December 2018

A simple Christmas message from the bishop  
(Saturday, 22 December 2018 )

Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people (Luke 2:10)

Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ,
The Joy of the Gospel is proclaimed by the Angel of the Lord to the shepherds, likewise, this is also my humble and simple Christmas message to you, a message of hope and joy for “all the people,...

Convert and turn yourselves in pope tells clerical sex abusers
(Saturday, 29 December 2018 )

VATICAN CITY (CNS): “Let it be clear that before these abominations, the Church will spare no effort to do all that is necessary to bring to justice whosoever has committed such crimes,” Pope Francis said in reference to the clerical sexual abuse crisis, during his annual pre-Christmas meeting with officials of the Roman Curia on December 21.
The pope told members of the Curia that the Church’s strength does not depend on its members’ perfection,...

United States’ withdrawal from Syria will be catastrophic say Christians
(Saturday, 29 December 2018 )

AMMAN (CNS): Several Mideast-based Christians working on the Syria crisis have joined a growing chorus about the decision of United States (US) president, Donald Trump, to pull some 2,000 American troops from Syria. They say it puts Christians at risk and could force them to flee again and that they want the decision reversed.
Their voices were joined with other Christian voices in Washington and Europe calling on Trump to reverse his decision, citing concerns for the fate...

No New Year celebrations in Aceh
(Saturday, 29 December 2018 )

JAKARTA (UCAN): Aminullah Usman, mayor of Banda Aceh, the provincial capital of Aceh, said on December 18 that letters have been sent out warning people “not to hold parties, set off fireworks, and blow horns” on New Year’s Eve.
“These practices are not in accordance with Islamic Shariah law,” he said, adding, “Muslims have their own special celebration, which is the Hijri New Year.” 
This year the Hijri New...

Bishop to visit internally displaced in Myanmar
(Saturday, 22 December 2018 )

MANDALAY (UCAN): Bishop Raymond Sumlut Gam of Banmaw, in Myanmar’s troubled Kachin State, has planned Christmas visits to camps for people displaced by violent clashes between rebels and government forces.
The bishop said he aims to give moral support to those in internally displaced person’s (IDP) camps.
“I’m going to give the message of holiness and patience to the IDPs who have longed to return to their homes after getting...

Duterte threatens to put tribal people in hamlets
(Saturday, 29 December 2018 )

MANILA (UCAN): Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte, warned that he will place tribal people in “hamlets” to keep them from being influenced by communist rebels in a speech on December 18. 
“I will hamlet them. Why? Because if they remain scattered, they are really in danger,” Duterte said during a summit of village leaders in the southern region of Mindanao.
“I cannot get their loyalty if they are scattered because they are afraid...

Cross desecration condemned
(Saturday, 29 December 2018 )

YOGYAKARTA (UCAN): The Archdiocese of Semarang, Indonesia, condemned the removal of the upper part of a burial cross for deceased before he could be buried in a public cemetery in Yogjakarta.
A December 19 statement, called the incident “a violation of the constitution that contradicts the state’s ideology of Pancasila” which respects diversity.
The case has gone viral on social media and sparked outrage among Catholics and...

Justice for abused children
(Saturday, 29 December 2018 )

Hundreds of children are sexually abused in the Philippines daily and millions are abused around the world. Strict justice is needed and an unrelenting crackdown on child abusers is what is needed to protect children from sexual abuse.
More Filipino child abusers are being convicted than ever before. Judges are delivering justice. Nationals of the United States of America (US), accused based on credible evidence of child sexual abuse in the Philippines or...

Christmas scene at the Vatican
(Saturday, 29 December 2018 )

The Sand Nativity scene and the Christmas tree in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican.
Photo: CNS

Rebuilding church in war-torn Mosul
(Saturday, 5 January 2019 )

MOSUL (CNS): Christians are cautiously returning to Mosul, the once-bustling Iraqi city that for three years was the capital of the caliphate established by the Islamic State group.
They just aren’t spending the night.
“There are almost no Christians in Mosul at night. During the day, there may by 60 or 70 Christians who come here to work, along with up to a thousand Christian students at the University of Mosul, but they go back to safer...