January 2014

Hong Kong celebrates Christmas
(Saturday, 4 January 2014 )

The choir at St. Teresa’s parish, Prince Edward Road, leads a packed church in song during the 9.30pm English celebration of the Christmas Vigil Mass on December 24. Father Gabriel Altamirano, said Christmas is not merely about the Christ-child, but that each person is that child because Jesus also lives in...

Standoff with government over bishop’s burial
(Saturday, 4 January 2014 )

TANGSHAN (UCAN): In a surprise move at the funeral service for the former bishop of Tangshan, Bishop Paul Liu Jinghe, on December 17, diocesan authorities said that they had decided not to bury his body immediately.

However, in a last minute settlement, Bishop Peter Fang Jingping told UCA News that the dispute effectively ended when the government purchased a new 0.33 hectare plot at Beigang village in Qianxi county to...

China celebrates Immaculate Conception in style
(Saturday, 4 January 2014 )

BEIJING (SE): The Immaculate Conception of Mary is a popular feast on the Church calendar in China and is celebrated in style across the country.

This year was no exception with Masses, adoration of the blessed sacrament, Marian vigils, processions and many other events being organised to highlight the great devotion Chinese Catholics hold for the Mother of God.

Fides reported that...

Christmas in China is a time of giving
(Saturday, 4 January 2014 )

SHIJIAZHUANG (SE): About 60 young people who are part of the Don Bosco Youth Group in Nanjing on mainland China celebrated a solemn liturgy of reconciliation on the second Sunday of Advent to prepare themselves for Christmas.

Fides reported that the rite of reconciliation has been an annual event among the group since its founding.

The youth group describes the purpose of its...

Insights into Church life in China
(Saturday, 4 January 2014 )

HONG KONG (SE): Joann Pittman recommends some good references on different aspects of the life of Christianity in China in the winter issue of the ChinaSource Quarterly 2013 asking the question of how does the government define normal.

She cites How China’s Religious Affairs Bureaucracy Works, by Carsten T. Vala, as giving an insight into the workings of the religious affairs bureaucracy, first by following the story...

Can priests’ arrests foreshadow religious freedom
(Saturday, 4 January 2014 )

ROME (AsiaNews): Two priests from the unofficial community of the Church in Qinyuan, near Baoding, Hebei province, Father Tian Dalong and another whose name has not been released due to political sensitivity, have been in prison since early October.

Both priests are in their 40s.

They were arrested and isolated in police barracks in Baoding, an area with one of the largest...

Christmas Day becomes holiday in Iraq
(Saturday, 4 January 2014 )

BAGHDAD (AsiaNews): In a new and important step towards supporting its Christian minority, the Iraqi government accepted a request from Chaldean Patriarchate Raphael Louis Sako to recognise Christmas Day as an official day of celebration and a national holiday for the whole country.

In Karrada, a neighbourhood on the eastern bank of the Tigris River where Christians, Shias and Sunnis live peacefully together, the...

Pope appeals for peace in 
the city and the world
(Saturday, 4 January 2014 )

VATICAN (SE): The promise of peace on earth and to all its people has proven to be an elusive dream Pope Francis says in his first Urbi et Orbi (The City and the World) for the feast of Christmas.

Delivered on Christmas Day, December 25, in St. Peter’s Square, Rome, the pope appealed to people of all faiths and none to work together to make this promise a reality.

“I...