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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.

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A faith born out of childhood memories

On Easter Sunday last year, a young woman completed a journey lasting almost three decades, as she lowered her head over the baptismal font to receive the waters of eternal life a world away from the holy of holies of godlessness into which she was born.

Simply known as Chitty among the people of her parish, as well as to her patients at the dental clinic where she practices in Albury, Australia, she has been reborn in the faith of her childhood memories.

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A retreat to turn water into wine

HONG KONG (SE): “‘They kept the best wine until last.’ These words excited me when I heard them in a new context. They come from the story of the wedding feast at Cana and I realised that maybe a fresh taste could be inserted in my own marriage,” Kevin Lai Yuk-ching from the Diocesan Pastoral Commission for Marriage and Family, said.

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Is it a husband’s right or rape?

At a meeting in the early 1990s, an informal discussion on domestic violence drew some alarm when I mentioned marital rape.

“What!?” exclaimed a couple of men, “there is no such thing as marital rape!” Even now, in the 21st century, I find that there are still men who share their view.

The Justice Verma Committee was set up in December last year by the Indian government in the wake of a brutal gang rape of a student in Delhi.

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God’s creation

Pope Francis has given many homilies since he was elected on March 13 and has mentioned creation on numerous occasions.

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Challenge is to bring freedom to inherited land not expand repression


HONG KONG (SE): “It seems their strategy is to win the hearts of the people by proving that they love their country more than the Communist Party does,” Martin Chung Chi-kei, a doctorate in philosophy candidate in European Studies at the University of Hong Kong, says of the group from Hong Kong that erected a Chinese flag on the disputed Diaoyu Islands, or Senkaku Islands as the Japanese call them, in August last year.

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Images of Holy Week


A young girl lights a candle during the Easter Vigil Mass in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Old City of Jerusalem. 

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