January 2012

Report on the 2011 Lenten Campaign
(Friday, 20 January 2012 )

Hong Kong (SE): In response to the Lenten Campaign of 2011, the Lenten Collection and Allocation Committee reported that $6.4 million was raised. Bernard Chan, chairperson of the committee said that the collection represented an encouraging increase of some 15 per cent over the previous year. He expressed his gratitude to all donors and volunteers who contributed their efforts and sacrifices to help the needy in a positive response to the year’s theme...

Kung Hei Fat Choi!
(Friday, 20 January 2012 )

Best wishes for a happy and blessed Year of the dragon from the staff of the Sunday Examiner!

Revised prayer service to counter impression that the creation of cardinals is a sacrament
(Friday, 13 January 2012 )


Vatican City (CNS): Pope Benedict XVI will use a revised, streamlined prayer service to create 22 new cardinals in February, partly  to avoid giving the impression that becoming a cardinal is a sacrament or quasi-sacrament.

“The rite used up to now has been revised and simplified with the approval of the Holy Father Benedict XVI,” reported the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, on...

African women struggle more than others during food crisis
(Friday, 13 January 2012 )

NAIROBI (CNS): The year 2011 was not good for women such as Joan Ochieng of Nairobi, Kenya. Just about everything was a struggle. 

“We were not treated fairly,” said the single mother, noting the many pressures, including spiralling food prices that caused her and her family of four children and one grandchild to often go to bed hungry. 

When things...

Around the Traps
(Friday, 13 January 2012 )

Blessed John Paul II’s childhood Jewish friend dies in Rome at 90 

ROME (CNS): Jerzy Kluger, Blessed Pope John Paul II’s lifelong Jewish friend, who had a deep impact on the pope’s commitment to improved Catholic-Jewish relations, died in Rome on December 31 at the age of 90. 

Both Kluger and Karol Wojtyla grew up in in Wadowice, Poland, and...

Pope John Paul II tried to end 1981 Irish hunger strike
(Friday, 13 January 2012 )

DUBLIN (CNS): Declassified British documents reveal the extent to which Pope John Paul II offered to intervene and bring and end to the 1981 hunger strike by Provisional Irish Republican Army prisoners in a British jail in Northern Ireland. 

The documents claim that the leader, Bobby Sands, was willing to suspend the fast just days before he died. The offer was conveyed to the British authorities by the pope...

Extremists issue more threats against Christians in Nigeria
(Friday, 13 January 2012 )

MAIDUGURI and VATICAN CITY (CNS/agencies): In the wake of the Christmas Day bombings of churches and other targets in Nigeria by Boko Haram, a Nigerian group that purports to be inspired by Islam, the country’s president, Goodluck Jonathan, declared a state of emergency in parts of four states hard hit by violence. 

The bombings killed more than 40 people, including Muslim passersby (Sunday Examiner,...

May they all be one!
(Friday, 13 January 2012 )

“May they all be one!” (John 17:21) This what the Lord Jesus prayed during the Last Supper. With the perspective of later historical developments, he had good reason to make this prayer. The Second Vatican Council noted that the Christian denominations “differ in mind and go their different ways, as if Christ himself were divided. Such division openly contradicts the will of Christ, scandalises the world and damages the holy cause of...

Pope names new major penitentiary
(Friday, 13 January 2012 )

VATICAN CITY (CNS): Pope Benedict XVI has named Portuguese Archbishop Manuel Monteiro de Castro, the 73-year-old secretary of the Congregation for Bishops, to head the Apostolic Penitentiary, a Church court dealing with indulgences, serious sins and matters of conscience. The Vatican announced the appointment January 5.

Archbishop Monteiro de Castro was born 29 March 1938, and was ordained to the priesthood in 1961...

Keep vigilant says Boston cardinal on abuse scandal
(Friday, 13 January 2012 )

BOSTON (CNS): “Our Church will never forget the clergy sexual abuse crisis,” said Sean Cardinal O’Malley of Boston, in a document marking the 10th anniversary of the scandal that first rocked the archdiocese in January 2002, the reverberations of which continue to be felt. 

“The traumatic and painful days we experienced 10 years ago rightfully forced us to address the issue honestly and...