Print Version    Email to Friend
Philippine democracy under threat

The young man, Jake, 22-year-old and single laughed when I asked him whom he voted for in the local elections for mayor. He said he abstained, but he went to the house of the mayor and received a payment all the same. “Why not?”, he reasoned, “It was for free everyone was going there.” 
 

More from this section






Print Version    Email to Friend
Women’s conference moves after cardinal bars speaker

Hong Kong (SE): An International Women’s Day conference, scheduled to be held on March 8 has been shifted to the headquarters of the Society of Jesus after former Irish president, Mary McAleese, was barred from attending the event which was to be held at the Vatican, La Croix reported on February 2.
 
The talk, Why Women Matter, is being organised by the Voices of Faith group which is seeking to show the Vatican that women “have the expertise and skills to play a full leadership role in the Church.”

More from this section






Print Version    Email to Friend
Pope sets day of prayer for peace in Africa

VATICAN (CNS): Pope Francis marked Italy’s Pro-Life Sunday during his Sunday Angelus on February 4, and also called for a day of prayer and fasting for peace in Africa.
Some 20,000 people gathered in St. Peter’s Square with many carrying the pro-life movement’s green balloons with the message, Yes to life.
 
Thanking all the “different Church realities that promote and support life in many ways,” Pope Francis said he was surprised there were not more people involved.
 

More from this section






Print Version    Email to Friend
Pleas to end slaughter of civilians in northern Syria

AMMAN (CNS): Churches in Afrin, Syria, are calling on the world to stop the slaughter of civilians resulting from assaults by the Turkish military on Kurdish areas.
 
“We ask you to pray for us and for our city which, before a couple of days ago, was full of life, but today is not,” Reverend Saeed Daoud (a pseudonym) pleaded. 
 

More from this section






Print Version    Email to Friend
Illegal logging and dams as Laos grapples with its own green monsters

Vientiane (UCAN): Attapeu, a province in the southeast of Laos, is not a place that draws much attention. But a recent illegal logging incident in which a convoy of 27 trucks tried to cross into Vietnam, shone a light on the problem.
 
Illegal logging has been a major problem in the country for years so the scheme itself was far from unexpected. But the consequences were. 
 

More from this section






Print Version    Email to Friend
Timor-Leste’s government teeters on the edge

DILI (UCAN): Timor-Leste lurched into a constitutional crisis after the minority government of prime minister, Mari Alkatiri, failed to pass key legislation, including a fresh budget, in the week before Christmas.
 
Asia’s most Catholic nation and youngest democracy now faces the prospect of a new government, or a second election inside nine months, as the country’s parliament has been in gridlock since the 22 July 2017 election failed to deliver a workable majority (Sunday Examiner, 24 September 2017).
 

More from this section






Print Version    Email to Friend
United Nations won’t endorse abortion as humanitarian response

NEW YORK (SE): The United Nations (UN) General Assembly has declined to endorse abortion as being an essential part of emergency humanitarian response.
 
C-Fam reported that access to safe abortion to the full extent of the law was included for the first time in the sexual and reproductive health Minimum Initial Services Package designed by UN agencies and abortion groups to place the sexual and reproductive health agenda, and specifically abortion, into the humanitarian responses programme.
 

More from this section






Print Version    Email to Friend
Priest prosecuted for silence over disputed confession

BRUSSELS (SE): A chaplain to a retirement home in Bruges, Belgium, 57-year-old Father Alexander Stroobandt, is being prosecuted for keeping silent over the suicide plans of an old friend.
 
The priest is basing his defence in part on the requirement to maintain the secrecy of the confessional at all costs and in all circumstances.
 

More from this section






Print Version    Email to Friend
Still no resolution on Maguindanao Massacre

MANILA (UCAN): It is now eight years since the Maguindanao Massacre took place on a lonely road in Ampatuan on 23 November 2009, which saw 58 people murdered and buried in mass graves.
 
At least 34 of them were journalists covering a journey being made by the vice mayor, Esmael Mangudadatu, to file his certificate for candidacy as governor of the province at the office of the Commission on Elections.
 

More from this section