August 2012

Magistrates order trial for papal assistant involved in VatiLeaks
(Saturday, 18 August 2012 )

VATICAN CITY (CNS): Vatican magistrates have formally indicted Pope Benedict XVI’s personal assistant, Paolo Gabriele, on charges of aggravated theft, as well as a computer technician from the Vatican Secretariat of State on minor charges of aiding Gabriele after he stole Vatican correspondence. 

The publication on August 13 of the decision of Piero Bonnet, the Vatican’s investigating judge,...

Papal greetings to interreligious meeting in Japan
(Saturday, 11 August 2012 )

VATICAN CITY (Agencies): “The commitment to the cause of peace by religious leaders is of the greatest importance and I am happy to learn that, thanks to your efforts, the Summit on Mount Hiei has become a major annual event that contributes effectively to dialogue between people of different beliefs,” Pope Benedict XVI said in an August 3 message to the Venerable Kojun Handa, supreme priest of the Tendai Buddhist Denomination, on the occasion...

Year of Faith does hold the promise of renewal
(Saturday, 11 August 2012 )

Pope Benedict XVI announced the Year of Faith in his Porta Fidei (Door of Faith) letter last October. It will be inaugurated on October 11 this year, a day that marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the Second Vatican Council and the 20th anniversary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Such significant memorials have something in common: the renewal of the Church and of our faith. This was also the...

Can China make it on the world stage?
(Saturday, 11 August 2012 )

HONG KONG (AsiaNews): As China is being touted more and more on the world stage as a world power, with some suggesting it stands on a par with the United States of America (US), Liu Peng, the director of the Pu Shi Institute for Social Sciences in Beijing, is asking whether China can truly lay claim to that title or not.

In a lecture delivered in 2011, Liu proposes that China’s greatness on the world stage is...

Olympic athletes reflect
(Saturday, 11 August 2012 )

LONDON (SE): Missy Franklin, who won her first gold medal at the London Olympic Games on July 30 in the 100-metre backstroke, told belief.net that although she was raised in an environment that was not particularly religious, she feels a profound sense of peace upon entering the halls of Regis Jesuit High School in Aurora, Colorado, in her native United States of America (US).

“Every day over the last three...

Mass for opening of Olympic Games reflects on 100 Days of Peace
(Saturday, 11 August 2012 )

LONDON (SE): In the run up to the July 27 opening of the Olympic Games being held in London, the uNited Kingdom, Catholic schools in London, Essex, Kent and Hertfordshire are taking part in a 100 Days of Peace programme.

“The classic virtues of temperance, fortitude, justice and courage are explored as the foundation of true human achievement, whether in citizenship or in sport,” Archbishop Vincent...

Human rights need religious freedom
(Saturday, 11 August 2012 )

The United Nations (UN) Universal Declaration on Human Rights of 1948 and the subsequent attention paid to it has without doubt improved the lot of ordinary citizens in a wide variety of ways.

The Catholic Church was able to easily subscribe to this declaration as it fitted in well with its natural law tradition, which tries to contain the explosive nature of rights as an instrument for promoting the growth of state...

Vatican Observatory director says Curiosity will expand human knowledge
(Saturday, 11 August 2012 )

VATICAN CITY (CNS): Father Jose Funes, director of the Vatican Observatory, is pleased with the successful landing of the Curiosity rover on Mars and he thinks “everybody should be happy with the success.” 

Father Funes said the rover’s mission is important in order “to see if we can learn a bit more about Mars and the possibility of organic elements on the surface of Mars,” which...

Young people flood Rio for launch of World Youth Day prayer
(Saturday, 11 August 2012 )

RIO DE JANEIRO (Agencies): On the evening of July 13, thousands of young people flocked to Rio de Janeiro for the release of the official World Youth Day prayer as preparations for next year’s global Catholic youth gathering continue.

“The prayer was made so that in a more intense and focussed manner people may pray for the intentions we have for this one-year countdown mark which is already drawing near...

President wants action on Soeharto massacre
(Saturday, 11 August 2012 )

JAKARTA (UCAN): The president of Indonesia, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, has ordered the attorney general to follow up on the findings of the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM), which has determined that the crackdown on the communist presence 45 years ago was a gross violation of human rights.

“We must be clear, honest and objective about what happened in the past. We’re not going to distort the...