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What makes education valid?

CONTROVERSY OVER THE National and Moral Education Curriculum promulgated by the Hong Kong government reached its crescendo on July 29 with a mass rally in Victoria Park and a march to the Central Government Offices, with people representing teachers’ unions, political parties, educationalists, students and parents taking part.

The two most common criticisms hurled at the programme are that it is little more than brainwashing and that the syllabus simply does not add up to an educational curriculum.

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Government interference in ordinations unwarranted

In his message for the World Day of Peace 2011, Pope Benedict XVI reminded us that “peace is the work of conscience, open to the truth and love” and religious freedom is the road to peace.

The ordinations of bishops in China have for over half a century been victim to serious government interference, which shows that the window of religious freedom for the Church is closing.

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Higher education 
by another way

Both students and their parents will be anxious about the results of Hong Kong’s secondary school public examinations announced around June and July every year, as it impacts on the academic and professional futures of many young people. The results for the last HKALE (Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination) for the final batch of Form 7 students were relased on June 29, while the HKDSE (Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education) results for the first group of Form 6 students in the new 3-3-4 system will be released on July 20.

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Dilemmas in examination 
criteria on sensitive moral issues

Results of the first Hong Kong Diploma for Secondary Education will be announced on July 20. Although results do not tell the whole story about the new senior secondary system and curriculum, they do influence students’ future opportunities, especially in the four core subjects of Chinese, English, mathematics and Liberal Studies.

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Special place of 
married deacons

Hong Kong set up a Commission for the Permanent Diaconate in 1996 and in the following year two men were ordained as permanent deacons.

This year marks 15 years of ministry by permanent deacons in the diocese and to date a total of 15 have been ordained, with all but one being married men.

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Core values of Hong Kong

Since the handover of Hong Kong to Chinese sovereignty 15 years ago, the economic and political situations have undergone tremendous change.

Nevertheless, people have continued to upholding such core values as freedom of speech, human rights, rule of law, democracy, equality, peace, charity, integrity, transparency and professionalism.

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Freedom to choose life

“I see abortion as murder… I am asking you, what’s the difference between killing a baby inside a mother’s womb and killing a baby after birth,” an announcement made in Ankara by the prime minister of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on May 28, says.

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Children and faithful citizenship

With a good foundation in the social teaching of the Church, people stand a better chance of evaluating policies and actions of government and political parties, and consequently play a more responsible role as citizens of the state, the bishops of the United States of America (US) say in a paper entitled, Faithful Citizenship.

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Good formation of the laity essential to a mature faith life

Each Pentecost, the bishop of Hong Kong celebrates a Mass for the newly-baptised at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, marking the end of the Period of Mystagogy and the completion of the process of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. Since last year, the number of new Catholics has grown to the point that the Mass has to be celebrated twice. This should be greeted with joy and reflects the fruit of evangelisation efforts through which many have heard God’s call and joined the Church. 

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The silent word of the media

In the context of advanced digital age information technology, Pope Benedict XVI has chosen silence as the theme of his message for the 46th World Communications Day.

The pope says in Silence and Word: Path of Evangelisation, that he believes that human relationships can be deepened through silence, making human and media communication more meaningful and valuable, with a more profound human dimension.