September 2017

A no no word for pope
(Saturday, 9 September 2017 )

YANGON (UCAN): The upcoming visit of Pope Francis to the Union of Myanmar and Bangladesh has sparked fears and hopes in both countries.
In Yangon, the bishops of Myanmar fear that he will mention the injustices faced by the Rohingya people over attempts to drive them from the country, while leaders of the Islamic faith hope that he will, at least in his articulated prayer.
Similarly in Dhaka, some hope that he will be outspoken about the refusal of the...

Goodwill gesture gone wrong
(Saturday, 9 September 2017 )

ROME (SE): A bishop in Spain issued a public apology after a parish priest allowed the local Hindu community to carry an image of the Hindu god with an elephant head, Ganesh, in a procession at the church.
The priest who allowed the procession to take place subsequently offered his resignation as the vicar general of the diocese. It was accepted.
On August 20, the Hindu community of Ceuta and Melilla, two autonomous Spanish communities located on the...

Qatar moves to protect migrant workers
(Saturday, 9 September 2017 )

DOHA (AsiaNews): Qatar passed a law on August 22 attributing industrial rights to migrant workers, including domestic staff, stipulating a maximum 10-hour day, monthly payment of salary, a whole day off each week and a three-week vacation each year.
At the termination of employment or contract, three weeks salary is to be paid for each year of service completed. It also prohibits the employment of anyone over 60 or under 18.
The new law is designed to...

The habit of commitment
(Saturday, 9 September 2017 )

HONG KONG (SE): Two members of the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Sorrows, Sister Maria Corazon Liwanag and Sister Maria Francis Lee Kar-yee, made their final profession at a Mass at St. Alfred’s in Tai Wai on August 11.
Bishop Joseph Ha Chi-shing said there is no need for any explanation other than love for Jesus and God to describe the determination of the two sisters, or others who lead a consecrated life, to make their final profession.

New guidelines for faith formation
(Saturday, 9 September 2017 )

HONG KONG (SE): The diocese of Hong Kong issued a new set of guidelines on April 17 this year covering the faith formation of young children, the celebration of the sacraments and the liturgy, as well as the ongoing formation of adults after they have received the sacrament of baptism.
On August 20, a forum on the development of faith formation for young children, sponsored by the Diocesan Catechetical Centre and Diocesan Catechetical Commission, was held at St. Patrick...

Monks’ residence gets the ax
(Saturday, 9 September 2017 )

HONG KONG (SE): The government in the Sichuan province of China has begun pulling down 2,000 residences used by Tibetan clergy at the Yachen Gar Buddhist Centre.
Radio Free Asia reports that it is expected that an equal number of monks and nuns will be kicked out of the complex by the end of the year. “Chinese authorities ordered the demolition of 2,000 houses of monks and nuns at Yachen Buddhist Centre this year,” Radio Free Asia was told.

De Lima honoured by Magsaysay Award
(Saturday, 9 September 2017 )

MANILA (AsiaNews): The Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation has announced that this year it will honour five people and one organisation from around Asia for their contribution to the development of society.
At a ceremony held in Manila on August 31, the vice president of the country, Leni Robredo, made a rare public appearance to preside at the ceremony and make the presentation of the awards.
Somewhat controversially, the imprisoned Philippine senator,...

Around the Traps
(Saturday, 9 September 2017 )

Mother fears her 10-year-old fighting in Marawi 
ILIGAN (UCAN): A mother whose three year-old child was abducted in 2010 from their home in Manila begged military officials on August 27 to rescue children from fighting for the Maute Group in Mindanao.
She said that a recent film clip on social media showed a boy soldier fighting in Marawi, whom she believes may well be her son.
Media reports have identified...

A threatened life of service
(Saturday, 9 September 2017 )

Theresa is an unusual type of person in the Catholic Church. Although everyone in her parish in China addresses her as Sister and recognises her as a religious, she is in fact a lay person, although not quite the conventional type.
Theresa belongs to the tradition of consecrated virgins, Catholic women who choose to remain celibate for their whole lives. They do not join a religious congregation and usually work under the direction of the local bishop....

Warning party politics and religion don’t mix
(Saturday, 9 September 2017 )

HONG KONG (UCAN): An article by Wang Zuoan, the director of the State Administration of Religious Affairs, published in Qiushi, a top level influential Chinese Communist Party journal under the title of Be politically minded while doing religious work, warns cadres that adopting religious beliefs is not a private matter.
Qiushi is published by the Central Committee of the Communist Party and specialises in the development of Communist theory.