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A wakeup call from 
the Indian bishops

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India renewed its dedication to sensitising and conscientising the faithful of the Church to the rampant human rights abuses, which the bishops say are characteristic of Indian society, in the closing statement of its two-yearly plenary assembly on February 8.








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The few are not out in the cold

A peep at the handful of people who turned up to prayer meetings and other functions organised during the recently completed Week of Prayer for Christian Unity could indicate that the ecumenical movement in Hong Kong is going nowhere fast.








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Consecrated Life: 
A witness to the gospel

February 2 is World Day of Consecrated Life in the universal Church, a day on which people are encouraged to pray for people in religious life.

Members of both male and female congregations have chosen to live the evangelical virtues of chastity, poverty and obedience by making a lifelong response to God’s call to their vocation. This is a special gift offered by God the Father through the Holy Spirit to some people in the Church.








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Visions for the Year of the Dragon

 

The Year of the Dragon arrived early this year with the news that Pope Benedict XVI had named Bishop John Tong Hon a cardinal. The appointment affirmed the importance of the role of the Hong Kong diocese as a bridge between the Church in China and the universal Church and should inspire the faithful in Hong Kong to continue to be the salt of the earth and light of the world to their brothers and sisters on the mainland.








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The Epiphany 
of the laity

We have now moved into the second Year of the Laity in Hong Kong. It is a reminder that we must respond to the call from God and, as Jesus described it, become the salt of the earth and the light of the world.

Two thousand years ago, Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem. Soon after his birth, he received a visit from the magi, the three wise men from the east, something which tells us that the God he came to tell us loves us, loves us all, irrespective of where we come from.








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Educating young people 
in justice and peace

Pope Benedict XVI has devoted his message for the 45th World Peace Day on the first day of 2012 to educating young people on the fundamental spirituality of justice and peace.

The pope stresses the importance of paying attention to the younger generations in struggling for the common good, as well as affirming the need for a just and peaceful order, where fundamental human rights can be fully expressed and exercised.








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We are all in 
the big picture

Jesus was born on Christmas Day in humble circumstances, of a mother temporarily displaced from her home and without even the most basic amenities available, either for the birth or looking after her newborn child.

She and Joseph were people on the move, a tag that describes an ever increasing number of people in our world today that has been used by successive popes to describe their greater than usual need for the pastoral care of our Church.








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Of poverty, chastity 
and obedience

The diocese celebrated the long life in religion of 42 sisters, brothers and priests marking their 25th, 50th, 60th, 75th and even 80th anniversaries in religious life on December 8.

What is an annual event is celebrated as an expression of gratitude to those who have borne the heat of the day and also a reminder of the unique role that people in religious life play in the life of our faith communities and wider society.








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Where words and actions 
do not meet

A bishop ordained with the permission of the pope and the approval of the government in Beijing should have been a day of rejoicing for the Catholic people of China. However, in the wash up, it turned out to be one more painful lesson in the determination of government officials not to allow the Church any freedom in conducting its own affairs.