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Look for rebirth in original ideals pope counsels European Union

ROME (SE): “It is a way of life, a way of understanding man based on his transcendence and inalienable dignity, as something more than simply a sum of rights to defend or claims to advance,” Pope Francis said in addressing representatives of all 27 members of the European Union on the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome which led to the establishment of the Union on 1 November 1993.
 

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Mock abortion in front of cathedral

BUENOS AIRES (SE): An angry mob descended on the cathedral in Tucman, Argentina, on International Women’s Day, March 8, in what was described as a blatant attack on the image of the person of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The group staged a mock abortion on a woman dressed as the Blessed Virgin in the street outside the cathedral, using look-alike blood and baby parts coming from under the woman’s dress, local media reported.

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A journalist’s lot is not an easy one

SELANGOR (AsiaNews): “We cannot sell our magazines in public,” a Pakistani journalist told the Asia Journalists Roundtable in Selangor in Malaysia on March 10. Indeed, “We cannot pin our name to stories of persecution.”

The Asia Journalists’ Roundtable was sponsored by the Centre of the Council of Churches of Malaysia and organised by SIGNIS, the World Catholic Association for Communication, to highlight the problems that minority group media face.

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Hong Kong’s twin diocese turns 60

HONG KONG (SE): Hong Kong’s twin diocese of Essen in Germany celebrated its 60th anniversary of foundation on February 23.

It was pioneer country when the diocese was carved out of Münster, Cologne and Paderborn, encompassing the fast developing coal fields and industrial complex of the Ruhr Valley.

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Apostasy is political not religious

CASABLANCA (SE): The High Religious Committee, which is in charge of issuing fatwas (Islamic rulings) in Morocco, released a book in 2012 which articulates its position that apostasy should be punished by death.

Drawing on a widespread jurisprudence tradition, the 2012 book argues that a Muslim who changes his or her religion should be punished with death.

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Vatican commission on child abuse hits a rock

VATICAN (SE): A foundation member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, Marie Collins, tendered her resignation effective from March 1.

Collins is a survivor of clerical sexual abuse and has long been a voice championing the right of survivors to speak out and be listened to. An educationalist, she worked with the archdiocese of Dublin, Ireland, in the setting up of its Child Protection Services.

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Clarifying confessional seal

SYDNEY (SE): Five archbishops in Australia told a hearing at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse on February 24 that they would seek a clarification from the Vatican as to whether the seal of the confessional extends beyond the confession of sin to cover a person who tells of being the victim of a crime.

The bishops were being questioned on a hypothetical case of a young girl telling a priest in the confessional that she was being sexually abused.

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Chinese at Vatican talks accused of organ harvesting

HONG KONG (UCAN): The presence of two Chinese health officials at a February 7 and 8 Vatican summit on organ transplants that sparked sharp criticism, are now being accused of forced organ harvesting by international medical experts.

Huang Jiefu, a former vice minister of health in China, and Wang Haibo, an official responsible for the national organ transplant database, attended the summit organised by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

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Widely varied reaction to Cardinal Tong

HONG KONG (SE): The future of the Sino-Vatican dialogue from an ecclesiological point of view published by the bishop of Hong Kong, John Cardinal Tong Hon, in the Sunday Examiner on February 12 is reminiscent of a university debate where one team sets up and defends a hypothetical argument and the other attacks it.

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Canon law top dog argues for Joy of Love

VATICAN (SE): In a booklet launched on February 14 directly addressing the controversial Chapter Eight of Pope Francis’ The Joy of Love (Amoris Laetitia), penned at the conclusion of the 2016 Synod of Bishops on Marriage and Family Life, Francisco Cardinal Coccopalmerio sets out to effectively break down barriers that may exist between doctrine and pastoral ministry.

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