July 2019

Hunger strikers vow to continue Hong Kong protest
(Saturday, 20 July 2019 )

HONG KONG (UCAN): A group of hunger strikers in Hong Kong protesting an extradition bill that would allow the extradition to jurisdictions that Hong Kong does not have an extradition deal with, including mainland China, have vowed to refuse food indefinitely until the government officially withdraws the bill. The protesters include members of religious groups and have been fasting since July 3 on a bridge near the main government building in Admiralty.
The were...

Bishop Ha urges Friday fasting, abstinence and prayers
(Saturday, 20 July 2019 )

HONG KONG (SE): Bishop Joseph Ha Chi-shing has urged people to pray and fast every Friday during this summer holiday in intercession for the present crisis in Hong Kong caused by the now-suspended extradition bill.
In a July 12 interview with the online youth forum, Boiling Point, the bishop encouraged people to pray for the city’s young people and to journey with them during the months of July and...

Rarely seen work of Jesuit artists in China showcased
(Saturday, 20 July 2019 )

WASHINGTON (CNS): The Smithsonian art museums’ Empresses of China’s Forbidden City exhibit, on display from March 30 to June 23 at the Freer-Sackler galleries, in Washington DC, the United States, included the work of Brother Giuseppe Castiglione and Brother Ignatius Sichelbarth, 18th-century Jesuit missionaries, who offered their artistic services to the imperial court.
In the past, only royalty and high government officials saw their artwork.

China called to account for activist’s death
(Saturday, 20 July 2019 )

HONG KONG (UCAN): Human Rights Watch (HRW) has called on Chinese authorities to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of a prominent activist, Ji Sizun.
The 69-year-old died in mysterious circumstances on July 10, two months after being released from prison. At the time he was being guarded by state security in a hospital in the southeastern province of Fujian. There had been reports of him being mistreated while in detention.
“Chinese authorities...

Curia reform: Changing attitudes and structures
(Saturday, 20 July 2019 )

VATICAN (CNS): Pope Francis’ plan for the reform of the Roman Curia will change the names of several offices and merge a few of them, but the biggest change it hopes to spark is one of attitude.
The last major reorganisation of the Curia came with Pope St. John Paul II’s apostolic constitution, Pastor Bonus (The Good Shepherd) in 1988, which—in its very first sentence—spoke of Jesus entrusting the apostles with “the mission of making...

Regaining trust through dialogue and communication
(Saturday, 20 July 2019 )

OVER THE PAST three months, Hong Kong has gone through a cycle of stress and frustration due, among other things, to the government’s now-suspended extradition bill. Protests involving thousands to millions have seen a cross section of society from all walks of life raising a hue and cry. There have been clashes between police and protestors, young people committing suicide out of despair in condemnation of the government, while critics attack politicians with differing views. In the...

Chile removes statute of limitations on sex abuse cases
(Saturday, 20 July 2019 )

VATICAN (CNS): As the Catholic Church in Chile continues to deal with the fallout of clerical sexual abuse and its cover-up, the Chilean government passed a law removing the statute of limitations on sex abuse crimes against children.
The new law, which passed the Chilean Congress on July 6, ensures that there will be no time limit in prosecuting cases “regarding the kidnapping or abduction of a minor, as well as the torture, unlawful coercion or cruel, inhuman or...

United Kingdom to defend persecuted Christians
(Saturday, 20 July 2019 )

MANCHESTER (CNS): British foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, said in a July 8 news conference in London said the government would commit itself to a robust defense of persecuted Christians following a new report into their plight.
He said the report would lead to a “sea change in our approach” to the global persecution of Christians.
“We are working across government to agree (on) a formal collective response as soon as possible,”...

Filipino is first Asian to head Dominican Order
(Saturday, 20 July 2019 )

BIEN HOA (UCAN): Father Gerard Francisco Timoner, a Filipino priest, was elected Master General of the Order of Preachers (OP), also known as the Dominican Order, during the congregation’s general chapter in Vietnam on July 13. He became the 88th master of the 800-year-old mendicant religious order and the first Asian to hold the post.
The 51-year-old priest led the Philippine province of the Dominicans and served as socius, or assistant, for Asia and the Pacific of...

Pope mourns death of patient after doctors withhold care
(Saturday, 20 July 2019 )

VATICAN (CNS): “Every life is valuable, always,” Pope Francis tweeted after offering prayers for Vincent Lambert, a 42-year-old Frenchman who died on July 11, nine days after doctors stopped providing him with nutrition and hydration.
“May God the Father welcome Vincent Lambert in his arms,” the pope’s tweet said. “Let us not build a civilisation that discards persons whose lives we no longer consider to be worthy of living.”...