December 2018

Pope praises young people following peace pilgrimage
(Saturday, 8 December 2018 )

SEOUL (UCAN): In letters sent to Andrew Cardinal Yeom Soo-jung of Seoul, South Korea, and to 100 young pilgrims from Laos, Mexico, Malta, the United States, India, China, Pakistan and South Korea, who wrote to Pope Francis expressing their desire to become workers for peace after joining the 2018 Wind of Peace pilgrimage along the demilitarised zone dividing the two Koreas in August.
 
Vatican secretary of state, Pietro Cardinal Parolin, and sustito (substitute) for...

High level Orthodox visit to China and North and South Korea
(Saturday, 8 December 2018 )

MOSCOW (AsiaNews):  Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev of Volokolamsk, the second most important cleric in the Russian Orthodox Church after Patriarch Kirill, visited Beijing, China, from November 23 to 24 before travelling to North and South Korea. 
 
He celebrated a Divine Liturgy (Eucharistic service) in the Church of the Dormition of the Mother of God, in the Russian embassy, together with church rector, Hieromonk Innokenty Kolesnikov and Archbishop Sergey Chashin...

Commission for minorities launched in Pakistan
(Saturday, 8 December 2018 )

LAHORE (UCAN): The Pakistan Catholic bishops’ National Commission for Justice, together with the Peace and Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, gathered with human rights and religious organisations from across the country in Lahore to launch the Peoples’ Commission for Minorities’ Rights (PCMR).
 
The commission, which also includes representatives from Sikh, Hindu and Muslim communities, aims to press for the protection of religious minorities in the...

Duterte renews attacks on Church
(Saturday, 8 December 2018 )

MANILA (UCAN): Archbishop Romulo Valles of Davao, head of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, said Church leaders are “saddened and disturbed” by the recent statements by Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte, who renewed his attacks on the country’s Catholic leaders and urged Filipinos to stop going to church altogether.
 
Duterte, who earlier this year called God “stupid,” suggested that people should instead build their...

Philippine policemen convicted of killing teen
(Saturday, 8 December 2018 )

MANILA (UCAN): A court in Kalookan, Metro Manila, the Philippines, found three policemen guilty of the murder of 17-year-old student, Kian Delos Santos, during an anti-narcotics operation in August 2017. However, they were acquitted of planting evidence.
 
Arnel Oares, Jeremias Pereda and Jerwin Cruz were sentenced to at least 30 years in prison by the court on November 29 in the first conviction of police for extrajudicial killing in the 29-month anti-drugs campaign,...

Progress made against AIDS but more needed
(Saturday, 8 December 2018 )

ROME (SE): As World Aids Day was observed on December 1, Father Robert Vitillo, full-time special advisor to Caritas Internationalis on HIV/AIDS and the attaché on health for the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations in Geneva said, “We still need to maintain our concern. Certainly, a lot of progress has been made in terms of helping people who know that they’re infected get access to anti-retroviral treatment, which means that they can live in a...

Ending violence against women and girls
(Saturday, 8 December 2018 )

She was only a seven-years-old, call her Angelica. She never knew or imagined the sexual violence that was to be done to her by her stepfather, Apolonio Valdez. He took her from the small, two-roomed house to the nearby forest and assaulted and sexually abused her.
 
On November 5, Judge Robert Alexander R. Malig of the Pampanga Regional Trial Court  Branch 45, found him guilty of child rape beyond reasonable doubt and sentenced him to serve eight to 14...

Motivating young lives through basketball programme
(Saturday, 8 December 2018 )

HONG KONG (SE): Dylan Chan Yee-fu, a top basketball player in the Hong Kong A1 Division Championship league, is now the coach of a basketball programme implemented by his alma mater, the Caritas Wu Cheng-chung Secondary School.  
 
During the launching ceremony of the Cheng-chung Youth Basketball and Leadership Training Scheme on November 16, the renowned basketball player thanked the teachers of the school who motivated him from Form 1 to 3.
 
“...

A miraculous encounter with Our Lady of Guadalupe
(Saturday, 8 December 2018 )

One evening when I was assisting a little girl in writing her first book, Happy Audrey, I found myself in a dilemma. Since Audrey was only five-and-a-half years old, her little hands might not be able to copy the Hail Mary Prayer into the middle of the partially-designed page. There and then, just as I was asking God for guidance, she started to draw a chapel on the empty space, which was totally unexpected. 
 
This little child’s idea was perfect...

No pity from China as Tibetans burn
(Saturday, 8 December 2018 )

On November 4, in the Ngaka Tibetan and Qian Autonomous Prefecture, a 23-year-old Tibetan man named, Dorbe, set himself alight in protest against the Chinese government while also calling for the return of the Dalai Lama, the Buddhist leader-in-exile.
 
According to Tibetan human rights groups, this took the number of known cases of self-immolation in Tibet to 153, with 133 of the protesters dying in the process.
 
But the news of Dorbe...