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Indian school drops Arabic and Urdu classes

MANGALORE (SE): St. Thomas’ Aided Higher Primary School in a village near the southern city of Mangalore in India, will drop Arabic and Urdu language classes from its curriculum because of pressure from the fundamentalist Sri Rama Sena that barged into the school on July 30 to protest against the teaching of what they called Muslim languages, saying they are being forced down the throats of children.

The Times of India reported the classes were being offered to improve student’s employment prospects. Police subsequently arrested 16 people for trespass.


Vatican stamp for Mother Teresa

VATICAN (CNS): The Vatican will release a 95¢ postage stamp featuring the image of Mother Teresa of Kolkata and a background image of her holding a child. It will be released for sale on September 2, two days prior to her canonisation ceremony which will take place in Rome on September 4.

Pope Francis will conduct a catechetical session for volunteer workers on the previous day and there will also be a musical meditation.


Iraqis ordained in refugee camp

ERBIL (CNS): Three Iraqi deacons were ordained to the priesthood in a refugee camp in Erbil on August 5.

Archbishop Yohanno Petros Moshe, from Mosul, ordained the three priests for the Syriac Catholic Church. The ceremony took place in the Aishty 2 refugee camp, which is now home to about 5,500 people who were driven out of their homes when the Islamic State seized Mosul and the surrounding area.

Father Roni Salim Momika, one of the newly ordained priests, said the ceremony will give hope to those who have been living in exile for two years.


Over 13 million Jubilee visitors to Rome

ROME (SE): The Vatican has reported that over 13 million people have passed through the Holy Door at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome since the launch of the Jubilee of Mercy on December 8 last year.

The figures are based on official registrations, but many people pass through the Holy Door without registering in advance.

The Jubilee of Mercy will end on November 20 this year.


Priest cited in Spotlight commits suicide

MINAS GERAIS (SE): Father Bonifacio Buzzi, whose name was listed in the film Spotlight, was found dead in his jail cell in Minas Gerais, Brazil. He had hanged himself with his own bed sheets hours after he was arrested on August 5 for a second time on suspicion of paedophilia.

Reuters reported that Father Buzzi was jailed from 2007 to 2015 for molestation.

The 57-year-old priest was convicted of abusing a 10-year-old boy nearly a decade ago.

Spotlight is the Oscar-winning 2015 film based on the Boston Globe’s investigation into sexual abuse cover up by the Boston archdiocese.


Diplomacy of vulgarity

CEBU (SE): The president of The Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, has set out to win the hearts and minds of the Chinese government with a bit of anti-United States of America (US) vulgarity, calling the ambassador in Manila a “son of a bitch” and “a gay” in addressing US soldiers in Camp Lapu-Lapu in Cebu on August 8.

He also called him annoying and said that he hopes he never meets him again.

Duterte has been warned by state media (Xinhua) in China that one more set back between Manila and Beijing could see their fragile relations shattered, but can vulgarity convince Beijing of Manila’s friendship?


Book on social doctrine available in Chinese

Rome (AsiaNews): The Chinese translation of Christliche Gesellschaftslehre (Christian social doctrine), a fundamental work on understanding the Church’s social doctrine by the German theologian, Joseph Cardinal Höffner, can now be downloaded free of charge from the publisher, Ordo Socialis, at English, French and Spanish translations are also available.

The book was published for the first time in German in 1962. The Chinese translation is based on the 2000 edition of the book. The print version is no longer available and the Chinese publisher, VI Horae, no longer exists.

Cardinal Höffner, who participated at the Second Vatican Council, is considered one of the fathers of modern social doctrine.

He also participated in the papal conclaves in August and October in 1978, which saw the election of Pope John Paul I and Pope John Paul II.

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