June 2012

Around the Traps
(Thursday, 21 June 2012 )


West Bank priest says Obama must be more supportive of Abbas 

JERUSALEM (CNS): “America has to support President Abbas” to provide a better life for the people, said Father Firas Aridah, of St. Joseph parish in Jifna, the West Bank. He said the president of the United States of America (US), Barack Obama, must be more pro-active in his support of Palestinian president,...

Reform is not criticism of religious congregations says archbishop
(Thursday, 21 June 2012 )

VATICAN CITY (CNS): A Vatican-ordered reform of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) is not directed at women’s religious congregations or at any individual sisters, nor is it a statement on the general quality of religious life today, said Archbishop Peter Sartain, from Seattle, who is overseeing the controversial measure.

The archbishop said, “The impression is given that the Holy Father...

Christians a primary target in Syria
(Thursday, 21 June 2012 )

QUSAYR (SE): Christians in the town of Qusayr, Syria, were given an ultimatum by the armed forces of the opposition parties on June 2 to get out of town within six days.

Fides reported that the chief of the armed opposition, Abdel Salam Harba, gave the order and named June 8 as the deadline.

The Rome-based news agency said that the order would affect over 10,000 Christians,...

Freedom to choose life
(Thursday, 21 June 2012 )

“I see abortion as murder… I am asking you, what’s the difference between killing a baby inside a mother’s womb and killing a baby after birth,” an announcement made in Ankara by the prime minister of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on May 28, says.

While his bold words caused waves rather than ripples across Turkey, bringing the parliamentary opposition, together with pro-abortion...

Aid organisations sound alarm as west Africa faces another food crisis
(Thursday, 21 June 2012 )

WASHINGTON (CNS): Millions of people in west Africa’s Sahel region face severe food shortages that could be catastrophic if international aid falls short in the coming weeks, according to representatives of Catholic and other humanitarian organisations.

“The crisis is already here. People are already starving in some parts of the region,” said Bill Worms, Sahel communications officer for Caritas...

Shrine now a national pilgrimage site
(Thursday, 21 June 2012 )

Nagasaki (UCAN): Nishizaka hill, Nagasaki, the site of the 1597 martyrdom of Paul Miki and companions, was declared a national pilgrimage site at a June 10 ceremony, two days after the 150th anniversary of their canonisation in 1862.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Japan decided at its plenary session last February to mark the anniversary by making the declaration.


Court finds priest guilty of murder
(Thursday, 21 June 2012 )

Bei’an (UCAN): A court in Heilongjiang province has sentenced a local priest to 15 years in prison for the murder of the ex-husband of a parishioner last year.

Father Shang Kanfa was arrested last year after an altercation with a man who came to the construction site of the new Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ Church in Hailun city looking for his ex-wife and armed with a screwdriver (Sunday Examiner, 11 September...

Cardinal Zen speaks of a weakened Church in China
(Thursday, 21 June 2012 )

VICENZA (UCAN): The former bishop of Hong Kong, Joseph Cardinal Zen Ze-kiun, said that the Vatican has adopted a new course in its relations with the Chinese government and the state-sponsored official Church.

Speaking in Vicenza, Italy, he said, “I think the Holy See now has decided to tackle the real problem, and that is the (Chinese Catholic) Patriotic Association,” Cardinal Zen said.

How Internet rules affect opinion-making in China
(Thursday, 21 June 2012 )

China has required people registering for the weibo microblog site to use their real names since late March.

I have spent a few days learning from a thousand of my friends who use QQ, an instant messaging system commonly used in China, about how they use social media. My study is not authoritative, but it at least sheds some light on the situation.

Ninety per cent of my...

A watershed for Christianity in China
(Thursday, 21 June 2012 )

WEST LAFAYETTE (SE): “1989 was a watershed year for conversions to Christianity in China,” said Yang Fenggang, a professor from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, the United States of America, on June 4, the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre in Beijing.

He explained that many of the people involved in Tiananmen have become Christians in the ensuing years, calling it a quiet...