December 2018

Christian and Muslim leaders join Jordan’s king for Christmas
(Saturday, 29 December 2018 )

AMMAN (CNS): Jordan’s King Abdullah II invited Catholic and other leaders to celebrate Christmas in the spirit of fraternity and harmony the holiday symbolises.
 
When the moderate Muslim leader ascended the throne in 1999, he declared Christmas a holiday to be celebrated by Jordanian Christians and Muslims alike.
 
Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, joined the December 18 gathering in downtown Amman, together with Catholic and other Christian...

New climate rulebook criticised for lack of ambition
(Saturday, 29 December 2018 )

WARSAW (CNS): Catholic participants and observers at the 24th United Nations (UN) Conference of Parties, or COP24, in Katowice, Poland, criticised a “lack of ambition” by government negotiators as the meeting on climate change ended on December 15 with agreement on a rulebook to implement the 2015 Paris climate accord.
 
The final document that emerged, outlines a careful balance among the needs and concerns of the most developed nations, emerging nations and...

Fourth Sunday of Advent - Mary: the New Ark of the Covenant
(Saturday, 22 December 2018 )

If we pay close attention to the references in the Old Testament, Mary’s visit to Elizabeth could surely nourish our faith. The Jews of that time like today’s, when they meet, they greet each other: Shalom-Peace. Prophet Isaiah called the Messiah, the “Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:5). 
 
On the lips of Mary the word peace is a solemn proclamation. It is the announcement that the awaited Messiah has come into the world and with him...

Fourth Sunday of Advent and Christmas - Maria pinagpala ka!
(Saturday, 22 December 2018 )

Pinagpala ka sa mga babae, at pinagpala rin ang dinadala mo sa iyong sinapupunan!” Ito ang sabi ni Elisabet kay Maria. 
 
Gusto mo bang pagpalain ng Diyos? Tularan natin si Maria.
 
Una, tulad ni Maria, dapat marunong tayong makinig sa tinig at mensahe ng Diyos sa buhay natin. Noong ipinadala si Angel Gabriel kay Maria, si Maria ay nakikinig sa mensahe hatid ng Diyos sa kanya. Hindi lang nakikinig si Maria, tinutupad pa niya ang...

Fourth Sunday of Advent and Christmas - Maria pinagpala ka!
(Saturday, 22 December 2018 )

Pinagpala ka sa mga babae, at pinagpala rin ang dinadala mo sa iyong sinapupunan!” Ito ang sabi ni Elisabet kay Maria. 
 
Gusto mo bang pagpalain ng Diyos? Tularan natin si Maria.
 
Una, tulad ni Maria, dapat marunong tayong makinig sa tinig at mensahe ng Diyos sa buhay natin. Noong ipinadala si Angel Gabriel kay Maria, si Maria ay nakikinig sa mensahe hatid ng Diyos sa kanya. Hindi lang nakikinig si Maria, tinutupad pa niya ang...

Philippine Church rejects placing historic bell in museum
(Saturday, 22 December 2018 )

Manila (UCAN): The bishop and clergy of the Diocese of Borongan in Samar, the Philippines have voiced opposition to a government plan to keep one of three bells originally plundered as war trophies by United States (US) military forces from the church in the town of Balangiga in October 1901, during the Philippine-American War.
 
The bells were returned by the US on December 11.
 
“(The bells) especially call (the people) to the sacrament of the Holy...

Martial law in Mindanao extended a third time
(Saturday, 22 December 2018 )

MANILA (UCAN): The Mindanao, the Philippines, and its approximately 25.5 million population will remain under military rule for another 12 months, or until the end of 2019 after joint session of Congress on approved a request by the president, Rodrigo Duterte, to extend martial law across the region on December 12.
 
Voting 235 in favour, 28 against, and with one abstention, the country’s senators and congressmen also extended the government’s ability to arrest...

The greatest Christmas gift for children
(Saturday, 22 December 2018 )

Christmas is the celebration of the wonder and great value we place on children. We celebrate their rights and dignity. Every family ought to protect and care for their children, not pamper and spoil them as objects and even victims of crass commercialisation and exaggerated gift-giving. 
 
No gift can ever buy the love of a child. No gift is more valuable than the genuine love and appreciation of parents for their children.
 
The great...

Human traffickers prey on desperate Rohingya
(Saturday, 22 December 2018 )

DHAKA (UCAN): Authorities in Bangladesh are cracking down on human traffickers preying on Rohingya refugees desperate to find a better life elsewhere in Southeast Asia.
 
Over the past two months, authorities have stopped 80 Rohingya refugees from boarding trafficking boats, heading for Malaysia, in the Cox’s Bazar district.
 
Nahid Adnan, assistant police superintendent of Ukhiya circle in Cox’s Bazar, said that they have systems in place to...

Don’t forcibly return Turkic Muslims European Union urged
(Saturday, 22 December 2018 )

BRUSSELS (UCAN): The new York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a December 3 letter to the foreign and interior ministers of European Union (EU) member countries, that Turkic Muslims from China should not be forcibly returned without a full and fair individualised examination of their risk of being ill-treated.
 
The rights organisation also urged governments to expedite asylum claims and investigate and address the Chinese government’s intimidation of Turkic...