February 2017

Religious join Women’s March in Washington
(Saturday, 4 February 2017 )

WASHINGTON (SE): The large crowds that gathered on January 21, the day after Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States of America (US), was originally billed as a protest by feminists against the anti-woman policies and attitudes of the new man in the While House.

But controversy quickly broke out and a week prior to the event the registration of what had described itself as a pro-life group,...

Watch out for your dignity
(Saturday, 4 February 2017 )

St. Paul tells us in his letter to the Ephesians that every person is God’s work of art and has dignity by virtue of being created in Christ Jesus.

Kenyan author, Margaret Ogola, tells us that unless we recognise that no individual can be replaced and has dignity by virtue of simply being conceived human, we cannot begin to talk about human rights.


Dominicans celebrate end of 800-year jubilee
(Saturday, 4 February 2017 )

ROME (SE): Pope Francis celebrated the closing Mass of the Dominican Jubilee, which began on November 7 last year to mark the eight centuries that have passed since the movement was formally confirmed as the Order of Preachers by Pope Honorius III.

At the January 21 Mass celebrated in the church of St. John Lateran, he invited Dominicans worldwide to become the salt and the light of the world in what he described as a...

Downgraded bishop takes back his old jobs
(Saturday, 4 February 2017 )

SHANGHAI (UCAN): Bishop Thaddeus Ma Daqin, who has been under house arrest in Sheshen Seminary near Shanghai since he called the bluff of the government at his ordination in July 2012, has taken up two jobs in the same Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association that he quit.

Bishop Ma accepted the two positions as a member of the standing committee in the Patriotic Association of Shanghai at a joint meeting of the association...

Jail time sought for Vatican Bank directors
(Saturday, 4 February 2017 )

ROME (SE): The prosecutor in the case against the former directors of the Institute for Religious Works, more commonly known as the Vatican Bank, asked for jail sentences on January 20 for Paulo Cipriani and Massimo Tulli for their part in breaching Italy’s anti-money-laundering laws.

In asking for sentences ranging from 10 months to one year, the prosecutor cited two suspicious operations that led to the 2010...

Is Duterte feeling the heat?
(Saturday, 4 February 2017 )

MANILA (SE): “The Catholic Church is full of sh...t,” the president of The Philippines proclaimed in bookending the Congress on Mercy held in Manila from January 16 to 20 with crude attacks on the Church and bishops.

Anticipating that his war on the poor would be attacked during the worldwide congress, Duterte was not disappointed and topped off his crude attack prior to the gathering with an equally crude one...

Congress of Mercy hears plea from streets
(Saturday, 4 February 2017 )

MANILA (SE): The Catholic Church in The Philippines was weighed but found wanting in responding to the issues that confronted the people, especially the poor, over the past year.

During national elections in May last year, the Church-based Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting tried to give expression to a Church committed to making a difference in the political arena.


Hidden wordplay in congress lingo
(Saturday, 4 February 2017 )

HONG KONG (UCAN): The most positive signal coming out of the Ninth National Congress of Catholic Representatives held in Beijing from December 27 to 29 is that the phrase China’s electing and ordaining bishops on its own appears only once in the work report on the period since the previous conference in 2010.

A phrase coined by Beijing in the 1950s to refer to the election and ordination of bishops under the...

Around the Traps
(Saturday, 4 February 2017 )

President of Palestine meets pope

VATICAN (SE): The president of Palestine, Mahmoud Abbas, met with Pope Francis on January 14 when in Rome for the opening of a new Palestinian embassy to the Holy See.

Abbas also met with Pietro Cardinal Parolin, the Vatican secretary of state, and Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, the secretary for relations with states.

A blow for freedom must be used for freedom
(Saturday, 4 February 2017 )

MUMBAI (UCAN): This year marks the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation, an event which changed the history of western Europe and much of the rest of the world.

At its heart is Martin Luther’s claim that the individual could seek and find God in the depths of his soul, not through obedience to a corrupt external Church structure. The first blow for freedom of choice, for freedom of conscience was...