March 2014

Russian patriarch wants more preparation for historic council
(Saturday, 22 March 2014 )

MOSCOW (SE): Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia wants preparations for the 2016 All-Orthodox Council to move into overdrive.

It is seen as a highly significant event, as it is 1,000 years since a similar gathering of the Orthodox world was held.

“If we really want to convene the All-Orthodox Council, we should learn to work in this regime,” the patriarch was...

A year of reform and evangelisation under Pope Francis
(Saturday, 22 March 2014 )

VATICAN CITY (CNS): As leader of the universal Church, a pope must direct his ministry in both of the ways traditionally described by the Latin terms ad intra and ad extra: inwardly to the Church itself and outwardly to the rest of the world. 

Pope Francis has accordingly spent the first year of his pontificate pursuing two ambitious projects: revitalising the Church’s efforts at evangelisation and reforming its...

Quiet achiever dies in peace
(Saturday, 22 March 2014 )

Hong Kong (SE): Sister Ida Sala, from the Canossian Daughters of Charity, died peacefully in Villa Bakita Canossian Convent, Caine Road, Central, on March 6 at the age of 91. 

Sister Sala was born in Milan, Italy, on 20 August 1922. She joined the Canossian Missionary Novitiate in Vimercate, Milan, in 1942, where she made her first profession on 12 August 1945.

She made her...

Hidden bishop dies 
in Shanghai
(Saturday, 22 March 2014 )

SHANGHAI (Agencies): The hidden bishop of Shanghai, who has been under house arrest for the best part of two decades and widely believed to have been suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease, Bishop Joseph Fan Zhongliang sj, died at the age of 96 in his home at 5.58pm on March 16, the Cardinal Kung Foundation reports.

A controversial figure as the head of the unofficial Catholic community in Shanghai and the bishop of the...

Want a ride in my Cadillac?
(Saturday, 22 March 2014 )

BEIRUT (AsiaNews): A planned visit to the Holy Land by Pope Francis from May 24 to 26 will mark the 50th anniversary of Pope Paul VI’s historic visit and the Maronite patriarch says that he may just be able to ride in the same Cadillac as his ground-breaking predecessor.

The patriarch put the proposal to his Latin counterpart in Jerusalem, Archbishop Fouad Twal, on March 11.


Addressing issues more helpful
 than vague threats of disaster
(Saturday, 22 March 2014 )

HONG KONG (SE): Government representatives at the National People’s Congress of China, which ran in Beijing from March 5 to 12, have warned that full democracy in Hong Kong could spell some sort of unspecified disaster for the special administrative region.

The comment comes amid widespread debate in the territory over how the next chief executive should be installed in 2017.


A little cheer up
(Saturday, 15 March 2014 )

The feast of the Transfiguration comes in the middle of our Lenten preparation and could well be looked upon as a boost injected into possibly flagging spirits, something to cheer people up and give them something to hope for in the future.

This in all probability is a role that it played for the three disciples who were present.

In some ways, the...

Second Sunday of Lent
(Saturday, 15 March 2014 )

Mass of the day, Creed, preface of first Sunday of Lent (purple).
Genesis 12:1-4a; 
2 Timothy 1:8b-10; 
Matthew 17:1-9.

Mass of the day, preface for Lent (purple).

Penalising one group to punish another is skating on flimsy moral ice
(Saturday, 15 March 2014 )

PORT MORESBY (SE): “How could it be right, in the light of the Papua New Guinea constitutional protection of freedom, to bring into our country and imprison people who have not broken our laws,” the bishops of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands asked in response to Australia’s deal with Port Moresby to reestablish a lock up for asylum seekers on their sovereign territory in November 2012.


But where do you see
 the face of God?
(Saturday, 15 March 2014 )

This is a story told through a painting, a largely overlooked work among the vast collection of The Field Museum in Chicago (Catalogue No.116027).

It is a Chinese scroll and portrays a lady dressed in a pale robe holding a child. At first glance, it may be a portrait of the white-robed...