CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 17 February 2018

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Apple shifts iCloud services in China to local firm
BEiIJING (SE): Apple will move the operation of its iCloud services in China to its partner company, the government-owned Guizhou-Cloud Big Data Industry (GBCD) on February 28. 
UCAN reported that the tech giant made the move to comply with new cybersecurity regulations laid out by Beijing. 
 
The Register notes that Chinese government policy demands domestic operators own foreign services’ data centres so that data on Chinese citizens is stored within the country.
 
While the company promised anxious users in July that there would be no backdoors into the Chinese iCloud, it revealed last month that under China-specific terms of service, both Apple and CGBD will have access to user data, The Register reported.
 
The Xinhua News Agency reported on February 6 that Apple plans to build a second data centre in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region which will become operational in 2020.
 
UCAN reported Timothy Heath, senior international defense research analyst at the RAND Corporation as saying, “Apple’s decision compromises the privacy of its customers in China.”
 
Reporter Without Borders has urged all China-based journalists and bloggers to abandon Apple’s China iCloud.
 
Most trust by whom, asks Caloocan bishop
Manila (UCAN): “Most trusted by whom?” asked Bishop Pablo Virgilio David of Caloocan City, Metro Manila, questioning the result of a survey which labelled a police station whose personnel are linked to drug-related killings as the “most trusted” in the capital of the Philippines.
 
Many of the killings linked to the government’s so-called war on drugs have occurred in his diocese.
 
The survey, conducted by the National Police Commission in October and November 2017 and released in early February, showed that Caloocan police station received a trust rating of 88.8 per cent.
 
The bishop, who is vice president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, questioned the assessment, saying, “[Trusted] by those who gauge the trustworthiness of the police by the number of drug suspects killed during [the police operations]?” 
 
Bishop David asked, “If they were ‘most trusted’ for 2017, then why did General [Oscar] Albayalde sack the whole Caloocan police force last September? Just wondering.” 
 
General Albayalde, head of the National Capital Region Police Office, ordered the suspension of several policemen following the deaths of two young boys during anti-narcotics police operations in August last year.
 
The killings sparked protests around the capital.
 
Rights groups claim that about 13,000 people have been killed in the government’s anti-drug war. The police claim only about 3,000 people have died during police operations.
 
Letter in case of Chilean bishop raises new questions
VATICAN (CNS): Less than a week after the Vatican announced Pope Francis was sending Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta, to Chile to follow up with people about “recently received” information on Bishop Juan Barros of Osorno, allegedly covering up clerical sexual abuse, the Associated Press (AP) reported that the pope had been given a detailed letter from a survivor almost three years ago. 
 
Juan Carlos Cruz, a victim of Bishop Barros’ mentor, Father Fernando Karadima, gave AP a copy of an eight-page letter he wrote in 2015 to Pope Francis, graphically describing the abuse he suffered and saying that then-Father Barros was in the room watching when some of the incidents occurred. 
 
Pastoral care of gay couples but no blessing ceremony German cardinal says 
ROME (CNS):  Reinhard Marx Cardinal of Munich and Freising, president of the German Bishops’ Conference, urged priests to provide better pastoral care to Catholics who are homosexual, but when asked if he could imagine the Catholic Church blessing gay couples he said, “I think that would not be right.” 
 
The cardinal made his remarks during a radio interview on February 3. 
 
German Catholic media has interpreted the remarks as moving a step back from a suggestion made in January by Bishop Franz-Josef Bode of Osnabruck, that the Church should discuss the possibility of a blessing ceremony for Catholic gay couples active in the Church. 
 
However, some English-language media and blogs construed Cardinal Marx’s remarks to mean he endorses such blessing ceremonies. 
 
The coverage led Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia, the United States of America, to write a blog encouraging bishops to be clear about what they intend or don’t intend to suggest on the subject.

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