February 2018

Free expression stifled at universities
(Saturday, 24 February 2018 )

HONG KONG (UCAN): University administrations in Hong Kong are perceived to be tamping down on free expression over fears of breaking political taboos despite the lack of any legal basis to do so, according to a recent report from rights watchdog, Hong Kong Watch. 
 
The report, Academic Freedom in Hong Kong, highlights the moves by the universities in the special administrative region to either remove or pressure controversial academic figures and threaten...

New book on Jesuits in China
(Saturday, 24 February 2018 )

SYDNEY (UCAN): A first in publishing on China, the two-volume A Call to Mission: A History of the Jesuits in China 1842-1954 was launched in Sydney, Australia, on February 19.
 
Jesuit Father David Strong, the author, spent 15 years writing and researching material covering three continents in this work which covers the second phase of the Jesuit engagement with China. 
 
In that period of 112 years, more than 1,200 European and North American...

Young people should not feel excluded from pre-synod meeting
(Saturday, 24 February 2018 )

VATICAN (CNS): “In short, even through the new technologies of communication, the pre-synod meeting wants to broaden as much as possible the audience of young people involved so that no one should feel excluded,” Lorenzo Cardinal Baldisseri told journalists on February 16, as he elaborated that that the Church is making use of every means of communication available to listen to young people from all walks of life in the runup to a March 19 to 24 preparatory meeting for the Synod...

Let every day be a day of social justice
(Saturday, 24 February 2018 )

On 26 November 2007, the United Nations' General Assembly declared February 20 to be the World Day of Social Justice. The theme for this year's observance was Workers on the Move: the Quest for Social Justice.  
 
The problems of migration and people forced out of their homeland in search of a decent living has a history that dates back to Old Testament times. According to the International Labour Organisation, today there are an estimated 258 million...

Lenten message from Pope Francis
(Saturday, 24 February 2018 )

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
 
Once again, the Pasch of the Lord draws near! In our preparation for Easter, God in his providence offers us each year the season of Lent as a “sacramental sign of our conversion” [1]. Lent summons us, and enables us, to come back to the Lord wholeheartedly and in every aspect of our life.
 
With this message, I would like again this year to help the entire Church experience this time...

Create jobs so Filipinos don’t have to work abroad bishop says
(Saturday, 24 February 2018 )

MANILA (UCAN): As many as 250,000 Filipinos will be affected by a total ban on the deployment of workers to Kuwait, according to a Philippine government estimate.
 
The ban, ordered by the president, Rodrigo Duterte, came following the discovery of the body of 29-year-old Joanna Daniella Demafelis in a freezer in an apartment in Kuwait. Her remains had reportedly been stored there for a year and authorities said marks on her body indicated she was strangled.
 ...

Walk for the life of every person
(Saturday, 24 February 2018 )

MANILA (Agencies): Catholic bishops of the Philippines will lead this year’s Walk for Life, scheduled for February 24, to protest the spate of drug-related killings in the country, UCAN reported.
 
Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo of Manila said the protest walk will also highlight other anti-life issues such as the declaration of martial law in Mindanao.
 
The bishop, whoa heads the Episcopal Commission on the Laity, said a “culture...

Relics of St. Therese welcomed in the Philippines
(Saturday, 24 February 2018 )

MANILA (UCAN): The relics of St. Therese of the Child Jesus arrived in Manila, the Philippines, on February 18 to a shower of white and red rose petals.
 
Devotees waved yellow flags as the reliquary containing the saint’s relics entered Manila’s San Fernando de Dilao parish church.
 
Father Rolando dela Cruz said that the people in his parish were honoured to have been chosen as one of the places to receive the relics.
 
“...

Advocates fast to build Mindanao schools
(Saturday, 24 February 2018 )

MANILA (UCAN): Members of a Philippine ecumenical church group, Dambana, started the Pray, Fast, Build Lenten programme and other Lenten activities to raise money to help build tribal schools in the southern region of Mindanao.
 
The group, an ecumenical disaster response network of faith-based organisations, has been inviting young people to join the project.
 
Miro Sabino, a 15-year-old son of a church worker, donated his savings during the...

International criminal court opens probe into Philippine drug killings
(Saturday, 24 February 2018 )

MANILA (Agencies): “I welcome you and if you want to find me guilty, so be it. Find a country where they kill people with a firing squad. And I’m ready,” said the president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, reacting to the announcement on February 1 that the International Criminal Court (ICC) will conduct a “preliminary examination” into killings in the Philippines linked to the government’s war on drugs.
 
“If you haul me into a...