May 2015

Seeking a soul mate in the struggle against climate change
(Saturday, 16 May 2015 )

VATICAN (CNS): Ban Ki-moon, the secretary general of the United Nations (UN) and some climate scientists are banking on Pope Francis to be a unifying moral force to get the world on board in the fight against global warming.

Ban spoke at the Vatican on April 28 during an international gathering on the moral dimensions of climate change and sustainable development sponsored by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the...

Charters and the Covenant
(Saturday, 16 May 2015 )

In Hong Kong, when you step into a public hospital you have the right to receive medical attention that “fully meets the currently accepted standards of care and quality.” 

The Patients’ Charter also spells out such rights as having “your privacy, dignity and religious and cultural beliefs respected” provided the observance does not hurt the rights of other patients or healthcare...

Family is first school of communication
(Saturday, 16 May 2015 )

As early as January 23, Pope Francis issued his message for World Communications Day which is marked this Sunday which is also the Feast of the Ascension. Entitled,  Communicating the Family, the message is succinct and down-to-earth.

The pope notes that learning how to communicate and communicating starts with family—even from the womb. He relates the visit of Mary to her cousin Elizabeth (cf. Luke 1:39-56):...

Europe needs Christians to speak with one voice
(Saturday, 16 May 2015 )

VATICAN CITY (CNS): Christians in Europe “find themselves before new and decisive challenges to which we can respond effectively only by speaking with one voice,” Pope Francis told members of a joint committee representing the Catholic Council of European Bishops’ Conferences and the ecumenical, Conference of European Churches. He cited the challenge of legislation “which, in the name of a poorly interpreted principle of tolerance, ends up...

Archbishop says migrants should not be feared
(Saturday, 16 May 2015 )

MANCHESTER (CNS): Archbishop Peter Smith of Southwark, the United Kingdom (UK), vice president of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, held up one of the country’s most famous migrant athletes, Olympic gold medal winner, Mo Farah, as an example of why migrants should not be feared, saying his life was a “wonderful story of optimism and hope.”

In a homily during a May 4 Mass for migrants in...

Take responsibilty for consequences of one-child policy protesters demand
(Saturday, 16 May 2015 )

Beijing (UCAN): Some 800 elderly people from across China protested outside the Ministry for Health and Family Planning in Beijing, over a lack of government support and blaming their poverty on the country’s draconian one-child population controls, Radio Free Asia reported.

The protesters, whose children have died, held up banners which read: Who should bear the risk of government policies and If you want to make...

Holy See recognises martyrdoms in Laos
(Saturday, 16 May 2015 )

Vatican (UCAN): During a May 5 meeting with Angelo Cardinal Amato, the prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes, Pope Francis advanced the canonisation causes of 12 potential saints, including Father Mario Borzaga and the first Lao catechist, Paul Thoj Xyooj, who were killed by the Pathet Lao communist revolutionaries in Laos in April 1960. 

Born in Italy in 1932, Father Borzaga joined the Missionary...

Myanmar’s ethnic leaders call for constitutional amendment
(Saturday, 16 May 2015 )

Mandalay (UCAN): Myanmar’s armed ethnic groups have called for a constitutionally-mandated federal union that would guarantee equality and the right to self determination.

In a 12-point statement released on May 6 at the end of a six-day summit in Panghsang, the self-administered zone of the Wa Special Region in northern Shan state, the groups called on the government to end military offensives in ethnic areas—...

Respond to the Lord’s call generously bishop urges
(Saturday, 16 May 2015 )

Hong Kong (SE): “On the Mother’s Day we are not only seeking the intercession of our Heavenly Mother for more vocations, but also encouraging our earthly mothers to nurture and promote good vocations in their families,” said Auxiliary Bishop Michael Yeung Ming-cheung at a Mass for vocations celebrated at St. Benedict parish, Shatin, on May 10—Mother’s Day.

The bishop said, “Although a...

Details of Holy Year of Mercy emerge
(Saturday, 16 May 2015 )

VATICAN (CNS): During a news conference at the Vatican on May 5, Archbishop Rino Fisichella, the president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation, unveiled the official prayer, logo, calendar of events and other details of the special Holy Year of Mercy, which will be celebrated from December 8, until 20 November 2016.

He explained that the motto, Merciful Like the Father “serves as an invitation...