September 2015

Pope puts stress on mercy for Jubilee Year
(Saturday, 12 September 2015 )

VATICAN (SE): “I have asked the Church in this Jubilee Year to rediscover the richness encompassed by spiritual and corporate works of mercy,” Pope Francis says in a letter to the president of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelisation, Archbishop Rino Fisichella, on September 1.

Released for publication on the same day by the Vatican Press Office, the pope recognises the validity of absolution...

Taiwan poll on same-sex marriage flawed
(Saturday, 12 September 2015 )

TAIPEI (UCAN): An opinion poll sponsored by the Taiwan Ministry of Justice on granting marriage rights to same-sex attracted couples has drawn thousands of positive responses since it was launched in early August.

However, the organisation of the poll has also been criticised for not being able to canvas popular opinion accurately enough to use as a basis for any type of legislation, let alone something as basic as changing the...

Vietnam releases two rights advocates
(Saturday, 12 September 2015 )

HANOI (SE): Tran Minh Nhat and Thai Van Dung, both Catholic rights advocates, who were sentenced for plotting to overthrow the government in Vietnam four years ago, were freed on August 27.

They were found guilty of being affiliated with the banned opposition party, Viet Tan, Radio Free Asia reported.

Tran told the broadcaster that they had been under constant pressure to sign a confession in order to get a...

Lawyer barred from leaving China
(Saturday, 12 September 2015 )

NEW YORK (Agencies): Liang Xiaojun, his wife and their eight-year-old son lined up at passport control at Beijing International Airport for a flight to New York on August 20 only to learn that while his wife and son could leave the country, Liang could not.

The New York Times reported that they were headed to Columbia University, where Liang, a lawyer and founding member of China Against the Death Penalty, was to study for...

Appeal to include aged bishop in amnesty
(Saturday, 12 September 2015 )

HONG KONG (SE): Catholic people in Hebei province have renewed their appeal for the release of long-imprisoned Bishop James Su Zhimin, from the unofficial Church community in Baoding.

The request came after the president, Xi Jinping, granted amnesty to jailed war veterans, as well as bedridden or disabled elderly prisoners on August 29 to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.

“Though we do not...

More clamps on religious freedom in Asia
(Saturday, 12 September 2015 )

HONG KONG (UCAN): The parliament in Naypyidaw, the Union of Myanmar, passed controversial legislation championed by hardline Buddhist nationalists on August 21, raising fears authorities will have new tools to use against already marginalised minority groups.

Members of the parliament said that two proposed bills had been passed; one regulating religious conversions and the other an anti-polygamy bill.

Je Yaw Wu, a...

Healing hands mourned
(Saturday, 12 September 2015 )

DHAKA (AsiaNews): A New Zealand-born doctor, Edric Baker, who devoted the best part of his life to serving the poor of Bangladesh, died on September 1 in Dhaka at the age of 74.

His funeral was held on the following day at the Kaliakuri Health Care Project in the Tangail District of Dhaka. Thousands of people from the Christian, Islamic and Hindu faiths attended the solemn service in honour of the doctor.


Bishop not on list for family synod
(Saturday, 12 September 2015 )

HONG KONG (UCAN): The bishop of Hong Kong, which is the largest Chinese diocese in the world, will be not be attending the World Synod of Bishops in October, because he is past the age limit of 75.

John Cardinal Tong Hon was not invited to participate in the Synod on Marriage and Family Life. “Now I know that I am not going to the synod,” the 76-year-old bishop of Hong Kong said.

He explained he was...

Call for China to walk the talk
(Saturday, 12 September 2015 )

HONG KONG (SE): As 12,000 troops marched, 500 pieces of military hardware were showcased and 200 aircraft flew over Tiananmen Square on September 3 to mark the 70th anniversary of the surrender of the Imperial Japanese Forces to China in 1945, the president of China, Xi Jinping, said, “With our victory, we completely shattered Japan’s militaristic attempts and regained China’s status as a great power.”


Appeal from Cardinal Tong for 
Caritas-Hong Kong’s annual fund-raising drive

(Saturday, 12 September 2015 )

Turn mercy into action
– give hope to the world –

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ

In the Bull of Indiction of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, Pope Francis proclaimed that “Jesus Christ is the face of the Father’s mercy.” This one line sums up the mystery of the Christian faith that mercy has become “living”...