September 2018

Welcoming catechumens
(Saturday, 15 September 2018 )

IT IS September and many parishes have begun catechism classes for those learning about the faith. In an increasingly complex society, it is no simple task to respond to the signs of the times when teaching about Christianity.
The Church in the United States of America (US) celebrates Catechetical Sunday this year with the theme, Enlisting Witnesses for Jesus Christ. It is a day when catechists are commissioned and also serves as a...

Laity must have role in fighting clericalism
(Saturday, 15 September 2018 )

VATICAN (CNS): Clericalism has led to a distorted view of authority that has contributed to the problems of sexual abuse and the abuse of power and conscience affecting the Catholic Church, Beniamino Cardinal Stella, prefect of the Congregation for Clergy, said on September 3 during a talk in Fatima, Portugal.
He said the crisis facing the Church would not have been so grave if laity were more involved in the formation of current and future priests.

Protect and guarantee access to clean water
(Saturday, 15 September 2018 )

VATICAN (CNS): “Care for water sources and water basins is an urgent imperative,” Pope Francis said in his message for the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation on September 1, an observance begun by the Orthodox Church and now celebrated by many Christians.
The pope drew special attention to the more than 600 million people who do not have regular access to clean drinking water.
“Access to safe drinkable water is a basic and...

Austrian and German bishops stand by pope
(Saturday, 15 September 2018 )

VIENNA (CNS) “This criticism comes from circles in the Church who want to get rid of this pope as soon as possible.”  Cardinal Christoph Schonborn of Vienna, Austria, wrote in a column on September 7 in the weekly newspaper, Heute, as bishops in Germany and Austria united to support Pope Francis in response to Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, former papal nuncio to the United States, calling on the pope to resign for allegedly ignoring sanctions Pope Benedict XVI had placed on...

Philippine green groups against coal
(Saturday, 15 September 2018 )

MANILA (UCAN): Environmental groups in the Philippines marked the Church’s Season of Creation, which runs from September 1 to October 4, with weeklong demonstrations against dirty energy sources in the country. 
Residents from communities near coal mines held simultaneous protest rallies in different parts of the country to dramatise their call for the government to end its “coal obsession.”
Gerry Arances, executive...

Church rushes aid to northern Vietnam flood victims
(Saturday, 15 September 2018 )

HANOI (UCAN): Church workers in Vietnam have rushed to provide emergency supplies to people cut off after some of the worst floods in decades hit the country’s northern and central mountainous provinces.
Flash floods and landslides triggered by torrential rains over the past few weeks inundated eight provinces, according to officials.
Vietnam’s Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control reported on September 4 the...

Padre Pio relic heading to Philippines
(Saturday, 15 September 2018 )

MANILA (UCAN): For the first time, the incorruptible heart of St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina, will visit the Philippines The relic, which seldom leaves a Capuchin monastery in Italy, will be in the country for at least 20 days, from October 6 to 26.
Father Joselin Gonda, rector of the National Shrine of St. Padre Pio, said the Philippines will have the distinction of having the relic longer than any other country in which it has been exhibited in so far.

Around the Traps
(Saturday, 15 September 2018 )

Australian prime minister vows to protect religious freedom
SYDNEY (SE): Australia’s prime, minister, Scott Morrison said new religious freedom laws were needed to safeguard personal liberty in a changing society, according to a CathNews report on September 10.
Morrison was reported as saying it was not his job to buy into cultural disputes that did not matter to most Australians, saying he would leave it to others to fight over so-...

Indonesian priest actively confronts human traffickers
(Saturday, 15 September 2018 )

JAKARTA (UCAN): Fighting human trafficking has become a daily routine over the past five years for Father Chrisanctus Paschalis Saturnus, from Indonesia’s Pangkal-Pinang Diocese.
Working in Batam— a transit hub for illegal workers in Riau Islands province, about 32 kilometres south of Singapore—makes human trafficking concerns part of the priest’s daily regimen. They are also the diocese’s main priority.
“(New) cases...

Quake aid workers warned against proselytising
(Saturday, 15 September 2018 )

JAKARTA (UCAN): Indonesia’s religious affairs minister, Lukman Hakim Saifuddin, warned volunteers from religious-based organisations offering aid to survivors of deadly earthquakes that recently struck the tourist island of Lombok, against proselytising. The region was hit by three powerful quakes on July 29, August 5, and August 19, killing hundreds of people and displacing thousands more.
The September 3 warning came after a video, purportedly showing aid workers...