March 2017

Localising Church music in China
(Saturday, 11 March 2017 )

HONG KONG (UCAN): China has experienced an increase in locally composed liturgical songs, which is evidenced by a new website listing various hymns that are sung across China today.

Last year, one priest released his own album of songs that he composed himself.

Sanyuan, in northwestern Shaanxi province, and Xianxian in northern Hebei, both held sacred music festivals in late 2016...

How full is full religious freedom?
(Saturday, 11 March 2017 )

HONG KONG (SE): In the clash of heads over the inclusion by chief executive hopeful, Carrie Lam Chen Yuet-ngor, of a suggestion to set up a government Religious Affairs Unit in Hong Kong (see page 1), the phrase, “Hong Kong already enjoys full religious freedom” is being tossed about with gay abandon.

While it is a guarantee of the Basic Law, the definition of religious freedom seems to be at least up for grabs...

Only Filipinos to kill Filipinos!
(Saturday, 11 March 2017 )

MANILA (UCAN): In what is a strange irony, The Promotion of Church People’s Response has requested the Philippine government, which is currently moving closer to reinstating the death penalty, to appeal to the government of the United Arab Emirates to refrain from executing a Filipino migrant worker, 30-year-old Jennifer Dalquez, who is convicted of murdering her employer.

Dalquez claimed before the Emirates’...

Pope on rights of indigenous peoples
(Saturday, 4 March 2017 )

VATICAN (SE): Pope Francis held an audience with the Indigenous Peoples’ Forum convened by the International Fund for Agricultural Development, which was being held in the Paul VI Audience Hall at the Vatican on February 15.

Pope Francis stressed that indigenous peoples have the right to be correctly informed about the any development that changes the nature of their tribal lands, as well as probable economic and...

Good friends in wrong places
(Saturday, 4 March 2017 )

HONG KONG (SE): The former chief executive of Hong Kong, Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, was sentenced to 20 months’ prison on February 22 on a charge of failing to disclose what were deemed to be spurious plans to lease a luxury penthouse in Shenzhen from an investor, Bill Wong Cho-bau, who was at the same time a major shareholder in WaveMedia and involved in applying for digital radio broadcasting licences.

The judge...

High casualty rate among overseas baptisms
(Saturday, 4 March 2017 )

HONG KONG (UCAN): It seems that baptism received during relatively short stays overseas does not travel well when returning across the borders back into China.

A study of Chinese students baptised while studying in English-speaking countries reveals that among the tens of thousands involved, the homecoming tragedy rate is quite high.

The Christian Daily website reported on...

Two cardinals two opinions
(Saturday, 4 March 2017 )

HONG KONG (SE): The two cardinals in Hong Kong hold divergent opinions on the current discussions taking place between the Vatican and Beijing, with the bishop of Hong Kong, John Cardinal Tong Hon, showing great optimism in his outline of a possible scenario for Church-state relations and his predecessor, Joseph Cardinal Zen Ze-kiun, far more wary.

Cardinal Zen points to what is considered the probable process in selecting...

Ministry behind the camera
(Saturday, 4 March 2017 )

HONG KONG (SE): A group of retired people between the ages of 60 and 70 is helping Caritas Hong Kong-Services for the Elderly to shoot life stories about senior citizens who are facing the prospect of ailing health.

A film production team was set up in 2015 by the Caritas Support Network for Third Age Services. The volunteers need a basic knowledge about movie-making and on-line editing, and they must be fit enough to...

Family denies late Bishop Wang was a secret cardinal
(Saturday, 4 March 2017 )

HONG KONG (UCAN): The rumour mill, which can run rampant around the Church in China, became so strong and complex around the time of the death of Bishop Casimir Wang Milu on February 14 that his younger brother, Bishop John Wang Ruowang, did not feel free to preside at the funeral ceremony of his older brother.

Rumours were spreading on social media that Bishop Casimir Wang, the former bishop of the diocese his brother now...

First-ever Anglican evensong in Catholic heartland
(Saturday, 4 March 2017 )

ROME (SE): For the first time in history an Anglican Choral Evensong will be celebrated at the Altar of the Chair of St. Peter in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome on March 13.

This date has been chosen as it is the nearest available day to the historic feast of St. Gregory the Great, who has become an unofficial patron of relations between the two Churches.

St. Gregory was the...