April 2019

China’s first episcopal elections since Sino-Vatican deal
(Saturday, 20 April 2019 )

HONG KONG (UCAN): In the first round of episcopal elections since the signing of the Vatican-China provisional agreement on the appointment of bishops last September, a was coadjutor bishop elected for the Diocese of Hanzhong in Shaanxi province, and a bishop chosen for the Diocese of Jining, in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous .
Forty-four-year-old Father Stephen Xu Hongwei was elected as coadjutor for Hanzhong on April 11, while Father Anthony Yao Shun, the former vicar...

Philippine Catholic groups castigate review by Canadian agency
(Saturday, 20 April 2019 )

MONTREAL (CNS): In an April 3 letter sent by email to Bishop Lionel Gendron, president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), and Evelyne Beaudoin, president of the national council for Development and Peace (D&P), the Caritas affiliate, prominent leaders of the Catholic Church in the Philippines and civil organizations criticised a moratorium on at least four Philippine associations suspected of “violating the social teachings of the Church.”

Filipinos in Libya urged to return home
(Saturday, 20 April 2019 )

MANILA (UCAN): Bishop Ruperto Santos of Balanga, the head of the Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, appealed to Filipinos in Libya to return home as fears of renewed civil war intensify.
The bishop said the situation in Libya is “uncertain, volatile and unstable” and the safety of Filipino migrants there “is not secure.”
The Philippines’...

Relic of St. John Paul II draws young Filipinos
(Saturday, 20 April 2019 )

TACLOBAN (UCAN): A blood relic of the Pope St. John Paul II, has been attracting young people in the Archdiocese of Palo, Letye, the Philippines.
The relic has been touring the country as part of preparations for the 500th anniversary celebration of the arrival of Christianity in the Philippines in 2021.
“It’s a heartwarming experience seeing the relic for the first time,” said Abbie Montablan, a 21-year-old seminarian in the provincial...

Former lawmaker charged with murder of prominent Catholic in Bangladesh
(Saturday, 20 April 2019 )

DHAKA (UCAN): Abul Kalam Azad, a former member of parliament (MP) of Bangladesh’s ruling Awami League party, was charged, along with 12 others, with the murder in 2014 of Ovidio Marandy, a prominent indigenous Catholic, on April 9.
Marandy’s brother, Father Samson Marandy from the Diocese of Dinajpur, filed the case on behalf of his family who have been attempting to file a murder case for years.
Partha Bhadra, senior judicial magistrate,...

Be voice of the poor pope tells Radio Veritas
(Saturday, 20 April 2019 )

MANILA (UCAN): Pope Francis called on Radio Veritas Asia, which celebrated its 50th anniversary on April 11, to help build “a more just and united society.”
In his message, the pontiff expressed hope that the station would pursue its mandate to preach the gospel and be a “channel of love by being the voice of the poor.”
Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, papal nuncio to Manila, read the pope’s message during the first day of a week...

Ateneo de Manila red-faced over Marcos invite
(Saturday, 20 April 2019 )

MANILA (UCAN): Jesuit Father Jose Ramon Villarin, president of Ateneo de Manila University, issued a public apology for what he described as the “hurt” the presence of Irene Marcos-Araneta at the launch of an art installation at the university on April 4 brought to victims of human rights abuses committed during the rule of her father the late president and dictator, Ferdinand Marcos.
In the wake of protests by the university’s student organisation,...

The evil web of human trafficking
(Saturday, 20 April 2019 )

The most recent case of human trafficking that I have been involved in, and they are many, is that of Angelica, a 15-year-old girl sold by her mother to her employer. He is a rough, crude man, the owner of several mini-buses from which he earns a lot of money and can afford to buy children for sexual abuse.
Angelica was brought to this middle-aged Filipino man in a distant town to be sexually exploited and abused, and that is the crime of human trafficking...

Amendment of extradition law a real threat commission warns
(Saturday, 20 April 2019 )

HONG KONG (SE): Jackie Hung Ling-yu, project officer of the Justice and Peace Commission of the Diocese of Hong Kong, said she does not believe that the government will be able to protect the people against the abuse of human rights if the proposed amendment of extradition bill is passed.
In February, the territory’s Security Bureau proposed amending the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Ordinance and the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance to allow extraditions...

Pope Benedict XVI reflects on abuse crisis
(Saturday, 20 April 2019 )

VATICAN (CNS): “When thinking about what action is required first and foremost, it is rather obvious that we do not need another Church of our own design. Rather, what is required first and foremost is the renewal of the faith in the reality of Jesus Christ given to us in the Blessed Sacrament,” Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI wrote in an article outlining his thoughts on the clerical sexual abuse crisis and what must be done now. Pope Francis and Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican...