June 2018

Authorities put the squeeze on temporary churches
(Saturday, 16 June 2018 )

HONG KONG (UCAN): A circular from the State Administration for Religious Affairs requiring organisers of religious activities at temporary venues to seek guidance from government-recognised Church organisations has raised concerns in China for fear it means greater control will be exercised over unofficial Catholic communities and Protestant house churches. 
 
The notice stated that religious believers who were registered residents, had no criminal record and possessed...

Spain welcomes rescue boat rejected by Italy and Malta
(Saturday, 16 June 2018 )

ROME (Agencies): Spain announced it would let the SOS Méditerranée ship, Aquarius, holding 629 migrants and refugees rescued from the Mediterranean, dock in Valencia, after Italy and Malta refused to accept the vessel, CNN reported on June 11.
 
Aquarius, had been on standby between Malta and Sicily since June 10, waiting for permission to dock at a nearby port of safety, CNS reported. It had rescued hundreds of people from unsafe rubber boats...

Vietnam sends human rights lawyer into exile
(Saturday, 16 June 2018 )

HANOI (UCAN): Prominent rights lawyer Nguyen Van Dai, and fellow jailed Brotherhood for Democracy group member, Le Thu Ha, were released from prison in Hanoi late on June 7 and, together with Nguyen’s wife, Vu Minh Khanh, were taken to the airport and put on a flight bound for Frankfurt, Germany, according to a pro-democracy group.
 
The human rights lawyer was arrested on 16 December 2015 and charged with attempting to overthrow the communist government and in April...

Celebrating your hero!
(Saturday, 16 June 2018 )

Maybe you never knew it, but he was so worried about you, and he was always caring. In life, before you started making your own decisions, he made decisions you never knew about that made your life better. He shielded you from all that could in any way harm you, from the evils of the world as long as he could. He did everything to make your childhood so magical! And you got a day to celebrate him: Father's Day! 
 
This Sunday, we celebrate the Father's...

Space station crew give pope custom-made flight suit
(Saturday, 16 June 2018 )

VATICAN (CNS): Should Pope Francis ever make an apostolic trip to the International Space Station, he will be all set having received a custom-made blue flight suit on June 8.
 
The outfit has patches of the Argentine flag, the papal coat of arms and a pair of angel wings with his crew name, Jorge M. Bergoglio, and also comes with an add-on white mantle, just so there would be no mistaking that the wearer is the pope.
 
The gifts were presented to the Pope...

Australian legislation threatens confessional seal
(Saturday, 16 June 2018 )

SYDNEY (CNS): “The government threatens religious freedom by appointing itself an expert on religious practices and by attempting to change the sacrament of confession while delivering no improvement in the safety of children,” wrote Archbishop Christopher Prowse of Canberra and Goulburn in The Canberra Times on June 7 in response to the passing of the Ombudsman Amendment Bill 2018 by the Australian Capital Territory’s Legislative Assembly.
 
The...

Law upholding rights of nature in the works
(Saturday, 16 June 2018 )

MANILA (UCAN): Polluters of the environment, including big business and government officials, will be guaranteed to face criminal charges if advocates have their way and Philippine legislators pass a bill being prepared to grant rights to nature.
 
Church and environmental advocates ended a nationwide caravan in Manila on June 5, World Environment Day, to dramatise their call for the passage of a rights of nature law.
 
Led by the Philippine-Misereor...

Asian peace rankings take a dive
(Saturday, 16 June 2018 )

PHNOM PENH (UCAN): Asia has become a less peaceful place according to the 2018 Global Peace Index, with conditions in Cambodia and Myanmar deteriorating most in the region.
 
Published by the Australia-based Institute for Economics and Peace, the  index ranks the safety and security of 163 countries, including the degree of militarisation and the impact of ongoing conflicts.
 
Myanmar sank 15 places to 122nd in the world rankings due to ongoing...

Philippine Church leaders denounce killing of priests
(Saturday, 16 June 2018 )

MANILA (UCAN): Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, archbishop of Manila, said “freedom is fake” because people are “toying around with justice” amid the spate of killings in the country as Church leaders in the Philippines railed against the attacks and killings of members of the clergy in recent months.
 
“We repeat: It is against the will of God to destroy life. Killing is not a solution to personal and societal problems,” said the cardinal in...

No to pistol-packing priests
(Saturday, 16 June 2018 )

MANILA (UCAN): “Arming priests is not a solution to crimes against them,” said Father Jerome Secillano, executive secretary of the Public Affairs Committee of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, which has expressed strong opposition to the idea of arming priests in the wake of recent attacks on members of the clergy.
 
Father Secillano said there is no need for priests to arm themselves because, like any ordinary citizen, they are also...