November 2015

Tunisia shows Arab Muslim world can be democratic
(Saturday, 14 November 2015 )

TUNIS (SE): “We are happy because it is a recognition and encouragement to Tunisian democracy,” an elated Father Jawad Alamat, the national director of the Pontifical Mission Societies of Tunisia, said after the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet.

Fides reported him as saying on October 10, “We live in a difficult situation, where we find ourselves...

Vatican confirms hushed meeting in Beijing
(Saturday, 14 November 2015 )

VATICAN (SE): “It is part of a process aimed at normalisation of relations,” the Vatican secretary of state, Pietro Cardinal Parolin, told the media at the Vatican on October 29, confirming that a delegation from the Holy See had met with government representatives in Beijing from October 11 to 16.

While he would not speculate as to where the meeting may lead, he did say, “The sheer fact that we...

Sinicise or bust
(Saturday, 14 November 2015 )

HONG KONG (UCAN): Authorities overseeing the life of religious communities and Churches in China told a group of bishops and Church leaders they must Sinicise or bust.

At a gathering soon after Beijing concluded its hushed meetings with a Vatican delegation in October, the Church leaders were told that they must insist on a process of Sinicisation being implemented in their communities.


Is target crosses or illegal structures?
(Saturday, 14 November 2015 )

HONG KONG (UCAN): Christians in the Zhejiang province of China, where authorities have been carrying out a massive campaign to remove the crosses from Church buildings, say they will remain vigilant amid signs that the hardline strategy could spread to other jurisdictions.

Although Christian leaders in the province say the campaign against the crosses has subsided since September, authorities across China have...

Missionaries of mercy from Hong Kong
(Saturday, 14 November 2015 )

HONG KONG (UCAN): Hong Kong is not divulging the identity of the priests who volunteered to be part of Pope Francis’ initiative to appoint missionaries of mercy—priests granted the special faculty to absolve sins normally reserved to the Holy See.

A chancery notice published on October 12, said that the bishop of Hong Kong, John Cardinal Tong Hon, will recommend one or two priests to enroll as...

Arrest of gay couple violates human dignity
(Saturday, 14 November 2015 )

JAKARTA (UCAN): Two young women were arrested on September 28 in Banda Aceh, an area of Indonesia which implemented Sharia Law in 2001, and accused of being in a same-sex relationship.

“In terms of human rights, the arrest is a violation,” Father Paulus Christian Siswantoko, the secretary of the Commission for Justice, Peace and Pastoral Care for Migrant-Itinerant People, said.


A call to strong faith witness within the family
(Saturday, 14 November 2015 )

HONG KONG (SE): The joy of being an effective and credible witness to the faith within the family was the focus of two programmes held by the diocese of Hong Kong to mark Mission Sunday on October 4 and October 18. The theme of the two-day programme was, We are one family.

The first event took place at the Hong Kong Baptist University Academic Community Hall in Kowloon Tong. Over 500 people, including guests, took...

Cardinal cautions on same-sex marriage
(Saturday, 14 November 2015 )

HONG KONG (SE): A notice to the diocese released by the bishop of Hong Kong, John Cardinal Tong Hon, encouraging people in the diocese to study the platform of various political parties and candidates standing in the upcoming November 22 District Council Ordinary Elections, was sent to parishes and Church pastoral workers on November 5.

The letter puts the possible inclusion of same-sex marriage in the proposed...

Thirty-second Sunday of the Year
(Saturday, 7 November 2015 )

Mass of the Sunday, Gloria, Creed, preface of the Sunday (green).
 1 Kings 17:10-16; Hebrews 9: 24-28; Mark 12:38-44.

Wholehearted giving
(Saturday, 7 November 2015 )

Jesus presents to his disciples two contrasting sets of characters; the scribes, who they should be careful not to follow, and the generous, poor widow whose selfless giving is worth imitating.    

The scribes were people who loved to show off their knowledge and their titles, and draw people’s attention; they devoured the widows’ and orphan’s goods (v.40) and made a...