May 2013

A faith born out of childhood memories
(Saturday, 18 May 2013 )

On Easter Sunday last year, a young woman completed a journey lasting almost three decades, as she lowered her head over the baptismal font to receive the waters of eternal life a world away from the holy of holies of godlessness into which she was born.

Simply known as Chitty among the people of her parish, as well as to her patients at the dental clinic where she practices in Albury, Australia, she has been reborn...

Qatar World Cup on the backs of slaves
(Saturday, 18 May 2013 )

DOHA (AsiaNews): The spectre of slave labour and sport has raised its ugly head again over the preparations being made in Doha, Qatar, for the 2022 World Cup.

Both the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) and the Australian Football League have been under scrutiny for the use of underpaid child labour in the sewing of leather balls, and both have made strenuous efforts to dispel the accusations...

Syria a hot topic as pope receives president of Lebanon
(Saturday, 18 May 2013 )

VATICAN (SE): Pope Francis received the president of Lebanon, Michel Sleiman, at a private audience at the Vatican Apostolic Palace on May 3, the Vatican Information Service reported.

A press release at the end of the meeting says that the two discussed the situation in the country, emphasising the importance of dialogue and collaboration among the members of the various ethnic and religious communities that make up...

Praying for China
(Saturday, 18 May 2013 )

The date, May 24, was especially suggested in a letter penned by Pope Benedict XVI to the Catholic people of China in 2007. He set it aside as worldwide day of prayer for China.

Then, at the end of April this year, we learned that Bishop Aloysius Jin Luxian had passed away in Shanghai.

The life of Bishop Jin provides a reflection of the movement of the Church in China during...

The need is for more openness not secrecy
(Saturday, 18 May 2013 )

CAPE TOWN (CNS): The Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference issued a statement on April 26 saying that it regrets the passing of a bill in the nation’s parliament on April 25 that expands protection of state secrets, noting that the country needs more openness, not more secrecy, if it is to successfully fight corruption.

The bishops called on the president, Jacob Zuma, who is still to sign the...

Evangelisation is not about twisting arms
(Saturday, 18 May 2013 )

VATICAN (SE): Proclaiming the gospel is about dialoguing with everyone, Pope Francis stressed at his morning Mass in the Vatican on May 7. “Proselytising (inducing someone to convert) is not evangelising,” he stressed.

He pointed out that the Church does not grow through twisting people’s arms, but by attraction, by witnessing, by preaching.

He explained...

Easter baptisms have high adult contingent
(Saturday, 18 May 2013 )

It took eight years of struggle for Maria (not her real name) to decide to receive baptism, but finally she made the decision and received the sacrament at Easter this year.

“I grew up in a military camp, listening to revolutionary songs and watching revolutionary movies all through my happy childhood,” she says.

“Since I am a member of the Communist Party...

Beijing cuts Pyongyang’s bank transfer account
(Saturday, 18 May 2013 )

SEOUL (AsiaNews): The Bank of China has closed the account run by a financial institution that North Korea has been using to transfer funds from China to Pyongyang.

The use of the transfer account has been blamed by the United States of America of assisting Pyongyang to finance its controversial nuclear weapons programme.

The government-owned Chinese banking giant notified...

Democracy icon too old for China
(Saturday, 18 May 2013 )

YANGON (AsiaNews): With a bit of neat footwork, Beijing has avoided having democracy icon from the Union of Myanmar, Augn San Suu Kyi, tread on its soil by placing an age limit on a delegation from the National League for Democracy, of which she is a founding member, scheduled to visit the mainland.

Committee member, Han Thar Myint, said from the league’s Yangon office that the invitation specifically states...

Japan celebrates first faith in the country
(Saturday, 18 May 2013 )

NAGASAKI (AsiaNews): The Church in Japan celebrated the feast of Our Lady of Tsuwano on May 3, a festivity associated with a Marian site where 19th century martyrs claim to have seen apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

While the Holy See has been quiet on the matter, the shrine is highly popular among Catholics in Japan, as it serves as a remembrance of the first witnesses to the faith in the country....