08/04/2015VATICAN Pope to altar servers: The joy of friendship with Jesus makes us all missionaries Meeting thousands of participants in the international pilgrimage "Here I am Lord. Send me!", involving children and young people from about 20 countries, Francis thanks the altar servers and recalls that "it was God who made the first move. God’s actions were not impeded by his imperfections; it was God’s goodness alone that enables us to take up the mission, transforming us nto a totally new person and therefore one able to respond to the call of the Lord" Vatican City (AsiaNews) - The joy of friendship with Jesus Christ "makes us all naturally missionaries. Like the prophet Isaiah, we too are astonished to discover that it was God who made the first move; God is the one drawing close. He noticed that God’s actions were not impeded by his imperfections; it was God’s goodness alone that enabled him to take...
08/04/2015CHINA – VATICAN Calm episcopal ordination in Anyang, a model for the mission in China by Bernardo Cervellera The ordination took place today with three bishops loyal to the pope. The bishop and the diocese have always engaged the government in dialogue, but have always set the religious mission as their priority, and rejected the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association. The local Church is closely involved in catechesis, health care, and education, building on the tradition of PIME missionaries, who served the diocese for decades.
08/04/2015PHILIPPINES – INDONESIA For Filipino bishop, Mary Jane Veloso is innocent; those who took advantage of her should be punished The Filipino woman is in jail in Indonesia, convicted of drug trafficking. The death sentence still hangs over her. The president of the Episcopal Commission for the care of migrants told AsiaNews, “They used her, and robbed her of her innocence.” The Church will pray for her and protect her children. “We hope and we are convinced that Mary Jane will be spared the death sentence.”
08/04/2015INDIA Tamil Nadu inaugurates seven milk banks by Nirmala Carvalho The initiative coincides with World Breastfeeding Week (1-7 August). Its goal is to safeguard the health of newborns and reduce infant mortality.
08/04/2015TIBET – CHINA China’s Communist Party will pick the “next Dalai Lama, period!” The party’s politburo met in Beijing chaired by President Xi Jinping to settle the “Tibetan question” once and for all. No unauthorised reincarnations will be allowed. China’s Communist government wants to interfere in purely religious matters, exploiting traditions that precede the People’s Republic by centuries. For Tibetan lawmaker, this “is ridiculous at best”.
08/04/2015VIETNAM As Vietnam hits a record level of abortions, the Church leads the fight to defend life by Paul N. Hung The country has the fifth highest level of abortion in the world, the highest in Southeast Asia. More than 300,000 cases per year involve women and teenagers between 15 and 19 years. Many private and illegal abortion clinics have popped up with serious consequences for the health of young people. Church groups and movements are at work to support life, in the Diocese of Bắc Ninh, for example.
08/04/2015QATAR-US-IRAN US "accelerates" arms sales to Gulf monarchies, after "landmark deal" with Iran Secretary of State, John Kerry, defends the agreement, but also promises new weapons, more joint military exercises, a regional ballistic missile. The Gulf monarchies among the largest customers in the arms trade. Rouhani and Javad Sharif propose talks between the Islamic nations to resolve armed conflicts in Yemen and Syria.
08/04/2015PAKISTAN Another hanging in Pakistan: almost 200 executions so far in 2015 Appeals useless for Shafqat Hussain, convicted of murder when he was 14. According to his lawyers, his confession was obtained by torture. After lifting its moratorium on the death penalty, Pakistan is set to have the highest rate of executions worldwide
08/03/2015PAKISTAN Faisalabad bishop tells religious that their work is a model of spiritual and temporal well-being by Skafique Khokhar At a meeting that is part of the celebrations of the Year of the Consecrated Life, the prelate tells religious orders that they perform great work at the local level despite ongoing acts of terrorism and violence, and the poverty of the Christian community. Mgr Arshad warns them however to watch out for self-proclaimed pastors who sow “divisions among Christians." The Catholic Church must act “before it is too late", but with patience and kindness for those who "shut their ears to the truth and turn to myths."
08/03/2015RUSSIA Moscow's decision to destroy embargoed food causes controversy by Nina Achmatova The Kremlin recently approved a decision to seize and destroy goods, including food under embargo. The latter was imposed last year in response to Western sanctions. Civil society groups and religious leaders suggest they be given to charities.
08/03/2015IRAQ For Erbil archbishop, education will save Christians from the barbarity of the Islamic State A year after the invasion of the Nineveh plain, Mgr Bashar Warda spoke the situation of Christian refugees. The Kurdish region is "safe" haven but "we are waiting for the liberation" of our lands. Housing, health care, and education remain the priority. To ensure a Christian future in Iraq, education and literacy are the right response to Jihadi violence.