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Sacred art is a cup of ancient wisdom

HONG KONG (SE): A narrow stairway leading off crowded Shanghai Street in Jordan arrives at a small temple cum community centre of the Nepali population in Hong Kong, which on March 11 opened its doors to a rarity in the Buddhist and Hindu worlds: a female painter of the sacred, Renuka Gurung.








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Asian issues missing in the family synod questionnaire

The Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family scheduled for October has captured the attention of people in a way that its predecessors have not, simply because, this time, the focus will be on an issue on which the laity are the experts.

The enthusiasm of the laity is plain to see from the sheer number of other surveys that been a spin off from the Vatican questionnaire addressed to the bishops last October.








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God created women and men in his own image (Genesis 1:27)

Do all women look forward to Valentine’s Day? Many countries celebrate it and men of all ages like to buy flowers and candy for their girlfriends or wives.

Some couples even get engaged or married on this apt day. This is one day where women are held in high esteem, but it is also a day when young women feel pressure from families, friends and society if they aren’t married yet.








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When silence speaks from the cross

The novel by Japanese author, Endo Shusaku, Silence, follows a Portuguese priest, Father Rodrigues, on a dangerous mission to Japan in the 17th century.

Word has filtered back to Jesuit headquarters that the most famous missionary in Japan, Father Ferreira, has apostatised.

Father Rodrigues, who studied under Father Ferreira in the seminary, cannot believe it is possible that the great man would have renounced the faith after 20 years of courageous service.








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Will the Pope Francis breeze reach Asia?

TOKYO (SE): “Pope Francis, who became the first Latin American and the first Jesuit to assume the papacy in March last year, immediately won the hearts of many and continues to exert a powerful presence,” the former ambassador to the Vatican from Japan, Kagefumi Ueno, says in an essay published by the English-Speaking Union of Japan on March 5.

Yet he says that he believes the true significance of the rise of this new pope lies beyond the enormous popularity he enjoys.








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A year of reform and evangelisation under Pope Francis

VATICAN CITY (CNS): As leader of the universal Church, a pope must direct his ministry in both of the ways traditionally described by the Latin terms ad intra and ad extra: inwardly to the Church itself and outwardly to the rest of the world. 

Pope Francis has accordingly spent the first year of his pontificate pursuing two ambitious projects: revitalising the Church’s efforts at evangelisation and reforming its central administration. 








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Penalising one group to punish another is skating on flimsy moral ice

PORT MORESBY (SE): “How could it be right, in the light of the Papua New Guinea constitutional protection of freedom, to bring into our country and imprison people who have not broken our laws,” the bishops of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands asked in response to Australia’s deal with Port Moresby to reestablish a lock up for asylum seekers on their sovereign territory in November 2012.








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But where do you see
 the face of God?

This is a story told through a painting, a largely overlooked work among the vast collection of The Field Museum in Chicago (Catalogue No.116027).








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Valentine’s Day does belong in the Church

HONG KONG (SE) : Rather than scorning secular celebrations, like Halloween and Valentine’s Day, and warning people off because of their secular appeal, some local Churches are encouraging parishes and schools to join in the fun by giving them their own religious flavour.








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Cherishing life or providing a dumping ground?

HONG KONG (SE): The United Nations (UN), in its response to the Vatican submission for its periodic review on the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, called for it to prohibit a practice which allows mothers who cannot care for their children to anonymously entrust them to the care of religious congregations.

However, the practice, known as baby hatches or baby boxes, has received a different reaction from a government official in Shenzhen, China.