February 2012

Cancellations and news blackouts dog German chancellor’s visit to China
(Saturday, 11 February 2012 )

GUANGZHOU (SE): German chancellor, Angela Merkel, had a dogged time during her brief visit to the southern city of Guangzhou in China, with a total media blackout enforced by Chinese security on her meeting with Bishop Gan Junqiu on February 4.

However, Bishop Gan spoke with UCA News about their 30-minute chat. “Merkel asked me about the basic condition of the Guangzhou diocese and the Church in Guangdong...

Increase in Hong Kong’s Catholic population
(Saturday, 11 February 2012 )

Hong Kong (UCAN): A new study, conducted by the Diocesan Building and Development Commission,  has shown that the Catholic population of Hong Kong has grown in recent years, but the ratio of priests to lay people has diminished.

The study compiled data from the Hong Kong Catholic Church Directory from its beginnings in 1954 through to 2010.

The data showed that the...

Turning green while seeing red
(Saturday, 11 February 2012 )

Hong Kong (UCAN): As Chinese New Year celebrations drew to a close, the Hong Kong Central Council of Catholic Laity called on people to think green and reuse the environmentally friendly red Laisee envelopes it had printed.

Laisee (hongbao in Putonghua) is a monetary gift placed in a small red envelope  given to people, especially children, during the 15-day new year celebrations or on other special occasions...

A thank you from Caritas
(Saturday, 11 February 2012 )

HONG KONG (SE): “It is a chance to thank our benefactors,” the director of Caritas Hong Kong, Father Michael Yeung Ming-cheung, said at a tea reception to mark the beginning of spring in the Caritas Community Hall, Central, on February 3.

And if spring is a sign of new life, the 250 guests were treated to live-show of budding new life and talent as students from the Caritas Nursery School in Ta Kwu Ling...

The marginalised are a primary concern of the Church priests hear
(Saturday, 11 February 2012 )

HONG KONG (SE): The annual January priests’ study camp in the diocese of Hong Kong looked at some of the challenges being faced by the Church from the political, economic and social points of view.

Both speakers and participants said during the camp that the age-old vocation of Christians to uphold the interest of the poor is as valid today as it ever was.

Held at Holy...

Vatican signs treaties against drug trade organised crime and terrorism
(Saturday, 4 February 2012 )

VATICAN CITY (CNS): The Vatican signed three international treaties supporting the fight against the illegal drug trade, financing terrorism and organised crime on January 25. 

By signing onto these international legal instruments, the Vatican “confirms its intention as well as its effective and practical commitment to collaborate with the international community in a manner consistent with its nature and...

Turning South Africa into security state
(Saturday, 4 February 2012 )


CAPE TOWN (CNS): A law passed in November by the parliament of South Africa to protect state secrets could turn the country into a security state, the archbishop of Cape Town maintains.

Archbishop Stephen Brislin says that the Protection of State Information Bill, which allows any government agency to apply for classification of information that is deemed as being valuable to the state, would criminalise the...

Introspection on India’s Republic Day
(Saturday, 4 February 2012 )

 By Aruna Bhowmick


As we celebrate our Republic Day, it is time for some soul searching. How much progress have we made in the past six decades and how vibrant is our democracy?

When we talk of our 65 years as a democracy what immediately flashes before our eyes is a market that seems to stretch across all our sensibilities and technology in all its manifestations—most...

Official approval given to Neocatechumate celebrations
(Saturday, 4 February 2012 )

VATICAN (SE): After a long period of controversy, discussion and negotiation, the Vatican has given formal approval to the special celebrations that characterise the Neocatechumenal Way.

At a January 20 meeting with over 7,000 members of the lay movement, Pope Benedict XVI strongly endorsed its apostolic outreach.

However, he also acknowledged the controversy that has dogged...

L’Osservatore puts Standard and Poor’s under fire
(Saturday, 4 February 2012 )


VATICAN CITY (CWNews.com): The Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, ripped into the credit-rating agency, Standard and Poor’s, for its decision to downgrade the bonds of nine European countries in the first week of January.

The decision from Standard and Poor’s came at a time when credit markets were beginning to recover from earlier worries, the Vatican newspaper claims in an article...