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Floods in China leave severe hardship in wake

QUXIAN (UCAN): Although media in China have been quiet on the extent and seriousness of floods that ravaged much of Sichuan during September, the damage to crops is expected to produce a tough winter for millions of people, as the rising water made it impossible to harvest or protect property and valuables.

A report from the Ministry of Civil Affairs says that the flooding that hit parts of central, southwest and northwest China has left 90 people dead and 22 missing.

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Putting cultural values under undue duress

BEIJING (AsiaNews): On the morning of September 4 in the boomtown of Wuhan, China, an 88-year-old man fell in the street injuring his nose. Dozens, maybe hundreds of people passed him by, but no one raised a hand to help as he lay on the ground.

It was not until his relatives arrived an hour-and-a-half later that he was taken to hospital.

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Sprinkling ashes of dead not acceptable?

TAIPEI (UCAN): An Asia-wide liturgy forum scheduled for October is expected to take up the issue of acceptable forms of Catholic funerals, following a decision reached in August that spreading the ashes of a deceased person conflicts with acceptable funeral rites in the Catholic Church.

The 15th Asian Liturgy Forum is to be held in Taipei from October 17, with 60 liturgists from Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, The Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand are expected to attend the five-day event.

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Cold Christmas ahead as funding for new church dries up

Hailun (UCAN): The people of Sacred Heart of Jesus parish in Hailun city, northeastern Heilongjiang province, may have to celebrate Christmas Mass outdoors this year as funds for the building of a new church have dried up. Acting parish priest, Father Dou Chuanguo, said that fund-raising efforts have come to a halt since the parish priest, Father Shang Kanfa, was arrested after a screwdriver-wielding man died in a heated scuffle on August 26 (Sunday Examiner, September 11). 

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Regional seminary in Shanxi suspends classes

FENYANG (UCAN): The Montecorvino Major Seminary in Shanxi province, northern China, did not re-open for the academic year beginning in September, due to a controversy over the dismissal of its rector.

Convening a board meeting on June 18, Bishop John Huo Cheng, from Fenyang, the chairperson of the board of directors, announced the decision to dismiss the seminary rector, Father Anthony Chang Tongxi, and begin the summer break with immediate effect.

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Banned Chinese novelist gets chance to talk

HONG KONG (SE): Liao Yiwu, who spent four years in prison after writing a poem called, Massacre, in the wake of the Tiananmen Square Massacre of 4 June 1989, finally got the opportunity to speak publicly in the United States of America (US) at the New York New School on September 13, at a function organised by PEN, an international human rights organisation.

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Sister and priest attacked reclaiming Church property

Kangding  (UCAN): Father Huang Yusong and Sister Xie Yuming were attacked by around a dozen unknown assailants on September 2 while trying to reclaim two former Church properties in Moxi county in southwestern Sichuan province.

The two were trying to assert Church rights over a former Latin school and boy’s school in Kangding diocese, which were confiscated by authorities in the 1950s, but due to be returned to the diocese.

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Man dies in fight with priest

 HAILUN (UCAN): A man died after a scuffle involving 46-year-old Father Shang Kanfa, a parish priest in northeastern Hailun City, Heilongjiang province, Harbin diocese, on August 26.
The dead man, named Wang, was the estranged husband of a community leader in the parish, a woman by the name of Gao.
A fight broke out at the Sacred Heart of Jesus church, which is under repair, when it is alleged Wang turned up carrying a screwdriver and looking for his ex-wife.
Eyewitnesses at the church repair site said that Wang appeared to have been drinking and confronted Gao in the parish office, de

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Three deacons ordained in Shaanxi

 YAN’AN (Agencies): Three men were ordained deacons by Bishop Giovanni Battista Yang Xialting in Yan’An, Shaanxi province, on August 30, Fides reports.

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Heavily Catholic province gets tough new head

 HEBEI (UCAN): Zhang Qingli, who earned a reputation as a hardline Communist Party chief in Tibet, has been has been appointed the party secretary of Hebei province, which is currently the centre of contention in the struggle between the Chinese government and the Catholic Church over the appointment of bishops.
Hebei is home to roughly one quarter of the 8 to 12 million Catholics in China.
A report published by Reuters on August 29 describes Zhang as having gained a reputation as an unyielding Communist Party secretary of Tibet, a strong Buddhist enclave.
Zhang’s new post will g

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