Proclaiming the Christian faith in China is becoming more and more difficult, even on the internet, according to Bishop Bertram Meier, responsible for World Church affairs in the German bishops’ conference.“Already in 2020, under the pretext of fighting the Covid pandemic, proclaiming the faith was made noticeably more difficult, but in the past year, the dynamic of oppression of religion in China has again increased perceptibly,” he said.
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Amid the darkness, Pope Francis may offer a glimmer of hope. Last Sunday, speaking to the crowds in St Peter’s Square, he said the Holy See is “ready to do everything” to bring about peace. The Pope’s offer is being taken seriously. On Tuesday, Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin and Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, spoke by phone.
It seems paradoxical that at a time of pandemic, when the collective commitment is largely aimed at protecting the health of citizens, there are discussions about making it legal to help people take their own lives. This paradox highlights an issue gripping the medical world. If the biomedical enterprise has the task of dominating biological processes and responding to the desire of health for everyone, then it seems plausible to ask it – when it fails in its objective and suffering is deemed intolerable – to shorten life. It is the last step in the exercise of control.
A young Dominican priest who was devoted to serving ethnic groups in Vietnam’s Central Highlands has been killed in a knife attack. An informed source from Kontum Diocese said Dominican Father Joseph Tran Ngoc Thanh, who provided pastoral care for Sa Loong Subparish in Kon Tum province, was stabbed many times while he was hearing confessions in the church on Jan. 29.
Catholic Bishops' Conference of India urged to take up the issue of Christian persecution with PM Modi. A group of progressive Catholic religious in India have questioned the silence of the official Catholic Church over the continued violent attacks on Christians and other minority communities across the country. They want the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI) to take up the issue with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah to ensure immediate action against the perpetrators of hate crimes against minorities.
An appeal court in China has upheld a seven-year jail term for a Christian online bookstore owner who was sentenced in 2020 on charges of selling Christian religious books illegally. Linhai City Court in Taizhou in Zhejiang province of eastern China dismissed the appeal and confirmed the sentence against Chen Yu, the head of Wheat Bookstore in Taizhou, Bitter Winter reported on Jan. 11.
The Vatican’s foreign minister has paid tribute to Sir David Amess describing him as a “public servant of the highest principles” who worked with “devotion and enthusiasm” for UK-Holy See relations. Following the news that Sir David had been stabbed to death while meeting his constituents on 15 October, Archbishop Paul Gallagher wrote to Sir Edward Leigh, the chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Holy See, to express his “profound shock” at the killing.
Law and Good Ecclesial Government: The Vademecum for cases of sexual abuse and the reform of canonical criminal law
The Vademecum on some points of procedure in the treatment of cases of sexual abuse of minors committed by clerics was long overdue. Many bishops and religious superiors in past years had found themselves in great difficulty when faced with the emergence of allegations and subsequent scandals involving sexual abuse by members of the clergy, and were unable to act decisively and clearly.
It is inevitable; however; that we all forget the events of the distant past, and then we find ourselves in situations which appear unusual; exceptional; and without parallel; their presumed abnormality becomes a source of anxiety. Among such surprising and unnerving events, we can include that of the waves of migration from Africa; the Near East; and Eastern Europe in recent years, which flow like an unstoppable tide towards the shores of a land of hope – our own.
Zara Alvarez, a church worker from Negros province in the central Philippines, signs a manifesto signifying her commitment to work for human rights on Aug. 22, 2019. Alvarez was shot dead in Bacolod City on Aug. 17.
Police and revenue officials have removed a statue of Jesus Christ and 14 crosses from a Christian burial place in southern India's Karnataka state following allegations of Christians encroaching on government land.
Nigeria’s bishops have launched peaceful protests against the ‘brutal killing of innocent Nigerians’. Two prominent Nigerian Catholics argue that the root of the current spate of killings is not religious difference but the cynical manipulation of Islam by a corrupt elite.
A commitment to justice and peace has long been one of the hallmarks of how the Catholic Church operates on a global, national and local stage. But work for justice has always tended to receive more emphasis than work for peace
Persecution, censorship and environmental destruction are on the rise – but resistance is possible. What does it mean to be human? That question sits at the core of human rights. To be human has specific implications: human self-awareness and the actions taken to uphold human dignity – these are what gives the concept of humanity a special meaning.
Church officials in India want police to conduct a thorough probe into an attack on a Catholic church in Assam, saying it could be part of a plan to create religious-based divisions in the northeastern state ahead of Christmas. Parishioners of St. Thomas Church in Chapatoli, in Dibrugarh Diocese said they found their church vandalized on Dec. 15.
Every day news reports point to a world that is fracturing due to fear, prejudice and hate. We seem to forget the Golden Rule that is at the root of many of our religions and cultures: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” When we see refugees fleeing wars or migrants arriving in our countries looking for a better life, a raw human instinct pushes us to close our doors in their faces, to close our eyes and close our hearts.
Christine Allen, currently director of policy and public affairs at Christian Aid, will take up her new post at Cafod in the spring. Mr Bain has delayed his retirement until then, although a Mass of thanksgiving to mark his retirement is planned for 5 December at St George's Cathedral.
Religious missionaries working in the southern Philippine region of Mindanao continue to live in "dangerous and dark times," in which justice is hard to come by, according to a group of Catholic nuns.
Looking back at the past, we acknowledge that there is nearly no region or nation which, in its history, has not seen the immigration of people moving though in caravans or even entire ethnic populations arriving with the intention to settle in lands distant from their homeland, considering them oases of refuge.