March 2012

Sri Lankan bishop pushes against the tide in call for civil war inquiry
(Saturday, 31 March 2012 )

COLOMBO (SE): “Given the consistent denial of the Sri Lankan government about the scale and nature of wartime abuses, as well as pre-war and post-war concerns, refusal to address these, and given the seriousness of the allegations levelled at it as one of the parties to such abuses, we believe it is an independent international body that could best address concerns of truth seeking,” Bishop Rayappu Joseph, from Mannar in northern Sri Lanka,...

Taiwan opens its arms to theological students from China
(Saturday, 24 March 2012 )

TAIPEI (UCAN): Taiwan is fast becoming the stop for students from mainland China wanting to complete theology courses.

The Church is currently gearing up to welcome its second influx from across the strait.

Archbishop John Hung Shan-chuan said on March 15 that the Church is gearing up to open its arms to welcome them.

“About 30...

Cardinal Tong looks to opportunities in China
(Saturday, 24 March 2012 )

VATICAN (SE): “Through dialogue we can always achieve a win-win situation,” newly created cardinal, John Cardinal Tong Hon, told Gerard O’Connell in a wide-ranging interview at the Vatican published by the Vatican Insider on March 19.

The bishop of Hong Kong explained that that this is always his starting point with Chinese government officials, as he believes that ignorance on both sides of the...

Vatican search for common discourse
(Saturday, 24 March 2012 )

VATICAN (SE): The Vatican published a new document on March 8 entitled, Theology Today: Perspectives, principles and criteria.

Prepared by the International Theological Commission, it was released in English and is an effort to provide a common discourse in order to communicate the message of Christ more clearly.

The Vatican Information Service described it as examining...

Delayed ordinations 
in Shanghai
(Saturday, 24 March 2012 )

SHANGHAI (SE): Seven deacons were ordained to the priesthood in a packed St. Ignatius Cathedral in Shanghai, on March 17, by the 95-year-old Bishop Aloysius Luxian.

The ordinations had been postponed for some months due to the illness of Bishop Jin. However, at 95-years-of-age, local people are asking if he may be the oldest bishop in the world still active in ordaining new priests.


The legacy of Archbishop Oscar Romero lives on
(Saturday, 24 March 2012 )

HONG KONG (SE): On 23 February 1977, the bespectacled former seminary professor, Bishop Oscar Romero, became the archbishop of San Salvador, the capital city of El Salvador.

His appointment delighted the conservative hierarchy and the business community as much as it disappointed the priests involved in the social struggle of the poor.

Yet, just one year later, the darling...

Closed-circle elections not democratic
(Saturday, 24 March 2012 )

March 25 is the fifth Sunday of Lent. In the gospel reading of the Mass, Jesus Christ speaks of himself as a grain of wheat that falls to the ground and dies. He rose from the dead three days after being crucified, opening the way to salvation to all people. This text is a timely reminder of the virtues of faith, hope and charity.

March 25 also sees the election of a new chief executive in Hong Kong. The campaigning...

Japanese bishops call for an anti-nuclear Lent
(Saturday, 24 March 2012 )

TOKYO (SE): “Desire is not evil,” the Japanese bishops say in their Lenten Message for this year. “Without appetite, people cannot live a healthy life.”

However, the bishops also insist that appetite must be tempered, lest it lead to self harm or bring suffering and destruction to self or others.

They apply this to the whole of nature, saying that...

Copt pope mourned worldwide
(Saturday, 24 March 2012 )


CAIRO (SE): Three people died in St. Mark’s Cathedral in Cairo, Egypt, when the crowd stampeded in the overcrowded church while mourning the death of Pope Shenouda III, the leader of the Coptic Orthodox Church, who died at the age of 88 on March 17.

The Coptic pope will be buried in the monastery of St. Bishov, Wadi Natrum, in the Nile Delta, where he spent time in exile after being banished by the...

Slating illicit bishop for ordinations sparks uproar
(Saturday, 24 March 2012 )

DALI (UCAN): The first ordination of three priests from Dali since it was established as a diocese in 1946, sparked an uproar on March 12, when it was announced that the illicitly ordained Bishop Joseph Ma Yinglin is scheduled to be the ordaining bishop at the ceremony, which is set for March 26.

Bishop Ma, from Kunming in Yunnan, is the only government-recognised bishop in the province. He is also president of the...