April 2018

Netflix series glosses over Philippine drug war advocates say
(Saturday, 21 April 2018 )

MANILA (UCAN): “We call on Netflix to stop giving an audience to a show that aims to justify extrajudicial killings,” read a statement issued by a group of rights advocates, lawyers, and activists. 
 
They were demanding that the online entertainment giant stop streaming Amo (boss), an action series tackling the controversial and bloody war on drugs being waged by the government of Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte.
 
“...

Philippine chief justice stands up to Duterte
(Saturday, 21 April 2018 )

MANILA (UCAN): “We are not destined for slavery but to freedom. What is evil, we denounce; what is good, we affirm,” Maria Lourdes Sereno, the chief justice of the Philippines said amid moves to impeach her from the Supreme Court. 
 
She accused the country’s president, Rodrigo Duterte, of orchestrating her ouster and preventing her from testifying in an impeachment trial.
 
Sereno called out the government for persecuting her for...

Catholic schools given mentoring role in Indonesia
(Saturday, 21 April 2018 )

JAKARTA (CAN): Atma Jaya Catholic University in Jakarta, and the Catholic University of Soegijapranata in Semarang, Central Java, are among 29 leading Indonesian educational institutions picked by the government of Indonesia to help underdeveloped universities improve education quality.
 
The move is part of government efforts to raise the standard of higher education in the country and improve the workforce.
 
The government wants the 29 universities to...

Cardinal warns against new drums of war in Syria
(Saturday, 21 April 2018 )

BEIRUT (CNS): “As the great powers are beating the drums of a new war against Syria, we regret the absence of a language of peace from the mouths of senior officials in our world today,” Bechara Cardinal Rai of Lebanon, lamented in an address directed to the international community on April 12.
 
The patriarch of Maronite Catholics appealed to world leaders to stop the war in Syria and to work for comprehensive peace through diplomatic means.
 
...

Consistory to approve canonisations announced
(Saturday, 21 April 2018 )

VATICAN (CNS): Pope Francis will preside over an ordinary public consistory on May 19 to approve several canonisations, the Vatican announced on April 11.
 
The consistory will most likely confirm the canonisation dates of Blessed Pope Paul VI and Blessed Archbishop Oscar Romero. The meeting of cardinals and promoters of the sainthood causes formally ends the process of approving a new saint.
 
While no date has been formally announced, Pietro Cardinal...

Pope Benedict peacefully celebrates 91st birthday
(Saturday, 21 April 2018 )

VATICAN (CNS): Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI had a “peaceful and familial” 91st birthday on April 16, celebrating with his 94-year-old brother, Monsignor Georg Ratzinger, who was visiting from Germany, the Vatican said.
 
Pope Francis offered his early morning Mass for his predecessor and sent his personal best wishes to the retired pope, who lives on the other side of St. Peter’s Basilica at the Mater Ecclesia Monastery.
 
The birthday...

Church leaders in the Philippines welcome rebooting of peace talks
(Saturday, 21 April 2018 )

MANILA (UCAN): The president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, said at the beginning of April that he was giving the government and rebel peace panels “a timeline of two months” to resume the talks that bogged down last year.
 
He claimed that it was the rebel National Democratic Front of the Philippines that had been pressing for the resumption of negotiations.
 
Talks broke down in November after Duterte accused the rebels of attacking...

Chilean abuse victims welcome pope’s letter
(Saturday, 21 April 2018 )

SANTIAGO (CNS): James Hamilton, Jose Andres Murillo and Juan Carlos Cruz, victims of Father Fernando Karadima, released a statement April 11 saying they appreciated Pope Francis’ letter in which he apologized for underestimating the seriousness of the crisis in Chile and were “evaluating the possibilities” for meeting with him.
 
In the letter released on April 11, the pope wrote that he made “serious mistakes in the assessment and perception of the...

Around the Traps
(Saturday, 21 April 2018 )

Amnesty International reports decline in capital punishment
VATICAN (SE): Encouraging statistics are contained in Amnesty International’s latest report, released on April 12, according to Vatican News. The numbers show at least 993 recorded executions in 23 countries throughout 2017, down by four per cent from the previous year and down by 39 per cent from 2015.
 
The report shows that most executions took place in China, Iran, Saudi...

Separating the Good News from fake news
(Saturday, 21 April 2018 )

MANILA (UCAN): Archbishop Romulo Valles of Davao, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, has become a victim of fake news after a post on social media quoted him as supposedly warning priests and nuns “not to interact with politicians.” 
 
The fake news story warned that some priests and nuns who have shown their political partisanship “only divide our nation, instead of uniting it.”
 
The...