November 2013

The month of 
Holy Souls
(Saturday, 2 November 2013 )

The Chinese hold a deep reverence for their ancestors. This is evident in the visiting of the tombs of their ancestors to pay respect to them at the Ching Ming Festival (Tomb Sweeping Day) during spring and the Chung Yeung Festival (Double Ninth Festival) during autumn.

This has been a cherished practice over the past 2,000 years or more. But what are the implications of such great attention being paid to these two...

Pope Francis souvenir medal pulled from shelf
(Saturday, 2 November 2013 )

VATICAN (SE): The much valued Pope Francis medallion that went on sale on October 7 was pulled from the shelf shortly after first seeing the light of day on October 8, when a sharp-eye noticed a spelling mistake in the word Iesus (Jesus).

It reads...

Catholics and Lutherans continue to move towards full unity
(Saturday, 2 November 2013 )

VATICAN (SE): “I look with a sense of profound gratitude to Jesus Christ, at the many steps that have been taken in relations between Lutherans and Catholics in recent decades, and not only through theological dialogue, but also by means of brotherly collaboration in many pastoral fields and, above all, in commitment to progress in spiritual ecumenism,” Pope Francis told a delegation of the Lutheran World Federation and representatives from the...

Churches open doors to typhoon refugees
(Saturday, 2 November 2013 )

WENZHOU (AsiaNews): Parishes in Wenzhou, eastern China, opened their hearts and doors to migrant workers and people living in coastal areas that lie below sea level who have been hit by typhoons.

On 6 October, two parishes in the city of Wenzhou provided shelter to hundreds of people fleeing Typhoon Fitow, which hit Zhejiang and other coastal provinces of China.

The storm hit the...

Semi-secret ordination for Shanghai
(Saturday, 2 November 2013 )

SHANGHAI (AsiaNews): A seminarian from Shanghai, Xie Huimin, was ordained a deacon on October 23 and priest on the following day by Bishop Shen Bin, from Haimen in Jiangsu province.

AsiaNews reports that the ordination ceremony took place in Haimen, not Shanghai, and that the exact location of the ceremony was not made public prior to the event.

Father Xie, who is in his late 20s,...

A Chinese bishop laments
(Saturday, 2 November 2013 )

HONG KONG (SE): “The liturgy (in China) has been abused, especially with illegitimate bishops being present at ordination ceremonies,” John Cardinal Tong Hon said during a meeting of the Asian Liturgy Forum which was hosted by Hong Kong diocese from October 21 to 24.

Speaking at a plenary session on October 23 in the Diocese Centre, Cardinal Tong said that although China has not seen an illicit ordination of a...

Reflection of caged Shanghai bishop blocked
(Saturday, 2 November 2013 )

SHANGHAI (AsiaNews): An attempt by the caged bishop in Shanghai, Bishop Thaddeus Ma Daqin, to release a response to Pope Francis’ encyclical through his blog has been blocked.

Bishop Ma posted an in-depth response to the first encyclical of Pope Francis, The Light of Faith (Lumen Fidei). He posted the reflection on October 8 and although the link to the article was encrypted, it can no longer be accessed....

Can Brunei help Shari’ah Law to recover original spirit?
(Saturday, 2 November 2013 )

HONG KONG (SE): News stories in the media coming out of the fundamentalist Islamist practice of execution by stoning for adultery, amputation of limbs for thieves and flogging for other crimes, such as abortion and alcohol consumption, point to Shari’ah Law as being brutal, inhumane and ungodly.

Consequently, there has been a worried reaction to the October 22 announcement by the sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah,...

Putting their money where their feet are
(Saturday, 2 November 2013 )

HONG KONG (SE): All buildings require constant upkeep long before the point where they are about to fall down, including churches and parish facilities.

Parishioners at Tseung Kwan O put their money where their feet are, answering the call to join a walkathon to raise support for non-urgent renovations to St. Andrew’s church at the parish centre, as well as its affiliate, St. Vincent’s in Hang Hau, on October 1...

Cardinal Zen’s prison ministry recognised
(Saturday, 2 November 2013 )

HONG KONG (SE): Joseph Cardinal Zen Ze-kiun has a long record of prison ministry and his dedication to those behind bars continues to this very day.

He regularly celebrates Mass in the prisons when the opportunity arises and several years ago embarked on a project to provide every person behind bars in the city’s prisons or correctional centres with a treat at the mid-autumn festival, which was celebrated on...