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Japan first Asian nation to forge full diplomatic ties with the Vatican

VATICAN (SE): The Holy See and Japan are marking the 75th anniversary of the forging between the two states of full diplomatic relations in 1942.
 
In the Vatican, the celebrations revolved around a Mass celebrated at the Church of the Gesù in Rome by the Vatican secretary of state, Pietro Cardinal Parolin, on October 11, and a symposium at the Pontifical Gregorian University on the following day.
 

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The faith of the religious media

TAIPEI (AsiaNews): Presenting the Golden Ball Award in memory of her old teacher and friend, Father Jerry Martinson, who made his name famous across China and Taiwan for his comparing role on the Catholic television network, the Kuangchi Programme Service, as Uncle Jerry, Louise Tsuei quoted him as often saying, “Working in the media is like an act of faith, because, since we cannot see the public, we must firmly believe in what we are doing.”
 

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Indian bishops issue guidelines to deal with sex abuse

NEW DEHLI (UCAN): The Catholic Bishops Conference of India released its Guidelines to Deal with Sexual Harassment at the Workplace, the first such initiative, in New Delhi on September 14. The Council for Women of the bishops’ conference framed the guidelines.
 
Apart from Church institutions, all dioceses, parishes and religious congregations are to institute complaints committees to which a case of sexual harassment can be reported.
 

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Kidnapped Marawi priest rescued

MANILA (SE): “I am physically strong and sound,” CNS reported Father Chito Soganob as telling a press conference at military headsquarters at Camp Aguinaldo, Manila, The Philippines, on September 18 as day after news of his rescue from captivity in Marawi broke.
 
Father Soganob, the vicar general of Marawi, had been held captive by Islamic State-inspired Maute group since conflict erupted in the city on May 23. 
 

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A jittery Guam prays for peace

AGANA (SE): People in Guam began organising prayer gatherings and vigils for peace in the light of a threat from the leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Kim Jong-un, to launch a nuclear warhead, which in all probability would be aimed at the tiny unincorporated territory of the United States of America (US), before August 15.
 

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Will Catholics swing for same-sex marriage?

SYDNEY (SE): As Australia prepares for a postal survey on attitudes towards same-sex marriage, a poll commissioned by the Equality Campaign conducted by Jim Reed from Newgate Research claims that more than half of the country’s Catholics are likely vote in favour of it.
 
The poll discovered that approximately 66 per cent of the overall population is inclined to express a favourable opinion on the question, but among those who adhere to a religion only 58 per cent said they would favour the idea.
 

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Asian face for Asian Youth Day

HONG KONG (SE): Young people from the Hong Kong that had travelled to Indonesia for the Seventh Asian Youth Day in Yogyakarta, which ran from July 30 to August 6, reflected that the experience was a great introduction for them to the wide variety of cultures hosted by the Asian continent and the importance of loving God’s creation.
 

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Blurring the trail to the drug lords

JAKARTA (UCAN): Amnesty International claims that the number of suspected drug traffickers killed by authorities in Indonesia has increased significantly since last year as a result of a shoot-on-sight policy. 
 
Bramantya Basuki said on August 15 following the recent fatal shooting of two suspected drug traffickers, “A total of 61 Indonesians and foreigners have been shot dead by law enforcement officers since January this year. Last year, there were 13 suspected drug traffickers killed.” 
 

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History teaches but who learns?

DAVAO (UCAN): “If rationality still matters in this beleaguered Republic of The Philippines, how have we, as a people, shifted once more to supporting a rising authoritarianism?” Brother Karl Gaspar, a veteran of the resistance to the bloody regime orchestrated by former president, Ferdinand Marcos, asks.
 

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Bishop speaks on spike in drug killings

MANILA (SE): Between August 15 and 18 headlines in daily newspapers told the stories of the previous night’s work of the dreaded drug squads in Manila, proclaiming, “21 deaths in nine hours,” then the following day the number went up and on the third day rose again.
 
While some papers glorified the bloodshed, others reported it in a bland and neutral way, leaving it to their op-ed pieces to condemn while others were outright hostile.
 

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