February 2014

Vatican accepts United Nations criticism but questions right to dictate doctrine
(Saturday, 15 February 2014 )

HONG KONG (SE): Although the Holy See had expected a critical response from the United Nations (UN) in the wake of its periodic review on the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which took place in Geneva on January 16, it had also expected the response to remain within the parametres of the convention.

The response accuses the Vatican of not acknowledging “the extent of the crimes committed...

Justice and peace embrace
(Saturday, 8 February 2014 )

Songwriters sometimes have a refreshing way of telling us what we already know. In today’s reading, there is a powerful theme of the virtues which are needed for a really happy life. But the songwriter, the psalmist, puts them in a dramatic way which gives them a lift.

The virtues have been around for a long time. The psalm was probably written long before Aristotle or Confucius. But...

Fifth Sunday of the Year
(Saturday, 8 February 2014 )

Mass of the day, Gloria, Creed, preface of the day (green).
Isaiah 58:7-10; 
1 Corinthians 2:1-5; 
Matthew 5:13-16.

Mass of the memorial (white).

An eventful year at the Vatican
raises profile of Catholic media
(Saturday, 8 February 2014 )

VATICAN (CNS): Few probably know it outside the ranks of the craft, but February is Catholic Press Month in the United States of America and Canada, a time when the Church recognises the importance of the Catholic media and members of the Catholic media reflect in a special way on their service to the Church. 

These are not easy times for Catholic journalism which, no less than its secular counterpart, has been deeply...

Is religious freedom losing ground?
(Saturday, 8 February 2014 )

According to the Pew Research Centre’s Restrictions on Religion report, issued on January 14, there are 5.3 billion people facing harsh constraints on religious freedom. 

Most countries have signed the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, which states, “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change one’s religion or belief, and...

Moral vernacular of the public square
(Saturday, 8 February 2014 )

While hearing a pope talk about deformed pickles, hot potatoes and sourpusses may at least be worth a chuckle, it can also be worth a hearty nod of approval.

In fact, over and above that, it may also be worth asking exactly what the pope is on about and whether he is at something deeper than a prime minister describing the senate house as unrepresentative swill simply to catch a headline.


Pope’s adviser calls for 
a bit of humanity in 
care of remarried
(Saturday, 8 February 2014 )

VATICAN (SE): “You are essentially pastors,” Pope Francis told the Roman Rota on the January 24, which traditionally marks the beginning of the Judicial Year, often marked with what is known as the Red Mass.

Addressing the topic most dealt with by the Rota, marriage annulments, the pope said, “As you carry out your judicial work, do not forget you are pastors. Behind every file, every position, every case...

Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur calls for strength in adversity
(Saturday, 8 February 2014 )

KUALA LUMPUR (SE): In what has been described as rising tensions between Christians and some elements in Malaysian society over the use of the word Allah for God, the administrator of the archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur, Archbishop Murphy Pakiam, wrote a pastoral letter calling on Catholics to remain calm and strong amidst adversity.

“I call upon the Catholic faithful to be strong through these adversities and continue...

Papal greetings for Lunar New Year
(Saturday, 8 February 2014 )

VATICAN (SE): At the end of his weekly angelus address in St. Peter’s Square on January 26, Pope Francis sent greetings to all people who celebrate the Lunar New Year.

Pope Francis stated, “In the coming days, millions of people who live in the Far East or who are scattered in various parts of the world, among them Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese, celebrate the Lunar New Year.”


Church prepares for New Year in China
(Saturday, 8 February 2014 )

SHIJIAZHUANG (SE): The Church in China intensified its outreach work to the poor and needy in the run up to the Lunar New Year, which began on January 31.

Parish communities focussed especially on senior citizens, the sick, the poor, the needy and the weaker sections of society in their outreach.

Fides reported that in Jining, Inner Mongolia, ordinary parishioners have become...