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Myanmar 25 years on from 8-8-8-8

Twenty-five years ago, hundreds of thousands of people in the Union of Myanmar from all walks of life and from all corners of the country rose up to demand an end to a quarter of a century of military rule that had closed the country off from the rest of the world and impoverished a once prosperous nation.

Their pleas for freedom were met with a hail of gunfire from the military and an estimated 3,000 people lost their lives.








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Beer and bible a good cocktail mix

These words of Hilaire Belloc speak to me of a joyful Catholicism, impacting on every area of a person’s life.

It speaks to me of an integrated faith, where life is lived to the full, not just an hour in church on a Sunday morning to fulfil an obligation.

Just over three years ago, the Catholic Social Group was born among a group of laypeople who saw a need for fellowship, to share about scriptures and pray together outside of Sunday Mass.








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What the Jesuits did next

A joke did the rounds of the Sistine Chapel among the electing cardinals when Jorge Bergoglio became the first Jesuit to be elected bishop of Rome.

Would he pay homage to the founder of the Jesuits and become the first Pope Ignatius, or would he have the last laugh on the pope who suppressed the Jesuits 240 years ago—Clement XIV—by becoming Pope Clement XV?








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Age and wisdom

 

The bible has much to say about caring for elderly parents and other family members who are not able to care for themselves.

In the New Testament, we read, “Honour your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise—“that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth” (Ephesians 6:2-3).








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Following the rite way

Pope Francis has appointed eight cardinals to assist him in reorganising Vatican administration. One is the archbishop of Sydney, Australia, George Cardinal Pell, whom many think was chosen simply because he is the only cardinal in Oceania.

When asked by the Italian daily, La Stampa, what the two or three main reforms may be, Cardinal Pell said that an increase in the number of typists in the Curia would be a good example.








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At-home World Youth Day wraps up on the shores of Victoria Harbour

HONG KONG (SE): A week of challenging experiences and a new look at living faith in modern society ended on the late afternoon on July 28 with a Mass to mark the end of Hong Kong’s at-home World Youth Day celebrated in the balmy breezes on the shores of Victoria Harbour.








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New encyclical is a balm for
a humanity lost in crisis

ROME (AsiaNews): The first encyclical released during the pontificate of Pope Francis, Light of Faith (Lumen fidei), can be described as a healing balm for the wounds of a humanity lost in the crisis of the world today.

With a change in language from the heavily scholarly style of the past to a more everyday structure with some poetic climaxes, the text unfolds in four chapters, revealing the power that faith in God and the God of Jesus Christ has in supporting the unity of humankind.








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Former Vatican envoy to Egypt reflects on the Arab Spring

ROME (SE): “The true results of the Arab Spring are still awaited” and right now “it is difficult to offer any definite conclusion,” Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald, a leading expert on Islam, said during the Bradley Lecture at the Pontifical Institute of Arabic and Islamic Studies in Rome on May 30.








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Many faces of Chinese power 
on the world stage

Just over half a century ago a belligerent China and an ill-prepared India engaged in a border war. From the Indian perspective, the 1962 conflict revealed China’s treachery a year on from the euphoria of the visit of the Chinese premier at the time, Chou Enlai, and the apparent brotherly relations that were meant to follow.








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A retreat amidst the clatter

HONG KONG (SE): Snuggled comfortably among the glittering pubs and restaurants of Soho, the Culture Club Gallery offers something of a quiet corner away from the blasting stereos and prying glare of television screens that invade conversation in the area.

“I imagined it as a place where people could display their talents and interests where they could be appreciated,” owner, Aruna Rana Ale, told the Sunday Examiner.