February 2016

Tragedy at pope’s Mass not all doom and gloom
(Saturday, 6 February 2016 )

MANILA (UCAN): Jun and Judy Padasas will never forget the day Pope Francis came to the central Philippine city of Tacloban just over one year ago.

As the pope was blessing thousands of teary-eyed victims of Typhoon Haiyan on January 17, their 27-year-old daughter, Kristel Mae Padasas, died.

Padasas was waiting for the papal convoy to pass when a strong wind blew a large...

Oldest monastery in Iraq destroyed
(Saturday, 6 February 2016 )

HONG KONG (SE): Satellite pictures obtained by The Associated Press on January 20 have confirmed that the Islamic State has destroyed the ruins Iraq’s oldest monastery, built in the sixth century.

The destruction of Dair Mar Elia (St. Elijah’s Monastery) in Mosul in all probability took place in the late summer of 2014....

Pope invited to Great Mosque of Rome
(Saturday, 6 February 2016 )

VATICAN (SE): A Muslim delegation formally invited Pope Francis to visit the Great Mosque of Rome, the largest outside the Islamic world. It would mark the first time a pope has visited the local mosque, which was opened in 1995.

Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesperson, confirmed that the pope received the invitation on January during an early morning private audience at the Vatican with a five-person...

Congress not for the campaign trail
(Saturday, 6 February 2016 )

CEBU (Agencies): No one can accuse Filipino politicians of missing an opportunity of electioneering and with a presidential election in the air this year the large gathering of people in Cebu for the Eucharistic Congress presented such a good opportunity that the organisers had to appeal to them to respect the fact that it was  not about politics.

Death by neglect for Peace Process
(Saturday, 6 February 2016 )

COTABATO (UCAN): “Hatred, prejudice and bias against Muslims (are responsible) for the death of the Peace Process in Mindanao,” the archbishop of Cotabato, Orlando Cardinal Quevedo, said after too few to form a quorum turned up to the House of Representatives for the vote on the Bangsamoro Basic Law on January 28.

The well orchestrated no-show ploy ensured the Peace Process a death by neglect....

China’s House Church dilemma
(Saturday, 6 February 2016 )

HONG KONG (SE): “Legally registered, Three-Self Patriotic Churches are under attack, while the illegal House Churches are invited into an official dialogue,” David Ro wrote in the January issue of the Lausanne Global Analysis, saying that this appears to be a season of mixed messages from the government of China.

Ro points out...

Congress prays for Church in China
(Saturday, 6 February 2016 )

CEBU (SE): “Chinese Christians are still in deep water, in burning fire—a terrible reality,” the former bishop of Hong Kong, Joseph Cardinal Zen Ze-kiun, said in a personal testimony at the Eucharistic Congress being celebrated in Cebu, The Philippines, on January 25.

He said that when he saw a prayer for the suffering and persecuted Christians of the Middle East and African countries listed for...

Malling for Sunday Mass
(Saturday, 6 February 2016 )

MANILA (UCAN): Malling, or hanging around shopping malls is a popular pastime in The Philippines, and the proliferation of Sunday Masses being celebrated in shopping malls is proving to be extremely popular, leaving some wondering about the future of parish churches.

“We find it convenient,” a 53-year-old father of five, Miguel Espiño, says, adding that he believes that “wherever there are...

The maze of Vatican-China talks
(Saturday, 6 February 2016 )

HONG KONG (SE): Following the information maze on clandestine negotiations between Beijing and the Vatican is a risky journey.

In the last week of January, while UCAN reported the ambassador from Taiwan to the Holy See, Matthew Lee, as saying relations appear stalled, the Milan-based Corriere della Sera said a Beijing delegation was actually on Vatican soil and had brokered an agreement on the...

Proud to sing for the Eucharistic king
(Saturday, 6 February 2016 )

CEBU (Agencies): The Coro de San Jacinto, the chorale which performed at the opening Mass of the Eucharistic Congress in Cebu on January 24, regards it as a wonderful opportunity, saying who better to sing for than the king of kings.

The director of the chorale, Father Ranhilio Aquino, considered it a blessing to be chosen to sing for the Mass, calling it “an opportunity to serve, grow, and express. It is a...