July 2015

What did the pope say to the president?
(Saturday, 18 July 2015 )

HONG KONG (SE): What Pope Francis said to the president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, when he was presented with a crucifix featuring the communist logo of the hammer and sickle on July 9 is a much debated and controversial question that probably only the pope or the president could answer.

Theories mostly deduced from the look on the pope’s face and a half overheard comment of, “that is not right,” which may...

Reeducating Shanghai diocese
(Saturday, 18 July 2015 )

SHANGHAI (UCAN): Ever since Bishop Thaddeus Ma Daqin was placed under house arrest in Shanghai at the conclusion of his episcopal ordination ceremony on 7 July 2012, priests and sisters of the diocese have been required to attend study sessions on the nature and function of the National Congress of the Communist Party.

At his ordination ceremony, the newly-ordained bishop refused to share the chalice with bishops who were...

Demolition of crosses spreads to other parts of Zhejiang
(Saturday, 18 July 2015 )

Wenzhou (UCAN): “The parish priests were left alone to face the political pressure in the campaign. There was little support from the hierarchy and there is no united action among dioceses in the same province,” said a Catholic source who witnessed the removal of the cross at Xiaoshan Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, on July 2. 

The source, who requested anonymity, said, “...

Shanghai diocese searching for the money trail
(Saturday, 18 July 2015 )

HONG KONG (UCAN): Substantial and unusual transactions running into tens of millions of yuan have been reported to have gone missing from Shanghai diocesan accounts.

Priests from the financial management team say that it is being moved at the instructions of officials from the government Religious Affairs Bureau, but the money trail peters out in a confusion of accounts and it is hard to see where it is leaking to....

Protests as Thailand repatriates Uyghurs to China
(Saturday, 18 July 2015 )

Bangkok (Agencies): Thailand deported around 100 Uyghur Muslims back to China on July 8, according to a report from AFP published on UCANews.  

Their fate in Thailand has been unsettled since they entered the kingdom without documentation in March 2014 seeking asylum. The repatriation has sparked concerns for their safety.

On July 9, a Thai government spokesperson, Werachon...

Pakistan bans English translation of holy words
(Saturday, 18 July 2015 )

ISLAMABAD (Agencies): The prime minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif, has given his approval to a summary prohibition on using the English translation of Arabic words like allah, masjid, sala’at or rasool, Fides reported on July 7.

The usual English translation of these four words; God, mosque, prayer and prophet; are now to be put on the forbidden list for publications in English.


Bishop comes in from the cold
(Saturday, 18 July 2015 )

BEIJING (AsiaNews): After lying low for a decade, Bishop Joseph Martin Wu Qinjing, of Zhouzhi in Shaanxi, was finally given permission from the government to come in from the cold and work openly as the leader of his diocese.

The occasion was marked on July 10 with an installation ceremony held in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Heart of Mary at 9.00am in Zhouzhi.

His new status...

Trampling on neighbours
(Saturday, 18 July 2015 )

KATHMANDU (AsiaNews): India and China have signed an agreement to promote trade between the two countries using the Himalayan Lipulekh pass as a transportation route.

Although the pass is the sovereign territory of Nepal, neither country had the diplomatic sensitivity to inform, yet alone seek permission from authorities in Kathmandu.

Government officials in the Nepali capital have...

Still the pope of surprises
(Saturday, 18 July 2015 )

HONG KONG (Agencies): Known for his spontaneity, Pope Francis has been dubbed the pope of surprises and in typical manner during his time in Paraguay, he made off-the-script stops.

On July 10, following his arrival in the country, he visited the Buen Pastor women’s prison where, CNS reported, 50 residents sang a welcome for him in an outside courtyard.

He blessed them and...

Challenge is to be a welcoming people
(Saturday, 18 July 2015 )

HONG KONG (SE): Pope Francis told an in-flight media conference on his return trip to Rome from a whirlwind, eight-day visit to Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay on July 12, that he is well aware his economic analysis is being questioned, especially in the United States of America (US).

Although he made no attempt to defend his thinking, he said that he intends to do more study of the criticisms and begin a dialogue with those...