Nguyễn Ngọc Như Quỳnh, a 39-year-old mother with two children, was arrested in October 2016 and sentenced to 10 years in prison on charges of "propaganda against the state". Friends express joy online for her release: "After numerous efforts, the family has gathered in a free country". Since 2016, activists and bloggers have been the targets of a government campaign against dissent. At present there are 129 political prisoners arrested for criticizing or protesting against the communist regime.
The country has 12 hospital beds per 1,000 inhabitants, second only to Japan. Despite the abundance of medical equipment, it only had 2.3 doctors per 1,000 people in 2016 and only 7.9 graduates in medicine for every 100,000 people.
A prelate from the Holy Land calls for unburdening bishops of their administrative tasks so that they can be shepherds again. Young people in the Middle East deserve a future of peace and security, jobs and a family without the danger of fanaticism present in other faiths. Staying in one’s land is a vocation.
The conference aims to be a contribution to the Synod on young people taking place in the Vatican. Testimonies from Iraq, China, Cambodia, Brazil, Hong Kong. Direct experiences of missionaries who "put themselves alongside" the sufferings, difficulties and joys of the new generations, not content with merely studying them.
Swiss authorities want proof of provenance and consent forms signed by the deceased or family members before allowing the exhibition to open. In the past, there have been reports concerning the illegal trade in body parts of executed prisoners for organ transplants.
At the general audience Francis said that Jesus gave the Fifth Commandment a deeper meaning: "if killing means destroying, suppressing, eliminating someone, then not killing means caring, valuing, including. And even forgiving". "Not loving is the first step to killing; and not killing is the first step to loving ".
About 7,000 people will take part in the first edition of a sacred music festival. Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and Vice President Jusuf Kalla will attend. Muslims and Protestants support the event. For Mgr Petrus Canisius Mandagi, the festival will allow everyone to admire the true face of Indonesian society.
The Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops writes an open letter to the former nuncio to Washington. In it, he describes the former nuncio’s accusations as a baseless “political manoeuvre”. “I cannot understand how you could have allowed yourself to be convinced of this monstrous accusation which has no standing,” he writes.
Chinese faithful, official and underground communities, express their feelings about the present and the future of the Sino-Vatican provisional agreement. Many ask for the publication of the agreement document; others that bishops held in prison are freed and that the unofficial bishops are recognized by the government. The fear that China will belittle the Vatican. Fidelity to the Pope and to the unity of the Church, but concern for the rise in "collaborator" bishops.
For the optimists the provisional agreement is "historic"; for the pessimists it is the beginning of the total sell out of the Church to the Party. The Pope is involved in naming bishops. But we know nothing of a right of veto. The lifting of excommunications is good, but the faithful expect a public request for forgiveness. China has not asked for a break with Taiwan as a prior condition. Praise for Lithuanian martyrs, amid silence on the Chinese ones.