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Militant secularism has traits similar to totalitarianism says British minister

MANCHESTER (CNS): “A militant secularisation is taking hold of our societies,” said Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, Britain’s first female Muslim peer and the first to serve in government.

“We see it in any number of things: when signs of religion cannot be displayed or worn in government buildings; when states won’t fund faith schools; and where religion is sidelined, marginalised and downgraded in the public sphere.” she said. 

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Priest complains he cannot go to jail

JEJU (UCAN): The District Court in Jeju, South Korea, found Father Bartholomew Mun Jung-hyun guilty on February 23 of obstructing police in the execution of their duties in a standoff near aimed at preventing the construction site of a military base on Jeju island.

Father Mun received an eight-month suspended sentence, but requested the court to allow him to do the time behind bars.

His sentence is suspended for two years.

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Matteo Ricci’s spirit of respect and dialogue still relevant today says bishop

Taipei (UCAN): Father Matteo Ricci’s legacy lives on to this day, Bishop Claudio Giuliodori, from the great 16th century Jesuit missionary’s hometown of Macerata, Italy, said.

Father Ricci is one of the most important founding figures of the Church in China.

Bishop Giuliodori was speaking at a meeting with leaders of the Taiwanese Church at the curia of the Taipei archdiocese.

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Leaks from the Vatican a mystery and a challenge

VATICAN (SE): Embattled Vatican press officer, Father Federico Lombardi, admitted on February 14 that it takes a strong nerve to deal with what has become a series of leaked confidential information out of the Vatican.

He specifically denied that the rash of leaks pointed to conflict among members of the Roman Curia.

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Red hat honours your home community new cardinals told

 

HONG KONG (SE): Bishop John Tong Hon was elevated to the rank of cardinal on February 18, at a ceremony in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, together with 21 others from around the world.

He and Archbishop George Alencherry, the major archbishop of Ernakulam in Kerala, India, were the only two representatives from Asia.

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Invasion has decimated Iraq's Christian population

ROME (Agencies): Archbishop Timothy Broglio, of the military vicariate of the United States of America (US), called the collapse of the Christian population in Iraq a direct legacy of the US-led invasion of 2003.

Speaking in Rome on January 16, CNA reported him as saying, “Yes, you can say in a certain sense that the invasion of Iraq did provoke this tremendous diminution of the Christian population in that country. And what the future holds, that still remains to be seen.”

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Church leaders ask forgiveness for protecting abusers of children

ROME (CNS): Marc Cardinal Ouellet presided over a vigil at St. Ignatius’ church in Rome, as part of a symposium attended by representatives from 110 bishops’ conferences and 30 religious congregations from around the world on February 7, as part of an expression of contrition for the sexual abuse of children by priests, brothers and sisters, and other Church personnel, as well as the bishops and superiors who shielded them from justice.

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Vatican signs treaties against drug trade organised crime and terrorism

VATICAN CITY (CNS): The Vatican signed three international treaties supporting the fight against the illegal drug trade, financing terrorism and organised crime on January 25. 

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Turning South Africa into security state

 

CAPE TOWN (CNS): A law passed in November by the parliament of South Africa to protect state secrets could turn the country into a security state, the archbishop of Cape Town maintains.

Archbishop Stephen Brislin says that the Protection of State Information Bill, which allows any government agency to apply for classification of information that is deemed as being valuable to the state, would criminalise the possession and distribution of so-called state secrets.

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Official approval given to Neocatechumate celebrations

VATICAN (SE): After a long period of controversy, discussion and negotiation, the Vatican has given formal approval to the special celebrations that characterise the Neocatechumenal Way.

At a January 20 meeting with over 7,000 members of the lay movement, Pope Benedict XVI strongly endorsed its apostolic outreach.

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