September 2013

Nothing miraculous in Pope Benedict’s decision
(Saturday, 14 September 2013 )

VATICAN (CNS): The long time personal secretary to Pope Benedict XVI, Archbishop Georg Ganswein, has called the theory that his boss retired from the papacy as the result of a mystical experience a total fabrication.

 “It was invented from alpha to omega,” the archbishop said on August 24 in an interview with Canale 5 television news in Italy. “There is nothing true in the article.”...

Lay Ignatians choose Beirut for 450th anniversary
(Saturday, 14 September 2013 )

BEIRUT (UCAN): The Middle East was chosen as the venue for the 16th worldwide gathering of the Christian Life Community (CLC) in order to “express solidarity with people of Lebanon, Syria and Egypt, hoping that peace, respect, fraternity and justice can be realised in these places soon,” Cosmas Tsao, from the national committee in Taiwan of the lay Ignatian movement, said.

The gathering also marked the 450th...

Martin Luther King’s dream still inspires 50 years on
(Saturday, 14 September 2013 )

WASHINGTON (SE): “The majestic statue of King at his new memorial in Washington reminds us of his towering achievement in bringing our nation to a fuller awareness of the equality of all people before God,” Donald Cardinal Wuerl said on August 28 as he remembered hearing the great advocate of equality for all people, Martin Luther King, deliver his I have a dream oration just 50 years ago.

“His dream,...

Election anniversary of Pope John Paul I
(Saturday, 14 September 2013 )

ROME (SE): Thirty-five years ago on August 26, Albino Cardinal Luciani, the patriarch of Venice, was elected pope, taking the name of John Paul.

The first pope in history to choose a double-barrelled name, he became known to the world during his brief 33-day pontificate as Pope John Paul. After his death on 28 September 1978, when his successor chose the same name, he came to be remembered as Pope John Paul I.

Please dialogue pope tells Japanese students
(Saturday, 14 September 2013 )

VATICAN (SE): At a brief meeting with Japanese students on a trip to Italy on August 21, Pope Francis congratulated them on having the get up and go to visit a foreign land and get some taste of its culture.

He told the students from Seibu Gakuen Bunri Junior High School in Saitama, near Tokyo, “If we are isolated in ourselves, we only have what we have, we cannot grow culturally; instead, if we go in search of other...

A spirituality of the cross
(Saturday, 14 September 2013 )

The 14th of September is the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. According to legend, after he was crucified, Jesus’ cross and those of the two thieves who were crucified next to him were thrown into a dry well.

The three crosses were re-discovered by St. Helena, the mother of the Roman emperor, Constantine the Great, on 14 September 320AD. Miracles, which cured the sick and resurrected the dead are said to...

More to word change at baptism than meets eye
(Saturday, 14 September 2013 )

HONG KONG (SE): Before he stepped down as the bishop of Rome and leader of the worldwide Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI made an unpublished change to the rite of baptism.

It appears that every time he performed the baptismal rite, one phrase galled him somewhat.

It comes in the greeting to those being baptised, when the celebrant signs their forehead saying, “The...

China’s creeping media influence
(Saturday, 14 September 2013 )

TAIPEI (SE) : China could influence Taiwan by getting its hands on media organisations, as it did in Hong Kong and Macau, journalists from Taiwan and China’s two special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau warned during a conference hosted by the Association of Taiwan Journalists in Taipei on August 31.

Loa Lok-sin reported in The Taipei Times on September 1 that while the Taiwanese are becoming more...

Seoul celebrates Month of Martyrs with pilgrimage to sacred places
(Saturday, 14 September 2013 )

SEOUL (SE): South Korea has long designated September as the Month of Martyrs, but this year the archdiocese of Seoul is seeking to put more life and focus into what has often been a haphazard commemoration.

The month opened with a proclamation Mass in Myeong-dong Cathedral celebrated by Archbishop Yeom Soo-jung on September 2.

It was followed by a pilgrimage of around 500 people...

New Vatican secretary of state sparks high hopes in China
(Saturday, 14 September 2013 )

Since midnight on September 1, I have been receiving messages, reports, stories and analyses from friends at home and abroad, excited about the naming of Archbishop Pietro Parolin as the new Vatican Secretary of State by Pope Francis.

My first reaction too was positive—a new pope and a new secretary of state, a new Chinese leader, a new collective leadership; perhaps this is the beginning of a new era for the two...