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Vietnam amnesty for common criminals only

 VATICAN CITY (SE): Bishop Paul Nguyen Thai Hop says that a decision by the government of Vietnam to release 10,000 prisoners on September 2, National Independence Day, will principally affect common criminals, not human rights advocates or those arrested for struggling for religious freedom.
The chairperson of the Justice and Peace Commission says, “The amnesty is a measure that is repeated every year and is often for prisoners held for crimes regarding security and not for people who are in prison for reasons of conscience.

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Church in Nepal fights anti-conversion law


KATHMANDU (AsiaNews): The Catholic Church has condemned a proposed new penal code being put forward by the government in Nepal that would prohibit religious conversions.
Father Shilas Bogati and Father Pius Perumana, both from Kathmandu, have published a public report highlighting what they call inconsistencies in sections 160.1 and 160.2.

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Chinese press compares euro debt crisis with Black Death

BEIJING (AsiaNews): The People’s Daily reported on August 22 that Europe’s deadly debt crisis will harm the economy in China.

 The top newspaper of the Communist Party is blaming western democracy for the crisis, while claiming that China’s own financial success is due to its political and economic model.

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Group of Australian Catholics appeals to pope for an ear

HONG KONG (SE): “The Church no longer adequately inspires many of our communities. It has alienated too many adults who were born of Catholic parents, attended Catholic schools and lived a sacramental life.

“It has become disconnected from and irrelevant to the lives of too many of our children,” a letter, signed by 3,337 people addressed to Pope Benedict XVI and the Australian Bishops’ Conference, reads.

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Around the Traps

 World Youth Day pumps €160 million into Spain

MADRID (CWNews.com): The head of the Madrid Chamber of Commerce, Arturo Fernandez, estimates that an extra €160 million ($1.782 billion) was ploughed into the Spanish economy during the World Youth Day celebrations that ended on August 21.

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Split with St. Pius X group may end

ROME (CWNews.com): The head of the Society of St. Pius X, Bishop Bernard Fellay, has been called to the Vatican for a meeting on September 14.

News of the meeting has revived speculation that the Vatican and the renegade traditionalist society may be close to an agreement that could regularise the status of the breakaway group.

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Cohabitation number one enemy of children’s welfare

WASHINGTON DC (CWNews.com): The United States of America has seen an explosion in the number of couples living together and raising children without the benefit of marriage. A new study shows that the number of couples has increased by 1,200 per cent since 1970.

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Biden attacked for praising China’s one-child policy

 

WASHINGTON DC (CWNews.com): The vice president of the United States of America, Joseph Biden, is under fire in Washington DC for commenting that he can fully understand China’s one-child policy, without making any qualifying remarks about what member of congress, Chris Smith, called its brutal enforcement.

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Fun in the sun or preparation for illicit ordination?

  HARBIN (UCAN): An organised sight-seeing tour billed as a study session by authorities in Beijing for leaders of the official Church in China gathered in the city of Harbin just one week prior to its conclusion in Beijing on August 23.

Jointly organised by the United Front Work Department of the Communist Party and the State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA), two dozen people participated, most of them officials of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association and the Bishops’ Conference of the Catholic Church of China.

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Threat of renewed fighting sparks fresh flood of refugees in Myanmar

MYITKYINA (SE): “When the fighting starts again, it will be the ordinary people who suffer the most,” Nhkum Gam, told the Sunday Examiner from the Myitkyina, the capital of the Kachin state in the north of the Union of Myanmar, where violence flared in early July between the State Peace and Development Council (former name for the national government of Myanmar) and the Kachin Independent Army (KIA), an extremely strong separatist movement.

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