December 2017

A New Year a new leaf?
(Saturday, 30 December 2017 )

As one year dissolves into another the pessimist bemoans that the world is in worse shape than it was 12 months ago and, despite the good intentions of New Year resolutions, the upcoming months look grim.
 
However, the optimist may look back and see that amidst the grim realities of the previous year there were some bright spots and while not placing great faith in the New Year resolutions either, see some hope for the future.
 
But neither...

Is booing the national anthem really a mortal sin?
(Saturday, 30 December 2017 )

HONG KONG (SE): As the Hong Kong Football Association is being fined for a second time over the behaviour of some fans during the playing of the Chinese national anthem prior to international soccer matches in the city, an evening seminar organised by three Church groups on December 14 said it does not believe that people are booing the country of China itself, but rather its system of governance.
 
While it remains obscure as to under exactly what rule the Asian Football...

Cost of trauma delayed
(Saturday, 30 December 2017 )

HONG KONG (SE): A gunfight resulting in three brutal deaths took place in the Barangay Mansangaban Playground of Bais City, Negros Occidental, on 25 April 1993, in full view of around 100 people, including the children and families of the dead and the daughter of a barangay captain, who was later to be found guilty of the multiple murder.
 
Nancy Ambos was 20-years-old on that fateful day. Later in life she came to Hong Kong as a migrant worker, but 15 years after she...

Mining cause of deadly floods
(Saturday, 30 December 2017 )

MANILA (SE): The large gathering of predominately Filipino migrant workers paused prior to a celebration of Christmas at a Mass in Chater Garden on Christmas Eve to pray for the victims of Tropical Storm Tembin, which poured swathes of water onto Mindanao flooding many parts of the island on December 22 and 23.
 
Approximately 100 people are dead and a further 80 or so had not been accounted for by December 27. Few hold much hope for their welfare.
 
The 8,...

New social imagination
(Saturday, 30 December 2017 )

HONG KONG (SE): “So many other footsteps are hidden in the footsteps of Joseph and Mary,” Pope Francis said in his Urbi et Orbi (To the City of Rome and the World) in his message for Christmas.
 
“We see the tracks of entire families forced to set out in our own day. We see the tracks of millions of persons who do not choose to go away, but driven from their land, leave behind their dear ones,” the pope said in making a strong call for what...

Notice Board
(Saturday, 30 December 2017 )

 
Church opens on Nineveh Plains
TELLESKUF (SE): The Christian community of Telleskuf on the Nineveh Plains in Iraq gathered on December 14 for the re-consecration of the first Chaldean Catholic Church of St. George since the expulsion of the Islamic State from the region.
 
Archbishop Bashar Matti Warda called the occasion a symbol of hope and victory. “It is a message of hope and victory,” he said, adding: “Islamic State...

What would Jesus make of our Christmas?
(Saturday, 30 December 2017 )

If Jesus were to visit us again, how puzzled he would be with our Christmas. He would be wondering, who is this Santa who seems to be everywhere, a feel-good guy certainly, but wanting us to spend up big.
 
Yet for all the commercialism of this season, for many people around the world, whatever their belief or religion, Christmas is rather a hopeful celebration of good will among peoples and a time for families and friends to gather, often expressing their...

Pessimists and optimists
(Saturday, 30 December 2017 )

In a faraway land an old man sat on a stone bench at the outset of the town every day. He loved watching the merchants headed for faraway lands, peasants coming to the market place and travellers from a long way away.
 
One day a stranger asked, “Tell me, old man, what are the people here like?”
 
“Where are you from?” the man asked in reply.
 
“From the town behind the mountains.”
...

Marginalised migrants
(Saturday, 30 December 2017 )

 
Since his first official visit outside Rome in July 2013 to Lampedusa, the small Mediterranean island between Italy and the North African coast, one of the main entry points for refugees into the European Union, Pope Francis has repeatedly expressed his particular concern for the lamentable situation of the many migrants and refugees fleeing from war, persecution, natural disasters and poverty. 
 
Undeniably, the migrant community is...

A glimpse at xenophobia and populism in Asia
(Friday, 1 December 2017 )

VATICAN (AsiaNews): A symposium on Xenophobia and Populism promoted by the World Council of Churches and the Vatican Dicastery for Integral Human Development in collaboration with the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity was opened on December 13 by Peter Cardinal Turkson and Pastor Olav Fykse Tveit, the general secretary of the World Council of Churches.
 
The symposium highlighted the extent of the problems related to migration and multi-ethnic...