May 2018

Inmates to be empowered by alternative therapies
(Saturday, 26 May 2018 )

HONG KONG (SE): Correctional services chaplains met at St. Margaret’s Church, Happy Valley, on May 4 to look at how alternative therapies can help prison inmates and former inmates rebuild their lives.
 
Around 100 people, including Catholic and Protestant chaplains, as well as volunteers from religious and other organisations attended the meeting. 
 
At the start of the meeting, Bishop Michael Yeung Ming-cheung said that inmates may feel...

Dialogue with China: Small steps toward mutual trust
(Saturday, 26 May 2018 )

Hong Kong (SE): In early May, the Vatican News website began publishing a series of articles to give insights on the criteria and reasons guiding the Holy See in its contacts with the Chinese government. This is the second of a two-part commentary, published on May 7, written by Sergio Centofanti and Jesuit Father Bernd Hagenkord, titled, Dialogue with China: Small steps toward mutual trust, in which they ask why the Holy See is engaging in dialogue despite the suffering of the...

Malaysian bishops hail election results
(Saturday, 26 May 2018 )

PENANG (UCAN): Malaysia’s bishops have broken their collective silence following the May 9 election win by the Mahathir Mohamad-led opposition alliance, Pakatan Harapan (Alliance of Hope), over the corruption-tainted government of Najib Razak, calling it a golden opportunity to set the nation on a new course.
 
The ousting of Najib spelled the end of a six-decade ruling coalition dominated by the United National Malays Organisation (UMNO).
 
The...

Chile’s bishops resign after meeting with pope
(Saturday, 26 May 2018 )

VATICAN CITY (CNS): “We want to announce that all bishops present in Rome, in writing, have placed our positions in the Holy Father’s hands so that he may freely decide regarding each one of us,” Bishop Juan Ignacio Gonzalez Errazuriz of San Bernardo said on May 18 in a statement on behalf of Chile’s bishops.
 
The unprecedented decision was made on the final day of their May 15 to 17 meeting with Pope Francis to discuss the country’s clerical...

The value of life
(Saturday, 26 May 2018 )

In the act of creation, God blessed humanity, saying: “Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it” (Genesis 1:28). God created male and female. According to the order of creation, conjugal love between the husband and the wife, and the transmission of life ago hand in hand. Man and woman, through the Sacrament of Marriage, become one and lead a unique, intimate life. In cooperation with God and according to his will, they procreate and have a share in...

Popes’ styles may differ but message is same former spokesperson says
(Saturday, 26 May 2018 )

NEW YORK (CNS): Speaking at Fordham University, New York, about his experiences as Vatican spokesperson under Pope Benedict and Pope Francis, Jesuit Father Lombardi, who retired in 2016, said, “The vision and experience of the reality of the Church, led by the Spirit of the Lord, is the most profound and powerful element of continuity between the different popes.” 
 
His talk, From Benedict to Francis: A Jesuit Reflects on Serving Two Pope, under...

New cardinals include two from Asia
(Saturday, 26 May 2018 )

VATICAN (CNS): Pope Francis announced on May 20 that he would elevate 14 new cardinals—two from Asia—on June 29. He said that coming from 11 nations, the cardinals-elect “express the universality of the Church, which continues to proclaim the merciful love of God to all people of the earth.”
 
Among those who will receive the red hat are 72-year-old Archbishop Joseph Coutts of Karachi, Pakistan; the Papal Almoner, 54-year-old Archbishop Konrad...

Authorities bar priest and rights advocate from leaving Vietnam
(Saturday, 26 May 2018 )

HO CHI MINH CITY (UCAN): On May 14, Redemptorist Father Joseph Dinh Huu Thoai was stopped by army officers at a land border with Laos when he intended to travel onward to the United States to visit relatives and friends.
 
In an audio recording posted on Facebook, Father Dinh asked officers to explain why he was banned from leaving. Officials maintained that they were acting under orders from their superiors.
 
The priest said he had not violated any laws...

Surabaya churches pick up the pieces as security upped for Ramadan
(Saturday, 26 May 2018 )

SURABAYA (UCAN): Rebuilding work has begun on two of the three churches attacked by suicide bombers in Surabaya, Indonesia, on May 13, and efforts to help those who survived the atrocities to deal with the trauma have been stepped up.
 
The third church was still cordoned off on May 16 as police forensic teams were still examining the scene.
 
Repair work on the Catholic Santa Maria Church—the first to be attacked—began the day after bombings...

Philippines lifts Kuwait labour deployment ban
(Saturday, 26 May 2018 )

MANILA (UCAN): The Philippines lifted its ban on the deployment of workers to Kuwait following the signing of a deal on May 11 that provides additional protection for Filipinos in the Gulf state.
 
The president, Rodrigo Duterte, ordered the ban to be lifted on May 16, ending months of tension with Kuwait that resulted in the expulsion in April of the Philippine ambassador to the oil rich country.
 
Labour secretary, Silvestre Bello, said, “The...