December 2015

Pope proclaims Jubilee of Mercy in Africa
(Saturday, 12 December 2015 )

BANGUI (SE): Pope Francis jumped the gun in opening the Jubilee Year of Mercy, when he opened the Holy Door of the cathedral in the capital city of the Central African Republic, Bangui, on November 29, ten days before the official opening scheduled for December 8 at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

Pope Francis spoke to the people of the war-torn nation about the Christian vocation to love our enemies, saying...

Four arrested for threats against pope
(Saturday, 12 December 2015 )

BRESCIA (Agencies): Following a tip from the United States of America (US) Federal Bureau of Investigation, four people were arrested by police in Brescia, northern Italy, and in the Balkan state of Kosovo on suspicion of being terrorist risks and making threats on social media against Pope Francis. 

“They were threatening the pope, celebrating the recent attacks...

Knock knock—come in!
(Saturday, 12 December 2015 )

The Jubilee of Mercy is a symbolic event, which in the current climate of violence in the world has become more relevant than ever.

Officially, the year begins on December 8, when Pope Francis is scheduled to throw open the Holy Door at St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican.

But the pope is forever innovative and plans to preempt this date, opening a Holy Door in Bangui, the capital city...

Paris is a call for transformation
(Saturday, 12 December 2015 )

VATICAN (Agencies): Pope Francis called for a global and transformational agreement from the United Nations (UN) Conference of Parties on Climate Change (COP21) in an address at the UN offices in Nairobi during his visit to Kenya on November 26.

The pope called for an agreement based on the principles of solidarity, justice, equality and participation, orientated towards the attainment of three complex and...

Interfaith book on climate justice
(Saturday, 12 December 2015 )

LAHORE (SE): A book called The Sacredness of Creation: Spiritual Responsibility of Muslims and Christians to Care for our Common Home—Planet Earth was launched on November 9 in Lahore, Pakistan.

The publication is a collection of papers from a Muslim-Christian symposium on the environment held...

Hindu declaration on climate change
(Saturday, 12 December 2015 )

HONG KONG (SE): Over 60 leaders and organisations from the Hindu faith signed the Hindu Declaration on Climate Change, which was released on November 23.

The declaration is an initiative of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies—Bhumi Project, the Hindu American Foundation and an interfaith organisation, GreenFaith, together with an...

War and peace on the high seas
(Saturday, 12 December 2015 )

MANILA (AsiaNews): The sidelines of the November 18 to 19 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) held in Manila, The Philippines, was a busy place, with negotiations on war and peace on the high seas a big part of the unofficial agenda.

The president of the host nation, Noynoy Aquino, was busy lobbying Japan for support ships to patrol the waters of the West Philippine Sea, which China refers to as the South China...

A bishop in tough times dies
(Saturday, 12 December 2015 )

MANILA (Agencies): Bishop Federico Escaler, the first bishop of Kidapawan in Cotabato province, died in the early hours of the morning of November 28 at the age of 93.

A Jesuit, Bishop Escaler was a bishop during tough times, as Kidapawan was a hotbed of violence and conflict in 1976 when the diocese was set up. He moved from there to Ipil in Zamboanga Sibugay in 1980, which has always been an unstable place....

Pope meets president of South Sudan
(Saturday, 12 December 2015 )

KAMPALA (SE): Pope Francis met with the president of South Sudan, Salva Kiir, at the statehouse of the president of Uganda in Kampala on November 27.

Vatican Radio reported that the pope and the president held a 15-minute private meeting.

Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Holy See Press Office, said that the meeting was private and, that its purpose and...

Stretching the hospitality tag
(Saturday, 12 December 2015 )

MANILA (Agencies): While Filipinos maybe world-renowned for their hospitality, Father Rex Reyes, from the National Council of Churches of The Philippines, believes that turning their lives upside down so that a group of world leaders can have more fun in the country while making economic policies that exclude the bulk of the population is stretching matters a bit too far.

He told CBCP News, “For the...