January 2014

Thinking twice about one child families
(Saturday, 1 February 2014 )

Chen Xiuxia, a mother of three, was desperate to have a baby boy a few years after China implemented the single child policy in 1980.

A resident of Zhaoqing in southern China, she was then living in a village on the outskirts of the city in the country’s most populated province, Guangdong. Like most Chinese women in rural areas, she felt under pressure to have a male child to continue the family bloodline....

Vatican considers papal trip to South Korea
(Saturday, 1 February 2014 )

VATICAN CITY (CNS): A possible papal trip to South Korea coinciding with the fourth Asian Youth Day scheduled to he held in Daejeon, South Korea, in August this year, is under consideration, the Vatican spokesperson, Father Federico Lombardi, told journalists on January 22. 


However, Father Lombardi added that the Vatican is not ready to confirm whether or not the trip will take place or announce dates....

John Paul’s personal notes in book form
(Saturday, 1 February 2014 )

ROME (Agencies): Pope John Paul II asked his trusted personal secretary, now Stanislaw Cardinal Dziwisz, to burn his personal notes after his death, but the dedicated secretary recognised a vast historical importance in the late pontiff’s personal scribbling and did just the opposite, the Vatican Information Service reported on January 18

In his will, to which alterations were made on a number of occasions throughout...

Ireland plans to reopen embassy to Holy See
(Saturday, 1 February 2014 )

DUBLIN (CNS): Just over three years after closing its embassy to the Holy See, the government of Ireland announced that it was preparing to reopen its diplomatic doors and and appoint a new...

What does Church teach on end of life?
(Saturday, 1 February 2014 )

BALTIMORE (CNS): There is great misunderstanding among Catholics and others about Church teaching on whether and when life-sustaining medical treatment can or should be withdrawn says Marie Hilliard, a leading Catholic bioethicist in the United States of America.


Lunar New Year and Christian Unity
(Saturday, 1 February 2014 )

The Lunar New Year and the ecumenical movement have one thing in common; they both offer an opportunity to people who share a profound interest in the same bonding ring to patch up frays in the rope that binds them, reach out across gaps that may divide and be reconciled over upset apple carts.

The Lunar New Year is a cultural recognition of the damage that divided families do to the fabric of society and all cultures have...

Vatican grilled on sexual abuse by United Nations
(Saturday, 1 February 2014 )

HONG KONG (SE): The Vatican state underwent its second periodic review at the United Nations (UN) on January 16 on its implementation of the Convention of the Rights of the Child, which it ratified in 1990.

The Vatican submitted its first report in 2004, before coming under criticism when reports of sexual abuse by clergy and Church personnel exploded in 2010. It submitted its second report for review in 2012.

Pope tweets message of support to pro-life march
(Saturday, 1 February 2014 )

Washington DC (Agencies): “I join the March for Life in Washington with my prayers,” Pope Francis tweeted on January 22 in support of the annual pro-life rally. 

Tens of thousands braved the bitter cold and converged on the Washington Mall for this year’s event, run under the theme, Adoption: A Noble Decision, signalling a new approach as well as a focus on other issues besides abortion. ...

Push for property or control?
(Saturday, 1 February 2014 )

BEIJING (AsiaNews): Authorities in the central province of Henan, mainland China, have formalised charges of fraud and disturbing public order against a Protestant Christian pastor, Zhang Shaojie, who was arrested in November last year after a fierce battle with officials to defend his congregation’s property against expropriation.

His lawyers, Liu Weiguo and Xia Jun, confirm that the trial is set to take place soon...

Shaanxi’s Heart to Heart great boost to vocations
(Saturday, 1 February 2014 )

BEIJING (SE): Heart to Heart has become a highly active parish group supporting the development of vocations to the priesthood in the parish of Beitong, Shaanxi, in mainland China.

Fides reports that the group was born by accident when, in 2009, a group of parishioners gathered together some warm woolen clothes to give to an aged priest, but the priest told them he would rather they gave the clothes to his seminarians....