19 August 2017
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  • 18/08/2017 - PHILIPPINES

    The killings are the “epitome of the aggressive campaign of the present government against illegal drugs,” Fr Gariguez said. The “President is determined to push for his violent and barbaric method in waging the war on drugs. He cannot be swayed, even by the moral admonitions of the Church which he admittedly despises.”




    18/08/2017 - INDONESIA

    Jakarta, Widodo defends multiculturalism on Independence Day

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    Indonesia’s president and vice president wear traditional clothes in parliament. With this gesture, Widodo and Kalla put aside the political disagreements that marked their relationship because of the court case involving Jakarta’s former Christian governor, Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama. The country’s “new nationalism" has found momentum in recent official ceremonies.


    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.


    16/08/2017 - INDONESIA

    Indonesian Church: Pancasilia is the nation's philosophical and political platform

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    The basic principles of the nation reiterated in a Catholic national conference. The "Five pillars" must be protected and defended in critical situations, including intolerance and secularism.


    16/08/2017 - VIETNAM - TAIWAN

    Vietnamese Church brings Formosa victims' protests to Taiwan


    "Going abroad to be heard." Bishop Paul Nguyên Thai Hopof the diocese of Vinh, visitsTaipei with the Victim Support Committee. Protests fueled by compensation criteria set by Vietnamese government and Formosa. The province of Nghệ An is excluded from the list of the four provinces affected under remuneration scheme.


    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”.


    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 - MALAYSIA – ISLAM

    Racism in Selangor school: cups for 'Muslims' and 'non-Muslims'


    The school has labelled cups next to the water dispenser for children. For Perak Mufti Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria, the practice is discriminatory and could lead to hatred of Islam. “This practice is an insult,” he said. Deputy Education Minister Datuk Chong Sin Woon noted that "national schools are for all Malaysians”.


    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 - INDONESIA

    Indonesian Church ordains 18 new priests

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    Ordinations took place on the same day in remote locations to promote vocations among local youth. Five priests and three deacons were ordained in Belitang (South Sumatera). Mgr John Liku Ada, archbishop of Makassar, consecrated seven diocesan priests in Rantepao (South Sulawesi). In Kabanjahe (North Sumatera), five new diocesan priests and one from the Order of the Holy Cross were consecrated.


    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 - BANGLADESH

    The rights of indigenous peoples should be enshrined in the constitution

    by Sumon Corraya

    Thousands of people mark International Day for Indigenous Peoples with dances, music and candlelit processions. For writer and educator Muhammad Zafar Iqbal, diversity is beauty. The government has however forgotten minority rights.


    09/08/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope says Jesus forgives sins, a 'scandalous gesture', makes an appeal for Nigeria and the Central African Republic


    In today’s general audience, Pope Francis noted that "Jesus saw a possibility of resurrection even in those who have accumulated so many wrong choices." Forgiven sinners are "psychologically relieved", but especially receive "a new life, a life marked by love" like Matthew, Zacchaeus, and the Samaritan woman. "We are all poor sinners, in need of of God's mercy." A Hail Mary is recited for Christian victim of violence in Nigeria and the Central African Republic.


    08/08/2017 - VIETNAM

    Central Vietnam, milk in schools to fight malnutrition


    The programme has been implemented in all 21 cities, towns, and districts in Nghe An province. The initiative was launched nationwide on 28 September 2016. The goal is to meet 90-95 per cent of the energy need of children and increase the height of boys and girls by 1.5 and 2 centimetres respectively. Critics view the provincial government’s claim of success as mere propaganda. In 2016, Nghe An was one of the four coastal provinces in Central Vietnam affected by the country's worst environmental disaster.


    08/08/2017 - MALAYSIA

    Cabinet scraps mandatory death penalty for drug trafficking


    If the 1952 Dangerous Drugs Act is amended, judges will be able to choose the sentence. About 651 Malaysians have been sentenced to death since 1992, most of them for drug offences. Malaysia is ranked tenth among the 23 countries that carried out death penalties last year. The death penalty is still mandatory for crimes like murder and terrorism.


    07/08/2017 - BANGLADESH

    Fr Regan, PIME’s newest priest, from Bangladesh to Guinea Bissau

    by Sumon Corraya

    He is the only son of the family. His father died a few years ago. His sister is already nun. His mother encouraged him to follow his vocation. The example of PIME’s Italian missionaries in Bangladesh will help him become a true missionary. Fr Regan John Gomes, from Tumilia parish in Gazipur, is the fifth PIME missionary from Bangladesh.


    07/08/2017 - INDONESIA

    More than a hundred young Muslims took part in Asian Youth Day


    The organisation of Asian Youth Day (AYD) in Indonesia was a big challenge. Over the last few months, the country saw a sharp increase in acts of intolerance against religious minorities. “Indonesia and its Muslims have a responsibility for the success of this event,” one young Muslim said.  Young Asian Catholics and the Muslims exchanged directly on the third day. “This meeting means that our tolerance is not a silent tolerance," a volunteer said.


    07/08/2017 - INDONESIA

    Pope Francis sends message to mark end of Asian Youth Day

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    The pontiff calls on young Asians to look at the Mother of the Lord, and listen “ever more attentively to God’s call and respond with faith and courage to their vocation.” More than 20,000 Catholics from the island of Java join participants for the AYD’S closing ceremony. The 8th edition is slated for India, in 2020.


    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."


    05/08/2017 - INDONESIA

    Asian Youth Day, Laudate Si has changed the lives of young Catholics

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    Jonathan Cho was a lonely and lazy boy, and now he is very committed to environmental protection initiatives. Sumbal Tariq: "Inspired by the encyclical, I am committed to planting trees and protecting water sources." Bishop Pius Riana Prapdi, bishop of the Ketapang diocese: "The two boys have been able to bring the spirit of the encyclical into their lives and become a good example for others." Fr. Yohanes "Holy" Dwi Harsanto: "Learn courage to spread the values ​​of the Churches' social doctrine and teachings.


    05/08/2017 - INDONESIA

    Central Java deploys army and police to battle macaques


    People in the District of Boyolali have lost their patience in the face of repeated raids by primates into their homes and farms. Among the 13 victims of macaque attacks there is also a primary school child. Officials deploy by more than 100 selected army and police shooters as well as members of the Indonesian Shooter Association (Perbakin). Animalists protest: "Monkeys need food. Teak or pine forests have become commercial forests."


    04/08/2017 - INDONESIA

    Asian Youth Day: cardinals, bishops and Muslim leaders meet in dialogue

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    Yogyakarta's gathering of youth has a major interfaith dimension. A meeting was held today to discuss ‘Unity in Cultural Diversity’ centred on coexistence. For Islamic leaders, radicalism and terrorism are challenges to be met together. Intolerance and terrorism are not expressions of true values of Asian culture, said Card Patrick D'Rozario of Dhaka. For former Muhammadiyah president Prof Syafi'i Maarif, corruption, social injustice and Arabisation are the causes of sectarianism in Indonesia.


    04/08/2017 - VIETNAM

    Millions of cubic metres of toxic mud dumped into the sea

    by Thanh Thuy

    The polluted area covers an area of ​​30 hectares in Binh Thuận province. Rural and coastal regions in southern and central Vietnam pay a high price for economic development. Government complicity and vague laws allow companies to come up with different ways of waste disposal. In 2016, the discharge of toxic waste from a steel plant caused the country’s worst environmental disaster. China’s Lee & Man Paper Company is now polluting the Mekong Delta.


    04/08/2017 - INDONESIA – INDIA

    Asian Youth Day: Bishop D'Souza invites young Christians to be leaders and carry the light of Christ


    At the youth meeting, the Indian bishop spoke to about unity in diversity. He also referred to the responsibility of responding to God with respect to the rise of religious fundamentalism that threatens peace and security in Asia. " The Church and Asia need the youth," he said in concluding. "They need youth’s talents, their energy, their imagination and their leadership.”


    04/08/2017 - PHILIPPINES

    Fr. Sebastiano D'Ambra: Mission 'possible' in Mindanao, among Christians and Muslims


    Weekends of friendship, meetings between catechists and madrasa teachers, are just some of the initiatives launched by the Silsilah movement. Not giving in to discouragement even when a Muslim boy tells the teacher at school: "Do you know that we can kill Christians?" The memory of PIME confreres, Salvatore Carzedda and Antimo Villano is a stimulus to move on. After 500 years of history in the Philippines (in 2021), Christians should understand that devotion is not enough.






    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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