May 2019

Fight fake news and seek for truth pope tells journalists
(Saturday, 25 May 2019 )

VATICAN (CNS): “At a time when many spread fake news, humility keeps you from peddling food spoiled by disinformation and invites you to offer the good bread of truth. The humble journalist is a free journalist: free from pressures, free from biases,” Pope Francis told members of the Foreign Press Association in Italy during an audience at the Vatican on May 18. He added that that such freedom also required courage.
 
The pope said the Church has always held the...

Protecting human life
(Saturday, 25 May 2019 )

THE FEAST OF the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary on May 31 is also marks the third year the Pro-Life Day will celebrated in the Diocese of Hong Kong.
 
Many places overseas organise pro-life processions to show their concern for the unborn, whose lives are especially fragile. These silent ones are the least able to defend their own lives.
 
Last December, while the world celebrated the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the...

Move away from war former patriarch urges
(Saturday, 25 May 2019 )

JERUSALEM (CNS): “It is time to look for more peace in the region and in Israel and Palestine,” Archbishop Michel Sabbah, retired Latin patriarch of Jerusalem, said in a statement on May 15, a day which the Palestinians commemorate as the Nakba, or disaster, when Israel declared its independence in 1948. Israel celebrates its independence according to the Jewish lunar calendar on the 5th of Iyar, which every year falls on a different secular date.
 
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Conservationists call for protecting biodiversity
(Saturday, 25 May 2019 )

VATICAN (CNS): “We can learn how to take care of the world. And we must use all our strength to find ways of making the world more human, giving people the possibility to live their lives so that we may share the richness and the resources given to us in a way that could never be possessed or owned by us,” said the final, May 15 statement from the participants at a conference on species protection.
 
The May 13 to 14 gathering, organised by the Pontifical Academy...

Two attacks in two days leave 10 dead in Burkina Faso
(Saturday, 25 May 2019 )

OUAGADOUGOU (CNS): Catholic leaders in Burkina Faso appealled for unity and solidarity after two attacks on Catholics in two days left nine laypeople and a priest dead.
 
“We have been working together for years—Muslims, Protestants, Catholics and followers of traditional religions, always walking hand in hand,” Archbishop Seraphin Rouamba of Koupela said on May 13.
 
“In view of this, it isn’t necessary for such tragic acts to...

Volunteer spirit alive among young Filipinos
(Saturday, 25 May 2019 )

They used their own laptop computers and their own mobile phones to assist voters during this year’s midterm elections in the Philippines.
 
They were not required to do so. It was not even their job. It was something they did to try to ensure “honest and clean elections” across the country.
 
Most of the 300,000 volunteers of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV), a Church-based poll watchdog, are...

Vote buying integral to electoral exercise Duterte says
(Saturday, 25 May 2019 )

MANILA (Agencies): On May 13, the day the Philippines went to polls for its mid-term elections, the president, Rodrigo Duterte, said vote buying is an “integral” part of the country’s electoral exercise. He excused it as just politicians paying the fare of local leaders who are helping ensure votes for them in a locality, according a May 16 report from UCAN
 
However, in the wake of allegations of vote buying and ballot-counting machine...

Church marks 350 years in Thailand
(Saturday, 25 May 2019 )

BANGKOK (UCAN): Fernando Cardinal Filoni, the prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples was in Thailand to help celebration the 350th anniversary of the Church’s mission there.
 
“Asia is a sector of humanity rich in cultures and organized religions but with more than 85 per cent of its members un-baptised,” he told religious, seminarians and catechists at a ceremony in Sampran, 30km west of Bangkok on May 18.
 
“...

Ramadan prayers in Yangon shut down
(Saturday, 25 May 2019 )

MANDALAY (UCAN): Some 100 monks led nationalist supporters into three Muslim quarters in south Dagon township, on the outskirts of Yangon, Myanmar, during the nights of May 14 and 15 and demanded that three temporary prayer sites, set up for Ramadan, be shut down. Under pressure, Muslim leaders closed down the prayer sites but have said the sites were allowed by the Yangon Division government.
 
On May 16, the police chief of Yangon Division said the Muslims could...

Komodo dragons and Halal tourism a bad fit bishop says
(Saturday, 25 May 2019 )

JAKARTA (UCAN): The Catholic Church on the Indonesian island of Flores, gateway to Komodo National Park and its world famous Komodo dragons, rejected the idea of introducing halal (permissible) tourism, a growing trend among Muslims.
 
Authorities in Labuan Bajo, a fishing town on the western side of Flores in Nusa Tenggara, suggested the idea as a way of boosting tourism but Bishop Silvester San, the apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Ruteng, shot it down in...