January 2013

Hope for human rights or window dressing?
(Saturday, 26 January 2013 )

ROME (AsiaNews): New laws that came into effect in China on 1 January 2013 provide for people picked up by the police to have immediate access to a lawyer; immediate notification of relatives of their whereabouts; and a limit on detention without trial to six months.

Bernardo Cervellera, from AsiaNews, points out that this should also apply to bishops and priests who have been imprisoned without trial, some for...

Tragic fire at orphanage prompts basic questions
(Saturday, 26 January 2013 )

HONG KONG (UCAN): A fire broke out on the morning of January 4 at an informal orphanage killing seven children who were being cared for by a woman in Lankao county, central Henan province, in China.

The tragic deaths have prompted an outrage around the country with discussions revolving around the existence of unregistered orphanages.

Yuan Lihai, locally known as Loving Mama...

Doubts China will stop indiscriminate detention
(Saturday, 26 January 2013 )

HONG KONG (UCAN): Government critics say they remain skeptical that the government will improve rights standards within the justice system, following an official announcement on January 7 that the government would overhaul the use and function of labour camps.

State media quoted Meng Jianzhu, the secretary of the Central Politics and Law Commission, as saying that China would end the practice of sending people to...

Farewell to well-loved and long-serving sister
(Saturday, 26 January 2013 )

Hong Kong (SE): Sister Eliza Joseph Chow of the Sisters of St. Paul de Chartres, died peacefully at St Paul’s Hospital, Causeway Bay, on Monday, 7 January 2013, she was 99-years-old.

Sister Chow joined the congregation in 1939 and made her first profession in 1944. She taught at the French Convent School (Anglo-French School)—now St. Paul’s Convent School, Causeway Bay. When it closed during the...

More dispute over Christian use of Allah
(Saturday, 26 January 2013 )

KUALA LUMPUR (Agencies): The Christian Federation of Malaysia, an umbrella body representing 90 per cent of Christian Churches across the country, is insisting that Christians have a constitutional right to describe its god as Allah, as the word has been in Malay-language bibles for more than 400 years, despite a Selangor decree that threatens to limit the use of the word to Muslim groups only.

In a press release on...

Church leaders in Myanmar call for peace as fighting continues
(Saturday, 26 January 2013 )

Mandalay (Agencies): Artillery shelling and fighting continued between troops of the government of the Union of Myanmar and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) in Hka Ya, near La Ja Yang, Kachin State, despite a January 19 ceasefire order from the country’s president, Thein Sein. 

According to UCA News, the spokesperson for the KIA, La Nan, said, “The … announcement has yet to reach to...

Pope names first papal nuncio to Malaysia
(Saturday, 26 January 2013 )

Rome (UCAN): Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Archbishop Joseph Marino, from the United States of America (US), as the first resident apostolic nuncio to Malaysia, after deciding to open a new nunciature in Kuala Lumpur, in what is seen as a highly significant development in relations between the Holy See and the southeast Asian Islamic state.

In the January 16 announcement, the Vatican added that Archbishop Marino...

Temples of the Holy Spirit
(Saturday, 19 January 2013 )

How should we live? This is one of the fundamental questions of life and, in all cultures, people have grappled with it. History holds many guides to help us.

St. Paul was faced with the same problem when writing to the Christians in Corinth. They lived in a difficult situation: Corinth was a famous port.

It had the usual roughhouse of
an international port today and...

Second Sunday of the Year
(Saturday, 19 January 2013 )


Mass of the Sunday, Gloria, Creed, preface of the Sunday (green).
Isaiah 62:1-5; 
1 Corinthians 12:4-11; 
John 2:1-11.

Mass of the memorial (red).

India’s caste system cast in stone
(Saturday, 19 January 2013 )

NEW DELHI (UCAN): A bill introduced into the parliament in India aimed at boosting the social status of dalits (formerly known as untouchables) and tribal people was blocked by the lower house of the parliament in New Delhi on December 20.

If passed into law, the Constitutional Amendment Bill would have introduced legislation giving the nation’s lowest castes a guaranteed quota in government job promotions....