April 2016

An unseen generosity
(Saturday, 23 April 2016 )

I met Alamid while I was in Germany. He told me he was a refugee from Syria. Their house had been partly destroyed by barrel bombs dropped by the armies of Bashar al-Assad, the Russian-supported Syrian dictator.

Alamid, together with his family and an uncle, is among the hundreds of non-combatant families bombed out of home who has lost all of his possessions. They survive the bombs by taking shelter in...

Root causes of people’s flight must be addressed
(Saturday, 23 April 2016 )

PORT MYTILENE (SE): Pope Francis fulfilled a long held ambition when he landed on the Greek island of Lesvos on the morning of April 16 to pay a 12-hour visit to the thousands of refugees who have sought shelter in trying conditions that are only lightened by the generosity of those who have welcomed them.

He described the purpose of his visit as being a call to the many international organisations in the world that must...

Three refugee families return with pope
(Saturday, 23 April 2016 )

VATICAN (SE): Pope Francis flew out of Port Mytilene with three refugee families that the Vatican will give hospitality and shelter to in Rome, Italy.

The Vatican Press Office reported, “The pope has desired to make a gesture of welcome regarding refugees, accompanying him on his plane to Rome three families of refugees from Syria, 12 people in all, including six children.”


Age not the only dilemma for China’s bishops
(Saturday, 23 April 2016 )

HONG KONG (UCAN): Who can take their place is becoming a circular dilemma for some of China’s ageing bishops.

While the general custom in the Church is for bishops to retire at 75, Bishop Vincent Zhu Weifang, from Wenzhou, has found that stepping down is fraught with problems, even though he is already 90.

But he showed that even he considers himself to be past his use by...

Church building turns professional
(Saturday, 23 April 2016 )

MANILA (Agencies): The archbishop of Manila announced on April 12 that any major building or renovation programme with a cost estimate in excess of 200,000 pesos ($33,400) will now come under the competence of a newly established engineering authority.

In a letter to pastors, school directors and institutional heads, Luis Cardinal Tagle said that this will assist the archdiocese in the construction or renovation of Church...

(Saturday, 23 April 2016 )

JAKARTA (AsiaNews): Indonesia is preparing to execute 40 people, most of whom are under a death sentence for drug trafficking.

The attorney general, H.M. Prasetyo, made the announcement on April 3 without disclosing the names of the condemned, although it is believed that some big time drug runners are on the list.

No date has been set for the executions, but the attorney general...

Appeal to abandon play due to clear skies
(Saturday, 23 April 2016 )

NEW DELHI (SE): “Play abandoned due to rain” is a common enough item to hear on cricket news flashes, but the Church in drought-hit western Maharashtra state of cricket-mad India has made what may be a first in the cricket world, an appeal to abandon play due to clear skies and fine weather.

Matches in the Indian Premier League, which began on April 9, are scheduled to be played in the area, but the Church...

Cardinal Zen gives a tick to archbishop of Prague
(Saturday, 23 April 2016 )

HONG KONG (UCAN): The former bishop of Hong Kong, Joseph Cardinal Zen Ze-kiun, gave a big tick to the archbishop of Prague, Dominik Cardinal Duka, for challenging the president of China, Xi Jinping, on religious freedom and human rights during his March 28 to 30 visit to the Czech Republic (Sunday Examiner, April 24).

In an open statement, Cardinal Duka said, “As a representative of the Roman Catholic Church,...

When is a diplomat not meddling in internal affairs?
(Saturday, 23 April 2016 )

HONG KONG (SE): When a consul general to Hong Kong from the United States of America or Britain makes a comment about social or political issues in the special administrative region, they are usually told to butt out and stop interfering in the internal affairs of an independent territory.

However, it seems that it may vary, depending on what is said and who wants to hear it.


Market place parish
(Saturday, 23 April 2016 )

SEOUL (SE): A group of merchants who work in the Garak Market in Seoul, South Korea, founded a quasi-parish 25 years ago at a time when it was difficult to find a place where Mass was allowed to be celebrated.

On April 12, the 25th anniversary of its foundation in 1991, the archbishop of Seoul, Andrew Cardinal Yeom Soo-jung, came to the third floor venue to celebrate Mass for the 200 or so regulars.