March 2018

Argentina’s bishops release baptism records of war’s missing children
(Saturday, 17 March 2018 )

VATICAN (CNS): Argentina’s bishops announced they would release 127 baptism certificates archived in a chapel at a naval facility that was used as a place of torture during the country’s military dictatorship.
 
Some human rights groups believe these documents may be instrumental in finding out what happened to the children who were baptised in the chapel and subsequently kidnapped. 
 
They were primarily the children of political prisoners...

Pope Paul VI Archbishop Romero up for sainthood
(Saturday, 17 March 2018 )

VATICAN (CNS and SE): Pope Francis cleared the way for the canonisations of Blessed Pope Paul VI and Blessed Archbishop Oscar Romero at a meeting on March 6 with Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
 
He recognised a miracle attributed to Blessed Paul, who, according Pietro Cardinal Parolin, the Vatican secretary of state, will be declared a saint in late October at the end of the Synod of Bishops on youth and discernment. ...

Protests highlight Women’s Day in the Philippines
(Saturday, 17 March 2018 )

MANILA (UCAN): Women advocates dressed in pink and purple shirts hit the streets of Philippine cities to join protest rallies marking International Women’s Day on March 8.
 
They sang, danced, and chanted slogans as they marched to demand justice for victims of killings, housing for the poor, equal rights, among other issues.
 
The protesters demanded justice and accountability for what they described as the slaughter of women under the 21-month-old...

Freedom of expression curbed in Myanmar
(Saturday, 17 March 2018 )

MANDALAY (UCAN): Civic groups in Myanmar have warned that amendments to laws governing demonstrations could be used to curb freedom of expression in the country.
 
Thet Swe Win, an interfaith advocate and director of the Centre for Youth and Social Harmony, said that the language used in the amendments to the Peaceful Assembly and Procession Act was not in line with democratic values.
 
He complained that local authorities would be able to order arrests on...

Move to impeach Philippine chief justice a politcal expedience
(Saturday, 17 March 2018 )

MANILA (UCAN): “This is very sad,” said Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo of Manila, the Philippines, when a congressional committee voted to impeach the country’s Maria Lourdes Sereno, the country’s first female chief justice, who is also an outspoken critic of the president, Rodrigo Duterte.
 
“Filipinos are no fools. We know what is right and what is false,” the bishop said.
 
The House Committee on Justice claimed on...

New head of European bishops’ commission sets out priorities
(Saturday, 17 March 2018 )

BRUSSELS (CNS): The new head the Brussels-based Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community bishops, Archbishop Jean-Claude Hollerich of Luxembourg, pledged to combat populism and promote European unity.
 
“The European Union (EU) is a gain for the common good and this is why the Church should be in constant dialogue with it,” said Bishop Hollerich, who was elected president of the commission on March 8.
 
“But...

Inquiry after religious unrest in Sri Lanka
(Saturday, 17 March 2018 )

KANDY (SE): Sri Lanka’s president, Maithripala Sirisena, will appoint a commission comprised of three retired judges to investigate attacks on Muslims in the city of Kandy by Buddhist mobs in Sri Lanka, Firstpost reported.
 
The government declared a 10-day nationwide state of emergency on March 6 and police imposed a curfew in the Theldeniya and Pallekele areas of Kandy after Buddhist mobs attacked a mosque, Muslim businesses and houses on March 4. ...

Philippines on alert for Holy Week terror attacks
(Saturday, 17 March 2018 )

MANILA (UCAN): Philippine authorities have warned of possible terrorist attacks following reports of a new leader, Abu Dar, taking the reins of the so-called Islamic State group in the region.
 
Security officials said the new leader of the terrorist group in Southeast Asia, has the capability, resources and connections to carry out attacks.
 
Philippine military spokesperson, Brigadier General Bienvenido Datuin, said authorities are closely monitoring...

Korean Church calls on Japan to atone for comfort women
(Saturday, 17 March 2018 )

SEOUL (UAN): A coalition made up of Catholic diocesan justice and peace committees, religious institutions and non-goernment organisiations in South Korea, has called on the Japanese government apologise for forcing Asian women—known as comfort women—to provide sexual services for its troops during World War II.
 
The National Catholic Action for Nullity of Korea-Japan Comfort Women Agreement and Just and Evangelical Settlement held a Mass in front of the...

What do you want to tell the Church?
(Saturday, 17 March 2018 )

In the preparation for the pre-synodal meeting that is taking place in Rome from March 19 to 24, the Diocesan Youth Commission organised a small (extremely small) youth forum to meet with young people to listen to their thoughts and hopes in order to have a clear idea of the situation in which they are living.
 
The gathering took place on February 24 and, as we already knew at the time, Pope Francis wants young people to be the protagonists at the upcoming synod in October...