September 2015

Twenty-fifth Sunday of the Year
(Saturday, 19 September 2015 )

Mass of the Sunday, Gloria, Creed, preface of the Sunday (green).
Wisdom 2:12a, 17-20; James 3:16—4:3;...

Who serves is worthier than who prevails
(Saturday, 19 September 2015 )

In the first part of today’s gospel, an announcement of the passion is introduced: “The Son of Man will be delivered into the hands of men. They will kill him; but three days after he has been killed, he will rise” (Mark 9:31).

 He is about to be delivered. By whom?—we ask. The answer seems obvious: by Judas. Instead we are faced with what theologians call ...

Patron of Serra Clubs to be canonised
(Saturday, 19 September 2015 )

Pope Francis quoted from the Acts of the Apostles in describing the Spanish Friar Junipero Serra saying, “I have made you a light to the nations, so that my salvation may reach the remotest parts of the earth” (Acts 13:47).

Also known as the Missionary of California, Friar Serra is set to be canonised on September 23 in Washington DC, during the pope’...

China makes under-age sex rape
(Saturday, 19 September 2015 )

BEIJING (Agencies): China has repealed a 1997 law governing sex offences against minors after a nationwide campaign by women’s groups and rights advocates claiming that legislation watered down the crime of rape and instead of discouraging, actually encouraged child sexual abuse.

The National People’s Congress Standing Committee issued a legislative amendment cancelling the Sex Crimes Against Girls Law,...

Pope’s mercy brigade
(Saturday, 19 September 2015 )

VATICAN (CNS): Pope Francis is looking for missionaries of mercy, priests who are known for their preaching, dedication to hearing confession and giving absolution.

Priests interested in becoming one of the special communicators of God’s mercy are invited to apply online, providing that they have the support of their bishop or...

What is religious liberty?
(Saturday, 19 September 2015 )

WASHINGTON (Agencies): In an almost unprecedented move, five federal judges issued an opinion sharply criticising their court’s refusal to correct its recent decision that would force the Little Sisters of the Poor in the United States of America to assist the federal government with its contraception distribution scheme.

The opinion calls the decision against the Little Sisters “clearly and gravely...

Truth and life: the nature of education
(Saturday, 19 September 2015 )

New term, new beginnings. The start of the new school year has seen a spate of education related news: the conducting of water tests and the installation of filters amid a lead-tainted water scare at schools; teachers charged for illegally releasing confidential primary school interview questions; school crisis management procedures to be reviewed following a bungled response to a student suicide; and Hong Kong University’s recruitment process for the...

European bishops call for common asylum policy for refugees
(Saturday, 19 September 2015 )

MANCHESTER (CNS): “We cannot accept that people drown and suffocate at the borders of Europe. Building barbed-wire fences and walls to prevent refugees from entering Europe is not a solution,” the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community (COMECE) said in a statement on September 10, a day after meeting in Munich, Germany.

A common asylum policy for the European Union (EU)...

Survey shows Church-state relations smell rosy but hint not all is well
(Saturday, 19 September 2015 )

HONG KONG (SE): The Renmin University in Beijing released the results of what it describes as a multi-year survey on the religious environment in China today in July this year.

ChinaSource reported on August 25 that while the survey results received wide publicity both inside and outside China, the bulk of them highlighted the growing popularity of religion, especially among young people, as well as the...

Landmark Youth Day for Cambodia and Laos
(Saturday, 19 September 2015 )

PHNOM PENH (SE): What may be regarded as a run of the mill youth gathering in Hong Kong takes on an entirely different meaning in Cambodia and Laos.

In what is a big breakthrough in countries where any gatherings of more than five people are frowned on by the authorities, more than 100 young people gathered at three different locations in Cambodia under the sponsorship of the Episcopal Conference of Laos and...