September 2018

Battered but still standing after Typhoon Mangkhut
(Saturday, 22 September 2018 )

HONG KONG (SE): Typhoon Mangkhut was the most powerful to hit Hong Kong since records began in 1946 and brought record levels of storm surge too, with flood waters reaching their highest since 1904. The Hong Kong Observatory hoisted the Number 10 typhoon signal—the highest— for 10 hours on Sunday, September 16.
Sunday Masses were cancelled in the parishes across the city. It may be sheer coincidence that a number of Signal 8 typhoons that hit Hong Kong in the...

Civilians in Idlib fear offensive by Syrian forces
(Saturday, 22 September 2018 )

AMMAN (CNS): Christians and other civilians inside Idlib, Syria, are fearful of an impending, all-out offensive by their government and its Russian and Iranian backers on the last rebel stronghold in a presumed endgame in Syria’s more than seven-year-old war. 
“A Franciscan father told us that the situation in Idlib is really bad, the people are very scared. They don’t know what will happen and it’s unclear what is actually taking place,...

Remembering murdered priests
(Saturday, 22 September 2018 )

Hong Kong (AsiaNews/SE): A memorial Mass in honour of Father John Baptist Cheng Kwok-cheung, and Father Peter Ngai Wan-fai, who were murdered on 7 September 1953 in their sleeping quarters at Holy Soul’s Church (now Our Lady of Mount Carmel), Wanchai, on the 65th anniversary of their deaths.
“I wanted this Mass because I want my generation to remember my uncle,” said Cheng Tak-Mei, Father Cheng’s niece. 
The last celebration...

New law puts squeeze on Christians in Nepal
(Saturday, 22 September 2018 )

KATHMANDU (UCAN): The enactment of new legislation criminalising religious conversion in Nepal has sparked a heightened sense of fear and insecurity among Christian minorities.
The Civil and Criminal Codes, which came into effect on August 17 to replace the General Code that was in place for 165 years, comprise a set of laws guiding civil and legal proceedings, including restrictions on religious conversion, in the Hindu-majority nation.
One new law states that...

The criminalising of Tibetan culture
(Saturday, 22 September 2018 )

Liang Xiaojun, a defense lawyer for Tibetan language advocate, Tashi Wangchuk, posted a message on his Twitter account on August 22 relaying the verdict in Tashi’s appeal after he was charged with inciting separatism for seeking broader inclusion of the language in the local curriculum.
On May 22, the Yushu Intermediate Court in China’s western Qinghai province, had sentenced him to five years in jail,- and the Qinghai Higher People’s Court found no...

Chinese Communist Party targeting members with religious beliefs
(Saturday, 22 September 2018 )

HONG KONG (UCAN): The central committee of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has published revised regulations, which take effect on October 1, on disciplinary action that will strictly enforce the dismissal of party members who profess a religious belief.
The state-owned China News Service reported  that he committee revised the regulations “in accordance with the new trend, mission and requirements” after the 19th CCP National Congress last...

Pope calls meeting with world’s bishops on abuse prevention
(Saturday, 22 September 2018 )

VATICAN (CNS): Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta, who is president of a board of review handling abuse cases within the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said on September 14 that Pope Francis’ convoking a meeing of the heads of every Catholic bishops’ conference in the world sends “a very strong signal of a hearty commitment to defend dignity, to safeguard minors in the Church.”
Pope Francis called the presidents of every Catholic...

Catholic education: an important mission
(Saturday, 22 September 2018 )

This year’s theme for Education Sunday is, Let the children come to me, (Mark 10:14). Catholic schools account for about 11 per cent of the schools in Hong Kong with their students numbering at around 150,000—about 17 per cent of the total number of in the territory’s schools. A ratio of about one-in-six.
Catholic schools need to look at how to uphold Catholic education philosophy and meet the needs of each student and Hong Kong society. How best to...

In wake of super typhoon the search for the missing continues
(Saturday, 22 September 2018 )

MANILA (UCAN): At least 65 people were reported killed while 43 others remained missing in the wake of Typhoon Mangkhut (known in the Philippines as Ompong) that savaged the northern part of the Philippines on September 15.
Most of the fatalities came from the northern Cordillera Administrative Region where the search for people trapped in an abandoned mine continued on September 17.
About 300 police officers, firemen, and volunteers shoveled mud and...

Pope expels Chilean priest guilty of sex abuse
(Saturday, 22 September 2018 )

VATICAN (CNS): Cristian Precht, once hailed as a champion of human rights in Chile, was expelled from the priesthood by Pope Francis after being found guilty of sexual abuse. The Archdiocese of Santiago announced his dismissal from the clerical state on September 15 with “no possibility of appeal.”
The decree, sent by Luis Cardinal Ladaria, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, confirmed “the dispensation from all obligations united...