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The gaze of two faces

THE TITLE OF the recently released apostolic letter of Pope Francis, Mercy and Misery, has a close connection with the quotation from St. Augustine about the encounter of Jesus with a sinner, “… the two of them alone remained: mercy with misery.”








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Politics for Peace

POPE FRANCIS HAS offered his Message for the World Day of Peace for New Year’s Day under the theme Non-Violence: A Style of Politics for Peace, in which he reminds the world that rejecting violence in the midst of turmoil and turbulence is the imperative of the truth of humanity.








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What was born with Jesus?

Interest in where we come from and family background has generated much interest over the last few decades and seen many people tracing their ancestry back as many generations as possible.

It has spawned the birth of Internet sites like ancestry.com and opened up many other avenues of documented linkages with the past. However, interest in genealogy is not only a modern phenomenon; it too has a long history.








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A Christmas tree that says it all

Pope Francis may not write with the precision of his two predecessors, but his symbolic acts expressing solidarity and clippie sound bites call people to an account of conscience on what he regards as the serious moral challenges of our time.

The Vatican Christmas tree for this year will express two issues dear to his heart; the environment and refugees. The tree itself will be replaced in the forest with 40 saplings and decorated with ceramic drawings done by children.








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Birthright to freedom

The Inclusive Prosperity Commission Report of 2015 published in the United States of America begins by describing the growing inequality in the world as a threat to “the political system and for the idea of democracy itself.”








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Challenge of reconciliation

As Hong Kong, along with the rest of world, slips deeper and deeper into political and social polarisation, calls from Churches and other community groups for reconciliation have become both more numerous and louder.

But reconciliation can be slippery and even within the ranks of those who are calling for it, polarisation and division can proliferate.








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The faith of Advent

Advent is a time to ask how Christians can respond to the increasingly polarised situation of politics across the world and especially at home in Hong Kong, as new challenges, such as the further division caused by the interpretation by Beijing of the Basic Law, present themselves.








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Election Committee screens out candidates

The nomination period for the Election Committee, which will choose the next chief executive of Hong Kong, ended on November 14.

While the Catholic Church is allocated 10 of the 60 seats for the religious sector, Pan-Democrats are running in other sub-sectors in the hope of making an impact on public opinion, setting an election agenda and even affecting a directional change.








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Holy door closes but keep hearts open

The Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, inaugurated by Pope Francis on the feast of the Immaculate Conception (December 8) last year, will be completed when he closes the holy door in St. Peter’s Basilica on the feast of Christ the King (November 20).

In Hong Kong, the diocese is celebrating closing Masses for the Jubilee at the seven designated churches or chapels between November 6 and November 13.








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Month of souls

To remind people to pray for the dead, the Church dedicates November as the Month for the Souls in Purgatory.

All Souls Day is celebrated on November 2, a day on which priests may celebrate three Masses for the dead. This tradition dates back to the 15th century Spanish Dominicans. In 1749, Pope Benedict XIV recognised the practice and granted the permission to clergy in Spain, Portugal and Latin America.