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Greater recognition for role of women

Pope Francis’ universal prayer intention for March is, “That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.” This makes us wonder if today’s society has really achieved mutual complementarity and mutual respect between men and women or not. Do women now enjoy equal opportunity of participation and share in social achievements in the actualisation of their social role? Are they free to speak out in fighting for their own rights?








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Upholding the truth

EVERY FRIDAY DURING Lent, parishes in Hong Kong observe the way of the cross. One of the aims is to learn from the suffering Christ the spirit of loving to the end. It also gives an insight into his unfailing resistance to evil and helps people to unite with him in their daily lives.








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If you can think about fasting you are lucky

“DON’T FORGET TO fast in Lent.” This is a well known catchphrase among Catholics in the lead up to Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of what is recognised as a 40-day period of fast.

More often observed by people trying to give something up for Lent, it can become a struggle of mind over matter in the effort to avoid eating or drinking a favourite delicacy for the long period of time.








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Live dialogue don’t just do it

THE FIRST WEEK of February is designated by the United Nations (UN) as World Interfaith Harmony Week. It was created in 2010 “to encourage all states to support, on a voluntary basis, the spread of the message of interfaith harmony and goodwill in the world’s churches, mosques, synagogues, temples and other places of worship on the foundational teaching of the love of God and love of neighbour.”








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An ambivalence that affects everyone

HONG KONG HAS achieved worldwide notoriety over the abused Indonesian migrant worker, Erwiana Sulistyaningsih, as the injuries inflicted by her employer are so horrific she has attracted international interest.

However, while widespread publicity is usually welcome, this time Hong Kong is not being portrayed as a desirable tourist destination, shopping or investment paradise, or safe place to visit, leaving the government embarrassed and scrambling to be seen to be doing something to address the issue.








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Moral vernacular of the public square

While hearing a pope talk about deformed pickles, hot potatoes and sourpusses may at least be worth a chuckle, it can also be worth a hearty nod of approval.

In fact, over and above that, it may also be worth asking exactly what the pope is on about and whether he is at something deeper than a prime minister describing the senate house as unrepresentative swill simply to catch a headline.








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Lunar New Year and Christian Unity

The Lunar New Year and the ecumenical movement have one thing in common; they both offer an opportunity to people who share a profound interest in the same bonding ring to patch up frays in the rope that binds them, reach out across gaps that may divide and be reconciled over upset apple carts.

The Lunar New Year is a cultural recognition of the damage that divided families do to the fabric of society and all cultures have festivals that place the family at the centre of attention.








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What’s happening to press freedom?

In Hong Kong, following a spate of incidents including the government refusal to grant a free-to-air licence to the Hong Kong Television Network and the replacement of an outspoken programme host by Commercial Radio, the Ming Pao newspaper announced the replacement of its chief editor and the management of AM730, a free newspaper, claiming that advertising had been pulled because of its editorial stance.

These incidents have raised public concern over press freedom in Hong Kong.








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An ecumenism of sacrifice

Every year, January 18 to 25 marks the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. This Sunday is a designated day of prayer for Christian unity.

This year also marks the 50th anniversary of the release of the Decree on Ecumenism (Unitatis Redintegratio), which points out that in the past, Christians differed in mind and went their own ways, “as if Christ himself were divided.”








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Empower witnessing by deepening faith

The Feast of the Lord’s Baptism brings the season of Christmas to close.  Some may think that the return to Ordinary Time implies the end of a joyful period of our faith life and a return to the parts liturgical year that are unimportant because of the term, ordinary. However, the word comes from the Latin term, orninalis—numbers in sequence (as in Week 1, Week 2, and so on)—rooted in the word ordo, from where we get the English word, order.