May 2018

Ouster of Philippine chief justice condemned
(Saturday, 19 May 2018 )

MANILA (Agencies): “We condemn in the strongest terms the desecration of our constitution and democratic institutions,” Father Edwin Gariguez, executive secretary of the social action secretariat of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines said in reaction to the country’s Supreme Court of the Philippines kicked out its chief justice in an unprecedented decision handed down on May 11.
 
With eight justices voting in favour and six against,...

Pope Francis invited to visit Taiwan
(Saturday, 19 May 2018 )

VATICAN (Agencies): Archbishop John Hung Shan-chuan (洪山川) of Taipei, invited Pope Francis to visit Taiwan, possibly during the national Eucharistic Congress to be held on the island next March, AsiaNews and Reuters reported on May 11.
 
Reuters reported that the archbishop, who is in Rome for an ad limina visit together with six other Taiwanese bishops, said at a reception at Taiwan’s embassy to the Holy See, “No pope has ever landed in...

Disease a concern for Rohingya refugees as monsoon arrives
(Saturday, 19 May 2018 )

DHAKA (UCAN): Aid groups have launched the second phase of a cholera vaccination campaign for the up to one million Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh amid warnings of diseases and natural calamities with the coming of the monsoon season.
 
The week-long oral vaccination of refugees and host communities started on May 6. This follows up on a similar campaign in October to November 2017, which saw about 900,000 refugees innoculated in up to 12 settlements in Cox’s Bazar....

St. Paul Sisters attacked in Hanoi land dispute
(Saturday, 19 May 2018 )

HANOI (UCAN): Around a dozen Sisters of St. Paul de Chartres were attacked by gangsters in Hanoi, Vietnam, while protesting the illegal construction of a house on land adjoining their convent.
 
Witnesses said gangsters employed to guard the site “insulted and attacked the sisters with batons and one was beaten to unconsciousness.” They said many policemen were present but did nothing to stop the brutal attack.
 
The congregation had legal...

Around the Traps
(Saturday, 19 May 2018 )

Caritas migrant shelter in Tijuana under police protection after attacks
MEXICO CITY (CNS): A Caritas-run shelter for migrants in the border city of Tijuana has been put under police protection after a robbery and arson attack on consecutive days. 
 
At least six armed individuals entered the shelter in the early morning hours of May 6 and stole some of the migrants’ meagre possessions, including cash, cellphones and identity cards. ...

Let there be justice for children
(Saturday, 19 May 2018 )

We read and see reports about the terrible number of child sexual assaults and how few perpetrators ever get convicted. That is changing with the appointment of highly trained female judges to the Philippine family courts. 
 
One day in September 2013, Rosie, a 12-year-old child, but with a mental age of five or six, was grabbed by the live-in partner of her mother, slapped in the face and sexually assaulted. Rosie cried out with the physical pain....

Seasonal and nominal Catholics in the Philippines
(Saturday, 19 May 2018 )

Father Amado Picardal CSsR
 
A study conducted a few years back showed that only 37 per cent of Filipino Catholics regularly attend Sunday Mass while only 29 per cent regard themselves as very religious. 
 
Some Church leaders think that it was not accurate because the number of Masses being celebrated apparently increased and attendance seemed to have grown.
 
The number is actually relatively high. In...

Christian leaders call for unity following bombings in Surabaya
(Saturday, 19 May 2018 )

JAKARTA (UCAN): Christian leaders called for unity following a spate of suicide bombings that targeted three churches, an apartment building and the police headquarters in Surabaya, Indonesia’s second city, that left dozens dead and many more injured in the deadliest attacks in more than a decade.
 
Father Agustinus Ulahayanan, the executive secretary of the bishops’ Commission for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, denounced the bombings and called on...

Mosque attack in South Africa condemned
(Saturday, 19 May 2018 )

CAPE TOWN (CNS): South Africa’s bishops condemned an attack on a mosque in Verulam, around 32 kilometres north of Durban, in which a man was killed and another two injured.
 
A mechanic, Abbas Mohamedelo Essop, died after his throat was cut in the May 10 attack on the mosque in which thee men armed with guns and knives set the mosque alight.
 
“We strongly condemn this bloody and futile attack and call upon law enforcement agencies to work...

Filipino workers complain of continuing rights abuses
(Saturday, 19 May 2018 )

MANILA (UCAN): Workers in the Philippines are complaining of continuing rights abuses even as the country’s economy grew by 6.8 per cent in the first quarter of the year.
 
A study conducted by the non-government Centre for Trade Union and Human Rights recorded at least 345 rights violations, including 28 killings of workers in the past two years.
 
The same study also cited complaints involving at least 9,919 workers whose rights to organise and be...