July 2017

A prayer and a march in search of courage
(Saturday, 8 July 2017 )

HONG KONG (SE): The traditional ecumenical prayer meeting that has been held prior to the July 1 march lost its old spot in Victoria Park this year, as did the organisers of the march, who lost their gathering ground to the celebrations marking the 20th anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong from British to Chinese sovereignty.
The Civil Human Rights Front was informed by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department in May this year that its traditional rallying spot on...

A two-decade litmus test for Beijing
(Saturday, 8 July 2017 )

HONG KONG (SE): What was intended as a showpiece for the world of the progress made by Hong Kong during two decades of Chinese sovereignty on the 20th anniversary of the handover from the British did little more than demonstrate the deepened tensions over the innovative One Country, Two Systems principle dreamed up by Deng Xiaoping in the 1980s.
Always destined to be a tug of war between the two, supporters of one side or the other took to the...
Work contracts not the answer
(Saturday, 8 July 2017 )

HONG KONG (SE): Whether the contractual working hours proposal put forward by the government on June 13 would solve the ongoing dilemma of the high number of overtime hours worked by employees in Hong Kong or not remains a moot point.
A statement issued on June 14 by the Hong Kong Catholic Commission for Labour Affairs indicates that it believes that it could well only serve to further muddy the waters.
The commission insists...
China takes nose dive in human trafficking report
(Saturday, 8 July 2017 )

HONG KONG (UCAN): In its Trafficking in Persons Report 2017 released on June 27, the United States of America (US) downgraded China’s ranking to Tier 3, rating it with the world’s worst human trafficking offenders alongside North Korea, Zimbabwe and Syria as.
The report is the first public rebuke of China’s human rights record by the US since Donald Trump assumed the presidency in January.
Health of Liu Xiaobo deliberately neglected former top aide says
(Saturday, 8 July 2017 )

BEIJING (SE): Bao Tong, the former top aide to the late ousted Chinese premier, Zhao Ziyang, has hit out at the Communist Party for its tardiness in granting medical parole to jailed Nobel laureate and democracy advocate, Liu Xiaobo (Sunday Examiner, July 2). 
The one time top cadre, who served a seven-year jail term in the aftermath of the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre, accused the party of neglect for waiting until Liu’s liver cancer,...
Priest banned from travelling abroad
(Saturday, 8 July 2017 )

HANOI (UCAN): Redemptorist Father John Nguyen Ngoc Nam Phong, who is known for his human rights advocacy campaigns for social justice, has been barred from leaving Vietnam for national security reasons.
A Church person said that the priest from Thai Ha parish in Hanoi was stopped at Hanoi’s Noi Bai Airport as he was checking in on a flight to Australia for study laave on June 27.
In a post on Facebook, Vietnamese officials...
New cardinals called to serve not be princes
(Saturday, 8 July 2017 )

VATICAN (SE): Louis-Marie Cardinal Ling Mangkhanekhoun, the apostolic vicar of Pakse in Laos, became the first cardinal from his country when Pope Francis elevated him, along with four others to the College of Cardinals at a consistory on June 28.
The 73-year-old Cardinal Ling is a Khamu, a hill tribe in northern Laos and southern China, and was ordained a priest in a refugee camp in 1972.
CNS reported him as saying that becoming a...

Beaten by cardinal sin
(Saturday, 8 July 2017 )

BRISBANE (SE): Manny Pacquiao fell victim to the cardinal sin of disdain for his opposition at Lang Park’s Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane when he lost his welterweight world title to Australian challenger, Jeff Horn, on July 2.
Appearing bored at the pre-fight press conference on June 30, Pacquiao spent his time playing with two mobile telephones, barely even acknowledging the emcee as he introduced him as the greatest boxer ever to step into the ring....
Contract work hours and other problems
(Saturday, 8 July 2017 )

The duty of heads of government is to harmonise sectoral interests with the requirements of justice in order that the common good may be attained in conjunction with the contribution of every citizen (The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church 168-9).
But on working hours and the offset against the Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) for severance pay, the government hurriedly launched two policies, which are neither fish, flesh...
Behind the hollow headlines
(Saturday, 8 July 2017 )

MELBOURNE (SE): News of the 20th anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong from British to Chinese sovereignty set to be celebrated on July 1 overshadowed the headlines in Australian newspapers on June 29 when police in Melbourne announced that George Cardinal Pell had become the highest ranking Church official ever to be charged with sexual offences.
A former archbishop of both Sydney and Melbourne, and currently the prefect for the Vatican Secretariat for...