August 2017

What’s in a name?
(Saturday, 5 August 2017 )

HONG KONG (UCAN): Chinese propaganda exponents have ordered mainland journalists not to describe the outspoken former bishop of Hong Kong, Joseph Cardinal Zen Ze-kiun, by the Churchy honorific, the bishop emeritus (former) of the diocese, but instead top employ the everyday term of former.
Xinhua news agency informed its media personnel on the mainland of the new terminology, saying that it is part of a broader list of words and...

No spurts from Vatican fountains
(Saturday, 5 August 2017 )

VATICAN (SE): The famous fountains sprinkled around the Vatican Gardens are running dry this summer. Pope Francis has ordered them to be turned off, as Italy swelters through one of its driest summers for many years.
Vatican Radio reports that what is being described as the country’s third longest drought in 60 years has cost Italian agriculture some US$2.3 billion ($17.85 billion).
There are approximately 100 fountains in the Vatican...

It is tough at the top
(Saturday, 5 August 2017 )

On August 1, the Holy See announced that it has accepted the retirement of the current bishop of Hong Kong, John Cardinal Tong Hon, and that he is to be succeeded automatically by his coadjutor, Bishop Michael Yeung Ming-cheung.
While a change in the leadership at the top of the diocese is always a matter of much interest, often preceded by a period of intense speculation, in one sense it is of little consequence, yet in another, it is vital for the Church.

The state of the president address
(Saturday, 5 August 2017 )

MANILA (SE): Displaying a verbosity reminiscent of Lee Kwan-yew, but without the eloquence of the former prime minister of Singapore, the president of the Republic of The Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, regaled his hapless people for well over two hours in his second State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 24.
Although prophets from Malacañang predicted a strong SONA, pundits from another side of the fence came much closer to the mark with their prediction of a...

Maronite World Youth Day
(Saturday, 5 August 2017 )

BEIRUT (AsiaNews): The World Maronite Youth Day kicked off in Lebanon on July 13 to offer young Maronites born outside the country an immersion experience in an Antiochian-Syriac cultural and human environment out of which the culture of their rite grew.
Organised by the Patriarchate Youth Pastoral Office along the model of World Youth Day, the 10-day international gathering of young Maronite Catholics has attracted some 450 overseas enrollments from across the five...

Terrorism is the problem not the young missionaries
(Saturday, 5 August 2017 )

WENZHOU (UCAN): Two young Chinese, Li Xinheng, from Hunan, and Meng Lisi, from Hubei in central China, were abducted by terrorists in Pakistan on May 24 and are believed to have been killed by their kidnappers.
The two, who were in their mid-20s, were working under the auspices of a Korean Christian missionary, Seo Jun-won, who together with his wife was running a small school in which Li and Meng were involved.
In a reflection published by UCAN...

Japanese warrior for refugees mourned
(Saturday, 5 August 2017 )

TOKYO (UCAN): Michiko Inukai, a nationally-known Catholic author who supported refugees in Japan and abroad, died on July 24 due to advanced age. She was 96.
Inukai was a granddaughter of the prime minister, Tsuyoshi Inukai, whose assassination by young naval officers in 1932 marked the end of effective civilian control of the Japanese government until after World War II.
Inukai and her family were baptised during the war after Jesuit missionaries...

Missionary life on the move comes to an end
(Saturday, 5 August 2017 )

Sister Kay Byrne died quietly on the evening of June 28 at the Maryknoll Sisters Centre in the United States of America. She was 88-years-old and had spent 64 years of her life with Maryknoll.
Born Katherine Theresa Byrne in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on 12 March 1929 to Marie Fitzgerald and Philip J. Byrne Jr, she had one brother, Philip J. and one sister, Maryellen. Both her parents and brother predeceased her.
Although she grew up in...

Around the Traps
(Saturday, 5 August 2017 )


Bosnia’s Catholics leaving
SARAJEVO (SE): Hot on the heels of the German Church announcing a substantial drop in is membership, the bishops of Bosnia and Herzegovina reported their membership has fallen to 400,000—down from over 740,000 before the Bosnian War (1992 to 1995).
However, while the German drop in numbers is mostly the result of religious drift, in the Balkan nation of 3.9 million it is emigration,...

Positioning the Church in the world
(Saturday, 5 August 2017 )

HONG KONG (SE): An surprising article appeared in the semi-official Vatican newspaper, Civilta Cattolica, in mid-July attacking what it called a group of right wing Catholics in the United States of America (US) for betraying Church social teaching though political alliances they have made with fundamentalist evangelical groups, especially in the area of bioethics.
Written by its editor-in-chief, Father Anthony Spadaro SJ, and Reverend Marcelo Figueroa, the editor...