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Bishop raises alarm at Korea’s empty cradles

DAEJEON (AsiaNews): Looking at the empty cradles dotting the nursery’s of South Korea, Bishop Lazarus You Heung-sik, from the Commission for Pastoral Care for Migrants, commented, “The country needs a new culture of life.”

The bishop of Daejeon continued, “The Catholic Church always points this out, but for us Koreans, it is a major challenge on the ground. We must strive to change social attitudes by example and teaching, but also through concrete help.”

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Aging Taiwan population poses conundrum for schools

TAIPEI (UCAN): Catholic schools in Taiwan have reached a crossroads, with some asking whether they should aim at becoming international schools for students from mainland China and southeast Asia, rather than opting to serve the needs of local students.

Further complicating the situation is an educational divide about the focus of meeting local needs. Should schools seek to assist the poor or establish themselves as elite institutions that require high tuition fees?

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Missionary of Charity arrested for trafficking

COLOMBO (AsiaNews): Sister Mary Eliza, from the Missionaries of Charity, was arrested by Sri Lankan police on November 25 and was being held in the Women’s Prison of Welikada, accused of trafficking children.

She is the first sister from the congregation founded by Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta to be arrested.

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Clinton plays a wildcard in currency debate

HONOLULU (AsiaNews): United States of America (US) treasury secretary, Timothy Geithner, said Asia should do more to stimulate global growth to offset the Eurozone crisis, following a meeting of Asia-Pacific finance ministers in Honolulu, Hawaii, on November 8 in the run up to the start of the APEC summit.

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Fear has silenced Christians says Pakistani archbishop

TORONTO (CNS): Fear has silenced the voice of Pakistan’s Christians since the political murder of Shahbaz Bhatti last spring, Archbishop Lawrence Saldanha, the former archbishop of Lahore, told The Catholic Register in mid-November, as he moved into Toronto, Canada, for his retirement. 

“People are sad; bitter. They say: ‘If that happens to him what happens to us?’” he explained to the Canadian Catholic weekly newspaper. 

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Major seminary reopens but without rector

 

TAIYUAN (UCAN): Montecorvino Major Seminary in Shanxi province, northern China, resumed classes on November 17, following a 10 week layoff caused by a dispute involving the rector, Father Anthony Chang Tongxi, and seminary board.

Around 50 out of 70 seminarians returned to the seminary in a suburb of Taiyuan, while local sources say that the remainder has transferred to other seminaries, where they began studying when the one in Taiyuan closed.

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Religion is part of holistic education says pope

VATICAN CITY (CNS): The teaching of religion in public schools, “far from signifying that the state assumes or imposes a specific religious creed, indicates a recognition of religion as a necessary value for the holistic formation of the person,” said, Pope Benedict XVI on October 13, as he welcomed Brazil’s new ambassador to the Holy See, Almir Franco de Sa Barbuda.

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Sister of Charity brutally murdered in India

NEW DELHI (UCAN): A 53-year-old Sister of Charity was shot dead in the state of Jharkhand, India, on November 15. Sister Valsa John, who comes from Kerala, was well known in the area for her work in defending the rights of tribal peoples.

Reports say that she was dragged from bed in the early morning by a mob of around 30 to 40 people and was stabbed and hacked to death in Pakur district, near the city of Dumka.

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Tibetan Catholic texts discovered in pristine condition

HONG KONG (Agencies): Texts in 45 volumes of the scriptures, as well as a history of the Blessed Virgin Mary written in the language of Tibet were recently discovered at the only Catholic parish that exists in the country today, Mang Kang (or Shang Yan Jing).

Fides says that the scriptures were translated in 1931 and the 489 files on the history of Our Lady date back to 1932.

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Protest in Hanoi over government use of Church property

Hanoi (UCAN): Around 1,000 people staged a peaceful protest in Hanoi, Vietnam, on the night of November 16 as government authorities began construction of a sewage treatment project on former convent land near the Dong Da hospital.

The protesters gathered at Thai Ha church to pray and demand the return of what they said is still Redemptorist-owned property, seized by the communist government in 1959 and yet to be returned.

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