February 2014

United Nations defends report on child sex abuse
(Saturday, 15 February 2014 )

GENEVA (ANSA): The head of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, Kirsten Sandberg, denied the Vatican accusation that its response to the Vatican presentation of its track record in implementing the convention at a hearing held in Geneva on January 16 is biased.

ANSA reported her as saying on February 7 that the committee made its recommendations after “objectively examining all relevant...

Tibet wants to be part of China Dalai Lama says
(Saturday, 15 February 2014 )

NEW DELHI (SE): Although a controversial figure in China, the spiritual leader of Tibet was quoted by Today Online Shillong as saying that his country does not want to be separated from China.

However, he added forcefully that Beijing should allow the region to preserve its culture and traditional script.

Nevertheless, he admitted that these two points are the sticking point...

Is a sex abuse cover up concealed in canon law?
(Saturday, 15 February 2014 )

HONG KONG (SE): In its response to the Vatican presentation on its track record in implementing the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of the Child, the UN hearing committee accused it of covering up cases of clerical child abuse.

However in a report published on UCA News, the author of a soon-to-be-published book, Potiphar’s Wife: The Secret of the Holy Office and Child Sexual Abuse, Keiran Tapsell, says...

An ambivalence that affects everyone
(Saturday, 15 February 2014 )

HONG KONG HAS achieved worldwide notoriety over the abused Indonesian migrant worker, Erwiana Sulistyaningsih, as the injuries inflicted by her employer are so horrific she has attracted international interest.

However, while widespread publicity is usually welcome, this time Hong Kong is not being portrayed as a desirable tourist destination, shopping or investment paradise, or safe place to visit, leaving the government...

An encyclical on the environment?
(Saturday, 15 February 2014 )

HONG KONG (SE): A statement released by the Vatican on January 24 indicates that Pope Francis has already begun working on a document on what has been termed human ecology, which Vatican-watchers believe could be published as an encyclical.

The phrase, human ecology, was popularised by Pope Benedict XVI. The Vatican spokesperson, Father Federico Lombardi, explained the term as describing how people must respect not only...

Ambivalence overriding attitude of society towards Church
(Saturday, 15 February 2014 )

HONG KONG (SE): In December last year, an article appeared in the Global Times, the English language equivalent of the People’s Daily, raising interesting questions about how the Church in China is viewed by both the state and wider society.

Brent Fulton, writing in China Church Voices calls it a fascinating light shone on the larger phenomenon of the rapid growth of Churches in urban areas, both the official...

Crisis of left behind children
(Saturday, 15 February 2014 )

HONG KONG (SE): The number of children in China who are left behind in the countryside by their parents while their parents seek a better living in the big cities has grown to alarming proportions, English.news.cn reports.

It is estimated today that there are at least 100 million such children, who usually are put in the care of grandparents or a relative. They have been dubbed left behind children and some of...

Call to release human rights lawyer
(Saturday, 15 February 2014 )

HONG KONG (SE): February 4 marked the fifth anniversary of the disappearance of Gao Zhisheng. The two-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee Christian lawyer was arrested and imprisoned for his defence of the rights of persecuted religious minorities in China.

The 49-year-old was arrested at his home in 2009 by the Chinese authorities. He had previously had his licence revoked after being found guilty of inciting to subvert state...

The year of the Horse and the Church in China
(Saturday, 15 February 2014 )

ROME (AsiaNews): “As believers, we tend to be unrepentant optimists,” the former bishop of Hong Kong, Joseph Cardinal Zen Ze-kiun, said in an interview on January 27, the run up to the January 31 beginning of the Year of the Horse.

He called the new year a time of wishing things will get better in the future, but that this year, he can’t help feeling that this may not be such a good year for the Church in...

North Korea misses Winter Olympics
(Saturday, 15 February 2014 )

SEOUL (AsiaNews): For the first time in 12 years, North Korea had no representatives at the Olympic Winter Games. The organising committee only listed Korea on the list of participants for the Russian games in Sochi that began on February 7.

No athletes from North Korea qualified in winter sports this year. But the Sochi Olympic Committee explained that the Pyongyang regime was not even granted the wild card often given to...