September 2011

Year of the Laity gets another 12 months
(Thursday, 15 September 2011 )

  HONG KONG (SE): Citing the positive experience of the Hong Kong diocese in what has been celebrated as the Year of the Laity, Bishop John Tong Hon announced on September 3 that he is extending the year until the end of December next year.

The bishop said that after what has been the best part of a positive year, he has decided to extend the celebration of the Year of the Laity, “because with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the numbers of...

Challenge to confessional seal challenges basis of free society
(Thursday, 15 September 2011 )

HONG KONG (SE): One of the most sacred beliefs and practices, the absolute seal of the confessional, is at stake in the Republic of Ireland, which is a matter of concern for the whole of the free world.

The prime minister, Enda Kenny, has been widely reported as threatening legislation to make reporting of sexual abuse of minors a mandatory act, even if the information is gleaned under the seal of confession....

Bishop asks for prayer for judicial review on education
(Thursday, 15 September 2011 )

HONG KONG (SE): A judicial review in the Court of Final Appeal granted in favour of a petition filed by the diocese of Hong Kong against the Education (Amendment) Ordinance 2004, passed in the Legislative Council in July 2004, requiring the introduction of Incorporated Management Bodies in partly-funded government-aided schools will be heard on October 3 and 4.

Bishop John Tong Hon is appealing to all people in the...

Message for Ramadan stresses respect for the person
(Thursday, 8 September 2011 )

 VATICAN (SE): To mark the August 20 conclusion of the sacred month of Ramadan, observed as a time of fasting by Muslims the world over, the president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, Jean-Louis Cardinal Tauran, said in a message that Christians and Muslims “are too often witnesses to the violation of the sacred, the mistrust of which those who call themselves believers are the target.”
The statement, signed by the cardinal and the secretary of the...

Smoking and the Bible
(Thursday, 8 September 2011 )

 On May 31, the world celebrated World No Tobacco Day. The Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) of the World Health Organisation (WHO), the first treaty under the organisation’s constitution, was adopted on 21 May 2003 and came into force on 27 February 2005. It has become one of the most rapidly and widely embraced treaties in United Nations history. 
The FCTC was developed in response to the globalisation of the tobacco trade consumption and is an evidence-based treaty...

Communion and mission 
in lay ministry
(Thursday, 8 September 2011 )

 The more than eight months since the Hong Kong diocese began the Year of the Laity with a series of formation programmes have passed in the twinkle of an eye. Various organisations, including the Task Unit of the Diocesan Year of the Laity, diocesan formation groups and parishes, have conducted a variety of activities to deepen the awareness of Christian identity among people and to...

Czech bishop celebrates 60th anniversary
(Thursday, 8 September 2011 )

 VATICAN CITY (Agencies): Pope Benedict XVI has given public recognition to 87-year-old Ján Cardinal Chryzostom Korec, who was ordained clandestinely as a bishop in 1951, when he was a newly-ordained 27-year-old priest in Communist-ruled Czechoslovakia.
The pope called him a hard-working, faithful and prudent pastor in a letter sent to the cardinal in Latin, which was later made public on the 60th anniversary of his episcopal ordination.
L’Osservatore Romano described the...

Vatican responds to Irish government report on clerical sexual abuse
(Thursday, 8 September 2011 )

 VATICAN CITY (CNS): The Vatican is forcefully denying it undermined the Irish bishops’ efforts to protect children from sexual abuse and characterises claims made by Irish prime minister, Enda Kenny, that it tried to interfere in government investigations into Church handling of sex abuse cases as unfounded, in a 19-page communiqué, issued on September 3.
The communiqu...

Man dies in fight with priest
(Thursday, 8 September 2011 )

 HAILUN (UCAN): A man died after a scuffle involving 46-year-old Father Shang Kanfa, a parish priest in northeastern Hailun City, Heilongjiang province, Harbin diocese, on August 26.
The dead man, named Wang, was the estranged husband of a community leader in the parish, a woman by the name of Gao.
A fight broke out at the Sacred Heart of Jesus church, which is under repair, when it is alleged Wang turned up carrying a screwdriver and looking for his ex-wife.
Eyewitnesses at the church...

Three deacons ordained in Shaanxi
(Thursday, 8 September 2011 )

 YAN’AN (Agencies): Three men were ordained deacons by Bishop Giovanni Battista Yang Xialting in Yan’An, Shaanxi province, on August 30, Fides reports. The Rome-based agency describes the diocese of Yan’An as being full of pastoral and missionary enthusiasm.
Yan’an covers an area of 80,000 square kilometres in north Shaanxi and has a Catholic population of about 50,000, with 10 seminarians and a 24 religious women belonging to the two congregations of the...