May 2019

Promote pastoral approach to human life cardinal says
(Saturday, 1 June 2019 )

VATICAN (CNS): “One of the greatest challenges to every mother is the thought that the child in the womb may be diagnosed with a grave illness,” Kevin Cardinal Farrell, prefect of the Dicastery for Laity, the Family and Life, said on May 23, opening the two-day Yes to Life: Caring for the Precious Gift of Life in its Frailness conference on protecting life.
 
“It is at such moments that the Church and indeed all people of good will must be prepared...

Troubled southern Philippine island gets new bishop
(Saturday, 1 June 2019 )

MANILA (UCAN): Claretian Father Leo Dalmao was ordained and installed as the fourth bishop of Isabela, the capital of Basilan province in the southern Philippines, known in recent years as a hub of insurgent activity by various Islamic extremist groups, on May 24.
 
The 49-year-old Bishop Dalmao, suceeded Bishop Martin Jumoad who was named bishop of Ozamiz in 2016. He becomes the first Filipino Claretian missionary to join the College of Bishops.
 
Bishops,...

Church groups honour indefatigable champion of the poor
(Saturday, 1 June 2019 )

MANILA (UCAN): Sister Crescencia “Cres” Lucero of the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, suffered a stroke while attending a meeting on human rights in Jakarta, Indonesia. She underwent an operation for cerebral haemorrhage on May 9, but eventually died on May 15. She was 77-years-old.
 
“The history of human rights in the Philippines can never be written without the name of Sister Cres,” said Father Christian Buenafe of the Task Force...

Vatican envoy visits Sri Lanka after attacks
(Saturday, 1 June 2019 )

COLOMBO (UCAN): Fernando Cardinal Filoni, prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, made an unheralded visit to Sri Lanka to show solidarity with Catholics still reeling from the Easter Sunday suicide bombings that claimed over 250 lives and injured more than 400.
 
“What happened on Easter Sunday was not only an act against a few people or a religion, it was an act against the people of Sri Lanka,” Cardinal Filoni said on May 22, as...

Victim of forced conversion holds to Christian faith
(Saturday, 1 June 2019 )

KARACHI (UCAN): “I was a Christian. I am a Christian and I will remain a Christian,” Neha Pervaiz told a judge at the City Court in Karachi, Pakistan, while giving a statement on May 16.
 
The 15-year-old girl told the court that she was raped, forced to renounce Christianity and then pressured to marry a 45-year-old Muslim man called Imran, who stands accused of false conversion.
 
Pastor Ghazala Shafiq of the Church of Pakistan, who helped the...

Nuns in Hanoi fight land grab
(Saturday, 1 June 2019 )

HANOI (UCAN): The Sisters of St. Paul de Chartres in Hanoi, Vietnam, together with members of the laity have asked authorities to stop the illegal construction of a house on Church land.
 
On the night of May 21 workers resumed construction on the controversial 200-square-metre plot next to the sisters’ convent in Hoan Kiem District of Hanoi.
 
The sisters warned officials to take action to avoid a repeat of clashes that took place in 2016 and 2018...

The curse of sex tourism - part 2
(Saturday, 1 June 2019 )

Hundreds of thousands of young girls and boys are lured, forced or trafficked into the sex industry every day worldwide. Human traffickers are the curse of the nation but they operate with relative impunity and sell the youth into the sex bars and clubs that are given government permits and operating licenses. This makes the state part of the corrupt industry where drugs and sex dominate, and young people are sold as commodities in a slave market for the wealthy sex tourists...

Catholic hospital lifts medical standards in Papua
(Saturday, 1 June 2019 )

JAYAPURA (UCAN): Church-run hospitals and clinics, such as Dian Harapan Hospital in Jayapura, in Indonesia’s Papua province, have become vital for many who would otherwise slip through gaping holes in the region’s health care net. A shortage of health facilities and professional health workers remains a long-standing problem despite the increasing clamour for better and more affordable services.
 
State-run institutions have often been criticised for pandering to...

India’s minorities uneasy following recent elections
(Saturday, 1 June 2019 )

NEW DEHLI (UCAN): “India wins again,” Narendra Modi, declared during a victory speech at the  headquarters of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the capital, New Delhi, in which he pledged to build “a new India” touting growth and prosperity for all.
 
Modi and the BJP were returned for a second five-year term on May 23 in an election fought largely on the plank of Hindu nationalism.
 
Many say that the large majority enjoyed by...

Chemist with a big heart beatified
(Saturday, 1 June 2019 )

HONG KONG (UCAN): On May 18, Angelo Cardinal Becciu, prefect of the Congregation of the Causes of Saints, represented Pope Francis at the beatification of Guadalupe Ortiz de Landázuri (1916 to 1975) in Madrid, Spain. She is the first woman and the first lay member of Opus Dei to be beatified.
 
Born in Madrid on 12 December 1916, Ortiz de Landázuri was a chemist by profession at a time when it was uncommon for women to pursue scientific studies. At the age of...