March 2018

Opposing human trafficking and modern slavery
(Saturday, 10 March 2018 )

Church and police authorities and non-government organisations (NGOs) recently came together at the Vatican under the Santa Marta Group headed by Vincent Cardinal Nichols to discuss and share their experiences and listen to each other. They discussed greater cooperation in combating the global scourge and horrific crimes of human trafficking of vulnerable people into modern slavery. Cooperation is absolutely essential to finding an efficient global response and local action...

Respect separation of state and religion Japanese bishops urge government
(Saturday, 10 March 2018 )

TOKYO (UCAN): The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Japan has written to the country’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, demanding strict observance of the constitutional separation of state-sponsored ceremonies and the imperial family’s private religious ones when the change of emperors takes place in 2019.
 
On the final day of its February 19 to 22 annual plenary session in Tokyo, the bishop’s conference adopted a petition titled, Request on separation...

Rohingya face oppostion to resettlement plans
(Saturday, 10 March 2018 )

MANDALY (UCAN): Plans by Myanmar’s government to resettle Muslim Rohingya refugees in southern Maungdaw in the restive Rakhine State are meeting up with opposition from other ethnic groups from the area.
 
Some 80 people from civil society groups across Rakhine held a meeting in the state capital, Sittwe, on February 24 to discuss the resettlement of Rohingya returning from Bangladesh.
 
More than 688,000 Rohingya fled to Bangladesh following military...

Philippines struggles against human trafficking
(Saturday, 10 March 2018 )

MANILA (UCAN): Michelle thought her prayers had been answered when she finally left her home in the Philippines for Saudi Arabia last year to work as a domestic helper. She thought the employment contract she had signed was her ticket out of poverty.
 
Sadly, she was gravely mistaken. In fact, she had joined a throng of her compatriots who have become inadvertent victims of human trafficking.
 
The nightmare began before she arrived in the Arab state, where...

Pope adds Marian feast to Church calendar
(Saturday, 10 March 2018 )

VATICAN (CNS): Pope Francis has decreed that the feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church is to be observed by Latin-rite Catholics on the Monday after Pentecost each year.
 
The decree announcing the addition to the Church calendar was released on March 3 by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments.
 
Pope Francis approved the decree after “having attentively considered how greatly the promotion of this devotion might...