June 2018

First communion and confirmation at Rosary Church
(Saturday, 9 June 2018 )

HONG KONG (SE): Sixteen children from Rosary parish in Tsimshatsui made their first communion on June 3 and 18 young people received the sacrament of confirmation—three of whom also made their first communion during a Mass celebrated by Bishop Joseph Ha Chi-shing, together with the priests of the parish, Father John Baptist Tsang Hing-man, Father Mike Sloboda and Father Sergio Chavira. 

Bloggers disappear ahead of Tiananamen anniversary
(Saturday, 9 June 2018 )

HONG KONG (UCAN): In the run-up to the 29th anniversary of the Tiannamen Square Massacre on June 4, several Chinese bloggers went missing, or were compelled to take a government arranged holiday.
 
According to a June 4 press release from Reporters Without Borders, Chinese authorities arranged for certain bloggers to take vacations under police escort before this year’s anniversary.
 
The organisation reported that Hu Jia, who was awarded its Press...

Preparations for Youth Festival in full swing
(Saturday, 9 June 2018 )

HONG KONG (SE): The Diocese of Hong Kong is organising a series of activities for the Youth Festival in the second week of July as part of its activities for the Year of Youth. 
Bishop Michael Yeung Ming-cheung announced the Youth Festival in his Good Shepherd Sunday pastoral letter in April (Sunday Examiner, April 22).
 
To support the youth-related activities of the diocese, the Chancery announced a second collection during the July 14 Anticipated Mass...

Justice and Peace Commission calls for release of sick bishop
(Saturday, 9 June 2018 )

HONG KONG (UCAN): The Justice and Peace Commission (JPC) of Hong Kong issued a statement on May 29 calling on the Chinese government to release Coadjutor Bishop Augustine Cui Tai of Xuanhua, of the unofficial Church in Hebei, who was detained by authorities in mid-April and has not been seen since.
 
The statement said that the bishop has been in poor health in recent years, suffering from severe gastritis, neurasthenia and dizziness, and should be allowed to receive medical...

Clashes as church land is sold off by government
(Saturday, 9 June 2018 )

Hong Kong (UCAN): An 800 square metre plot of disputed land next to the Immaculate Conception Church in Hangzhou in Zhejiang province, China, was sold at auction for commercial use by government authorities on May 28, following clashes between Catholics and security officials.
 
The day before the auction, dozens of security guards, police and public security officers clashed with Catholics on the site, a source reported. 
 
Hundreds staged a prayer...

Pope prays for victims of Volcano of Fire
(Saturday, 9 June 2018 )

VATICAN (Agencies): “People here in Escuintla have lost everything, family members, homes, crops, their animals,” Luis Rolando Sanchez, Catholic Relief Services’ emergency coordinator for Latin America, said, afer the horrific eruption of Volcan de Fuego (Volcano of Fire) in Guatemala on June 3 left more than 60 people dead.
 
Pope Francis sent his condolences in a June 5 telegramme addressed to Archbishop Nicolas Thevenin, apostolic nuncio of...

Irish referendum and the Church basics
(Saturday, 9 June 2018 )

Catholic Ireland is shaking up the Church again! It did so in 2015 when it became the first country to legalise gay marriage by popular vote. It has done it again with another referendum, this time on abortion on 25 May. The issue at hand was the repealing of the Eighth Amendment to the Irish Constitution, which protects the unborn with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother. 
 
Should we be concerened about this Irish referendum? Yes...

German bishops asked to set aside plans for inter-Communion
(Saturday, 9 June 2018 )

VATICAN (CNS/UCAN): “The Holy Father has reached the conclusion that the document has not matured enough to be published,” said a letter signed by Archbishop Luis Ladaria, cardinal-designate and prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in which the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Germany was asked not to publish nationwide guidelines for allowing Protestants married to Catholics to receive Communion at Mass, but to continue having diocesan bishops judge...

Layperson heads Pontifical Lateran University for the first time
(Saturday, 9 June 2018 )

VATICAN (CNS): Pope Francis named 57-year-old Vincenzo Buonomo, rector of Rome’s Pontifical Lateran University—the first layperson to head the institution, according to a Vatican press release announced June 2.
 
Effective July 1, he will succeed 67-year-old Salesian Bishop Enrico dal Covolo, who was appointed rector in 2010.
 
Born on 17 April 1961, in Gaeta, Italy, Buonomo specialises in international law and received his doctorate from the...

Jakarta seeks Catholic allies against radicalism
(Saturday, 9 June 2018 )

JAKARTA (UCAN): “What is happening scares me. I have just read (an) article about a young girl who became radicalised by learning about extreme Islamic teachings from the Internet,” Indonesia’s presidential chief of staff, Moeldoko, told the Association of Indonesian Catholic Intellectuals (ISKA) during a gathering to mark of its 60th anniversary on May 30 in Jakarta.
 
He was referring to 18-year-old Dita Siska Millenia, who arrested on May 12 near a...