February 2019

Monsignor Jozic bids farewell to Hong Kong
(Saturday, 16 February 2019 )

HONG KONG (SE): For the Catholic Church, he was the de facto representative of the pope to mainland China. Monsignor Ante Jozic, who spent a tempestuous decade in the city of Hong Kong seeking to bridge the great Sino-Vatican divide, has to his credit accomplished a giant leap forward, helping to engineer the signing of the provisional agreement between Beijing and the Holy See in late September last year.
 
Having seen this through, he was made an archbishop by the Holy See...

Altar at newly-renovated St. Bonaventure Church blessed
(Saturday, 16 February 2019 )

HONG KONG (SE): The new altar of St. Bonaventure Church, Tsz Wan Shan, was blessed on January 26 following the completion of renovation works  in November 2018. Designer, Friar Pierangelo Pagani, expressed his hopes that the renovated chapel with its huge stained glass windows would become an ideal place for people to pray and remember the sacredness and mysteries of God.
 
The Mass was celebrated by Franciscan Father Paul Pang together with Father Michael Woo, the...

Study retreat looks into China situation
(Saturday, 16 February 2019 )

HONG KONG (SE): A study retreat was organised for clergy by the Diocese of Hong Kong from January 8 to 10, to deepen their understanding of the situation of the Church in China.
 
With the help of different researchers on the subject, the retreat covered four topics, including the theological principles behind the reforms of Pope Francis, Chinese president Xi Jinping’s policy on religion, the provisional Sino-Vatican agreement on the appointment of bishops reached on...

Panama’s Chinese Catholics welcome World Youth Day pilgrims
(Saturday, 16 February 2019 )

PANAMA CITY (UCAN): The Chinese Catholic community in Panama City, Panama, received Chinese pilgrims to World Youth Day 2019, held in Panama from January 22 to 27 from, and shared their experiences of evangelising as more people turn to Protestant Churches. 
 
On January 26, the Chinese Catholic Foundation of Panama invited Bishop Thomas Chung An-zu of Chiayi, Taiwan to celebrate Mass at St. Martha’s Church, near the city’s Chinatown. He was in the country...

Bishop calls for transparency over China-backed dam
(Saturday, 16 February 2019 )

MANDALAY (UCAN): Bishop Raymond Sumlut Gam of Banmaw in Kachin State has asked Aung San Suu Kyi’s government to inform the public about the status of the China-backed Myitsone Dam project, following reports of increased Chinese pressure to restart it. The $29.8 billion project was suspended in September 2011.
 
“It is the right time to inform the public because a lack of transparency from the government is worrying the people,” Bishop Gam, an ethnic Kachin...

Chinese authorities release bishop and priests over Lunar New Year
(Saturday, 16 February 2019 )

HONG KONG (UCAN): Bishop Augustine Cui Tai, coadjutor of the Diocese of Xuanhua, Hebei, along with Father Su Guipeng and Father Zhao He, all members of the unofficial Church, were able to go home for the Lunar New Year.
 
They had been under detention since last year.
 
Bishop Cui had not been seen since mid-April last year and his whereabouts were unknown.
 
A source named John, said that the 68-year-old bishop was allowed to go home on...

Witness to Christ with love pope tells Catholics in UAE
(Saturday, 16 February 2019 )

ABU DHABI (CNS): Meeting with tens of thousands of Catholics living in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Pope Francis urged them to be meek, peaceful and express their Christian identity by loving others.
 
The Catholic community in the UAE, which numbers close to a million, includes foreign workers from roughly 100 nations, but particularly India and the Philippines. They filled the stadium at Abu Dhabi’s Zayed Sports City and the open spaces around the complex for the...

World Day of Social Justice
(Saturday, 16 February 2019 )

Social justice is an underlying principle for peaceful and prosperous coexistence within and between societies and nations. On February 20, the United Nations (UN) observes the World Day of Social Justice in order to focus on the plight of social injustice throughout the world and to press for improvements and solutions. 
 
Through the observance of World Day of Social Justice, the UN aims to create awareness in the international community of poverty...

Conservatives attack sexual violence bill
(Saturday, 16 February 2019 )

JAKARTA (UCAN): “We do need more detailed and explicit rules because when we report cases of sexual violence, police are often confused as to what legal redress they can use against perpetrators,” Sister Maria Yosephina Pahlawati of the Congregation of Servants of the Holy Spirit,  said, commenting on a groundbreaking sexual violence bill before Indonesia’s legislature.
 
Sister Pahlwati, who runs an advisory service for female victims of violence in...

Vatican marks 90th anniversary of Lateran Pacts
(Saturday, 16 February 2019 )

VATICAN (CNS): The historic signing of the Lateran Pacts between the Holy See and Italy 90 years ago, ending decades of tension between Italy and the Holy See, is an important example of cooperation and peace that is needed in today’s world, Norbertine Father Bernard Ardura, president of the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences, told journalists on February 8.
 
He said, “the effective cooperation between the Holy See and the Italian state that still...