June 2017

Vatican expresses grave concern over missing bishop
(Saturday, 1 July 2017 )

VATICAN (SE): “The Holy See is following with grave concern the personal situation of Bishop Peter Shao Zhumin of Wenzhou, forcibly removed from his episcopal see some time ago,” Greg Burke, director of the Vatican press office, said in a statement on June 26, CNS reported.
Bishop Shao has been detained since Holy Week and has been repeatedly moved in an apparent attempt to prevent him from assuming leadership of the diocese; he is...
Supreme Court allows partial implementation of travel ban
(Saturday, 1 July 2017 )

WASHINGTON (SE): The Supreme Court of the United States of America (US) delivered a mixed ruling on June 26 that will allow a partial implementation of the controversial travel ban on six Muslim-majority countries of the president, Donald Trump, according to the National Catholic Reporter.
The court ruled that a complete ban went too far, and it only blocked that part affecting those with standing to challenge Trump’s executive order in US...
Challenges of post-handover Hong Kong
(Saturday, 1 July 2017 )

Over the past 20 years, Hong Kong has experienced many ups and downs. Some people believe that we should celebrate because Beijing has, in general, honoured its pledges since the handover; that Hong Kong people maintain their original way of life and that the One country, two systems principle has been successfully implemented. 
However, many hold opposing views. Issues concerning the economy remain unresolved, while repeated...
Longtime Vatican diplomat dies after long illness
(Saturday, 1 July 2017 )

VATICAN (SE): Ivan Cardinal Dias, the former prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples before his retirement in 2011, died on June 19 in Rome after a long illness at the age of 81, CNS reported.
Pope Francis called the longtime Vatican diplomat, a “wise and gentle pastor” who served the Church and Vatican faithfully for almost five decades.
The pope offered his condolences to the Dias...
Religious music should be art not advertising
(Saturday, 1 July 2017 )

DUBLIN (SE): Bono is the well-known vocalist from the Irish rock band, U2, but he is also a man with a great love for the psalms and has strong ideas of his own on how to communicate religious values through music.
The 57-year-old has spoken often about the inspiration he receives from the biblical hymns and says that they hold good lessons for aspiring Christian musicians, as they are real art and, as they do not try to get in your face with the Christian...
Pontifical Academy for Life stirs the pot
(Saturday, 1 July 2017 )

VATICAN (SE): Nigel Biggar, a philosopher and professor of moral and pastoral theology at Oxford University and a proponent of legal abortion up to 18 weeks into pregnancy, is among the 45 new appointments to the Pontifical Academy for Life.
Biggar is on record as saying, “I would be inclined to draw the line for abortion at 18 weeks after conception, which is roughly about the earliest time when there is some evidence of brain activity, and therefore...
Judge halts deportation of Iraqi Christians
(Saturday, 1 July 2017 )

HONG KONG (SE): United States of America (US) district judge, Mark Goldsmith, issued a 14-day stay on plans by immigration authorities to deport nearly 200 Iraqis— most of them Chaldean Christians—who were seized in raids in the area of Detroit, Michigan. He will weigh the merits of a lawsuit, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) against the deportation proceedings, the Catholic Herald reported on June 23.
Goldsmith said he...
Neglect sparks unrest in Darjeeling
(Saturday, 1 July 2017 )


HONG KONG (SE): Hundreds of Gurkhas and Nepali-speaking people held a rally in George V Memorial Park, Hong Kong, on June 25 in support of ethnic Gurkha people in Darjeeling, India, who have gone on indefinite strike, demanding a separate homeland—Gorkhaland, the South China Morning Post reported on June 26.
The newspaper reported Subash Thapa, president of the United Gorkha Community of India-Hong Kong, as saying, "We are not...

Gunmen descrate church in Cotabato
(Saturday, 1 July 2017 )

COTABATO (UCAN): Orlando Cardinal Quevedo, from Cotabato, Mindanao, has condemned reported desecration of a Catholic chapel by terrorist gunmen in the southern Philippines on June 21.
The incident, in the village of Malagakit, occurred when about 300 gunmen of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), a breakaway faction of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, attacked Pigcawayan, Cotabato, resulting in the displacement of hundreds of residents.
Nations are ruined by hypocrisy cardinal says
(Saturday, 1 July 2017 )

MANILA (SE): “God is my joy in every circumstance of my life knowing that he works all things out always for the good of all,” 
Luis Cardinal Antonio Tagle, the archbishop of Manila said on the occasion of his 60th birthday on June 21, UCAN reported.
Celebrating Mass at Manila Cathedral, he warned people against play-acting when praying, fasting, or giving alms. “Lives are ruined by such play...