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Caritas looks to free mentally disadvantaged in Indonesian diocese

BORONG (UCAN): It was 10 long years ago when Aleksius Dugis was shackled and locked in a tiny filthy hut by his family in East Manggarai district on the island of Flores, Indonesia.
 
His legs were tied to a heavy wooden post, which means he could hardly move about. During the rainy season, the hut leaked and he ended up covered in mud mixed with his own faeces. During the dry season, he had to endure extreme heat.
 
People were concerned, but did not venture inside the hut because of the foul smell.
 

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Missionaries in Timor-Leste honoured by Vatican

DILI (UCAN): The Holy See honoured Timorese Father Francisco dos Santos Fatima Barreto and Father Francisco Tavares, Italian Father Eligio Locatelli, Portuguese Jesuit Father Jose Alves Martins and Canossian Sister Maria Chioda with the Decoration of Honour for their distinguished service to the Catholic Church in Timor-Leste.
 
The recognition is given by the pope to laypeople and clergy for outstanding contributions to the Church.  
 

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Archbishop expects clearer guidelines on clerical sex abuse

Hong Kong (UCAN): Returning from the recent February 21 to 24 summit on the Protection of Minors in the Church at the Vatican, Archbishop John Hung Shan-chuan of Taipei, the president of the Chinese Regional Bishops’ Conference, said that he had gained a deeper understanding of clerical sex abuse.
 
Speaking to Radio Veritas Asia, Archbishop Hung said he had asked a priest returning from New York why there had been so many cases of clerics sexually abusing minors in the United States.
 

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Eviction victims take fight to Hanoi

HO CHI MINH CITY (UCAN): Representatives acting for more than 100 households in c, Vietnam, who claim their land was illegally seized last month by city authorities, this presented their petition to the Government Inspectorate Committee on Receiving Citizens Complaints in Hanoi in late February.
 
The victims of the alleged land-grab are demanding the government punish local officials and that land seized be returned.
 

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Stop using term infidel say Indonesian clerics

JAKARTA (UCAN): Clerics from Nahdlatul Ulama, Indonesia’s largest Islamic organisation, have issued a call to Muslims to stop branding non-Muslims kafir—infidels. Their call came at the end of an annual three-day meeting in Banjar, West Java, on March 1.
 
The term infidel, discriminates against people of other religions, and is not in accordance with the Indonesian Constitution that recognises each citizen’s equal status and rights, the meeting was told.
 

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Outrage in Indonesia over sex abuse case

JAKARTA (UCAN): Politicians and Church activists in Indonesia have demanded justice after an 18-year-old mentally disadvantaged girl was allegedly treated as a sex slave by her father and two brothers. Reports of the crime shocked the nation.
 

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An innocent sister in jail

Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas, February 13
 
 
Last week, I returned from an emotional, heartbreaking visit to jail. I paid a long overdue visit to Sister Concelia Baxla from Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, who, along with Anima Indwar, an employee of the Nirmal Hriday Home, was arrested 222 days ago on charges of child trafficking. 
 

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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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