29 June 2016
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    29/06/2016 - VATICAN

    On the Solemnity of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, Pope Francis greeted the delegation sent by the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople. He expressed hope to see things go from "division to unity". He blessed the pallia for new major archbishops, a sign of communion with the See of Peter. Christian communities must be Churches “going out” through prayer to overcome fear and "Herod's complex", the feeling of persecution that drives inward when faced with dangers and “God’s surprises”.




    29/06/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope speaks about Peter and Paul, lights of the east and west, appeals after Istanbul attack


    At the Angelus prayer, Pope Francis talks about the two apostles who brought the faith to Rome. “They still want to carry Jesus, his merciful love, his consolation, his peace.” The pontiff welcomed the ecumenical delegation from Constantinople, as well as Chinese Catholics. Sharing the sorrow, he prays for the Turkish people after the Istanbul airport attack.


    29/06/2016 - MALAYSIA – ISLAM

    Opposition and minorities slam government’s attempt to introduce Sharia law in Kelantan


    The bill would allow the stoning of adulterers and the chopping off the hand of thieves. For former Prime Minister Mahathir, the government is trying to win over Islamist party.  “This is not Islam! This is not fair!” For Malaysia’s minorities, the bill is “unconstitutional”; it tears “at the core of the Federal Constitution” and undermines “religious freedom”.


    29/06/2016 - TURKEY

    Islamic State suspected in Istanbul airport attack


    At least 36 people are dead and 140 wounded. Attackers began shooting before blowing themselves up at the terminal. Critics point to poor security measures.


    28/06/2016 - JORDAN – UNITED STATES – SAUDI ARABIA

    CIA, Saudi weapons for anti-Assad rebels end up on Jordan’s black market


    An expensive programme co-sponsored by the CIA and Saudi Arabia to supply weapons and train anti-Assad rebels derails after corrupt Jordanian officials sell weapons on the black market. Some might have ended in Jihadi hands; others might have been used to kill Americans on at least one occasion.


    28/06/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: mercy is the “criterion” for Catholic-Orthodox relations


    Francis welcomes a delegation from the Ecumenical Patriarchate, presently in Rome for the feast day of Saints Peter and Paul. “For divine mercy frees us of the burden of past conflicts and lets us be open to the future to which the Spirit is guiding us.” Bartholomew mentions the visit to Lesvos Island.


    28/06/2016 - BANGLADESH

    Catholics live in in fear in Bonpara after Sunil Gomes’s murder

    by Sumon Corraya

    The victim had his throat cut after Sunday Mass. Police are still groping in the dark whilst the murderers are still at large. Younger parish members patrol at night to ensure Catholics’ self-defence and security.


    28/06/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: Benedict XVI "continues to serve the Church"


    Marking the 65th anniversary of Benedict XVI’s priestly ordination, Francis said that from the place where his predecessor now lives "come tranquility, peace, strength, confidence, maturity, faith, dedication and loyalty” that “do so much good and give so much strength to me and to the whole Church.”


    28/06/2016 - HONG KONG – CAMBODIA

    From Hong Kong to Cambodia, the first married couple goes on mission


    Jonathan Yim Chi-ngai and Katherine Cheung Yu were commissioned to go to Cambodia with the Hong Kong Catholic Lay Missionary Association. Cardinal Tong congratulated them on their decision, saying that as a couple they can be of mutual support in their service. He added that they can also be strong witnesses to the importance and value of marriage and family.


    28/06/2016 - NEPAL

    Nepalese priest against using religion to shield crimes

    by Christopher Sharma

    Police detain Hindu holy man for deceiving and getting young people sold to human traffickers. They also arrest two Buddhists with 35 kilos of hashish hidden in sacred texts. This shows "how religion is improperly used in Nepal,” said Fr Ignitious Rai, pastor in Kathmandu, and how its dignity is being undermined.


    28/06/2016 - PHILIPPINES

    Filipino bishops to law enforcers: Too many extra-judicial deaths; bring back justice

    by Mons. Socrates B. Villegas*

    An appeal from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference to address the “disturbing rise” of extra-judicial killings. Enough with bounties and vigilantes. The social responsability: “We must all ask ourselves whether or not by our silence, our indifference… we may have contributed to the proliferation of crime”.


    28/06/2016 - PAKISTAN

    Lahore, Christian pastor accused of blasphemy; his family tortured

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    Pastor Adnan Prince was accused of writing anti-Islam comments on a religious book in 2013. He is still imprisoned. His elder brother was abused, slapped, beaten with batons and leather slippers in police custody. The Government of Pakistan signed the United Nations Convention Against Torture but there is still no law to criminalize custodial torture.


    28/06/2016 - LEBANON - SYRIA

    Lebanon, new attacks in the Christian town near the Syrian border, eight injured


    Three suicide bombers struck in the evening the center of al-Qaa; one of them blew himself up in front of the church, two others near the municipality. In the morning four bombers caused nine victims. Clashes between army and jihadists in the suburbs. Terrorists wanted to strike a symbol of coexistence between Christians and Muslims, priest says. Patriarch Rai appealed for restraint.

     


    28/06/2016 - CHINA

    Wave of suicides among bureaucrats due to the anti-corruption campaign


    Since 2012, when Xi Jinping came to power, at least 120 government representatives have committed suicide. From 2003 to 2012, under Hu Jintao, 63 killed themselves. The suicide as a gesture of love for the family, which can save money coming from the bribes.


    28/06/2016 - MYANMAR

    Yangon, authorities cancel news conference on abuses by military


    An organization of Ta'ang minority wanted to denounce human rights violations in Shan State, where civil war rages. The authorities warned the hotel to cancel the event for "lack of permits".

     


    27/06/2016 - CHINA

    Beijing to cut heavy industry, lay off 1.8 million workers


    Steel and coal mining are set to get the ax. The government wants to reduce steel capacity by 45 million tonnes and cut output by 280 million tonnes. The chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission is “very confident” that China will reach its targets.


    27/06/2016 - RUSSIA

    Duma approves anti-terrorism measures that "threaten religious freedom"

    by Nina Achmatova

    Protestant leaders and human rights activists slam Yarovaya’s laws, a package of measures that, among other things, make it nearly impossible to carry out processions and limit "missionary activities".


    27/06/2016 - ARMENIA – VATICAN

    Francis’s visit and the mission entrusted to the Armenian people

    by Pierre Balanian

    The pope did not waver from calling evil by its name, recognising the right of the Armenian people to remember. However, remembrance can no longer be an end in itself; it must become the vocation of the Armenian people and Diaspora. Armenians must become ambassadors and a bridge between cultures they met after the genocide, working for peace and religious coexistence. A Diaspora Armenian writes.


    27/06/2016 - PHILIPPINES

    Manila, an ‘Oratio Imperata’ for the next government’s good behaviour


    Card Tagle has called for a special novena to be recited at every Mass in the Archdiocese for the future of the country’s new political leaders. The new administration takes over this Thursday. “No one or group can claim that they were able to solve everything,” Tagle said.


    27/06/2016 - VIETNAM – VATICAN

    "I met the true faith" of Vietnamese Christians, Mgr Girelli said

    by Thanh Thuy

    Since January 2011, the non-resident papal representative has visited each of Vietnam’s 26 dioceses at least twice. The prelate highlighted the work of bishops, priests, religious and laity. He met with Communist authorities and paid attention to the poor and marginalised. He stressed the importance of seminars in the training of future priests.


    27/06/2016 - INDIA

    For Card Gracias, there are no restrictions on the mercy of Mary, the mother of us all

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    The archbishop of Mumbai celebrated the feast day of Our Lady of Perpetual Help at the shrine in St Michael in Mahim, one of India’s most venerated sites. " people of every faith come to venerate Our Lady of Perpetual Help”, who is “the largest recipient of mercy”.


    27/06/2016 - CHINA - VATICAN

    Mgr Ma Daqin’s volte-face, a cross to bear for the sake of Shanghai

    by p. Pietro dalla Cina

    The auxiliary bishop of Shanghai holds dear the welfare of his diocese and intends to carry alone the burden of his statements of four years ago. Fr Lombardi’s clarification on the role of the Holy See dispels any doubt: the Letter of Benedict XVI to the Chinese Church is still valid; thus the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association's position is not accepted by the Vatican. A Chinese priest comments. Translation by AsiaNews.


    27/06/2016 - LEBANON - SYRIA

    Lebanon: Series of Suicide Bombings near Syrian border, Kill Nine and Wound 15


    The attacks hit the the predominantly Christian village of al-Qaa. Four suicide explosions struck at 10 minute intervals. Some of the wounded are in critical condition. Health Minister ordered all hospitals to receive people wounded in the bombings and treat them at the ministry's expense. Sectarian tensions in Lebanon have been stoked by the civil war in Syria.

     


    27/06/2016 - ASIA-UNITED KINGDOM

    Hong Kong and Asia are still suffering from Brexit: "a new era of great uncertainty"


    Analysts speak of "economic chaos" worse than the 2008 crisis. This morning the Pound fell more than 2%. Financial stocks linked to London still negative. At the China's central bank think that it will take 5-10 years to get over the bumps. Indian Manager: Just a temporary reaction.


    27/06/2016 - MYANMAR – THAILAND

    Myanma migrant workers laid off following Aung San Suu Kyi’s visit


    Migrants lost their job because they took part in a meeting with the Myanmar leader. Some local officials were sacked as well. During her three-day visit, the Nobel Prize laureate signed three memoranda of understanding in connection with Myanma migrants in Thailand.


    26/06/2016 - VATICAN - ARMENIA

    Pope in Armenia: religious freedom essential to the victory of peace


    At the conclusion of his visit Francis signed a joint declaration with Catholicos Karenin II. The "constant conflicts based on ethnicity, political and religious in the Middle East and other parts of the world." The willingness of the Catholic Church and the Armenian Apostolic Church to continue on the path towards full unity.

     


    26/06/2016 - VATICAN - ARMENIA

    The Pope in Armenia asks the Catholicos to bless "this our path towards full unity"


    Pope Francis attends the Armenian Apostolic divine liturgy. The program does not include a Catholic mass today, to emphasize the unique Eucharistic mystery. The "common wealth" of the two traditions; the intercession of the Spirit, the Mother of God, the saints, the Armenian martyrs to "re-found unity". "Let us pay heed to the younger generation, who seek a future free of past divisions" and the end of the "scandal" of division among Christians.


    25/06/2016 - BANGLADESH

    Dhaka, Buddhist monks help Muslims celebrate Ramadan "thanks to Mother Teresa"


    For the past six years monks from the Dharmarajika temple have donated food to the Muslim poor to enable them to interrupt the ritual fasting. Every day they distribute 500 boxes for the iftar, filled with typical foods. One monk: "Mother Teresa said that you meet God by serving man. We were inspired by this. "


    25/06/2016 - VATICAN - ARMENIA

    Pope in Armenia: Memory, faith, mercy, the foundation for rebuilding Church and society


    In the city of Gyumri, marked by the genocide and by the earthquake, Pope Francis offers the "three stable foundations" to rebuild the person, the population, society. The invitation to young people to consecrate their lives to merciful love for the Church and the world "this is something that is needed in these troubled times, which is also a time of mercy".

     


    25/06/2016 - CHINA - TAIWAN

    Beijing suspends communication with Taipei over "one China" and Taiwanese fraud


    Displeasure at silence on one China principal during the inauguration ceremony of President Tsai Ing-wen on 20 May. Yesterday Cambodia deported to China a Taiwanese accused of telecommunications fraud. This year Kenya and Malaysia also deported to China dozens of Taiwanese suspects to be tried by Beijing.

     






    Editor's choices

    CHINA - VATICAN
    Vatican silence over Shanghai’s Mgr Ma Daqin causing confusion and controversy

    Bernardo Cervellera

    For some, Mgr Ma’s blog post praising the Patriotic Association and acknowledging his mistakes is nothing but “dirt”. For others, he chose humiliation for the “sake of his diocese”. Many wonder why the Holy See has remained silent about the article’s content and the bishop’s persecution. Some suspect the Vatican views the episode in positive terms. Yet, the Ma Daqin affair raises a major question. Has Benedict XVI’s Letter to Chinese Catholics (which describes the Patriotic Association as “incompatible with Catholic doctrine”) been abolished? If it has, who did it? A journey of compromises without truth is full of risks.


    CHINA – VATICAN
    Mgr Ma Daqin: the text of his “confession”

    Mons. Taddeo Ma Daqin

    Four years after quitting the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, the bishop of Shanghai “admits” his faults on his blog, praising the organisation that controls the Church. We publish his article, almost in its entirety. Translation by AsiaNews.


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