March 2017

Patron of the Church in China
(Saturday, 18 March 2017 )

The Church dedicates the month of March to St. Joseph, one of the few feast days celebrated during Lent. With the exception of St. Joseph on March 19 and the Annunciation on March 25, both of which are part of the proclamation of the Saviour’s birth, Lent is a period of reflection on the Passion of Jesus, an opportunity to follow the way of the cross and live simply.

Lent has...

Am I being unfair to you?
(Saturday, 18 March 2017 )

World Day of Prayer celebrates the dedication of women to being involved in the mission of God in the world

HONG KONG (SE): A 90-year tradition that began with an initiative by women in the Americas calling people of Christian faith around the world to pray was marked for the 91st time on March 3.

World Day of Prayer has its...

Around the Traps
(Saturday, 18 March 2017 )

Fair weather friends 

BEIJING (SE): In an effort to offer fair weather and blue skies to friends gathering for the National People’s Congress which opened on March 3, dirty factories in 18 cities around Beijing were closed down, Radio Free Asia reported....

Just one more on someone’s hit list
(Saturday, 18 March 2017 )

OZAMIZ CITY (SE): “The wound in the people’s minds is deeper and more painful than the wounds in the body of Sister Kathleen Melia,” Father Sean Martin from Ozamiz City in The Philippines told the Sunday Examiner after the 70-year-old Columban sister was bashed in her home on March 1.

Sister Melia has worked among the Subaanen people in the hills of Zamboanga for over 30 years and the unexplained...

Subtle snub for Cardinal Tong
(Saturday, 18 March 2017 )

HONG KONG (UCAN): An article published by John Cardinal Tong Hon in the Sunday Examiner on February 12 suggesting possible ways for Church-state relations in China to move forward appears to have received a subtle snub from Beijing.

A special pilgrimage to the tomb of the first bishop to be ordained illegitimately in China during a meeting held between the Bishops’ Conference of the Catholic Church in China...

Voices of hope in a time of darkness
(Saturday, 18 March 2017 )

HONG KONG (SE): Women of The Philippines marched through the streets of Hong Kong on March 5 to put their mark on International Women’s Day (March 8) and add their voices to millions around the world in a call for recognition of the dignity of woman that began in the United States of America over a century ago.

Reflecting their lot as migrant domestic workers, they marched under the banner of working women to...

Bishops cop a tough ask
(Saturday, 18 March 2017 )

MANILA (SE): The bishops have copped a tough ask from the chief of the Philippine National Police, Ronald dela Rosa, when he called for a little bit of trust from the Church in the national campaign against drugs, which to date has left almost 8,000 dead bodies, mostly of poor people, strewn around the country.

The president, Rodrigo Duterte, closed down his campaign for a couple of months when it was revealed that his...

Shutdown on unofficial Churches in Xinjiang
(Saturday, 18 March 2017 )

HONG KONG (SE): Authorities in the northwestern region of Xinjiang in China have banned all Christian activities not linked to state-approved Churches, launching a region-wide crackdown on worship centres of unofficial communities under the guise of instituting anti-terrorism precautions.

Radio Free Asia reported on February 28 that unofficial Catholic communities and Protestant House Churches have been put on...

A reflection on Cardinal Tong’s view of Vatican-Beijing negotiations
(Saturday, 18 March 2017 )

SAN DIEGO (SE): Although there are converging interests between China and the Vatican on the appointments of bishops, the two hold quite different agendas in the current, much-discussed negotiations between the two parties.

Richard Madson, a sociologist on religion in China at the University of California in Dan Diego, the United States of America, says in an article posted on AsiaNews on February 13 that the Holy...

Apostasy is political not religious
(Saturday, 18 March 2017 )

CASABLANCA (SE): The High Religious Committee, which is in charge of issuing fatwas (Islamic rulings) in Morocco, released a book in 2012 which articulates its position that apostasy should be punished by death.

Drawing on a widespread jurisprudence tradition, the 2012 book argues that a Muslim who changes his or her religion should be punished with death.

However, in an...