July 2017

Same-sex marriage for Germany
(Saturday, 8 July 2017 )

OXFORD (CNS): The German Bishops’ Conference expressed regret over a June 30 vote by the Bundestag (parlialment) to allow same-sex marriage while Archbishop Heiner Koch, from Berlin, described the vote as abandoning “the differentiated perception of various forms of partnership in order to stress the value of same-sex partnerships.”
However, the chairperson of the Commission for Marriage and Family said, “Differentiation isn’t...
Mixed reviews for south Asian nations in trafficking report
(Saturday, 8 July 2017 )

HONG KONG (UCAN): While China fell in ranking in the Trafficking in Persons Report 2017 (see page 3) issued by the State Department of the United States of America (US) on June 27, south Asian nations continue to fall short in their attempts to combat human trafficking and protect victims, but are making significant efforts.
The report ranked Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and India among 44 countries on the list of Tier 2...
Human dignity and an unpleasant truth
(Saturday, 8 July 2017 )

My Family’s Slave is a personal story written by Pulitzer-prize winning author and journalist, Alex Tizon, who died last March.
Tizon grew up in the United States of America (US) where he migrated with his family in the 1960s. He was four-years-old at the time.
He left behind a moving and conscience-searing story about his yaya, the family domestic...
Children on the frontline of Philippine conflicts
(Saturday, 8 July 2017 )

MANILA (UCAN): The Philippines is home to one of the longest-standing conflicts in southeast Asia. The complex narratives of various insurgent groups fighting the government include the use of children as combatants.
The United Nations (UN) says the recruitment and use of children during conflict is a severe violation of human rights and is condemned by the Security Council. But in many parts of the world children play a direct part in combat.
No dialogue with extremists bishop says
(Saturday, 8 July 2017 )

DAGUPAN (UCAN): Bishop Edwin de la Peña, from Marawi on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao, said that there is no way the Church can dialogue with extremists at a conference in the northern province of Pagasinan on June 29.
At a gathering running under the theme of Solidarity Congress for Persecuted Christians sponsored by Aid to the Church in Need, Bishop de la Peña dismissed as ridiculous proposals to negotiate for the release of...
Around the Traps
(Saturday, 8 July 2017 )

Dismissal for head of doctrine congregation
Vatican (SE): Pope Francis has chosen not to retain Gerhard Cardinal Müller for another five-year term as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in move seen by some as a dismissal, the Catholic Herald reported on July 1....
Bishop rails against new Judases in drug war
(Saturday, 8 July 2017 )

MANILA (UCAN): Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, from Kalookan in Metro Manila, dared the Philippine authorities to unmask the anti-narcotics vigilantes they claim are behind the spate of killings of suspected drug pushers and users over the past 12 months.
Speaking on July 2 at a Mass for victims of drug-related killings, the bishop expressed disappointment over police failure to identify and arrest their murders.
“I just want...
Catholic blogger jailed in Vietnam
(Saturday, 8 July 2017 )

HANOI (UCAN): Mary Magdelene Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, a Catholic blogger known as Mother Mushroom, was sentenced to 10 years in prison by the People’s Court of Khanh Hoa province in Nha Trang City on June 29.
The roads leading up to the court were blocked while police lined the streets.
Nguyen, a co-founder of a network of bloggers, was found guilty of “conducting propaganda against the Communist government” under...
No voting rights yet for overseas Sri Lankans
(Saturday, 8 July 2017 )


COLOMBO (UCAN): In April 2016, the Sri Lankan parliament appointed a committee to formulate ways to allow the 1.7 million Sri Lankans living and working overseas to have their say at elections.
Sri Lankan migrant workers and their supporters have been lobbying the government to implement laws that will allow them to vote from overseas, something that some in power appear reluctant to do.
The country has several...