June 2017

Beware the leaven of fake news bishops say
(Saturday, 1 July 2017 )

MANILA (SE): In a June 25 statement Bishop Ruperto Santos, from Balanga, head of the Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People, described fake news as a form of escapism to spread lies, UCAN reported. 
“False news is sinfulness,” he said, reminding Filipino workers abroad “to avoid false promises.”
The head of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP)...
Around the Traps
(Saturday, 1 July 2017 )


Theology returns to Russian universities
Moscow (SE): The Russian Ministry of Justice issued a decree on June 14 approving academic degrees in theological studies. It is a great victory for the Russian Orthodox Church and in particular Patriarch Kirill, patriarch of Moscow and all Rus...
No tolerance for tribal religious politics
(Saturday, 1 July 2017 )

VATICAN (SE): Pope Francis may be a man of compassion and forgiveness, but when it comes to a matter of tribal religious politics he draws his Mason-Dixon Line.
Early in June, he told priests of the diocese Ahiara in Nigeria to accept and welcome their new bishop, not just despite the fact that he comes from a different tribal background, but because of it.
Tribal identity has been a big source of tension and serious division in many countries in...
Sinicisation is a double-edged sword
(Saturday, 1 July 2017 )


The present trend in China concerning religions is the request for their Sinicisation (Chinese officials prefer the term Chinasation) as the only way for survival in the country. Chinese President, Xi Jinping spoke for the first time about Sinicisation of Religions...
China can learn from the Vatican about managing Hong Kong
(Saturday, 1 July 2017 )

Pope Francis and President Xi Jinping came into their present roles within a day of each other in 2013—the pope was elected on March 13 and Xi became president on March 14. However, they have followed completely different paths in governing immense and cumbersome entities—the People’s Republic of China and the universal Church.
How they govern shows a complete contrast of approaches where Pope Francis has something...
Twenty years on Chinese turf
(Saturday, 24 June 2017 )


As the special administrative region of Hong Kong prepares to mark the 20th anniversary of the handover from British to Chinese sovereignty on July 1, the Church can look back at a period first marked by apprehension, then surprise and finally wonder.
No one knew what to expect as the clock wound down to 1 July 1997. There was apprehension and fear that the new masters of the British colony may be proactive in clipping Church wings that had become accustomed...

Taipei loses Panama in diplomacy race
(Saturday, 24 June 2017 )


BEIJING (AsiaNews): Taipei lost another friend in its diplomatic race with Beijing when Panama cut its diplomatic relations with Taipei in order to establish relations with Beijing.
The president of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela, announced the move during a television interview on June 12, the same day that the Foreign Minister from China, Wang Yi, and his counterpart from Panama, Isabel Saint Malo, signed a joint statement confirming the new relationship....

Catholics in Papua picket bishops' meeting
(Saturday, 24 June 2017 )


JAYAPURA (UCAN): All five bishops serving in the Papua and West Papua provinces of Indonesia have come under fire from indigenous members of their flock for remaining silent over what the Papuan people call serious social injustice.
Their anger prompted them to stage a protest on June 14 outside the Maranatha Waena Convent in Jayapura where the five bishops were holding their annual meeting.
"The bishops stay silent instead of speaking...

Philanthropy requires more than money
(Saturday, 24 June 2017 )


SYDNEY (SE): The man who once fell out with the Vatican for undisclosed reasons after going into an interfaith partnership to combat human trafficking in the world, has donated $400 million Australian ($2.34 billion) to a variety of charities.
Mining magnate, Andrew, better known as Twiggy Forrest, together with his wife, Nicola, has donated amounts ranging from AUD50 million ($293.5 million) to AUD75 million ($440.1 million) to cancer research, community...

Killer landslides in Bangladesh
(Saturday, 24 June 2017 )


CHITTAGONG (AsiaNews): At least 144 people are reported to have died in a series of landslides that hit Rangamati, Bandarban, Chittagong and Cox's Bazar in southeastern Bangladesh between June 11 and 14.
Rangamati is the most affected with 103 deaths reported, followed by Chittagong with 33 and Bandarban with six. In Cox's Bazar, a man was buried in the mud along with his daughter.
The death toll is expected to rise as the monsoonal rains...