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Faith without deeds is dead

The first encyclical to bear the name of Pope Francis, The Light of Faith (Lumen Fidei), was published on July 5. It is a continuation of Pope Benedict’s first two encyclicals, God is Love and In Hope We are Saved.

The Light of Faith serves as a completion of a reflection on the three theological virtues of faith, hope and charity. It is truly a gift to round out the Year of Faith.

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Why canonise Pope John Paul II?

With a second miracle recognised by the Holy See, Pope John Paul II is set to be canonised together with the late-Pope John XXIII later this year.

Pope John Paul’s case has been the fastest of recent times. The strong desire of both the people and the Holy See to see his name on the list of saints has been significant. While some talk about the impact Pope John Paul had in the public square, his pastoral care within the Church is also important.

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The pleasure 
of reading

Reading brings pleasure. Books, in either printed or electronic form, can also bring enjoyment. The key lies in making the effort to think about the contents and comprehending what the writer is trying to say.

Vatican Radio and the Vatican Information Service both publish summaries of Pope Francis’ morning homilies. The pope uses real life examples in his daily chats to point out that the Church needs to be simple and humble. He talks off the cuff and delights with his sense of humour.

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The voices of Brazil and Hong Kong

THE DELEGATION FROM the Hong Kong diocese is being commissioned on July 7 in preparation for World Youth Day, which is scheduled to open in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on July 23.

But in the run up to the event, Brazil has been experiencing waves of demonstrations joined by over one million people in protest against poor state governance and the huge cost to ordinary people of the preparation for the 2014 World Cup.

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Moral authority on parade

The annual July 1 rally marking the anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong from British to Chinese sovereignty is a mixed bag. However, its ability to attract crowds each year makes it a significant event on the annual calendar.

Although billed as a pro-democracy rally, people express their grievances in a wide variety of areas; from labour relations to monthly pay packets or housing problems; and politics to the administration.

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Educating racism

The exhibition of hooliganism displayed during a soccer match listed as an international friendly between Hong Kong and The Philippines on June 5 comes as a disappointment to most people, especially Filipinos in the city, as they belong to a minority group and have been the butt of much taunting and derogatory remarks over the years.

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Ask first about the 
labour not the label

The collapse of the Rana Plaza clothing factory resulting in the deaths of over 1,100 people and injuries to almost 2,000 of the 3,000 who were on the job on April 24 in Dhaka, Bangladesh, has at least sent a wakeup call to the shopping denizens of the world that in choosing a purchase they should ask first about the labour not the label.

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A call to 

On June 4 this year, people again flocked to Victoria Park in Hong Kong to burn a candle for those who died during the massacre that took place in Tiananmen Square on that day in 1989.

On the surface, the annual memorial may seem like a simple ritual in memory of those who died combined with a call to the authorities in Beijing to vindicate their memories as patriotic citizens and not enemies of the state.

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Can law change nature?

On May 14 the Court of Final Appeal ruled the current laws governing marriage in Hong Kong are unconstitutional, as they bar transsexuals from tying the knot.

Although some media in Hong Kong have touted this decision as a step in the right direction, it could also be argued that it may be a step backwards.

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Response to relational poverty

 The 60th Anniversary International Conference organised by Caritas-Hong Kong between May 15 and 18, with an exposure tour day on May 19, ran on the theme of the worrying rise in the rate of relational poverty in modern, technologically developed societies.

The conference stressed the tremendous contribution that Christian charity can make in the community through the concrete manifestation of the face of God.