May 2012

Building bridges to unite Christians and Muslims in Iraq
(Saturday, 12 May 2012 )

KIRKUK (AsiaNews): The Chaldean diocese of Kirkuk, northern Iraq, organised a reconciliation forum on April 25 on Building Bridges of Peace.

An initiative of Archbishop Louis Sako, the meeting brought together some 50 Christian and Muslim leaders, as well as politicians, including the provincial governor, members of councils, party chiefs and tribal sheiks; religious leaders from the Shia, Sunni and Christian...

Celebrated Catholic at 60th birthday party for nunciature in Tokyo
(Saturday, 12 May 2012 )

TOKYO (AsiaNews): On the morning of April 20, the nuncio from the Holy See to Japan, Archbishop Joseph Chennoth, held a garden reception for members of the diplomatic corps and representatives from the world of culture at the nunciature in Tokyo to mark 60 years of diplomatic relations between the Land of the Rising Sun and the Holy See.

Jun Yanagi, the director of the European division of the Japanese Ministry for...

First Shanghai Catholic praised on 450th birthday
(Saturday, 12 May 2012 )

SHANGHAI (UCAN): Mainstream media in China heaped high praise on Paul Xu Guangqi on April 24 to mark the 450th anniversary of his birth in a series of reports on commemorative events in Shanghai.

Xu was born in 1562 and was the first person from Shanghai to receive the sacrament of baptism. A close friend and collaborator of the famed Jesuit missionary, Father Matteo Ricci, who baptised him, the Holy See is...

First funeral for all the colony remembered
(Saturday, 12 May 2012 )

HONG KONG (SE): The funeral of Father (Joseph) Burghignoli is recorded as the first big function affecting not only the whole vicariate of Hong Kong, but also the whole colony, as his biographer notes that never before had so many non-Catholics been seen inside a Catholic church in the colony.

It was certainly the first big function to be held in the cathedral, the biographer of the Italian missionary records....

Obama’s proclamation narrows religious freedom ambit
(Saturday, 12 May 2012 )

WASHINGTON (SE) : Words do have meaning, Robert Tyler, from the Advocates for Faith and Freedom, commented in describing the May 1 proclamation of the president of the United States of America (US), Barack Obama, in setting a National Day of Prayer for May 3.

He described it as constituting one more step in what seems to have become a gradual process of limiting the freedom of the practice of religion in the US....

Hong Kong gives support to Chen Guangchen
(Saturday, 12 May 2012 )

HONG KONG (SE): The Justice and Peace Commission of Hong Kong diocese launched a website signature campaign addressed to the premier of China, Wen Jiabao, urging the government in Beijing to respect the civil rights of the sight impaired advocate for defenceless life, Chen Guangcheng, on May 1.

Chen escaped from house arrest on April 22 after a 19-month period of confinement. He was granted asylum in the embassy of...

Long struggle to recognise religious liberty
(Saturday, 5 May 2012 )


VATICAN CITY (CNS): Vatican historians say that the roots of the Christian concept of religious liberty go way back at least 1,700 years to the Roman emperor, Constantine.

They cite his famous victory at the Milvian Bridge in Rome and his conversion to Christianity as the beginning point.

At a Vatican conference in late April, the head of the Pontifical Committee for...

Religious liberty under pressure worldwide national prayer breakfast told
(Saturday, 5 May 2012 )


WASHINGTON (CNS): Religious liberty was the hot topic at the eighth annual National Catholic Prayer Breakfast, held on April 19 in Washington DC in the United States of America (US).

“Never in the lifetime of anyone present here, has the religious liberty of the American people been as threatened as it is today,” Carl Anderson, supreme knight of the Knights of Columbus, told the estimated 800...

Appreciating the younger generations at Vesakh
(Saturday, 5 May 2012 )


VATICAN (SE): In its message this year to the Buddhist people of the world on their feast of Vesakh, or Hana Matsuri (Flower Festival) as it is called in Japan, the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue speaks of the shared responsibility for the education of young people on the virtues of justice and peace, the importance of interreligious dialogue, and the great contribution that young people have to make to our world.

Vatican faith and doctrine now online
(Saturday, 5 May 2012 )


MANILA (Agencies): The main documents of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith can now be accessed online at

The congregation, which has the task of safeguarding Catholic doctrine, hopes to facilitate consultation on its documents.

While the website...