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Dialogue between Christianity and China indispensable

VATICAN (CNS): “If we see only our own reasons and insist on our own experience as the norm, thereby denying the basis of other people’s experience, then disagreement, quarrels and even wars will be inevitable,” between individuals, communities, nations and religions, the former bishop of Hong Kong, John Cardinal Tong Hon told symposium on Christianity and China.
 

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Nigerians demand release of student who won’t renounce faith

LAGOS (CNS): While Catholic and Muslim leaders welcomed the release of 104 schoolgirls captured by Boko Haram, they urged the government to work for the release of the remaining girl, a Christian who reportedly refused to denounce her faith. 
 
The schoolgirls, who were kidnapped on February 19, were released on March 21. Five of them were killed during captivity. 
 

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Church leaders praise Stephen Hawking

VATICAN CITY (CNS): British theoretical physicist, cosmologist and popular author, Stephen Hawking, who said he did not believe in God, died on March 14 at the age of 76. He was an esteemed member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and fostered a fruitful dialogue between science and faith.
                                        

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Notice Board

 
Indonesian beheaded in Saudi Arabia
Jakarta (UCAN): Muhammad Zaini Misrin, from Madura, East Java, Indonesia, was beheaded in Saudi Arabia despite several direct pleas from the president, Joko Widodo to show mercy.
 

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Argentina’s bishops release baptism records of war’s missing children

VATICAN (CNS): Argentina’s bishops announced they would release 127 baptism certificates archived in a chapel at a naval facility that was used as a place of torture during the country’s military dictatorship.
 
Some human rights groups believe these documents may be instrumental in finding out what happened to the children who were baptised in the chapel and subsequently kidnapped. 
 

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New head of European bishops’ commission sets out priorities

BRUSSELS (CNS): The new head the Brussels-based Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community bishops, Archbishop Jean-Claude Hollerich of Luxembourg, pledged to combat populism and promote European unity.
 
“The European Union (EU) is a gain for the common good and this is why the Church should be in constant dialogue with it,” said Bishop Hollerich, who was elected president of the commission on March 8.
 

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World Meeting of Families to focus on The Joy of Love

DUBLIN (CNS): The ninth World Meeting of Families will be held in dublin, Ireland from August 21 to 26, the organisers announced on February 28. A preliminary programme for the Pastoral Congress is scheduled frome August 22 to 24, the festival of families on August 25, followed by the final outdoor Mass in Dublin’s Phoenix Park on August 26.
 
The Vatican has not confirmed whether Pope Francis will attend.
 

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German bishops preparing Communion rules for mixed marriages

BERLIN (CNS): The German Bishops’ Conference continues to develop its recent decision to allow non-Catholic spouses in mixed denomination marriages to receive Communion in limited cases.
 
The document, primarily addressed to pastors, contains specific guidance about whether Communion is possible in particular cases for married couples of different Christian denominations. 
 

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Respect separation of state and religion Japanese bishops urge government

TOKYO (UCAN): The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Japan has written to the country’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, demanding strict observance of the constitutional separation of state-sponsored ceremonies and the imperial family’s private religious ones when the change of emperors takes place in 2019.
 

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Church of Holy Sepulchre closed to protest taxes

JERUSALEM (CNS): “This systematic and unprecedented attack against Christians in the Holy Land severely violates the most basic … and sovereign rights, trampling on the delicate fabric of relations between the Christian community and the authorities for decades,” the heads of Christian Churches in the Holy Land said in a statement on February 25 as they closed the of the doors of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre for an undisclosed period of time.
 

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