Beijing wants the Vatican to derecognize the Republic of China but the way forward for Rome is fraught with dange. As talks progress between the Vatican and Beijing on a new deal on bishop appointments, or extension of the existing deal signed in September 2018, the Vatican is facing an increasingly thorny problem with Taiwan: its diplomatic derecognition of the effectively independent nation is something that Beijing craves.
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The new executive is supported by the so-called “right-wing bloc,” a coalition of eight parties, several of which are small. It is the largest government in the history of the country, with as many as 34 ministers and 16 deputy ministers. In this regard, during the inaugural debate, a leading member of the opposition, Yair Lapid (who was initially an ally of Gantz), noted: “There are more ministers and deputy ministers in the government than people hospitalized for the coronavirus.”
Democracy and efforts to build a more just world are under attack in many countries, according to Father Arturo Sosa SJ, superior general of the Jesuits. He said human lives and jobs are not the only things threatened by the coronavirus pandemic.
The former governor of Hong Kong fears that the Holy See may be making a serious misjudgement in seeming to appease the Beijing government over the status of the Catholic Church, just as China is slipping back into the most hardline dictatorship since Mao.
Evariste Ndayishimiye, a practising Catholic who is known to bring the importance of God into politics, has been sworn as the president of Burundi. The president immediately promised to unite the people, promote peace and justice in the tiny East African country where majority are Catholics. He also swore to fight genocide ideology and discrimination.
Nine years have passed since the Syrian conflict began, since the optimism of the 2011 Arab Spring turned into tragedy. For Syria, it all began on March 15 of that year, when protesters took to the streets in Daraa, in the southwest of the country. Soon protests – mostly peaceful – spread throughout the country, demanding an end to the 40-year rule of the Assad family.
Sadly, and ironically, just last week, the abortion statistics for 2019 were released – and they broke my heart. For the second year running, we recorded the highest abortion figures ever experienced in England and Wales.
Cheer, clap, rattle our pots and pans to show how much we cherish our NHS staff and all who work on the front lines in care homes, pharmacies, stores, transport and delivery or one of the three-quarters-of-a-million volunteers. I am not alone in hearing in that glorious cacophony the sound of a people and a nation rediscovering their better selves.
This is what Pope Francis said in the Urbi et Orbi Easter Message, inviting Europe to give concrete proof of solidarity: “After the Second World War, this continent was able to rise again thanks to a concrete spirit of solidarity […]. It is more urgent than ever, especially in the present circumstances, that these rivalries do not regain force, but that all recognize themselves as part of a single family and support one another.” Today, the pope continued, “the European Union is presently facing an epochal challenge, on which will depend not only its own future but that of the whole world.”