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Japan to welcome Pope Francis in November

TOKYO (UCAN): Pope Francis confirmed that he is to visit Japan in November when speaking to the press on the flight taking him to the World Youth Day gathering in Panama on January 23. “I will go to Japan in November. Get ready!” he told them.
 
“The pope will come to Japan in the second half of November and will visit Tokyo, Hiroshima and Nagasaki,” Thomas Aquinas Manyo Cardinal Maeda of Osaka, confirmed on January 24.
 

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Philippine bishops break silence on ‘disturbing issues’

MANILA (UCAN): The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines broke what it described as a “collective silence” over “many disturbing issues” that have confronted the country in recent months.
 
In a pastoral statement issued at the end of their biennial meeting in Manila on January 28, the bishops asked forgiveness “for the length of time that it took us to find our collective voice.” 
 

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Silver jubilee for survivor of China persecutions

TAIPEI (UCAN): Eighty-five-year-old Father Matthew Chu Li-the, of the Society of Jesus, who was imprisoned for more than two decades in China celebrated the 25th anniversary of his ordination at Kuting Sacred Heart Church, Taipei, on January 9.
 

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Bishop calls for talks over Rakhine crisis

MANDALAY (UCAN): “Solving the problem with arms will not lead to a solution, so both sides need to go to the negotiable table (and work) towards stability and peace,” Bishop Alexander Pyone Cho of Pyay, said, as he called on all parties to return to the negotiation table as fighting escalates in Myanmar’s a Rakhine State.
 
The bishop said tensions remain high between the military and the Arakan Army.
 

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Seoul archdiocese starts YouTube Bible study course

SEOUL (UCAN): The communications department of the Archdiocese of Seoul, South Korea, started an Online Bible Channel on November 24 following the pastoral direction of Andrew Cardinal Yeom Soo-jung, as more people watch video content through their smartphones.
 
Father Mattias Hur Young-yup, communications director, will address Custom in the Bible; vice-director, Father Peter Hwang Joong-ho will teach the Book of Exodus; and Father Thomas Lee Do-heang, undersecretary of the archdiocesan communications committee, will give talks on the gospel of Mark.

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Pope praises young people following peace pilgrimage

SEOUL (UCAN): In letters sent to Andrew Cardinal Yeom Soo-jung of Seoul, South Korea, and to 100 young pilgrims from Laos, Mexico, Malta, the United States, India, China, Pakistan and South Korea, who wrote to Pope Francis expressing their desire to become workers for peace after joining the 2018 Wind of Peace pilgrimage along the demilitarised zone dividing the two Koreas in August.
 

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Pope praises young people following peace pilgrimage

SEOUL (UCAN): In letters sent to Andrew Cardinal Yeom Soo-jung of Seoul, South Korea, and to 100 young pilgrims from Laos, Mexico, Malta, the United States, India, China, Pakistan and South Korea, who wrote to Pope Francis expressing their desire to become workers for peace after joining the 2018 Wind of Peace pilgrimage along the demilitarised zone dividing the two Koreas in August.
 

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Celebrating a Columban century: Everyone is a missionary

HONG KONG (SE): “All of us then are missionaries, whatever our path in life, or whatever our stage of life, or whatever country we live in,” Father Tim Mulroy, the new superior general of the Missionary Society of St. Columban, said at a Mass to conclude the centenary celebrations of the Missionary Society of St. Columban at the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception, Caine Road, on November 23, the feast of St. Columban.
 

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Call to end political standoff in Sri Lanka

COLOMBO (UCAN): Sri Lanka’s religious leaders appealed for an end to the bitter political crisis that is threatening the island nation’s democracy.
 

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Amnesty India says raid aimed at silencing government critics

BENGALURU (SE): The bank accounts of human rights watchdog, Amnesty International, in India have been frozen, effectively stopping its work, after the government’s financial crime investigating agency, the Enforcement Directorate, carried out a 10-hour raid at the group’s Bengaluru office on October 25, Vatican News reported on October 26.
 

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