CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 15 September 2018

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Australian missionary to get visa back

MANILA (UCAN): The Department of Justice of the Philippines decided on June 18 that 71-year-old Sister Patricia Fox, who had been ordered immigration authorities to leave the country, should get her missionary visa back.
 
The justice department declared the forfeiture of the nun’s visa by the Immigration Bureau “null and void” because there was no legal basis to declare it forfeit. 
 
It added that Sister Fox “may continue to perform her duties as a missionary” until her visa expires in September or “until a final resolution” in her deportation proceedings is reached.
 
The Australian missionary, who has worked in the country for 27 years, was arrested on April 16 and detained overnight before an order to leave the country was issued (Sunday Examiner, April 29).
 
The Immigration Bureau later revoked Sister Fox’s missionary visa on April 23 for allegedly participating in “partisan political activities.”
 
The bureau also deactivated her alien certificate of registration.
 
“I will continue (working as a missionary) because that’s the expression of my mission,” Sister Fox told reporters at a gathering in Manila hours after the Justice Department made its decision.
 
She said her work with poor communities is “the mandate of the Church.” 
 
Sister Fox said the Justice Department decision “came as a shock” because she had been “preparing for the worst.” She said she would apply to renew her missionary visa before it expires in September.
 
Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo of Manila, said that although it was a “positive development ... threats against Sister Fox still exist.” 

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