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New Mass translation kicks off

HONG KONG (SE): Most parts of the English-speaking Church began using the new translation of the Mass on the first Sunday of Advent, November 27.

While reports on what for many was a new experience say that except for half the congregation automatically defaulting to well known phrases, especially in short responses, and a lot of fumbling with books and printed sheets, things went smoothly enough.

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Our liturgies need a more inter-cultural flavour pope tells Church in Africa

HONG KONG (SE) : “I would say that it is important not to lose sight of the universal aspect of inculturation,” Pope Benedict XVI said during a prepared press conference on the plane on his way from Rome to the African nation of Benin on November 18.

“Indeed I would prefer to speak more of inter-culturality than of inculturation; in other words, of the meeting of cultures in our shared truth of being human in our time,” he continued.

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Was Shakespeare a closet Catholic?

VATICAN CITY (CNS): An opinion piece in the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, on November 18, suggested that William Shakespeare was a Catholic who was forced to conceal his faith in 16th century Protestant England, while leaving hints about it throughout his vast body of work. 

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Vatican looks at adult stem cells but still rules out the destruction of embryos

VATICAN CITY (CNS/SE): In rejecting research using embryonic stem cells, the Catholic Church is not trying to impede science or delay treatment that can save lives, Pope Benedict XVI insisted on November 12, during a talk to delegates attending a conference under the theme of Adult Stem Cells: Science and the Future of Man and Culture, held at the Vatican.

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First Hong Kong president of Serra speaks at international congress

ROME (SE): “We believe that this change is going to bring great graces for the work of Serra and that it will begin to involve Catholic youth,” said Thomas Wong Sze-pok, the 68th world president of Serra International and the first ever from Hong Kong.

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Embassy goes and Irish papal visit scotched

DUBLIN (SE): When the Vatican state became the first official friend of the fledgling Irish Free State in 1929, the government was delighted and effusive in its gratitude after signing its landmark diplomatic tie with a foreign sovereign entity.

However, the bishops of Ireland were upset, claiming that they had not been consulted on the matter and feared that a nunciature would usurp their authority.

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Moral questions dog drone warfare and the drones who drive them

MARYKNOLL (SE): What is being described as a “radically new and geographically unbounded use of state-sanctioned lethal force” has become a major bullet in the arsenal of the United States of America (US), journalist Jane Mayer claims in an article posted on the Website of the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns.

Although the technology dates back to shortly after World War II, during the Vietnam War the use of drones was modified from collecting intelligence to dropping bombs. 

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Pope Benedict proclaims three new saints

VATICAN CITY (CNS): “These three new saints allowed themselves to be transformed by divine charity,” said Pope Benedict XVI at a canonisation Mass in St. Peter’s Square on October 23, World Mission Sunday. He said the lives of the three demonstrated that true faith is charity in action. 
“In different situations and with different gifts, they loved the Lord with all their heart and they loved their neighbour as themselves, in such a way as to become models for all believers,” he said. 
St.

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Cracks in Myanmar junta’s armour may not signal great news

HONG KONG (SE): If it was a bout in the boxing ring, it may be interpreted as a white handkerchief, people in the Kachin State of the Union of Myanmar are saying in response to an October 3 announcement that the government is suspending construction on the controversial Myitsone Dam, part of a planned hydro-electric plant near the confluence of the Irrawaddy River near the Chinese border.
However, there are much more fundamental issues at stake.

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Interreligious dialogue is vital pope tells bishops

VATICAN (SE): Pope Benedict XVI made a big push for interreligious dialogue as a means of working for peace and understanding among peoples when speaking to the bishops from Indonesia during their ad limina visit to the Vatican on October 7.
“Your country, so rich in its cultural diversity and possessed of a large population, is home to significant numbers of followers of various religious traditions,” the pope told the bishops.
“Thus, Indonesians are well-placed to make important contributions to the quest for peace and understanding among the peoples of the world.

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