July 2019

Vatican tells China clergy to follow their conscience
(Saturday, 6 July 2019 )

VATICAN (CNS): The Vatican has told bishops and priests in China that they must follow their own consciences in deciding whether to register with the government and it urged Catholics in the country not to judge them for the choices they make.
The Vatican said the problem is that registration almost always requires the bishop or priest to accept “the principle of independence, autonomy and self-administration of the Church in China,” which could be read as a...

Pope gives relics of St. Peter to Orthodox patriarch
(Saturday, 6 July 2019 )

VATICAN (CNS): In what Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople described as a “brave and bold” gesture, Pope Francis gave the patriarch a famous reliquary containing bone fragments believed to belong to St. Peter.
The only time the bronze reliquary has been displayed publicly was in November 2013, when Pope Francis had it present for public veneration as he celebrated the closing Mass for the Year of Faith, opened by Pope Benedict XVI....

Journeying with young people amid social controversy
(Saturday, 6 July 2019 )

With the massive July 1 rally, 550,000 Hong Kong people from all walks of life continued to call for the withdrawal of the controversial extradition bill and removal of the “riot” label tacked on to the protests of June 12. The will of the people was clearly seen. 
Following the Umbrella Movement in 2014, public opinion was divided, however the over one million who turned out on June 9 and the two million who filled the streets on June 16...

Father-daughter drowning at US-Mexico border sparks sadness and outrage
(Saturday, 6 July 2019 )

VATICAN (SE): “With immense sadness, the Holy Father has seen the images of the father and his baby daughter who drowned in the Rio Grande River while trying to cross the border between Mexico and the United States,” interim Director of the Holy See Press Office, Alessandro Gisotti, told reporters on June 26, Vatican News reported.
Twenty-five-year-old Oscar Alberto Martinez Ramirez, and his 23-month-old daughter, Valeria, from El Salvador, drowned in...

Around the Traps
(Saturday, 6 July 2019 )

Cubans pray for cardinal
WASHINGTON (CNS): Archbishop Juan Garcia Rodriguez of Havana, said the health of his predecessor, Jaime Cardinal Ortega Alamino, has weakened and taken a downturn in recent days although he is in stable condition. 
“We have received in this archdiocese countless calls and messages manifesting caring interest in the health of Cardinal Jaime Ortega,”the archbishop wrote on Facebook on June 24. Archbishop Garcia...

Former bishop of Baguio dead at 80
(Saturday, 6 July 2019 )

MANILA  (UCAN): Bishop Carlito Cenzon, the former bishop of the northern Philippine city of Baguio, died at the age of 80 in a Manila hospital on June 26.
The late bishop is most remembered for fighting to protect a forest reservation near the city from an illegal road project allegedly spearheaded by a former government official.
Today, Mount Santo Tomas is covered by a permanent environmental protection order following the bishop’s 2014 petition for a...

Philippine bishop wants laypeople to administer dioceses
(Saturday, 6 July 2019 )

MANILA (UCAN): Bishop Francisco de Leon of Antipolo, the Philippines, wants to allow laypeople or nuns to administer dioceses instead of priests.
He made the proposal when he met with Pope Francis during an ad limina visit by Philippine bishops to Rome in May.
“I think and I feel that it’s high time for us bishops to leave the administration of the diocese to competent laity or religious persons,” the bishop said.

Philippine Church leaders decry return of death penalty
(Saturday, 6 July 2019 )

MANILA (UCAN): Church leaders in the Philippines have warned against any moves to pass a law that will revive the imposition of capital punishment. The Episcopal Commission on Prison Pastoral Care issued a statement on June 20 reminding newly elected legislators of their responsibility “to defend human life.”
Moves to revive the death penalty failed in the last Congress, but Church leaders said recent statements made by new legislators on the re-imposition of...

Myanmar shuts down Internet in Rakhine
(Saturday, 6 July 2019 )

MANDALAY (UCAN): Authorities in Myanmar shut down Internet services in the troubled Rakhine State amid claims by local Buddhists, who are seeking greater autonomy, of human rights’ abuses by the security forces.
The Ministry of Transport and Communications has directed four mobile service providers to temporarily shut down Internet access in nine townships and in neighboring Chin State. The order was effective from June 21.
There are fears that...

Mass for peace on the 69th anniversary of the Korean War
(Saturday, 6 July 2019 )

SEOUL (SE): The Committee for the Reconciliation of the Korean People of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Korea held a special Mass on June 25 at Peace World Park in Imjingak, South Korea, near the demilitarised zone commemorating the 69th anniversary of outbreak of the Korean War in 1950. South Korean bishops were joined by around 20,000 people from dioceses around the country in praying for peace on the divided peninsula, in the first such event in eight years.