30 August 2016
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    29/08/2016 - ASIA – ITALY

    Chinese communities in Prato and Florence deliver five vans with basic supplies sent to the affected areas, whilst Rome’s Filipino community is collecting money and medicines. In a letter to President Mattarella, the Tibetan Parliament expresses thanks for "Italy’s ever-strong support for the Tibetan issue”, says will try to do its best. In Erbil, displaced Iraqis in refugee camps raise money.




    29/08/2016 - CHINA – CENTRAL ASIA

    China’s "quiet expansion" into Central Asia

    by Paul Goble

    Beijing has replaced both Russia and the United States in the strategically important region. Taking advantage of these countries’ internal weaknesses, China is seizing control of local businesses and farmland. "Chinese nationals living and working in Tajikistan have increased by 30 percent since 2015,” notes a Tajikistan expert. “Tajiks have ceased to be masters in their own country”. Courtesy of the Jamestown Foundation.


    29/08/2016 - CHINA - VATICAN

    Rethinking China-Vatican accords (with a touch of irony)

    by Il prete eremita del Nord (华北的山人神父)

    There are various discrepancies in discussions on relations between China and the Holy See. Despite the fact that there is still no public agreement, many commentators hotly discuss it as if it were common gossip. Even the bishops are often reduced to mere puppets; the lack of mutual trust between the two parties; the Taiwan issue: these are some of the problems outlined by the informed author, who calls himself "the hermit priest of the North" and is a very famous priest-blogger in China.


    28/08/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope tells earthquake victims “I hope to come to see you as soon as possible"


    At the Angelus, Pope Francis expresses his closeness to the families affected by the earthquake in Latium, Marches, and Umbria. He plans to visit to bring "in person the comfort of the faith, the embrace of a father and a brother, and the support of Christian hope." As “pride, careerism, vanity, and ostentation are the cause of many evils”, it is better to choose “free giving instead of opportunist calculation to get a reward.” Canteens for the poor “spread the culture of free giving”. The World Day of Prayer for the care of Creation is set for 1 September "together with our Orthodox brothers and other ecclesial communities."


    27/08/2016 - CHINA

    Rough sailing for Chinese shipyards


    Private shipbuilders face greater obstacle than their state-owned counterparts, which get government subsidies. One company plans to lay off up to 28 per cent of its workforce. Over-capacity and low demand are the main causes. Bankruptcy looms for many.


    27/08/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope's Message for Peace 2017: " Non-Violence: A Style of Politics for Peace"


    The title of the message to be published by the end of this year is released. Non-violence is not only a moral refusal but is also a " realistic way to overcome armed conflicts." Dialogue and negotiations must be based on the common dignity of the parties and on the force of what is right. The message will slam "Third World War in pieces", and call for action against the illegal arms trade.


    26/08/2016 - ITALY – INDIA – VATICAN

    Fr Gheddo: My meetings with Mother Teresa

    by Piero Gheddo

    The great missionary and journalist remembers his visits to the Mother since 1964. Mother Teresa will be canonised on 4 September. She set up a home for the dying in Kolkata and one for abandoned children. The first missionary Vigil was a procession of faith in a society marked by protests and violence. She proclaimed life as a gift and said abortion was murder. Mother Teresa was moderate and prayed at night. She slept on a mat. The 1977 Andhra Pradesh floods killed 100,000 and caused tens of thousands of refugees. Mother Teresa will be remembered for her work for the Church and around the world.


    26/08/2016 - PHILIPPINES – VIETNAM

    Some 600 Vietnamese and Filipinos pray in Manila for peace in the South China Sea

    by Quang Ha

    The rally was held in front of the World Center, in central Manila. Seven Filipino priests celebrated Mass for protesters, who want Beijing to respect The Hague ruling and suspend its operations in disputed waters. China announces military exercises with Russia in the East China Sea.


    26/08/2016 - CHINA-SYRIA

    Beijing will train army troops of Bashar Assad


    The training will take place in China and will deal with medical and nursing professional care. The division present in the UN Security Council is now evident in the military alliances.


    25/08/2016 - CHINA - VATICAN

    Msgr. Ma Daqin: We must learn from Matteo Ricci

    by Zhao Nanxiong

    A new article by the auxiliary bishop of Shanghai after his "U-turn" on the role of the Patriotic Association. The prelate emphasizes the work of the great Jesuit missionary, who married the Chinese "Classics" with the Gospel. Today we must proclaim the faith with commitment "without interfering in politics”.


    24/08/2016 - INDIA – VATICAN

    Humans have dignity and value, Mother Teresa's message for our time

    by Thomas Menamparampil*

    The apostolic administrator in Jowai met the future saint in 1958, when he was in the seminary. What struck him was the Mother’s devotion to others, especially the poorest. Faced with the irrational process that makes humans into consuming machines, Mother Teresa cried out to the world the sacredness of the human person and soul.


    24/08/2016 - ITALY - VATICAN

    Mother Teresa is already a saint. Her canonization is for us and for the world (III)

    by Sebastian Vazhakala, MC

    Recognition of Mother Teresa's holiness serves as a stimulus for the Church and for the world. It is the beginning of a journey, an invitation to a spiritual deepening and to relive the Gospel as she lived it. Prayer and love are the most powerful weapons in the world, but they must not remain words: We need gestures and witnesses. Part three of Fr. Sebastian Vazhakala's story.


    24/08/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope cancels audience: Sorrow for earthquake victims in Italy


    Francis speaks to the pilgrims gathered in the square: "I express my great sorrow and closeness to all the people present in the places struck by the quake, to all the people who have lost loved ones and to those who still feel shock, fear and terror”. The Pope invites those present to recite the Sorrowful Mysteries. The tremors that devastated the Rieti area, were felt worst in Amatrice, Accumoli and Pescara del Tronto. 21 are confirmed dead, but many are still missing.


    24/08/2016 - NORTH KOREA - JAPAN

    Tokyo condemns North Korean rocket landing in Sea of ​​Japan


    The missile launched from a submarine near Sinpo and traveled for 500 kilometers. Shinzo Abe condemns' "reckless action". Weapons launched from submarines are very difficult to detect. Military exercises begin between South Korea and the United States.


    23/08/2016 - SYRIA – CHINA

    For Chinese media, the picture of Syrian child could be a fake in the West’s "propaganda war”


    A Chinese state broadcaster questions authenticity of the Aleppo child video, seeing it as a tool to provide an humanitarian excuse to intervene in the country. The video was shot by a group close to the British military.


    23/08/2016 - CHINA

    The decline of China’s Catholic population and its impact on the Church

    by Anthony Lam Sui-ky

    Dr. Anthony Lam Sui-ky, a researcher at the Holy Spirit Study Centre of the diocese of Hong Kong and a leading expert of the Church in China, analyses the "plateau" phenomenon that affects Chinese Catholics. After a great wave of baptisms and vocations, the numbers show a slowdown that keeps the number of the Catholic community stable but stagnant. Catholics are now about 10.5 million. The official and underground Church have the same dilemma and must work together to overcome it. Courtesy of Tripod.


    23/08/2016 - FRANCE - ISLAM

    Young Muslim: I am very pessimistic about a reform of Islam

    by Kamel Abderrahmani

    For centuries Islam has been closed in on itself creating a "holy ignorance" that blocks all introspection and development. Islamic "clergy" and the Arab states contributing to this stagnation, in their push to make Islam the state religion. Many intellectuals, thinkers, religious trying to reform Islam are hunted, persecuted, expelled, their works banned.


    23/08/2016 - ITALY - VATICAN

    Mother Teresa: Bring Jesus to the poor and the poor to Jesus. Revelations and visions (II)

    by Sebastian Vazhakala, MC

    "Will you refuse to do this for me?" Is the question that Jesus put to Mother Teresa of Calcutta in one of her mystical experiences. The life of the future saint was her response to this question. Fr. Sebastian Vazhakala continues his narrative about the Mother of Calcutta. The strength of her experience, and that of all the Missionaries and the Missionaries of Charity, is assimilation to Jesus. Love to the very end, even in times of trial.


    22/08/2016 - TAIWAN - CHINA

    Protests welcome Chinese communist leader’s visit to Taipei


    A group of protesters organise “welcome” protest at Taipei airport for Sha Hailin, a member of the CCP Standing Committee and head of the United Front Department in Shanghai. He is the highest-ranking communist official to visit Taiwan since the new government led by Tsai Ing-wen took office. Doubts hover over the future of bilateral relations.


    22/08/2016 - ITALY - VATICAN

    Fr. Sebastian: My vocation from an encounter with Mother Teresa (I)

    by Sebastian Vazhakala, MC

    As a student he was destined for a banking career, but was always dominated by the desire to be a missionary to the poor of India. His encounter with Calcutta and Mother Teresa changed his life. We speak to the first missionary of charity, co-founder along with the future saint of Calcutta, of the contemplative branch of the Missionaries. First in a series.


    22/08/2016 - HONG KONG

    Two new priests for Hong Kong: A vocation born of witness

    by Lucia Leung

    The diocese celebrates the ordination of Fr. Ignatius Lo and Fr. Paul Nguyen: With 384 thousand faithful, there are only 68 consecrated from the diocese. The life of a priest "has to be interesting. We must put aside ourselves and draw near to others, especially to young people”.


    21/08/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: The door of God's mercy is always wide open. For everyone!


    The goal, says Pope Francis before the Angelus prayer, "is Jesus himself. He leads us into fellowship with the Father, where we find love, understanding and protection. But why is this door is narrow? It is a narrow door not because it is oppressive, but because it asks us to restrict and limit our pride and our fear, to open ourselves with a humble and trusting heart to Him, recognizing ourselves as sinners, in need of his forgiveness. " An appeal for peace "in dear Turkey ".

     


    20/08/2016 - MYANMAR - CHINA

    Dams and diplomatic relations: Aung San Suu Kyi in China


    The Burmese State Minister is in Beijing from August 17. Yesterday she met with President Xi Jinping. China ready to play "a constructive role in promoting the peace process in Myanmar". Talks also on Myitsone dam project and $ 3.6 billion suspended in 2011 after strong protests.


    19/08/2016 - CHINA

    Internet crackdown: Beijing to censor online streaming


    The government fears live streaming and wants full control over providers. However, the huge number of users and the huge amount of content make the task hard to accomplish.


    19/08/2016 - CHINA

    After the crosses, Zhejiang bans religion from hospitals


    For the past two years the authorities of the Eastern Province have been carrying out a campaign against the symbols and the Christian presence. The latest act involves treatment centers, where today "all forms of religious activity are banned". It is now forbidden to pray, preach and receive priests or Protestant pastors at the bedside of the sick.


    18/08/2016 - KOREA

    One of Kim Il-sung’s “grandchildren” asks for political asylum in South Korea


    Thae Yong-ho was number two at the North Korean embassy in London. Now he is in Seoul. It is unclear whether he will remain in the peninsula or move to a "third country". He is the highest-ranking political refugee to have abandoned the regime in Pyongyang. He and his wife are from elite North Korean political families. The diplomat’s father was General Thae, a hero in the war against the Japanese.


    18/08/2016 - CHINA

    Chinese journalists ousted from maverick magazine sue government


    Senior editors at Yanhuang Chunqiu are suing the authorities that seized their magazine and published a fake issue. The matter is sensitive because the publication is loyal to the Communist party, the real one, not Xi Jinping’s.


    18/08/2016 - SOUTH KOREA

    Patriarch Rai arrives in Seoul to talk about peace and reconciliation


    The Lebanese Cardinal was welcomed by the Archbishop of the capital, Card. Andrew Yeom: "Here in Korea it's hot, but your welcome warms my heart so much more." Two days of meetings with Catholic leaders, peace activists and experts gathered to show Korea the path of unity.


     


    18/08/2016 - CHINA - VATICAN

    In China-Holy See talks, silence shrouds future of underground priests

    by Zhao Nanxiong

    Later this year, all priests must register to receive a certificate that allows them to exercise their ministry. But the request has to go through the Patriotic Association, whose statutes are "incompatible" with Catholic doctrine. Many priests, official and unofficial, now face an enormous dilemma.


    18/08/2016 - CHINA - ASEAN

    Manila conducive to bilateral talks with Beijing to resolve disputes in the seas


    President Duterte does not intend to raise territorial issues in the South China Sea during the next ASEAN summit. He wants to address the issue "face to face", avoiding open conflict. Jakarta reaffirms its sovereignty projects and is ready to change the name of the waters off the coast of Borneo. It will present its request soon to the UN.






    Editor's choices

    CHINA - VATICAN
    In China-Holy See talks, silence shrouds future of underground priests

    Zhao Nanxiong

    Later this year, all priests must register to receive a certificate that allows them to exercise their ministry. But the request has to go through the Patriotic Association, whose statutes are "incompatible" with Catholic doctrine. Many priests, official and unofficial, now face an enormous dilemma.


    IRAQ
    Alqosh, despite the Islamic State, the Church celebrates the first communion of one hundred children



    On the feast day of the Assumption the whole community attended the function, celebrated by Mar Sako. For the patriarchal vicar, this is an historic moment for the frontier town long threatened by jihadists. The Chaldean primate calls on children to "contribute to the community." In Kirkuk His Beatitude opened a grotto dedicated to Our Lady.


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