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Earthquakes are God’s punishment

ROME (SE): Father Giovanni Cavalcoli earned himself a rap over the knuckles from the Vatican when he told La Zanzara talk-back radio on November 4 that he believes two devastating earthquakes in central Italy that claimed almost 300 lives were the result of human sins, such as civil unions between gays.

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Prayer rally prior to Beijing interpretation

HONG KONG (SE): In anticipation of the bombshell dropped by Beijing in interpreting the fate of two newly-elected members of the Legislative Council (LegCo), Yau Wai-ching and Baggio Leung Chung-hang, the Justice and Peace Commission of Hong Kong organised a prayer rally on November 6.

Beijing had announced that it would hand down an interpretation of Article 104 on November 7, preempting a ruling from the Court of First Instance, which had held a hearing beginning on November 3, but has yet to give a ruling.

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Cathedral in Harbin is architectural heritage

BEIJING (AsiaNews): The Orthodox Cathedral of St. Sophia in Harbin has been included in the first edition of the 20th century Chinese architectural heritage list along with 97 other sites.

The China Cultural Relic Association and the Architectural Society of China issued the list on September 29, the Heilongjiang Daily reported. Other landmarks include the Great Hall of the People, the Shanghai Park Hotel and the Wuhan Yangtze River Bridge.

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Disagreement or disloyalty?

HONG KONG (SE): Human Rights Watch has waded into the discussion over the on-going negotiations between the Vatican and Beijing, cautioning the Vatican not to make any agreement before it sees convincing evidence of religious freedom across the Middle Kingdom.

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Priest’s arrest state secret

HONG KONG (UCAN): Forty-year-old Father Fei Jisheng, from the official Church community in Liaoning in China, was arrested and charged with stealing money donated for charitable purposes on October 18.

However, the local Catholic community believes the authorities are clamping down on what they regard as his involvement in an outreach programme mostly carried on away from the public eye.

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Around the traps

Archives on Argentine dictatorship to be opened

VATICAN (SE): The Vatican has completed the cataloguing and digitising of the archival material of the Bishops’ Conference of Argentina, the apostolic nunciature in Buenos Aires and the Vatican Secretariat of State in regard to the Argentine Military Dictatorship Period (1976 to 1983).

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Low key bishop dies

HONG KONG (AsiaNews): Bishop Francis Tong Hui, from the northern area of Shaanxi province, died of illness in his sleep on October 27 at the age of 84.

The former bishop of Yan’an, who had been ill for some years, would have celebrated the 60th anniversary of his ordination as a priest on December 23. He was born in Lintong, Shaanxi.

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Beware scams with collars

BEIJING (AsiaNews): The exponential growth of the Internet in China has made it easier for charities to solicit donations for their work, but also opened the door wider for bogus charity scams, including some from men wearing collars and soutanes.

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China survives on United Nations rights council

HONG KONG (SE): “Voting to put China on the council again would be like picking a fox to guard the henhouse, while still wiping the feathers away from his mouth after his last meal,” Yang Jianli, wrote in the Washington Post on October 24 in an op-ed piece calling on the United Nations (UN) not to reelect China to the Human Rights Council.

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New bishops in China

HONG KONG (AsiaNews): November 10 has been set as the date for the ordination of Father Peter Ding Lingbin as the new bishop of Changzhi, in Shanxi province, China. The ceremony is scheduled to take place at the Cathedral of Ss. Peter and Paul.

While the date and place have been set at relatively short notice, Father Ding received his approval for ordination from the Vatican some two years ago. 

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