February 2018

Pope sets day of prayer for peace in Africa
(Saturday, 10 February 2018 )

VATICAN (CNS): Pope Francis marked Italy’s Pro-Life Sunday during his Sunday Angelus on February 4, and also called for a day of prayer and fasting for peace in Africa.
Some 20,000 people gathered in St. Peter’s Square with many carrying the pro-life movement’s green balloons with the message, Yes to life.
 
Thanking all the “different Church realities that promote and support life in many ways,” Pope Francis said he was surprised...

Those displaced by eruption in urgent need
(Saturday, 10 February 2018 )

LEGAZPI (Agencies): Bishop Joel Baylon of Legazpi said providing food for 84,000 people has become a “tall order” especially because of the constant threat posed by the erupting Mayon Volcano, UCAN reported on February 6.
 
The bishop said that Church leaders and government officials have been cooperating closely over the past few days to provide for the needs of displaced residents.
 
“Most evacuees are farmers and do not have...

US immigration reform deeply troubling
(Saturday, 10 February 2018 )

Washington (SE): The bishops of the United States of America (US) have called the immigration reform proposal forward by the government president, Donald Trump, “deeply troubling,” Vatican News reported.
 
In a February 2 statement in reaction to the January 25 publication of the White House Framework on Immigration Reform & Border Security, Bishop Joe Vásquez, chairperson of the US Bishops’ Committee on Migration, wrote: “We...

Weapons licenses for Pakistan churches
(Saturday, 10 February 2018 )

QUETTA (UCAN): The provincial government in Balochistan, southwest Pakistan, plans to issue churches in the region with weapons licenses and has donated millions of rupees to Bethel Memorial Methodist Church in Quetta to support victims and families of a suicide bombing that killed nine people on 17 December 2017.
 
“The Balochistan Home Department will issue weapon licenses in the name of the churches,” Samuel Pyara, chairperson of the Implementation Minority...

A big victory for exploited children
(Saturday, 10 February 2018 )

Mr. AB was convicted after a nearly four-and-a-half year trial. He pleaded guilty to lesser charges and got off lightly with time served. He is a national of the United States of America (US), recently convicted of child trafficking and child sexual abuse in a court in Olongapo, the Philippines,. 
 
He may yet be tried in his own country on other charges for violating an extraterritorial jurisdiction law that targets US...

Priests defending hospital charged with rioting
(Saturday, 10 February 2018 )

BHOPHAL (UCAN): Four Catholic priests have been charged with rioting and criminal intimidation in India’s Madhya Pradesh state over a land dispute involving a plot of land adjacent to the 44-year-old Pushpa Mission Hospital and a group of people from the Hindu, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), who claim the plot is illegally occupied. 
 
Gagan Singh, assistant to the local BJP parliamentarian, led a mob to the site and claimed to be the owner of the public land....

More mass graves reported in Rakhine
(Saturday, 10 February 2018 )

DHAKA and MANDALAY (UCAN): Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh have reacted with anger and dismay to a February 1 report from the Associated Press (AP) that said mass graves had been found at Gu Dar Pyin village in Buthidaung township in northern Rakhine State. The detailed report alleged that Buddhist neighbours allegedly assisted the military in carrying out the massacre. 
 
Every villager interviewed by AP reported seeing three large mass graves at Gu...

Philippine bishop requests image and relic of Japanese blessed
(Saturday, 10 February 2018 )

MANILA (UCAN): Bishop Renato Mayugba of Laoag wants an image of Blessed Justo Takayama Ukon, a Japanese candidate for sainthood, to be enshrined in his church in the town of Badoc in the northern Philippine province of Ilocos Norte. 
 
Blessed Takayama, who was a kirishitan daimyo and samurai, died in Manila in 1615 after fleeing the persecution of Christians in Japan.
 
He speaking to visiting Japanese bishops on February 3, he said, “I would...

Around the Traps
(Saturday, 10 February 2018 )

Abuse case of Chilean bishop to be reviewed
VATICAN (CNS): Pope Francis asked Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta, a longtime expert in handling abuse allegations, to gather new information in Chile concerning Bishop Juan Barros of Osorno.
 
The Vatican said in a communiqué on January 30 that Pope Francis decided to send the archbishop to the Chilean capital of Santiago “to listen to those who expressed a willingness to submit information...

Fond farewell to a friend of the Sunday Examiner
(Tuesday, 6 February 2018 )

Hong Kong (SE): It is with sadness that we announce the death of Chan Sui-jeung—fondly known as SJ, a good friend of the Sunday Examiner and the Kung Kao Po, on January 27. He was 84-years-old. He is survived by his wife, Mei.
 
After SJ finished his studies at the University of Hong Kong in 1959, he worked at a local English-language newspaper before joining the Hong Kong Civil Service where he worked from 1968 to 1994. Between 1980 and 1984 he was district...