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The earth was here before us 
and it has been given to us

“Laudato si’, mi’ Signore” – “Praise be to you, my Lord.” Has there ever been another encyclical that has so grabbed the world’s imagination and the attention of the media? Laudato si’—the encyclical titled after the words in St. Francis of Assisi’s Canticle of the Creatures—urges the world to embark upon a revolutionary ethical rethink and change of heart in its relationship with planet earth. “We are not God.








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Old wine in new skins!

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results,” goes a quote sometimes attributed to Albert Einstein. Certainly the Hong Kong government’s attempts to push its political reform package for the election of the chief executive has appeared to be an exercise in precisely this.








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The refugee at our door

We are halfway through 2015 and around the world it is turning into a year of refugees and migrants. Millions of people have been displaced or forced to flee their homes due to war, religious or ethnic conflicts and abject poverty.  But since proximity is a news value; we in Hong Kong are least touched by the stories from afar of the huge humanitarian crises in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, South Sudan and the Central African Republic, or by the stories from Bangladesh or Myanmar. 








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Irish shock treatment for the Church

It will take some time for the Catholic Church to come in terms with the shock it received from Ireland following the results of a May 22 referendum in which 62 per cent of voters said yes to same-sex marriage, becoming the first country to support gay and lesbian marriage via popular vote. It was an emphatic rejection of the traditional understanding of marriage as being between one man and one woman and the Catholic Church appeared to be the biggest loser.








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June 4 and the identity of a Hongkonger

People in Hong Kong have begun preparing to commemorate of the tragedy of the Tiananmen Square Massacre in Beijing on 4 June 1989, and Church groups have organised prayer services to honour the students who sacrificed their lives on that fateful day. This annual remembrance demonstrates the link between Hong Kong and mainland China. 








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The suffering and joy of the Church in China

Today, May 24, we celebrate Pentecost Sunday as well as the feast of Our Lady, Help of Christians. In 2007, Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI, in his letter to the Catholics in China, called for this day to be an occasion for of the whole world to be united in prayer with the Church in China. 








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Family is first school of communication

As early as January 23, Pope Francis issued his message for World Communications Day which is marked this Sunday which is also the Feast of the Ascension. Entitled,  Communicating the Family, the message is succinct and down-to-earth.








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Celebrating our mothers and Our Mother

Once again people in many parts of the world will celebrate Mothers’ Day today. You do not have to remember the date. The media, the shopping malls, businesses remind us with their advertisements touting the different ways to celebrate this day. Expensive gifts and grand banquets are common ways to mark this day dedicated to mothers. 








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Changing bad habits

Although we are more than half way through Lent, we still need to continue to pray, fast, act charitably and repent. On March 5, Pope Francis told a general audience: “We all need to improve, to change for the better. Lent helps us and thus we leave behind old habits….” 

If we can get rid of these habits, we can “look with new eyes at our brothers and sisters and their needs”. In this way, we can see what the signs of the times are saying.








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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?