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World’s biggest Internet prison

HONG KONG (Agencies): “China is the world’s biggest prison of journalists and netizens,” Radio Free Asia said in a new report from Reporters Without Borders on January 30.

“China has one of the world’s worst records on press freedom, with controls on state-run media and netizens showing no signs of abating,” it quoted the report as saying.

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Hong Kong joins China in prayer for Pope Benedict and his successor

HONG KONG (SE): In response to a letter sent by the Vatican secretary of state, Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone, to all dioceses and religious houses in the world on February 21, passing on a request from Pope Benedict XVI for Catholics everywhere to be with him in prayer during the last days of his pontificate, Hong Kong diocese called people to come together at a Mass offered at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on the evening of February 27.

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Fresh initiatives call people back to church

WENZHOU (SE): Witness to faith, a retreat, offering the opportunity to receive the sacrament of reconciliation are just some of many initiatives undertaken by Wenzhou diocese, in Zhejiang province, China, to make this Lenten season during the present Year of the Faith a fruitful one for the people.

Articles posted on the diocesan website on February 13 and 14 said that the cathedral parish hosted a two-day Lenten retreat on the theme Consolidating the faith and proclaiming the gospel.

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Surprise and head scratching in China over pope’s resignation

HONG KONG (UCAN): The announcement on February 11 of the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, not only came as a surprise to Catholic people in China, but left some scratching their heads.

“Is there a hidden agenda,” a bishop in southern China asked. The middle-aged bishop said that he believes the Communist Party may take a harder line with the Church, as it could consider that it has now defeated the pope. 

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Landmark sentence over black jails

HONG KONG (Agencies): “Ten men have been sentenced to prison for illegally detaining people who travelled to Beijing to appeal to the government, in a possible sign the government is trying to rein in abuses,” The Christian Science Monitor reported on February 5.

In what staff writer, Peter Ford, calls an almost unprecedented sign of official disapproval, a Beijing court sentenced 10 men to prison on February 5 for staffing an illegal black jail.

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China acknowledges pope’s resignation

BEIJING (Agencies): In an acknowledgement that China has given recognition to the announcement on February 11 that Pope Benedict XVI will resign from the papacy at the end of February, Xinhua quoted Hong Lei, a spokesperson from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as saying on February 18 that the Holy See must break its relationship with Taiwan.

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Bureaucracy can be as toxic 
as the air that we breathe

By Shi Feng



On January 29, the government of China issued a warning to residents in Beijing that harmful particulates in the air had reached a dangerous level and advised people to remain indoors.


Pollution in cities across the country has been making headlines for weeks—as have studies of the deterioration of air quality because of industrial pollution, which has pushed the number of severe warning days in the Chinese capital up between 30 and 50 per cent.








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Jesus loves children

People brought little children to see Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.’ And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them (Mark 10:13-16)


 

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China embraces the Year of Faith

BEIJING (Agencies): Dioceses throughout China have embraced the challenge of Pope Benedict XVI to take up the study of the documents of Vatican II, which, because the country was living under a communication lockout during the days the council was taking place in the early to mid-1960s, is perhaps a bigger challenge than it is for any other Church.

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China’s oldest bishop dead at 100

Yinchuan (UCAN): China’s oldest bishop, John Baptist Liu Jingshan, from Yinchuan (Ningxia), capital of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region in northern China, died on February 4 at the cathedral where he spent much of his time after his retirement in 2009. His health had been declining in recent months. He was 100-years-old.

Both Bishop Liu and his successor, Bishop Joseph Li Jing, are recognised by both the Vatican and the Chinese government.

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