March 2012

Women hold up half the sky…
(Saturday, 17 March 2012 )

This is the oft-quoted saying of Mao Zedong, but I like to point out that the sky is vast and we are still learning about its dimensions, whereas we know the dimensions of our planet Earth, and women stand firmly on its soil.

I would like to add to Mao’s quote by saying holding up half the sky may not be possible for anyone, but we know that women can hold down their place on earth. 

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Baptism is beginning of the long haul
(Saturday, 17 March 2012 )

At a Mass on March 3 welcoming John Cardinal Tong Hon back from Rome as a cardinal, the bishop of Hong Kong outlined his four pastoral concerns: evangelisation, promotion of vocations to the priesthood and religious life, care for non-Chinese Catholics living in the local diocese and the Church in China.

He put evangelisation as the top of his priority list and highlighted it as something that all pastors and...

Don’t pull the trigger on Iran bishops counsel
(Saturday, 17 March 2012 )

WASHINGTON DC (SE) : “Resolve conflict with Iran through diplomatic, not military means,” the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops says in a March 2 letter addressed to the secretary of state, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The bishops are encouraging their government to work to reduce nuclear arms and maintain security in the Middle East, without recourse to war.

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United States government making chilling attack on religious freedom
(Saturday, 17 March 2012 )

HONG KONG (SE): Two newspapers in the United States of America (US) have sprung to the defence of the bishops in their standoff with the president, Barack Obama, over compulsory facilitation and supply of contraceptives by religious employers, which is being imposed by the Health and Human Services Department.

A February 26 statement from Francis Cardinal George saying that the Catholic Church would be forced to...

Is Twitter becoming dictator-friendly?
(Saturday, 17 March 2012 )

BANGKOK (SE): The term Twitter Revolution has been in wide use during the Arab Spring, with walls of Middle East capital cities covered with messages thanking the network for its support during troubled times.

However, Reporters Without Borders is asking if these notes of thanks may already obsolete, as the site has announced that it is introducing country-specific censorship in order to satisfy local laws....

More Church land disputed in Vietnam
(Saturday, 17 March 2012 )

HO CHI MINH CITY (SE): Within days of the conclusion of what was described as a satisfactory Holy See-Vietnam government confab, which ended in Hanoi on February 27, AsiaNews reports that more land claimed by the Redemptorist congregation in Ho Chi Minh City has been confiscated by the government.

Although it has been home to a kindergarten for decades, the Redemptorists are pointing out that since the kindergarten...

Top Pakistan brass honours memory of Catholic minister
(Saturday, 17 March 2012 )

ISLAMABAD (SE): Two events in the Pakistan capital of Islamabad at the beginning of March may indicate that a new breeze is blowing through the corridors of parliament and the presidential palace in regards to the status of non-Muslims, and religious and ethnic minority groups in the volatile state.

On March 2, the anniversary of the assassination of the former minister for minority affairs, Shahbaz Bhatti, the...

Salesians farewell remarkable confrère
(Saturday, 17 March 2012 )

 

Hong Kong (SE): On March 9, his 86th birthday, Salesian Brother Joseph Ao Hoi-in died at around 10.30pm, at Pamela Youde Eastern Hospital, Chai Wan. 

His rector, sole surviving cousin and a friend were with him. Only two hours earlier, Joseph Cardinal Zen Ze-kiun, the former bishop of Hong Kong, with his young confrères had come to pray at his bedside. Brother Ao had been rushed to hospital that...

The hour the earth shook and the waters swelled
(Saturday, 17 March 2012 )

HONG KONG (SE): As the clock ticked down to 1.46pm on March 11, the hour that the earth began to shake last year and the mighty tsunami that swept into the province of Fukushima, Japan, began to swell, Frances Tong and Anglican Pastor Fung Chi Wood, laid a wreath before a large photograph of the stark trunks of two trees standing desolate in the snow, at the opening of a photographic exhibition in Central Plaza, Wanchai.

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Nuclear power is a threat to world security
(Saturday, 17 March 2012 )

HONG KONG (SE): A paper released by the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns in New York, the United States of America (US), immediately prior to the March 11 anniversary of the nuclear disaster that still plagues Japan in Fukushima, states that we need to move away from the tried and trusted ways of seeking security, as they simply do not work.

It states that from the standpoint of promoting peace, social justice...