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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.
 








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Ending violence against women and girls

She was only a seven-years-old, call her Angelica. She never knew or imagined the sexual violence that was to be done to her by her stepfather, Apolonio Valdez. He took her from the small, two-roomed house to the nearby forest and assaulted and sexually abused her.
 








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No pity from China as Tibetans burn

On November 4, in the Ngaka Tibetan and Qian Autonomous Prefecture, a 23-year-old Tibetan man named, Dorbe, set himself alight in protest against the Chinese government while also calling for the return of the Dalai Lama, the Buddhist leader-in-exile.
 
According to Tibetan human rights groups, this took the number of known cases of self-immolation in Tibet to 153, with 133 of the protesters dying in the process.
 








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Voters may remind Aung San Suu Kyi of her failure

Michael Sainsbury
 
In the latest blow for the persecuted Rohingya people of Myanmar, it took just three days for a half-baked plan to repatriate the Muslim group from refugee camps in Bangladesh to their homeland across the Naf River in the north of Myanmar’s Rakhine State, to collapse.
 








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Is targeting of Catholics pushback from low-level officials?

BANGKOK (CNS): Although China and the Vatican signed a provisional agreement on the appointment of bishops in September, persecution of Chinese Catholics continues.
 
Some believe there is considerable pushback against the Vatican-China deal from inside China’s United Front Work Department (UFWD), the Communist Party-controlled religious bureaucracy, especially at a more localised level.
 

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All life is sacred

Unless we take a stand for life, death will overwhelm us. That is the challenge that greets every one of us who has seen someone that we cared for and loved pass from this life. It is the memory of that person that draws us back to the place where we felt their genuine love. 
 








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Building bridges and making connections with the vulnerable

Mary Yuen
 
In late July, I participated in the International Conference on Catholic Theological Ethics in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. More than 400 participants from about 80 countries around the world gathered together to reflect on the current ethical challenges facing the world, with focus on political crisis and lack of governance, as well as ecological and environmental issues, and responding from the perspective of Catholic moral theology.
 








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But not conquered

My little bit of knowledge gleaned through hours of labour in Latin classes during my school days came to the fore as I watched the closing ceremony of the Invictus Games in Sydney on October 27.
 
In what can only be described as a demonstration of raw human courage and dogged survival spirit, those mauled by the horrors of war demonstrated to the world the extent of solidarity that people are capable of mustering and the ability to overcome almost any setback.