June 2018

Chapel of peace for Panmunjom
(Saturday, 30 June 2018 )

SEOUL (UCAN): A new chapel will be built in the Joint Security Area (JSA) at Panmunjom, the truce village on the inter-Korean Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) that was established when Korean War (1950-53) ended in an armistice.
 
The chapel will replace an older structure built in 1958. Bishop Francis Xavier Yu Soo-il, of the Military Ordinariate of Korea, celebrated a ground-breaking ceremony on June 5.
 
The 65-year armistice means the two Koreas remain...

Around the Traps
(Saturday, 30 June 2018 )

Philippine president calls God stupid
MANILA (UCAN): Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte, after spewing diatribes against Catholic bishops and priests in recent months, has turned the focus of his invectives on God.
 
Speaking during a technology summit in the southern city of Davao on June 22, Duterte said he found fault in the creation story and questioned the concept of original sin.
 
“Adam ate (the fruit), then malice was...

Over 200 priests and pastors applied for gun permits
(Saturday, 30 June 2018 )

MANILA (UCAN): Nearly 250 Filipino priests and pastors have applied for permits to carry firearms however, many did so before the recent spate of priest murders, according to Oscar Albayalde, the national police chief.
 
Of 246 permit applications filed with the Philippine National Police over the last year, 188 came from Catholic priests while 58 came from Protestant pastors and ministers.
 
“We may accommodate requests for (a permit to carry firearms...

Death sentence for Indonesian terrorist mastermind
(Saturday, 30 June 2018 )

JAKARTA (UCAN): The South Jakarta District Court in Indonesia sentenced Aman Abdurrahman, a Muslim cleric, to death for a series planning a deadly series of attacks in Indonesia, including a bomb attack and shootout in Jakarta in January 2016 that killed eight people and an attack against the Batak Society Christian Church of Oikumene in Samarinda, East Kalimantan in November 2017 that killed four people.
 
Abdurrahman is the founder of a local terror group called Jamaah...

Relic of early pope returned
(Saturday, 30 June 2018 )

LONDON (CNS): Three fragments of a bone said to belong to Pope St. Clement I, the 1st century martyr who was ordained a bishop by St. Peter, were presented to London’s Westminster Cathedral on June 19 by James Rubin, the owner of Enviro Waste. 
 
The relics had previously been stolen from a car and were recovered by the waste disposal company. Rubin said he discovered the relic in his warehouse during an office cleanup earlier this year.
 
“...

Workers strike against labour-hostile policies
(Saturday, 30 June 2018 )

MANILA (UCAN/Agencies): Church groups and university students in Manila, the Philippines, launched campaigns in the third week of June in support of at least half a dozen labour strikes around the Philippine capital.
 
The Council of the Laity of the Philippines has issued a call of support for the striking workers of a US$360-million ($2.8 billion) food conglomerate.
 
In a statement, the Council of the Laity said it is supporting the initiative of the...

Indonesian Churches help ferry tragedy victims
(Saturday, 30 June 2018 )

JAKARTA (UCAN): Catholic and Protestant Churches in Indonesia have rushed to provide assistance and counselling for survivors and families of those killed or presumed dead after an overloaded ferry capsized in Lake Toba, North Sumatra, on June 18.
 
Capuchin Father Markus Manurung, director of the Caritas branch of the Archdiocese of Medan said that they moved quickly to provide assistance after the passenger ferry, Sinar Bangun, sank while crossing the lake in bad weather...

Children abused in detention
(Saturday, 30 June 2018 )

Thousands of undocumented immigrants who have crossed into the United States (US) in the past several months have had their children forcibly taken from them and placed in cages in detention centres by the president, Donald Trump.
 
Church leaders of many denominations and political leaders—Democrats and Republicans alike—and millions of good-hearted Americans and the international community expressed outrage calling it a violation of children...

Jailed for protecting Tibetan language and culture
(Saturday, 30 June 2018 )

On the morning of May 22, the Yushu Intermediate Court in China’s Qinghai province, sentenced shopkeeper and Tibetan language advocate, Tashi Wangchuk (also known as Tashi Woeser), to five years in jail for inciting separatism.
 
Rights activists argued that hall he did was promote the cultural and linguistic rights of the Tibetan minority in China by asking the central government to adopt educational policies that incorporated rather United Nations...

The tragic attraction of fundamentalism
(Saturday, 30 June 2018 )

Father Myron Pereira
 
“The 21st century will be religious, or it will not be at all,” said the French writer Andre Malraux.
 
For many of us, weary of the atheist ideologies of fascism and communism, which wrought untold suffering upon millions during the last century, the return to a public religious awareness was greeted with a sigh of relief.
 
But this was short-lived. The death of ideology...