December 2013

A Christmas tree in Baghdad
(Saturday, 21 December 2013 )

BAGHDAD (AsiaNews): The local government in Baghdad is showing solidarity with its beleaguered Christian population by erecting a giant Christmas tree on the banks of the Tigris River.

The gesture was described as an attempt to stem the exodus of the minority religious group from the country.

The news was announced by Salah Abdel Razzaq, the head of the Cultural Committee of the...

Twinkling hope
(Saturday, 21 December 2013 )

VATICAN (SE): The lights of the Vatican Christmas tree began to twinkle on the evening of December 13 reflecting the great light that the birth of Christ brought into a darkened world.

The tree for this year is a gift from the people of Bavaria in Germany.

Vatican Radio reported that the giant fir tree, together with other smaller trees, now decorate St. Peter’s Square and...

The sanctity of the child
(Saturday, 21 December 2013 )

As we prepare to celebrate Christmas it is good to remember that our saviour entered this world as a child—a baby, requiring attention from his parents 24/7 to preserve his life and then, as he grew to provide him with education, love and guidance so he could mature into a well rounded man.

The child aspect of Christmas is highly important and should draw attention to the situation of many children in our world today...

Pope backs Caritas call
to feed the world
(Saturday, 21 December 2013 )

VATICAN (SE): Pope Francis launched a campaign to give the world’s one billion hungry people a voice that will shake the whole planet, as he appealed for an end to what he called the greatest scandal of our time.

“We are in front of a global scandal of around one billion—one billion people who still suffer from hunger today,” Pope Francis said on December 9 in launching One Human Family—Food...

Remember Bethlehem with peace this Christmas
(Saturday, 21 December 2013 )

HONG KONG (SE): The Catholic peace organisation, Pax Christi International, is calling on people worldwide to send a message of peace to the beleaguered Christian people in the birthplace of Jesus, Bethlehem, this Christmas.

In a campaign dubbed, Call for Peace Wishes and Prayers—Messages of Peace for Bethlehem, Advent and Christmas 2013, Pax Christi is calling on all people of good will to let them know that they...

Farewell to long serving sister
(Saturday, 21 December 2013 )

HONG KONG (SE): With deep sorrow the Precious Blood Sisters announce the death of Sister Mary Mak Kwai-chan, who passed away peacefully at the North District Hospital on 8 December 2013 at the age 86, after 62 years of religious life.

A funeral Mass was offered at 10.00am on Friday, December 13, at St. Francis of Assisi parish church in Shek Kip Mei, Shamshuipo, followed by burial in the St. Raphael’s Catholic...

Reconciled strongman of Patriotic Association dies
(Saturday, 21 December 2013 )

BEIJING (AsiaNews): Bishop Liu Jinghe, who retired as the bishop of Tangshan in Hebei, northern China, on 17 November 2010, died on the evening of December 11 shortly before his 93 birthday.

His funeral took place on December 17.

Bishop Liu had been reinstated into the good graces of the Church by Pope Benedict XVI, but prior to that, he had refused to take part in the illicit...

Corporate social responsibility in China
(Saturday, 21 December 2013 )

HONG KONG (SE): Father Benoit Vermander sj, who is based in China, has written a book aimed at helping companies to review and better exercise their corporate social responsibility in the modern Chinese context.

Corporate Social Responsibility in China is the result of years of research and a collaborative process with several institutions, notably the Chinese People’s Institute of Foreign Affairs, Fudan University,...

Water and marriage and the one-child policy
(Saturday, 21 December 2013 )

China just announced that after 34 years of restricting population growth through its one-child policy, the government will now allow families to have two children if one of the parents is an only child.

Chriss Street comments in The American Thinker, “The policy initially produced a population pyramid optimal to economic growth—that is, where the largest segments of the population were neither young nor old,...

Old China hand mooted as patron of sexually abused?
(Saturday, 21 December 2013 )

HONG KONG (SE): During their five-yearly ad limina visit to Rome, the bishops of the Netherlands put forward the name of Bishop Frans Schraven as a patron saint for the sexually abused.

The Schraven Institute in the Netherlands reported that the bishops made the suggestion after visiting the graves of...