Indian hospital since 1963. She is 79 years old and belongs to the Missionary Sisters Servants of the Holy Spirit. The Cross of Merit is the most important award of the German Federal Republic. Sister Hermanelde honored for her tireless and silent work, "far from the limelight."

     


    25/05/2016 - EGYPT-VATICAN

    Pope-Grand Imam of Al Azhar: Egypt’s press enthusiastic and "political" comments


    Al Sisi mediation praised for success of encounter. Amazement at the sobriety of the Vatican statement. A corrective measure for Islamophobia generated by the Islamic State. A reader: I believe in Pope Francis and his smile

     


    25/05/2016 - ISRAEL

    Israel increasingly right-wing: Lieberman enters executive as defense minister


    Likud and Israel Beitenu strike deal overnight. Now the majority is strengthened and can count on 66 MPs in the Knesset. Lieberman takes the place of the resigning Yaalon, who left after the controversy over the words of the two army number. Netanyahu threatened with investigation into expenses when he was Minister of Finance.


    25/05/2016 - MACAO-CHINA

    The Church of Macao prays for China: Now is the right time for evangelization

    by Xie Qircan

    For the first time, since the appointment of  bishop Stephen Lee, the celebration of the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China took place at a diocesan level, in the cathedral, in the presence of the bishop. The memory of the martyrs, Chinese and foreign, who evangelized China; the prayer to Mary so that Christians may face the new challenges of a Chinese society in transition. It is the duty of all Chinese faithful  to evangelize China.

     


    24/05/2016 - IRAQ

    For Iraqi priest, IS, violence and divisions have created a sense of brotherhood with Muslims


    Living side by side has been replaced by a desire to be “a community”, said Fr Samir Youssef, a priest in Iraqi Kurdistan. This is the result of the “merciful” welcoming of Christian, Muslim, and Yazidi refugees. Recently, 62 people from the diocese of Amadiya took part in a spiritual retreat to discuss pastoral outreach, mercy and catechesis. Iraq need more nuns and priests.


    24/05/2016 - CHINA – VATICAN

    At least 20,000 Catholics pray at Sheshan for the Church in China

    by Victoria Ma

    Pilgrims came from other dioceses like Ningbo and Taiyuan. Some groups organised web prayers. Under house arrest since 2012, Mgr Thaddeus Ma Daqin was not present. The Diocese of Shanghai organised a solemn pilgrimage.


    24/05/2016 - PAKISTAN

    Lahore High Court rules on divorce law, ends marriage discrimination for Christians

    by Shafique Khokhar

    The 1869 law is restored. In 1981, under General Zia’s rule, an amendment was introduced that allowed Christian couples to divorce only in case of adultery. This chained women to violent and polygamous marriages, and forced Christians who wanted to end a marriage to convert to Islam.


    24/05/2016 - PHILIPPINES

    Duterte’s attack on Filipino bishops "violent and unprovoked"


    The new president has attacked the church calling it "the most hypocritical institution" in the world, offending bishops and accusing them of being corrupt. He adds that he will "challenge the Catholic faith", imposing a limit of three children per family, free the former president Arroyo and bury the dictator Marcos in the "graveyard of heroes." Catholic source: "I am surprised by this violent and unprovoked attitude, particularly unsuitable in a president."

     


    24/05/2016 - BANGLADESH

    Bangladesh mourns Nurjahan Begum, a pioneer in women's emancipation

    by Sumon Corraya

    The journalist died at the age of 91. Throughout her life, she fought to help women succeed in a conservative and male-dominated society. Her magazine ‘Begum’ inspired hundreds of women and girls to write. For one Catholic writer, she helped many people: “I am grateful to her”.


    24/05/2016 - SINGAPORE – ITALY – VATICAN

    Singapore president in Italy to meet Pope Francis


    Tony Tan Keng Yam arrived in Rome on Sunday. He will visit the Holy See next Saturday, a first for a Singapore president. This “is a significant event” for the Catholic Church in the city-state. “We are fortunate to be held in high regard and receive great support from the government.”


    24/05/2016 - VATICAN

    Dublin, 2018 the World Meeting of Families on "The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World"


    The event presented today at the Vatican, will be the first after the Synod and the publication of "Amoris laetitia". It is part of a process of discernment and encouragement, accompaniment and animation of families.


    24/05/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: Holiness is "a journey to God’s presence", a step forward every day


    On the journey we need courage, hope, grace, conversion. "Nothing great, mortification: no, it's simple. The path to holiness is simple. Do not go back, but always move forward, right? And with fortitude ".

     


    24/05/2016 - IRAN – INDIA – AFGHANISTAN

    Delhi, Tehran and Kabul sign historic Chabahar port agreement


    India grants a US$ 500 million line of credit to build and maintain the facility. Indian goods will be able to reach Central Asia and Europe, halving time and costs. The port will be directly linked to Afghanistan. The goal is to boost cooperation and take advantage of the end of sanctions in Iran.






    Editor's choices

    CHINA - VATICAN
    The persecution of Catholics during the Cultural Revolution

    Sergio Ticozzi

    The documentation of that violent period was burned or buried in archives. Only a few survivors speak. The persecutors are silent in fear. The burning of religious objects and furnishings in Hebei. Bishops humiliated and arrested in Henan; nuns beaten with sticks and killed, or buried alive. A persecution that "is not over yet"; Today it is perhaps only more subtle.


    CHINA
    Silence shrouds 50th anniversary of Cultural Revolution in China and in the West

    Bernardo Cervellera

    The bloody campaign launched by Mao Zedong killed nearly 2 million people and sent  a further 4 million to concentration camps. Every Chinese has been marked by fear. But today, no memorial service has been planned and no newspaper article has appeared. The Party’s internal struggles and Xi Jinping’s fear of ending up like the USSR. Even today, as then, there are those in Europe who keep quiet and laud the myth of China. Many are predicting a return to the "great chaos".

     


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