CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 11 November 2017

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A brave chaplain honoured
OPELOUSAS (SE): Father Joseph Lafleur, a chaplain in the United States of America (US) military forces during World War II has been posthumously honoured with the Distinguished Service Cross and Purple Heart.
 
On October 17, in the church where he celebrated his first Mass in 1938, the medals were presented to descendants of his relatives.
 
Father Lafleur died on 7 September 1944 when a US submarine torpedoed a Japanese prison ship. He died, but is remembered as sacrificing his own life in helping others to escape the sinking hull.
 
Father Lafleur had previously received both medals. It is extremely rare for anyone to receive either medal twice.
 
Kazakhstan switches from Cyrillic to Latin script
Astana (AsiaNews/Agencies): Kazakhstan will no longer use the Cyrillic script, choosing to switch over to the Latin alphabet, according to a decree signed by the president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, on October 26. 
 
The president’s office announced that the government will nominate a commission to “ensure a gradual transition from the Kazakh to Latin alphabet by 2025.”
 
Kazakh was written in Arabic until 1920 when it was replaced by the Latin alphabet, but in 1940, the then Soviet Union reimposed the Cyrillic script.
 
Speaking to Kazinform, a professor, Gulnar Karbozova, from Auezov South Kazakhstan State University, said, “It is crucial to the integration of Kazakhstan into the global educational and economic environment, as it is used by over 100 countries around the world.”
 
Do hidden problems go away?
DUBLIN (SE): Priests from the archdiocese of Dublin in Ireland are saying that the repeated failure to publish annual changes in the appointments of priests is a cover up for serious shortages.
 
This is the second year in a row they have not been made public, which The Irish Catholic maintains is concealing the extent to which sick and retiring clergy are not being replaced.
 
“There were three or four of those and all you need is three or four to wreck the whole thing because it has a knock on effect,” one priest told the newspaper.
 
However, he maintained that hiding problems does not make them go away.
 
Not a Halloween prank
MANILA (UCAN): No, it is not a Halloween prank. Collecting coffins and urns from around the country on the eve of All Saints is an all year round drive of Caritas Philippines to help families that cannot afford a proper funeral to bury their dead with dignity.
 
The director, Father Anton Pascual, explained that all types of coffins, brand new or second hand are acceptable.
 
“We are doing it to help the poor who are financially incapable of burying their dead,” he said.
 
Dubbed Caritas Damayan, the programme has collected 50 wooden or stainless steel coffins this year.
 
Ordinations at Korean saints’ gravesite
SEOUL (UCAN): The birthplace of the first Korean priest, St. Andrew Kim Tae-gon, who was martyred in 1846 at Solmoi in South Korea, became the ordination site for 16 new priests from the Franciscan Missionaries of Service.
 
Father Kim was ordained in Beijing and returned to the totally lay-run Church of his native land as its first priest. However, just over one year later he died.
 
His great-grandfather, Blessed Pius Kim Jin-hu; his uncle, Andrew Kim Jong-han and his father, St. Ignatius Kim Je-jun; were all martyrs and lived in Solmoi, dubbed the Bethlehem of Korea. There were 11 martyrs in the Kim family.
 
Papal word to Manila
MANILA (SE): Pope Francis has finally broken his silence on the Philippine drug scandal by giving a pat on the back to a parish-based drug rehabilitation programme in Manila.
 
However, his message came indirectly during a chat at the Vatican with the archbishop of Manila, Luis Cardinal Tagle. He told the cardinal that it is a good programme to continue.
 
While papal condolences have been sent to many countries after disasters recently, the over 12,000 people killed in a presidential campaign, the real reason for which is not really known, a city put under siege and massacre in a casino has not rated a papal mention.
 
Korean Church online 
VATICAN (UCAN): An interactive website titled, On Earth as it is in Heaven, on the history of the Church in Korea covering a 230-year period will run until  November 17.

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