March 2012

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...

Legal amendments in China a positive development but big worries remain
(Saturday, 24 March 2012 )

HONG KONG (SE): A draft of an amendment to the Criminal Procedural Law making clear that confessions extracted under torture, as well as depositions obtained through violence, threats or any illegal means should be excluded as evidence from the courtroom, was submitted to the Eleventh National People’s Congress held during March in Beijing, China.

The amendment also moves to define and describe exactly what...

A time for healing and forgiveness not grilling
(Saturday, 24 March 2012 )

HONG KONG (SE): On the third, fourth and fifth Sundays of Lent, parishes preparing to welcome adults and older children as new members of the Church through baptism at Easter, celebrate what is known as the scrutinies.

As the name suggests, the scrutinies involve a questioning of those presenting themselves for baptism. However, rather than an examination, it is regarded more as a rite of healing and strengthening...

St. Pius X Society refuses to toe the bottom line
(Saturday, 24 March 2012 )

VATICAN (SE): Another overture from the Holy See to the recalcitrant Society of St. Pius X has met a brick wall, with the superior general, Bishop Bernard Fellay, refusing to toe the Vatican’s bottom line on March 16.

Bishop Fellay had already rejected a Doctrinal Preamble presented to him by William Cardinal Levada on behalf of Pope Benedict XVI.

The pope had...

Thank you very much
(Saturday, 17 March 2012 )

We end each Mass with the phrase, “Thanks be to God!” It sums up for us the whole thanksgiving experience of our Mass.

And today is really a Mass of thanksgiving, because our readings review how generous and loving our God has been to us. In Lent, we can look beyond our daily little problems and lift our eyes and our hearts to the very good news about God, the lover.


Fourth Sunday of Lent
(Saturday, 17 March 2012 )

Mass of the Sunday, Creed, preface for the fourth Sunday of Lent (rose).
2 Chronicles 36:14-16, 19-23;
Ephesians 2:4-10; 
John 3:14-21.

Mass of the...

A wakeup call on the cash splash
(Saturday, 17 March 2012 )

HONG KONG (SE): Spending is a culture deeply ingrained in all of us. We can splash the cash and wave the credit card almost as compulsively as we breathe the air.

The moment we wake up we are already pondering our choices, from breakfast to the daily newspapers, magazines and a host of other things.

However, what we want may not always be what we need. We buy out of habit...