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World Day of Prayer for China

HONG KONG (SE): In Hong Kong the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China was marked with a Mass celebrated at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception by the bishop of Hong Kong, John Cardinal John Tong Hon, and one at the Holy Spirit Study Centre in Aberdeen on May 24.

People gathered at the two Masses prayed for the leaders in Chinese society, asking that they may be inspired to respect religious belief, social freedom and personal liberty.

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Trump and Pope Francis face off

VATICAN (SE): As the long cavalcade of menacing-looking black vehicles snaked its way through the maze of alleyways in Vatican City, dark suited men loitered behind trees, lurked in corners, leaned on fences or scurried about like agitated teenagers waiting for a first date, and the president of the United States of America (US), Donald Trump, arrived at the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican for his much talked about face to face meeting with Pope Francis on May 24.

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Apparitions of little value at Medjugorje

HONG KONG (SE): Talk of the daily appearances of Our Lady at the famed parish of St. James in Medjugorje in Bosnia-Herzegovina has been a source of intrigue since sightings were first reported in 1981.
 
It has also been the subject of on-again-off-again Vatican investigations since the mid-1980s and while no official report has ever been released there have been rumours that there is considerable dissatisfaction with the manner in which the pilgrim site has been developed.
 

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Hong Kong’s only blessed honoured in his hometown

HONG KONG (UCAN): The former residence in Sicily of Blessed Gabriele Allegra (1907 to 1976), the Italian Franciscan priest and bible scholar who produced the first Catholic translation of the bible in Chinese, will be converted into a pilgrimage site partly courtesy of the generosity of Catholic people in China.
 
Gabriel’s Fra Le Genti, an association formed in honour Father Allegra, announced that custody of his former residence in Sicily was transferred to it on May 10 this year.
 

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Sydney sees biggest ever petition to parliament

SYDNEY (SE): Members of the Legislative Council (upper house) in the state parliament of New South Wales in Australia sat in silence as a history-making petition was tabled by Labour member, Greg Donnelly.
 
The petition, bearing 55,559 signatures, was tabled in opposition to an Abortion Law Reform Bill filed and authored by the Greens Party member, Mehreen Faruqi.
 

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Celebrating The Progress of Peoples

HONG KONG (SE): The 50th anniversary of the publication of the encyclical of Pope Paul VI, The Progress of Peoples (Populorum Progressio), was marked at the Vatican with a two-day symposium from April 3 to 4.
 
In his landmark encyclical, which brought a fresh spirit into the life of the Church on the ground, Pope Paul called on nations to begin a dialogue of mutual understanding with each other, something he said is especially important for wealthy nations in their dealings with people from developing economies.
 

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Italy marks Day of Prayer for China

NAPLES (SE): The Chinese community in Italy has planned a gathering to mark the May 24 World Day of Prayer for the Church in China, which is scheduled to be held in Naples on the previous Sunday, May 21.
 
Fides reported that the group will gather at the parish of St. Mary of Constantinople at the Museum and people will travel from all over Italy to take part in the day of prayer, which is held annually on the feast of Our Lady Help of Christians.
 

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More heat than light at drug conference

HONG KONG (UCAN): While an international gathering held in Manila in the first week of May on different perspectives of the illegal drug trade generated a lot of heat, not much light emanated from the sometimes caustic accusations that were slung at each other by the delegates.
 

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Franciscans ask for brothers in leadership

VATICAN (SE): The superiors of the four main branches of the Franciscan friars formally asked Pope Francis for permission to allow their communities to elect brothers to positions of leadership in their communities.
 
“With us Pope Francis is looking at the possibilities for moving this project forward,” Father Michael Perry, the minister general of the Friars Minor, told Vatican Radio on April 10.
 

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