August 2011

Don’t define well-being as economic progress
(Thursday, 25 August 2011 )

  HONG KONG (UCAN) : The Justice and Peace Commission issued a warning to the mainland Chinese government on August 18 not to define the progress of the nation solely in terms of economic prosperity, saying it is necessary to take the values of human well-being into account to get a more balanced perspective on the overall social development.

A petition letter addressed to the vice premier of China, Li Keqiang, which the commission hoped to...

Group of 39 condemns migrant worker bashing over right of abode issue
(Thursday, 25 August 2011 )

  HONG KONG (SE): “Their names and reputations are (being) blackened by particular politicians who intend to gain political advantage in the year of the elections,” reads a statement released on August 15 by a group of 39 civic organisations in Hong Kong.

It refers to appeals by five Filipino migrant or former migrant workers against a decision of the Immigration Department to deny them the right of abode.


Ecumenical Peace Convocation calls on Churches to jettison just war theories
(Wednesday, 3 August 2011 )

 KINGSTON (SE): The phrase, “Glory to God and peace on earth,” was described as being one of the oldest and most often repeated declarations of the desire for peace, by Reverend Olav Fykse Tveit, the general secretary of the World Council of Churches, speaking at the May 17 to 25 International Ecumenical Peace Convocation, attended by over 1,000 people at the University of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica.

The Reverend Tveit said that to seriously pursue peace in...

River project blamed for bridge collapse
(Wednesday, 3 August 2011 )

 SEOUL (UCAN): The collapse of an historic railway bridge at Waegwan, in the province of Gyeongsangbuk-do, South Korea, on June 25 is being interpreted as a warning that even bigger disasters may lie ahead as a result of the much criticised, pet Four River’s Dam Project of the current president, Lee Myung Park.

The 469-metre steel span of the bridge snapped in the middle, causing the two sides to fall into the water beneath. It has been used as a footbridge since it was...

The dangerous memories of Nagasaki
(Wednesday, 3 August 2011 )

 HONG KONG (SE): Japan could well celebrate Easter between August 6 and 9, the anniversaries of the 1945 atomic bombing of the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which in so many ways tell the story of the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ.

While the memories involved with both events are vital, from a Christian point of view, Nagasaki takes on a particular significance because of the high percentage of Catholic people among the victims, most of whom were also descendents of...

Preaching dangerous memories
(Wednesday, 3 August 2011 )

 World memories of the atomic bombs that were dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9 just 66 years ago received a shot in the arm in the United States of America (US) with the discovery of previously suppressed photographs of the first days of the devastation.

A decision was made in 1945 by then-US president, Harry Truman, not to circulate them for fear of the negative reaction that may come from not only the Japanese, but his own people. He...

Nuclear weapons are simply not on says Church diplomat
(Wednesday, 3 August 2011 )

 KANSAS CITY (SE): “A world without nuclear weapons is not only possible, it has now become urgent,” Archbishop Francis Chulikatt told a gathering organised by the Human Rights Office of the diocese of Kansas City in the United States of America (US) on June 4.

The Vatican representative to the United Nations (UN) in New York said the US$100 billion ($777.8 billion) a year nuclear arms industry has moved away from its commitment to disarmament and the “very...

Hong Kong-based priest refused entry to China
(Wednesday, 3 August 2011 )

 HONG KONG (UCAN): Father Franco Mella, a Hong Kong-based priest with the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Mission Society, was refused entry to China at the Lo Wu border on July 19. He was detained at the immigration counter before being informed that his visa, which he obtained in July, had been cancelled.

Father Mella said that he was escorted to a room, where he watched television for an hour, before being escorted back to the Hong Kong immigration authorities. He believes...

tican statements on illicit ordinations get mixed reactions
(Wednesday, 3 August 2011 )

 HONG KONG (UCAN): The two statements released by the Vatican on July 4 and 16 stating that two bishops illicitly ordained on June 29 and July 14, Father Paul Lei Shiyin, from Leshan; and Father Joseph Huang Bingzhang, from Shantou; have fallen into a state of self-imposed excommunication contain significant differences, commentators say.

The July 16 statement on Father Huang Bingzhang has drawn a bigger reaction than the July 4 one on Father Lei.

A bishop who...

Champion of the marginalised and disadvantaged dies at 98
(Wednesday, 3 August 2011 )

 Macau (SE): Father Luis Ruiz, of the Society of Jesus, who opened the doors of Casa Ricci, the Jesuit residence in Macau to the needy and marginalised in 1951, died on July 26 at the Centro Hospitalar Conde de São Januário, Macau. 

He would have been 98-years-old on September 21. 

He started Casa Ricci Social Services, which grew into what is Caritas de Macau today. 

He was also instrumental in setting up a variety of charitable...