February 2018

Our mission to accompany the newly-baptised
(Saturday, 3 March 2018 )

Starting this Sunday, March 4, the diocese will celebrate the Scrutinies and the Rite of Anointing for catechumens over three successive Sundays. Preliminary statistics show that around 2,800 people will be baptised into the Catholic Church during the Easter Vigil Mass on March 31. Each one of the faithful is called upon to accompany these new family members and to help keep their faith lighted.
Over the past decade, two to three thousand people have been...

Court blocks Trump effort to end deferred action programme
(Saturday, 3 March 2018 )

WASHINGTON (CNS): The Supreme Court of the United States of America (US) dealt a blow to the Trump administration’s effort to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA programme in March when, on February 26, it declined to hear and rule on whether the administration has the right to shut down the initiative.
DACA protects young adults who were brought to the country without legal permission as minors.
In September 2017, the president,...

Talk of accord on bishops does not equate to diplomatic ties
(Saturday, 3 March 2018 )

Hong Kong (UCAN): Archbishop John Hung Shan-chuan of Taipei, Taiwan, does not believe an expected Vatican-China deal on appointing bishops will lead to the eventual establishment of diplomatic relations.
He said that establishment of diplomatic relations is hyped up once a year but never comes true. 
“The pope will not give up his flock in Taiwan and China,” he said.
Precious Blood Sister Beatrice Leung Kit-fun,...

Thousands walk for life
(Saturday, 3 March 2018 )

MANILA (UCAN):  People turned out in their thousands as they came out strongly against what they described as threats to life in rallies held in major cities across the Philippines on February 24. 
Among the issues raised were drug-related killings, a proposal in Congress to legalise divorce and changes to the constitution.
In Manila, Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle led priests, religious, and lay people in an early morning Walk for Life...

South Korean Church campaigns against legalising abortion
(Saturday, 3 March 2018 )

Seoul (UCAN): As South Korea continues to modernise and with the number of single mothers on the rise, calls to decriminalise abortion have increased from sectors of society. In response, the Catholic Church launched a signature campaign on 3 December 2017 to keep the country’s anti-abortion law in place and has gathered over a million names to date. 
“The signature-gathering campaign was (conducted) voluntarily and it served as an opportunity to spread...

Rights group warns Philippines on Kuwait ban
(Saturday, 3 March 2018 )

MANILA (UCAN): The New York-based Human Rights Watch said in a February 21 report, that it would be better for Kuwait and the Philippines to agree on key reforms that could protect migrant workers, suggesting that the ban on the deployment of Filipinos to the Gulf state will only put more workers at risk.
Rothna Begum, a women’s rights researcher at Human Rights Watch, said the two governments should work together to protect workers “rather than ban them from...

Niwano Peace Prize awarded to Lebanese interreligious foundation
(Saturday, 3 March 2018 )

BEIRUT (CNS): Adyan, a Lebanese foundation for interreligious studies and spiritual solidarity, is the recipient of the 35th Niwano Peace Prize.
Announcing the international award in Beirut, Lebanon, on February 19, Maronite Father Fadi Daou, president of Adyan Foundation, said that the country had moved “a firm step further toward its recognition as a world centre for dialogue between cultures and religions.” 
He added, “Peace has...

New Philippine tax law triggers protest
(Saturday, 3 March 2018 )

Manila (UCAN): Church and consumer rights groups in the Philippines have launched a campaign demanding the repeal of the new Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act, which went into effect in January, which they claim burdens the poor.
Reverend Jerome Baris, national coordinator of the justice, peace, and human rights ministry of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines, said, taxation “should not target the poor.”
He said,...

Intimidation and killing will not stop drug problem bishop says
(Saturday, 3 March 2018 )

Manila (UCAN): Speaking during a 25th anniversary Mass for the group, Singles for Christ, on February 18, Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, of Kalookan, the Philippines, lamented that many people agree that drug “addicts are not human.”
He told the gathering of around 7,000 young people, “My heart bleeds when there are Catholics who agree that criminals cannot be reformed, that they deserve to die and be exterminated if we are to have a peaceful Philippine...

Around the Traps
(Saturday, 3 March 2018 )

Meeting with Vatican abuse investigator intens
SANTIAGO (CNS): Juan Carlos Cruz, a former Chilean seminarian who accused an incumbent bishop of abuse cover-up, met with Vatican investigator, Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta, a longtime expert on clergy sex abuse, and said he finally felt he had been heard. 
The two met for nearly four hours on February 17 at Manhattan’s Church of the Holy Name of Jesus, in the United States of...