February 2018

Gender should not be reassigned bishop says
(Saturday, 10 February 2018 )

HONG KONG (SE): Bishop Joseph Ha Chi-shing, auxiliary Bishop of Hong Kong, expressed concern that, “Any legislation recognising sex reassignment will result in reverse discrimination,” as he spoke to a representatives from parishes and schools, on issues faced by transgender people in religious, medical and educational areas of life. 
The gathering, on 16 December 2017 at Caritas Hall, Caine Road, was organised by the diocesan task force set up last year...

Perpetual commitment on the day of Consecrated Life
(Saturday, 10 February 2018 )

HONG KONG (SE): On February 2, the feast of the Presentation of Our Lord, Sister Anna Rose Pham and Sister Teresa Mary Nguyen, of the Sisters of St Paul of Chartres, made their perpetual professions, at a Mass concelebrated by Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Ha Chi-shing and seven priests from the diocese and Vietnam at Christ the King Chapel in Causeway Bay.
Faithful from different congregations and the Vietnamese community came to share in the joy and witness the great moment...

Heavy security in Rome as president of Turkey visits pope
(Saturday, 10 February 2018 )

VATICAN CITY (CNS): Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was welcomed to the Vatican by Pope Francis for a private meeting on February 5. It was the first visit by a Turkish head of state in 59 years.
Erdogan had arrived in Rome amid heavy security measures for a two-day visit that was to include meetings with Italian authorities and business leaders. More than 3,000 police officers had been deployed for the visit, according to Agence France-Presse, and...

Better Catholics than the Pope?
(Saturday, 10 February 2018 )

A month to go and the Church will enter into the sixth year of the papacy of Pope Francis. But has he earned more critics than friends in the past five years? 
Ironically, his worst critics come from within the Catholic Church, because they find it hard to fix him in the box of papal stereotypes. Be it in trivial issues like choosing his bedroom and his means of transportation, to celebrating the liturgy with prisoners, the homeless and refugees, or...

Vatican delegation attends Olympic Committee general meeting
(Saturday, 10 February 2018 )

VATICAN (Agencies): In a first, the Vatican has been invited to attend the February 5 to 7 annual general meeting of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as an official observer, in Pyeongchang, South Korea, L’Osservatore Romano reported on February 2. 
The delegation, led by Monsignor Melchor Sanchez de Toca Alameda, undersecretary of the Pontifical Council for Culture and head of its Culture and Sport section, will also be present at the opening...

Young people the first victims of new religious regulations
(Saturday, 10 February 2018 )

BEIJING (AsiaNews): the revised version of China’s Religious Affairs Regulations went into effect on February 1. First published last October, they provide for close monitoring of all official Church communities and fines, arrests and expropriation for members of unofficial communities. Among the first victims of this clampdown are young people.
Sources confirm that since the new regulations took hold, the Religious Affairs Bureau and the United Front Work Department...

Women’s conference moves after cardinal bars speaker
(Saturday, 10 February 2018 )

Hong Kong (SE): An International Women’s Day conference, scheduled to be held on March 8 has been shifted to the headquarters of the Society of Jesus after former Irish president, Mary McAleese, was barred from attending the event which was to be held at the Vatican, La Croix reported on February 2.
The talk, Why Women Matter, is being organised by the Voices of Faith group which is seeking to show the Vatican that women “have the expertise...

Philippine priests need improved formation
(Saturday, 10 February 2018 )

CEBU CITY (UCAN): Beniamino Cardinal Stella, prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy in Rome, said priests should “undertake, in a unique way, ongoing human, spiritual, intellectual and pastoral formation” in his message to four-day National Conference of Seminary Formators on the Promotion of the New Ratio held in Cebu City, the Philippines, at the end of January.
The cardinal said Filipino priests need to discover wider horizons in their evangelisation...

Lenten dispensation for Manila’s Chinese Catholics
(Saturday, 10 February 2018 )

MANILA (UCAN): Luis Cardinal Tagle of Manila, issued a circular granting dispensation from the Lenten discipline abstaining from meat on the first Friday of Lent to Chinese Catholics in the archdiocese of Manila as this year, it falls on February 16, the first day of Chinese New Year in 2018.
“In view of the celebration of Chinese New Year, its cultural and spiritual importance, and the traditional practices associated with it, we therefore grant dispensation from...

Don’t sideline constitution Indian cardinal says
(Saturday, 10 February 2018 )

BANGALORE (CNS): “Poverty is the mortal sin of modern times. It is the biggest terrorism and evil that needs to be fought by the Church,” said Cardinal Charles Bo, Archbishop of Yangon, Myanmar. He was delivering the keynote address at the inaugural session of the 33rd general body meeting of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) that began in Bengaluru on February 2 on the theme, United in diversity for a mission of mercy and witness.