November 2017

Push for married priests not clergy
(Saturday, 4 November 2017 )

VIENNA (SE): The secretary of the Bishops’ Commission for the Pan-Amazon Region of Brazil, Austrian-born Bishop Erwin Kräutler, is making a strong push for a married priesthood and women deacons in his preparation for a 2019 Synod of Bishops called by Pope Francis to study the Pan-Amazon situation.
 
Speaking on the day following the announcement of the synod by Pope Francis on October 15, Bishop Kräutler, who is also the former bishop of the sprawling...

Facing death and respecting life
(Saturday, 4 November 2017 )

October is the Month of Mission in the worldwide Church, but November turns our attention from this life to the next and is dedicated to the faithful departed. It is a month when people are encouraged to remember their deceased loved ones in their prayer and to also pray with the whole communion of saints.
 
However, tradition tells us that it is always a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead that they be loosed from their sins, as the sin of the...

Tokyo gets a bishop with a difference
(Saturday, 4 November 2017 )

TOKYO (SE): The newly appointed archbishop of Tokyo is to be a man with an international profile and vast experience of living and working in a foreign culture, as well as involvement in the social challenges that face both his own country and the whole of Asia.
 
As president of Caritas Japan and Asia, as well as a member of the International Committee of Caritas, the choice of the current bishop of Niigata, Bishop Tarcisius Isao Kikuchi SVD, as the archbishop-elect of the...

Gratitude and anguish at Xi’s address
(Saturday, 4 November 2017 )

HONG KONG (UCAN): Responses from religious groups to remarks made by the president of China, Xi Jinping, during his epic address at the opening of the National Party Congress on October 18 in the Great Hall of the People vary radically, depending on which side the political fence they originate from.
 
Two of the Christian state-sanctioned organisations in the country, the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association and the Protestant Three-Self Patriotic Movement, were ebullient...

A lavish funeral for a simple priest
(Saturday, 4 November 2017 )

CEBU (SE): Although the police in Cebu City had made what they described as adequate security arrangements to accommodate around 5,000 to 10,000 people anticipated to attend the funeral Mass of the late Ricardo Cardinal Vidal scheduled to take place at 8.00am on October 26, the estimated 55,000 that turned up even took Church officials by surprise.
 
The transport authority made the emergency move of waiving the required permit for six extra  buses to be put into...

How’s that for peace in the city
(Saturday, 4 November 2017 )

VATICAN (SE): Cricket is not a sport normally associated with Argentina, but a team from Pope Francis’ hometown of Buenos Aires was on his list of people to greet at his general audience for October 11.
 
Although not a cricketing country, a project called Cricket Sin Fronteras (Cricket Without Borders) began operating almost a decade ago in the poorest parts of the capital where the Church is engaged in offering constructive past times to young people as a...

Dangerous liaisons
(Saturday, 4 November 2017 )

WASHINGTON (SE): Advocates for persecuted Christians and minorities in the Middle East received unexpected tidings straight from the mouth of the vice president of the United States of America (US), Mike Pence, on October 25.
 
Pence informed a Christian solidarity group that from now on all US aid going to the Middle East would be channelled through non-government agencies for the support of persecuted Christians.
 
He explained that the funnelling streams...

Catholic radio falls silent
(Saturday, 4 November 2017 )

MANILA (UCAN): Vast swathes of the airwaves in The Philippines have fallen silent, as the congress has so far failed to extend the licence of the Catholic Media Network, which is operated and owned by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of The Philippines and is the biggest radio network in  the country.
 
With more broadcast points that any other network and more powerful transmission towers, its 54 stations in 11 regions and 35 provinces have largely...

Honouring indigenous development
(Saturday, 4 November 2017 )

MANILA (UCAN): Caritas Philippines launched a book on October 13 honouring the indigenous people of the country and offering a tribute to the work they have done in protecting the beautiful landscape of the Pearl of the Orient Seas that God has gifted to the people.
 
Father Edwin Gariguez, the author of the book and director of Caritas, said that for indigenous peoples “the whole of creation is deeply imbued with spiritual reality.”
 
He added...

Around the Traps
(Saturday, 4 November 2017 )

 
Communion overdose
ABUJA (SE): Nigeria has experienced a rash of kidnappings of priests recently, but on October 15 Father Timothy Nwanja escaped after his captors found the altar wine and fell into a drunken sleep.
 
The Premium Times reported the kidnappers had intended to demand a US$277,000 ($2.2 million) ransom from the local bishop, but celebrated their anticipated wealth a bit early.
 
Police raided the...