February 2013

Surprise and head scratching in China over pope’s resignation
(Saturday, 2 March 2013 )

HONG KONG (UCAN): The announcement on February 11 of the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, not only came as a surprise to Catholic people in China, but left some scratching their heads.

“Is there a hidden agenda,” a bishop in southern China asked. The middle-aged bishop said that he believes the Communist Party may take a harder line with the Church, as it could consider that it has now defeated the pope...

Landmark sentence over black jails
(Saturday, 2 March 2013 )

HONG KONG (Agencies): “Ten men have been sentenced to prison for illegally detaining people who travelled to Beijing to appeal to the government, in a possible sign the government is trying to rein in abuses,” The Christian Science Monitor reported on February 5.

In what staff writer, Peter Ford, calls an almost unprecedented sign of official disapproval, a Beijing court sentenced 10 men to prison on...

China acknowledges pope’s resignation
(Saturday, 2 March 2013 )

BEIJING (Agencies): In an acknowledgement that China has given recognition to the announcement on February 11 that Pope Benedict XVI will resign from the papacy at the end of February, Xinhua quoted Hong Lei, a spokesperson from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as saying on February 18 that the Holy See must break its relationship with Taiwan.

“China is willing to develop relations with the Vatican if the...

A joyous welcome for spring
(Saturday, 2 March 2013 )

 

Hong kong (SE): Caritas-Hong Kong held its annual spring reception on February 22, at Caritas Hall, Caine Road. Students from the Caritas Nursery School at Ta Kwu Ling, the New Territories, opened the festivities with a Lion Dance, followed by instrumental performances, singing and dancing by students from Caritas Fanling Chan Chun Ha Secondary School, New Territories.

 

Intrigue and innuendo encircle Vatican on eve of conclave
(Saturday, 2 March 2013 )

HONG KONG (SE): On February 21, the Italian newspaper, La Repubblica, dropped a bombshell on the Vatican claiming that a 300-page report of an investigation into the VatiLeaks scandal handed to Pope Benedict XVI on December 17 by Julián Cardinal Herranz, Jozef Cardinal Tomko and Salvatore Cardinal De Giorgi, contains evidence of a homosexual sex ring within the Vatican involving high-ranking people and something akin to blackmail.

...
Second Sunday of Lent
(Saturday, 23 February 2013 )

 

...
A time to regroup and move on
(Saturday, 23 February 2013 )

The season of Lent is a time when many people travel the journey of faith in the catechumenate. Perhaps some of us do not yet understand this tradition well, both ancient and renewed.

Some of us remember a time when the emphasis in preparing for baptism was on instruction; the intellectual exercise of learning about our faith.

...

Retired head of Vatican office for migrants dies at 94
(Saturday, 23 February 2013 )

VATICAN CITY (CNS): Giovanni Cardinal Cheli, from Italy, longtime Vatican diplomat and retired head of the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Travellers, died in Rome on February 8 at the age of 94.


He had celebrated the 70th anniversary of his priestly ordination in July 2012, presiding over a Mass in Asti, the northern Italian diocese for which he was ordained in 1942. 


Offering his condolences to the diocese of Asti, Pope Benedict XVI said he was grateful for the cardinal...

Maronite patriarch prays for peace during visit to Syria
(Saturday, 23 February 2013 )

DAMASCUS (CNS): “We pray each day for the end of war and violence and that a unanimous peace may be achieved through cooperation,” said Lebanon’s Maronite Catholic patriarch, Bechara Cardinal Rai, who was visiting war-torn Syria for the enthronement of Greek Orthodox Patriarch John. 


Celebrating Mass on the feast of St. Maron on February 9 at the Maronite Cathedral of St. Anthony, the cardinal said, “We came to pray for peace in Syria and for the innocent...

Bureaucracy can be as toxic 
as the air that we breathe
(Saturday, 23 February 2013 )

By Shi Feng



On January 29, the government of China issued a warning to residents in Beijing that harmful particulates in the air had reached a dangerous level and advised people to remain indoors.


Pollution in cities across the country has been making headlines for weeks—as have studies of the deterioration of air quality because of industrial pollution, which has pushed the number of severe warning days in the Chinese capital up...