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The real culture war just down the road

Father Michael Kelly SJ
 
The only upside of the outrageous and appalling destruction of the Sri Lankan bombings of innocent Christians celebrating Easter is that it draws a line in the sand about religious abuse.
 








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Courage born out of injustice and grief

Edita T. Burgos


Even in the most excruciating and treacherous situations, people do selflessly give of themselves. Isn’t this the most concrete proof that God is within us?
 
We will never be short of living heroes from whom we can draw inspiration especially from this kind of vocation to which we have dedicated our lives, fighting for a world without enforced disappearances.
 








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The culture of fear and silence

Twenty young girls, some of them only 14 years of age, were finally rescued from the Victory Hotel that caters to foreign sex tourists in Mabacalat, Pampanga, a few kilometres north of Angeles City by the anti-trafficking police unit in Camp Crame, Quezon City. It was an open fact that child prostitution was the daily routine there. 
 








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ASEAN leaders stumble over humanitarian crises

Luke Hunt
 
Five great refugee floods have blighted Southeast Asia over the last half-century—sparked by conflicts in Vietnam, Cambodia, the Philippines, East Timor (also known as Timor Leste) and Myanmar—in tragedies with far-reaching consequences that should have been averted.
 








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Wolves prowl while the muted shepherds cower

Inday Espina-Varona
 
The arrest of Father Kenneth Hendricks, an American priest who allegedly abused minors gave Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte, a weapon against clergy who dare to criticise his bloody war against narcotics.
 
Police served five more arrest warrants on the priest, who was nabbed in December by a joint team of Philippine and American law enforcers in the central Philippines (Sunday Examiner, 16 December 2018).








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Children are the victims of a globalised world economy

The Philippines is a country with some of the greatest inequity in the world. Sixteen million Filipinos suffer serious poverty out of a population of 107 million. Six million live in extreme poverty. 
 








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Catholics in China looking for new light

Look to shepherds for guidance on the agreement of the Holy See
 
When the Holy See signed its agreement with Beijing last September, Pope Francis said in his letter to the Catholic faithful in China that he understood their disappointment. Indeed, since then the Chinese faithful have been looking to their shepherds—the bishops and priests—for guidance. 
 








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Obedience shows the true nature of loyalty

Father Paul Han Qingping of China, offers his inside perspective on
the recent handover of episcopal authority in Mindong province, China,
which was published by Vatican News on December 17
 
 

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The colour of Christmas

Christmas is white. I know that from the songs of the season that blared dreams of a c from our radio during those hot days leading up to the feast of the birth of the Christ all those years ago.
 
But my Christmases were never white. They were green cricket fields, amber sunsets transfixing silhouettes of sleeping trees to the horizon; blue waters of the southern ocean washing over our bodies, yellow sand sticking to our feet and the smoky aroma of barbecues in the lush oasis of the small garden at the back of our childhood home.








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China leads the way in religious persecution

Michael Sainsbury
 
 
In 2018, the Vatican finally signed its long desired deal with China’s ruling Communist Party on the appointment of bishops, yet it did so in a year when Beijing significantly escalated its religious persecution.
 
The deal appears to have emboldened Beijing in its desire to crush all of its enemies, both real and imagined, including non-compliant religious groups.