April 2016

Filipino farmers demand government funds
(Saturday, 30 April 2016 )

MANILA (UCAN): Some 200 farmers arrived in Manila on April 19 after walking the 135 kilometres from Quezon province to make a special appeal to the government to release the billions of pesos collected by the more than three-decades-old Coco Levy Fund.

The tax was introduced during the dictatorship of former president, Ferdinand Marcos, in the 1970s, purportedly to support the development of the coconut industry, a major...

Christine Jacob goes out of the Church then back again
(Saturday, 30 April 2016 )

MUNTINLUPA (Agencies): Like many in the showbiz world, Christine Jacob has dabbled in a few religions in her time.

“It was a very, very tough time in my life,” she noted, especially in the days she was on noontime TV almost daily.

Though a cradle Catholic, the former Olympic swimmer and show host joined born-again fellowships with her celebrity friends in a desire to...

Pope reflects on his own message
(Saturday, 30 April 2016 )

PORT MYTILENE (CWN): In a question-and-answer session with reporters who accompanied the pope on his April 16 visit to the Greek island of Lesvos, Pope Francis acknowledged that his apostolic exhortation, The Joy of Love (Amoris Laetitia) has changed the Church’s approach to the reception of communion by Catholics who are divorced and remarried.

But he stressed that the question is by no means the most...

Religious leaders pressure United Nations
(Saturday, 30 April 2016 )

NEW YORK (SE): An Interfaith Climate Statement to World Leaders was presented to the secretary general of the United Nations (UN), Ban Ki-moon, at a ceremony held in the Chapel of the Church Centre for the UN in Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza, New York, on April 18, four days prior to the scheduled signing of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change adopted last year on December 12.

The petition was signed by 270 religious...

Vatican-sponsored refugees arrive in Rome
(Saturday, 30 April 2016 )

ROME (Agencies): The 12 refugees who were at risk of deportation from the Greek island of Lesvos that returned to Italy with Pope Francis got straight down to work, beginning classes in Italian just a few days after their arrival.

The three Syrian families spent their first day with their host community, the lay peace group of Sant’Egidio. On the following evening, a celebratory dinner was held in the Trastevere...

Frustration with annulment
(Saturday, 30 April 2016 )

HONG KONG (UCAN): Despite finding comfort in the latest apostolic exhortation from Pope Francis, The Joy of Love (Amoris Laetitia), a divorced and remarried Catholic in Hong Kong said she has lost faith in the Church hierarchy and would not seek its help anymore in resolving the issue of her divorce after two failed attempts.

After her divorce in 1996, the woman said her parish priest instructed her to process a...

Shifty money and suspended audits at Vatican
(Saturday, 30 April 2016 )

VATICAN (SE): Described as a major blow to plans for the reform of Vatican financial affairs, the Secretariat of State informed all Vatican offices on April 20 that an outside audit being conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers has been suspended.

Nevertheless, Vatican officials insist that they are continuing their investigation in shifty money moves.

Judicial authorities are...

Today’s crises no longer have a single cause
(Saturday, 30 April 2016 )

MONTREAL (CNS): Caritas is on the climate change warpath, linking it with other emergency situations that are caused by human behaviour.

Speaking to northern American members of Caritas in Montreal, Canada, the president of Caritas Internationalis, Luis Cardinal Tagle, said that global emergencies must be looked at as being caused by people.

The International secretary general of...

Church demolition team buries protester alive
(Saturday, 30 April 2016 )

ZHUMADIAN (AsiaNews): Ding Cuimei, the wife of an Protestant pastor, Reverend Li Jiangong, from an unregistered Church in Zhumadian, Henan, died of suffocation after she was buried alive while trying to defend their Beitou Church building from demolition.

Her husband, who was also buried, managed to survive.

The police have opened an investigation and arrested two people from the...

Putting the family Church forward
(Saturday, 23 April 2016 )

The apostolic exhortation on love in the family by Pope Francis, The Joy of Love (Amoris Laetitia), is a landmark document in the history of modern papal teaching.

It approaches the hot-button issues of marriage and sexuality and, even more so, contains a vision of Church.

The ecclesiology that underpins the encyclical is both collegial and synodal.