January 2012

A prophet of what?
(Friday, 27 January 2012 )


The Lunar New Year has been celebrated and a new spring has begun. The soothsayers have also been busy with their predictions for the Year of the Dragon.

Forecasters, a much more modern word than soothsayers, have offered us their predictions for everything from romance to our bank balances. Some look to ancient calendars, like the Mayan calendar, and offer us prophecies of doom, which frighten many children...

The world is real
(Friday, 20 January 2012 )

The question of detachment occurs in every religious community. Through the ages, people have recognised that true freedom comes through detachment. If we are obsessed with our possessions, then those now things possess us—we no longer possess them.

Some religions teach us to withdraw completely from the world, detaching ourselves from everything, even life itself. Others teach us to withdraw from the world as...

Third Sunday of the Year
(Friday, 20 January 2012 )

Mass of the Sunday, Gloria, Creed, preface for the Sunday (green).
Jonah 3:1-5, 10; 
1 Corinthians 7:29-31; 
Mark 1:14-20.

Colossians 3:12-17;...

Around the Traps
(Friday, 20 January 2012 )

Landmark victory for religious freedom in US Supreme Court ruling

Washington (CWNews): In a landmark January 11 decision, the Supreme Court of the United States of America (US) ruled that religious bodies should set their own standards for hiring ministers, free from government interference. 

The unanimous decision in the case of Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran...

Ethiopian Church moves to address food needs in the face of climate change
(Friday, 20 January 2012 )

ADDIS ABABA (CNS): The climate change-induced drought that has afflicted the Horn of Africa presents an opportunity for the Catholic Church in Ethiopia to work more closely with the government in addressing food shortages and development concerns, said Father Hailegebriel Meleku, deputy secretary general of the Ethiopian Catholic Secretariat of the Ethiopian Catholic Bishops' Conference. 

He recalled...

The good dragons
(Friday, 20 January 2012 )

Once every 12 years, we welcome the most honoured of the animals of the Chinese horoscope…the dragon! 

The Chinese New Year of 4710 is our 2012 and the dragon celebrated is the Water Dragon. There are other dragons such as the Wood Dragon, the Fire Dragon, the Earth Dragon and the Metal Dragon. 

We all enjoy reading about the animal for the year we were born...

Visions for the Year of the Dragon
(Friday, 20 January 2012 )


The Year of the Dragon arrived early this year with the news that Pope Benedict XVI had named Bishop John Tong Hon a cardinal. The appointment affirmed the importance of the role of the Hong Kong diocese as a bridge between the Church in China and the universal Church and should inspire the faithful in Hong Kong to continue to be the salt of the earth and light of the world to their brothers and sisters on the mainland.


Pope condemns the manipulation of religion to justify terrorism
(Friday, 20 January 2012 )

VATICAN CITY (CNS): Pope Benedict XVI condemned “religiously motivated terrorism” and restrictions on religious freedom during his annual address to 179 diplomats accredited to the Vatican on January 9. 

Looking both at signs of promise and areas of concern around the globe, the pope said human dignity, truth and justice demand governments safeguard all human life and recognise the importance of the...

Trade deal will make vital HIV/AIDS medicines disastrously expensive
(Friday, 20 January 2012 )

Hanoi (UCAN): The Vietnam Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS has attacked a possible trans-Pacific free trade agreement, claiming it will hamper access to cheap generic and antiretroviral drugs.

On the last day of its annual conference in Hanoi on January 9, some 312 representatives from the network signed a petition urging the government to review or reject the agreement.


Church group protests detentions
(Friday, 20 January 2012 )

Hanoi (UCAN): The Committee for Justice and Peace of Vinh diocese, Vietnam, accused security officials on January 11 of  breaking domestic and international laws in detaining nearly 20 Christian activists following a series of arrests last year.

In a posting on its website it said, “As many as 17 Catholics and Protestants have been arrested illegally.” The committee said most of those detained are...