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Truth and life: the nature of education

New term, new beginnings.

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Love our earth as our brothers and sisters

In early August, Pope Francis declared September 1 World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. Despite the short notice, the Church did manage to respond.

Christianity has a rich history in loving the earth. It has always advocated the simple life. In his encyclical, Praise Be: Care for our common home (Laudato Si), Pope Francis explores the natural world and environmental protection from a community point of view.

He extends a moral invitation to all people to protect our common home.

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A hard time of year for students

The summer vacation may seem long to students as they look forward to it, but can then pass in a flash and, in seemingly no time they are back to the daily grind of hefting bags, homework and the challenge of a new school year.

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A veiled call to arms

In both mainland China and Hong Kong, September 3 has been designated as a public holiday to mark 70 years since Japan put down its arms and China claimed victory over its forces.

In gazetting the holiday, Beijing announced that it would allow people to participate in activities marking China’s conquest over Japan in what is officially known as the 70th Anniversary of Victories in the Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and the World Against Fascism.

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A cross too far

 A church without a cross is a bit like a government office without a coat of arms. Both symbols are powerful and reflect a strong identity.

The cross symbolises a call to the selfless love Christ showed and the coat of arms the promise of law and order in society.

An attack on either is an assault on the core identity of those who revere them.

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A year for the word of God

In the pre-Vatican II Church, reading the bible did not get big ratings and sometimes was even actively discouraged by Church authorities and virtually not mentioned, with the exception of the readings at Mass on Sundays.

Although official attitudes have done an about turn on the subject in more recent decades, it is still a topic that requires much attention and people who do want to read, frequently ask for guidance on how to do it intelligently.

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The topic is marriage

 The most politicised success of the pro-same-sex marriage lobby has arguably been in Ireland, where just over 60 per cent of the registered population turned out to give a 62.1 per cent yes vote to changing its constitutional definition on May 22 this year.

Although this equates to only 36 per cent of the total number of registered voters, it is being hailed as an important step forward.

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Spoiling for a showdown

Within a 10-day period, two bishops’ conferences in Asia have issued warnings that current tensions among Asian countries could well boil over into violence.

Highly aware of the friction between their own country and China over sovereignty of the Sentaku or Daioyu Islands, the bishops of Japan interpret the national security laws passed by the administration of the current prime minister, Shinzo Abe, as spoiling for a showdown.

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The environment is your friend

On June 18, Pope Francis released his encyclical Laudato Si’: On care for our common home. It is a watershed document in the same sense as the famed, Of things new (Rerum Novarum), by Pope Leo XIII, when he became the first pope to address the condition of labour in 1891.

Laudato Si’ is the first papal document to comprehensively address the pressing duty of human beings towards the entire creation, including the environment, and the finely balanced ecology of the Earth.

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Reading our way into growth

THE ANNUAL HONG Kong Book Fair is an occasion when many Catholic books are on display and readily available, but unfortunately, a lot of people remain indifferent towards books, only buying ones that help their children. There appears to be considerable room for improvement in the reading on faith-formation department.

What sort of role does reading play in the process of faith-growth? Although many people may feel it is not essential, there are those who would disagree.