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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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World president of Serra visits Hong Kong

HONG KONG (SE): Dante Vannini, the president of Serra International, a worldwide organisation that works to keep the issue of religious vocation on the agenda in local Churches, told the Kung Kao Po on January 19 that the development of religious vocation lies in family, Church life and witness in society.

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Australian shame has message for worldwide Church

SYDNEY (SE): The 21 days of shame of the Church in Australia reached its 14th day on February 17, but tended to drop out of the news as the submissions being made to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse were focussed more on structural problems rather the grizzly details that dominated the first week.

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China’s presence at Vatican summit comes under fire

VATICAN (UCAN): A medical ethics expert from Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, Wendy Rogers, reacted with disappointment at the invitation extended to Huang Jiefu, who is in charge of overhauling the system of harvesting organs for transplant in China, to speak at a summit on the topic at the Vatican on February 6.

Rogers, who is the chairperson of an advisory committee on tackling organ theft in China, described Huang’s presence at the summit as shocking.

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A pope scowls at Rome!

ROME (SE): The city of Rome awoke on the morning of February 4 to see large, glossy posters featuring Pope Francis plastered on billboards at 40 locations around the city asking him where his compassion and mercy are in the midst of the series of persecutions he has been carrying out against certain sectors of the Church since he took over the papacy.

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Day of shame for Church in Australia

SYDNEY (SE): On February 6, the Catholic Church in Australia began its 21 days of shame, as the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse launched its final intensive review of the response of the Catholic Church to the crisis at a hearing in Sydney that will involve more than 60 witnesses, including the archbishops of the six most influential dioceses.

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Russia moves to decriminalise domestic violence

MOSCOW (AsiaNews): The lower house of the Russian Duma approved a bill on January 27 that if passed in the upper house will decriminalise domestic violence, limiting the means for recourse available to victims, as well as softening the penalties for those who abuse them.

The State Duma voted 380 to three in favour of the bill, which now needs the approval of the upper house and the president, Vladimir Putin, to become law. Observers regard this as a formality.

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Epitome of fake news

WASHINGTON (SE): Fake news reached a new crescendo when a counsellor to the president of the United States of America, Kellyanne Conway, told Chris Matthews from MSNBC on February 2 about the Bowling Green Massacre, which she described as having been masterminded by two Iraqi refugees.

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Young people theme for next synod

VATICAN (SE): A preparatory document for the next Synod of World Bishops scheduled to be held in 2018 on Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment was released by the Holy See on January 13 at a media conference at the Vatican.

The document comes in three parts, one addressing young people in the world today, one on discernment of faith and vocation, and the third on pastoral involvement and pastoral care of the young.

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