03/06/2014VATICAN Pope: Time of mercy, closeness to wounded for entire Church Encountering priests of the diocese of Rome, Francis says that “we must think of the Church today like a ‘field hospital'". "I always carry a small cloth pouch" containing a cross, in memory of a "great confessor", and when I have bad thoughts about someone my hand reaches for it". Confessors must be neither too "lax" nor too "rigorous".
03/06/2014NEPAL - CHINA Kathmandu bans Tibetans from celebrating pro-independence uprising against China by Christopher Sharma Nepal's new, Congress-led government warns the exiled community that "protests would not be allowed, even if they are peaceful. People will be arrested." Tibetans all over the world still consider the 1959 insurrection an important moment in their history. China's crackdown gave birth to the Tibetan Diaspora, and forced the Dalai Lama to flee to India. For human rights activist, "This is not democracy."
03/04/2014VATICAN Pope: Remember that among Christians "there are more martyrs today than in the early days of the Church" "The world does not tolerate the divinity of Christ. It doesn’t tolerate the announcement of the Gospel. It does not tolerate the Beatitudes". "They are condemned because they have a Bible. They can not make the sign of the Cross", "they can not go to Mass, because it is forbidden". How often "does a priest come in secret, among them, they pretend they are having a meal, taking tea and there they celebrate Mass", "so they will not see them".
03/04/2014NEPAL - CHINA Kathmandu cuts fees to climb Everest at Beijing's expense by Christopher Sharma The Nepali government announces new fees for climbers who wish to reach the highest peak in the world. The decision redirects tourists from China, which has not reacted to the decision for now.
02/27/2014VATICAN Pope: bishops are not managers but witnesses to the Risen Christ who lives for and near his flock Francis chaired a meeting of the Congregation for Bishops today. For him "To identify a bishop, it is not necessary to list his human, intellectual cultural or even pastoral skills". To "choose," we "need to elevate ourselves, to rise to the 'upper level'. We must rise above and overcome any eventual preferences, sympathies, provenances or tendencies to arrive at God's broad horizon".
02/26/2014NEPAL Kathmandu: the invasion of naked holy men sparks protests among residents by Christopher Sharma About 500 naked 'babas,' orthodox followers of the Hindu god Shiva, are in the Nepali capital to celebrate Mahashivaratri, the deity's birthday. However, their nudity, drug use and harassing demands for money have made the situation unbearable for residents. The government counters by saying that "the traditional practice has gone on for centuries," pledging "to intervene, if they exaggerate".