February 2018

Sense of belonging comes first, young catechumens say
(Saturday, 17 February 2018 )

HONG KONG (SE): Young catechumens who will be baptised during Easter this year, said what they need most from the Church community is a sense of belonging and a participation in the mission of witnessing to God’s love. 
 
“The key to evangelisation is to help people truly apply faith to their lives, and strengthen their motivation to gain more knowledge and encourage them within a community,” said Tam Wing-fung, a catechumen from St. Alfred’s...

New regulations squeeze violates China constitution
(Saturday, 17 February 2018 )

HONG KONG (UCAN): With China’s new regulations for religious affairs having come into effect on February 1, the squeeze is on. Minors have already been banned from entering places of worship in several regions, while Protestant house churches in Henan province have been forced to close (Sunday Examiner, February 11). 
 
Joseph Cardinal Zen Ze-kiun, former bishop of Hong Kong, said that one source informed him there would be no Mass at an unofficial church...

Farewell to friend and mentor of Filipino community
(Saturday, 17 February 2018 )

HONG KONG (SE): Sister Victoria Del Rosario Ramos, of the Canossian Daughters of Charity, passed away in Villa Bakhita, Caine Road on February 6 at the age of 68.
In 2017, she fell critically ill and had to leave her pastoral work to be cared for at the Canossian Infirmary of Villa Bakhita. 
 
In the early hours of Tuesday, February 6, Sister Ramos responded to God’s final call and joined the Lord whom she had loved and served all her life.    ...

Church’s legal procedures for abuse cases need changing
(Saturday, 17 February 2018 )

ROME (CNS): Even though the Catholic Church has all the necessary norms and laws in place to safeguard minors from abuse by clergy, the problem continues to be a lack in understanding or caring about those rules and guidelines and applying them effectively, said one Jesuit Father Hans Zollner, head of the Pontifical Gregorian University’s Center for Child Protection.
 
What must change are Church procedures for handling accusations of abuse, he said.
 ...

A week to celebrate love
(Saturday, 17 February 2018 )

This year, in an unusual occurrence, Ash Wednesday falls on Valentine’s Day—February 14 and the first day of Chinese New Year falls on the first Friday of Lent on February 16. Catholic youngsters in particular are in a quandary: is it okay to celebrate Valentine’s Day on Ash Wednesday? 
 
Ash Wednesday, along with Good Friday, is an obligatory day of fasting and abstinence for Catholic adults and the diocesan chancery instructs the...

Church must tackle drug menace
(Saturday, 17 February 2018 )

HONG KONG (SE): “In the name of God, stop the killings! May the justice of God come upon those responsible for the killings! For the good of the country, stop the killings! The toll of ‘murders under investigation’ must stop now”, was the cry for peace from Bishop Socrates Villegas, the archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan and the president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, urging the Duterte administration for a stop to the killing of drug suspects....

Former managers of Vatican bank ordered to pay damages
(Saturday, 17 February 2018 )

VATICAN (CNS): A Vatican court found Paolo Cipriani, the former director of the Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR)—better known as the Vatican Bank, and Massimo Tulli, the bank’s former deputy director, liable for mismanagement on February 6, and ordered an injunction for them to pay damages.
 
The amount sought was not specified. However, the Italian news agency ANSA said the damages the bank incurred totalled about 47 million euro (about $449...

The late dawn of a restless dream
(Saturday, 17 February 2018 )

A faith born in the shadows cast by a single candle in a tightly curtained room of a small farming village in a China emerging from the repression of the Cultural Revolution in the early 1980s, blossomed on February 4 in the chapel of the Columban Seminary in Manila, as Peter knelt before Bishop Honesto Ongtioco to be ordained a deacon, becoming a minister of the word of God that he had imbibed in the clandestine darkness of his home so many years before.
 
...

Indian bishops concerned about threats to diversity
(Saturday, 17 February 2018 )

BANGALORE (CNS): “Intolerance is causing a certain amount of anxiety to us,” Oswald Cardinal Gracias of Mumbai, said at the end of the February 2 to 9 assembly of Indian bishops held in Bangalore.
 
The newly elected president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI), expressed “anguish” over increasing threats to pluralism in the country.
 
“Diversity is one of the strengths of India. It is known world over for...