December 2012

First Indian layperson beatified
(Saturday, 8 December 2012 )

TAMIL NADU (Agencies): Devasahayam Pillai became the first lay person from India to be made a blessed by the Church at a ceremony presided over by Anglo Cardinal Amato, the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, in Tamil Nadu, India, on December 2, reports.

Born in 1712, he was an official in the court of King Mathanada Varma and received baptism under the influence of a Dutch ship’s...

Two Taliban targets receive Mother Teresa Award
(Saturday, 8 December 2012 )

MUMBAI (AsiaNews): A former Afghan vice president, Sima Samar, and Malala Yousufzai, the 15-year-old Pakistani girl shot by the Taliban on October 9, have been chosen for the Mother Teresa Memorial International Award for Social Justice conferred by the Harmony Foundation on November 29 this year.

The president of the Harmony Foundation, Abraham Mathai, said the two women were chosen for their courage in putting...

Can barbarism against a 15-year-old girl bring blessings to many?
(Saturday, 8 December 2012 )

HONG KONG (SE): “It says much for the Taliban that they should have used the only weapon they know—a gun—against an unarmed 15-year-old schoolgirl, whose only defence against them was her brain,” F. S. Aijazuddin writes in The Indispensable Half, of the attempted assassination of a young Pakistani student, Malala Yousufzai, on October 9.

“The two cowards who shot Malala Yousufzai may...

Pope congratulates new Coptic pope
(Saturday, 8 December 2012 )

ROME (SE): Pope Benedict XVI sent a message to His Holiness Tawadros II on the occasion of his enthronement as Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of Saint Mark.

The Holy Father entrusted Kurt Cardinal Koch, the president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, to deliver his best wishes to the new head of the Coptic Orthodox Church.

“May the...

A history marked by missionary zeal
(Saturday, 8 December 2012 )

FENGXIANG (SE): Faith and evangelisation were the key words used by Bishop Lucas Li Jing Feng at a Mass celebrating the 80th anniversary of the foundation of the diocese of Fengxiang in the province of Shaanxi on November 17.

Fides reported that the festivities began on the evening of November 17 with prayer, adoration of the blessed sacrament and a procession around the church compound.


Saudi Arabia joins new centre for religious dialogue
(Saturday, 8 December 2012 )


VIENNA (SE): The King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue opened in Vienna, Austria, on November 27, as a joint venture among the governments of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Spain and Austria.

The Vatican, as a founding observer, was represented at the inauguration ceremony by Jean-Louis Cardinal Tauran, the president of the Pontifical Council for...

Spain’s bishops say same-sex marriage law damages society
(Saturday, 8 December 2012 )

MADRID (CNS): “Spanish legislation on marriage is gravely unjust—it does not protect the parties’ right to be recognised in law as husband and wife, nor the right of children and young people to be brought up as future husbands and wives, and to enjoy a father and mother in a stable family,” the Spanish Bishops’ Conference said after the country’s Constitutional Court rejected legal challenges to the 2005 same-sex...

The economy is not 
just about money
(Saturday, 8 December 2012 )

For several years workers in Hong Kong have been calling for better regulation of labour, specifically in the areas of a minimum wage and a ceiling on the number of hours an employee can be asked to work.

While the wage level has been addressed, albeit with a level lower than workers would have liked, the hours issue remains in limbo. However, the government has released the findings of the first part of its study...

New churches in China reflect mature faith
(Saturday, 8 December 2012 )

SHIJIAZHUANG (SE): In the missionary month of October several mainland parishes consecrated new churches, which local people say reflects a growing maturity in the faith of their communities and the new buildings are an eloquent expression of the lived reality of their lives.

Fides reported that over 1,000 people attended the consecration of a new church dedicated to St. Paul the Apostle in Shagou, in the diocese of...

Bishop of Taipei on the Year of Faith
(Saturday, 8 December 2012 )

TAIPEI (AsiaNews): In calling the Year of Faith a special year for the Church all over the world, Archbishop John Hung Shan-chuan, from Taipei in Taiwan, said that materialism and nihilism are two universal problems that he believes the faith has the ability to counteract.

He described the Church Taiwan as a small group of around 300,000 people plus around 100,000 Filipino migrant workers as being a significant presence, even though...