May 2018

Clamp put on priests joining pilgrimages
(Saturday, 19 May 2018 )

HONG KONG (SE): With the popularity of pilgrimages overseas on the increase, the diocese of Hong Kong has issued a new regulation for priests working in parishes or in other Church ministries who lead or take part in these journeys. 
 
While there is no question that pilgrimages can deepen the spiritual life of participants and enhance their knowledge of the Church, the new regulation underscores prioritising primary pastoral ministries.
 
The new...

Trappists mark 90 years in China
(Saturday, 19 May 2018 )

HONG KONG (SE): The Cistercian monastery of Our Lady of Joy Abbey, on Lantau, marked its 90th anniversary of establishment on April 22 with a Mass concelebrated by Bishop Michael Yeung Ming-cheung, together with more than 10 Trappists from Hong Kong, the Philippines, Indonesia, Taiwan, Macau and Australia.
 
Bishop Yeung thanked the Cistercian Order of the Strict Observance—the Trappists—for leading the monastic, contemplative life and bearing witness to the...

Dialogue with China: There is no magic wand
(Saturday, 19 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. The first of these, a two-part commentary is written by Sergio Centofanti and Jesuit Father Bernd Hagenkord. The first part, published on May 2 and titled, Dialogue with China: There is no Magic Wand, notes that while some recent signs...

Systematic and planned suppression in Henan
(Saturday, 19 May 2018 )

HONG KONG (UCAN): The recent crackdown on various Catholic and Protestant communities was the result of more than two years of organisation and preparation at provincial, city and county level through the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) increasingly powerful United Front Work Department, according to Ying Fuk-tsang, a professor and director of the divinity school at Chung Chi College, at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
 
“After examining (President) Xi...

Chile’s bishops admit mistakes in handling sexual abuse cases
(Saturday, 19 May 2018 )

VATICAN (CNS): Bishop Juan Ignacio Gonzalez Errazuriz of San Bernardo, Chile, acknowledged the damage inflicted on survivors of clerical sex abuse and the mishandling of cases by Church leaders in the country. “We have made mistakes,” he said.
 
“Receiving information that sexual abuses occurred in our community left many people in shock, because it is something that is unacceptable, intolerable, unjustifiable from every point of view,” the bishop...

Pray with young people in China
(Saturday, 19 May 2018 )

IN MAY EACH year, Catholics in China traditionally visit Marian shrines to pray. May 24 is the feast day of Our Lady, Help of Christians and in 2007, was also declared the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China by Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI in his letter to the Catholics in China (papal letter) in 2007 and is an occasion for the universal Church to be “united in prayer with the Church which is in China” (papal letter, 19).
 
In recent years...

Parishes must be places where people are welcomed and loved
(Saturday, 19 May 2018 )

ROME (CNS): Too often, evangelisation is stifled by “faith understood only as things to do and not as a liberation that renews us at every step,” said Pope Francis said on May 14, as he spoke to some 1,700 diocesan leaders, both clergy and laity, at the Basilica of St. John Lateran, in Rome.
 
“Our parishes must be capable of generating a people, that is, of offering and creating relationships where people feel that they are known, recognized, welcomed,...

Catholics in Marawi join Muslims in observing Ramadan
(Saturday, 19 May 2018 )

MARAWI (UCAN) Catholics in the battle-scarred southern Philippine city of Marawi, Mindanao, have joined the predominantly Muslim community in welcoming the start of the Islamic month of Ramadan.
 
A thousand Catholic and Muslim residents participated in the start of the Duyog Ramadan (One with Ramadan) celebration spearheaded by the Catholic territorial prelature in the city’s Datu Saber district on May 13.
 
The annual celebration, which...

Embezzlement trial of former Vatican bank official begins
(Saturday, 19 May 2018 )

VATICAN (CNS): The trial of Angelo Caloia, who was president of the Institute for the Works of Religion, also known as the Vatican Bank, and his lawyer, Gabriele Liuzzo, began in the Vatican courtroom on May 9.
 
The Vatican has accused the two of money laundering and embezzlement, saying they skimmed an estimated €57 million (about $550.45 million) off profits from the sale of Vatican properties.
 
The Vatican had announced in late 2014 that Caloia and...

Visit Northern Ireland’s religious leaders urge pope
(Saturday, 19 May 2018 )

ARMAGH (UCAN): The La Croix daily reported on May 9 that head of the archdiocese of Armagh and primate of All Ireland, Archbishop Eamon Martin, joined Protestant leaders in urging Pope Francis to extend his August visit to the country’s North. The pope is slated to visit Dublin in August for the World Meeting of Families—the first papal visit to Ireland since 1979. On that occasion Pope John Paul II was unable to travel north due to the problems there at the time....