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The word made law!
VATICAN (SE): Pope Francis said on April 24 that the Holy Spirit enables believers to “go forward along the path of the Spirit without compromise, without rigidity.”

He pointed out that some Christians appear to believe not that the word was not made flesh, but the word was made law. He reflected that Church history is marked by struggles against a rationalistic mentality, characterised by a theology of yes, you can; no, you can’t.

He said this attitude violates “the liberty of the Spirit, the rebirth of the Spirit that gives liberty.”

College of Cardinals gets smaller
MILAN (SE): Attilio Cardinal Nicora, the former president of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See, died on April 22 at the age of 80.

His death brings the membership in the College of Cardinals back to 221, of whom 117 are eligible to vote in a papal conclave.

European bishops praise resilience strategy
BRUSSELS (SE): The Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union, Pax Christi International and the Conference of European Justice and Peace Commissions issued a statement welcoming the adoption by the Union of the idea of resilience as a priority in its global strategy.

“Declaring resilience as a strategic priority of the Union is an important step,” the 10-page statement says.

“In the follow-up, the High Representative and the European Commission should elaborate a Joint Communication that provides a precise understanding and identifies effective ways in the Union’s policy framework to put resilience into practice,” the statement continues.

Five Christians get prison stint
BEIJING (SE): A court in Xinjiang convicted five people on April 18 for “gathering a crowd to disrupt social order.”

They were sentenced to from three to five years in prison, Chinese Human Rights Defenders reported.


The ruling by the Chongji City People’s Court follows a trial on 27 October 2016. All five are ethnic Han Chinese and pleaded not guilty, saying they would appeal the verdict.

Ranging in age from 26 to 68, they are among 40 Christians from Xinjiang and neighbouring provinces who gathered in Changji City on 5 March 2016 for a bible study group.

Five were formally charged on 11 April 2016.

Oslo diocese criticised over gay employee
OSLO (CWNews): The diocese of Oslo in Norway is under fire for hiring a communications official who has been involved with the gay-rights movement.

Petter Stocke-Nicolaisen, an active member of the Pride Movement, has been hired as an editor for the diocesan communications department. He is not a Catholic.

The diocese said he was not hired because of his beliefs, but his technical competence. “We do not ask about people’s sexual orientation,” a spokesperson said.

Pakistan Church thanks police
KARACHI (SE): The Church in Pakistan extended its thanks and appreciation to the police for providing what the Justice and Peace Commission described as ample and appropriate security on worship places across the country over Easter.

Bishop Joseph Arshad, from Faisalabad, said in thanking the police for working day and night that the government outreach to religious minorities is deeply appreciated and that due to their efforts there were no unpleasant incidents.

Prayers were offered for the police in many churches across the country on Easter Sunday.

Nepal prays for peace
KATHMANDU (SE): An hour of prayer for peace was held in all Catholic churches in Nepal on April 25, a week after an arson attack on the cathedral in Kathmandu.

The parish priest of the cathedral, Father Ignatius Rai, said that Christians and others in the largely Hindu nation deserve “respect and dignity, so that all religious groups can be free to practice their faith. We can no longer endure persecution and violence.”

Rearrested for raping sister
JHABUA (UCAN): A man who was convicted of raping a Catholic sister in 1998 has been rearrested some years after he escaped from prison.

Pidya Singadia was one of 18 men convicted of gang-raping sisters during an episode of anti-Christian violence that has consistently troubled India. He was sentenced to life imprisonment, but granted a temporary release in 2006 and never returned.

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