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Tragedy at pope’s Mass not all doom and gloom

MANILA (UCAN): Jun and Judy Padasas will never forget the day Pope Francis came to the central Philippine city of Tacloban just over one year ago.

As the pope was blessing thousands of teary-eyed victims of Typhoon Haiyan on January 17, their 27-year-old daughter, Kristel Mae Padasas, died.

Padasas was waiting for the papal convoy to pass when a strong wind blew a large speaker stack on top of her, crushing her to death.

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Malling for Sunday Mass

MANILA (UCAN): Malling, or hanging around shopping malls is a popular pastime in The Philippines, and the proliferation of Sunday Masses being celebrated in shopping malls is proving to be extremely popular, leaving some wondering about the future of parish churches.

“We find it convenient,” a 53-year-old father of five, Miguel Espiño, says, adding that he believes that “wherever there are two or more people gathered in the name of God, he would listen.”

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The oceans may produce more than a high tide

In recent years, we have become more and more aware of how vulnerable our oceans are to climate change. The Arctic Ocean is capped by frozen seawater, called sea ice. This melts during the Northern Hemisphere spring and summer months.








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Human rights for victims of climate change

The anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights last December 10 reminds us that migrants fleeing war and the economic effects of climate change have rights that must be respected.

The growing intolerance towards these unfortunate people is detestable and must be contested and denounced. 








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Modern-day popes braving the lion’s den

VATICAN CITY (CNS): Before he became Pope Francis, Jorge Cardinal Bergoglio had a reputation for disliking interviews.

Aboard his first papal flight to Brazil for World Youth Day in July 2013, he told more than 70 journalists from around the world, “Really, I don’t give interviews. But I don’t know why. I can’t, that’s just how it is. I find it a bit tiresome, but I’m grateful for your company.” 








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Christmas refugees and fair trade

 

Christmas is much more than Santa Claus and consumerism. It is about compassion, love for the poor and seeking justice. Jesus was sent to help change the world. We must carry on this mission but we also have to understand what that challenge is.








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Nuanced numerical adjustment to One Child Policy

HONG KONG (SE): Although hailed as the end of the infamous One Child Policy, the announcement made by Beijing on December 27 that from now on all couples will be allowed to have two children, only constitutes a nuanced numerical adjustment to the old policy, rather than signalling its demise.








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In the footsteps of early missionaries

HONG KONG (SE): In the manner in which St. Columban proclaimed himself an exile for Christ when he left his native Ireland for Europe over 1,400 years ago, a group of Chinese priests, sisters and lay people from Wuhan carried a banner reading, Exiles for Christ, as they travelled in pilgrimage along the Han River from Hanyang between November 11 and 14 in the footsteps of the Columban missionaries of the 1920s.