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Keeping an eye on the news from around the World.
BY John Lilly
Cardinal: Chinese Banned
Catholic Youth From Festival
ASIANEWS, July 31 — Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun said the governments of four Chinese provinces
forbade many Catholic youth from coming to Hong Kong
for the Asian Youth Day, AsiaNews reported.
In an address July 30 at the July
28- Aug. 5 event that brought together 1,000 Catholic youth from 20 countries
across the continent, the cardinal said, “Many Chinese youth told us they
wanted to come but they did not manage to get permission from the authorities.”
He did not mention the names of the provinces implicated but said that around
60 youth had managed to come “disguised” as tourists.
Despite the ban, around 30
Catholic youth from China
did manage to come to attend the Day events. A university student from Hebei
presented her request for permission together with another four people, but
only hers was approved.
She said: “I gave ‘sightseeing’ as
the purpose of my visit. My friends mentioned the function here and their
applications were rejected.” Another student, who comes from Hunan, used the same approach: “We applied
in groups of three or four, saying we wanted to go for tourism to make us look
Religious Radio Station in the
Cards for Ireland
THE UNIVERSE, Aug. 1 —
Ireland will get its first new religious radio station — but it is not yet
known who will run it, the British Catholic newspaper reported.
The Broadcasting Commission of
Ireland has already placed ads inviting candidates to apply to run the new
service, which will deal with general religious affairs and target listeners
over the age of 15. The Church has not yet said if it will be bidding for the
reins, although Catholics comprise 92% of the population. The selection process
is expected to take six months with Oct. 25 set as the closing date for
Citizens band radio broadcasts of
Sunday Mass to individuals in their own homes, which started in Northern
Ireland in 1997, had to be scrapped by order of the Radio Communications Agency
after CB enthusiasts complained about airwaves interference.
It is believed the new station
would broadcast on the AM band and would be strong enough to reach every home
in the country. Speculation suggests that the station could see Catholic singer
Dana Scallon returning to serve as a host. She was
involved with EWTN during the 1980s when she hosted her own radio and TV
Christian Shepherd Shines His
Light in Islamic Pasture
THE NEW YORK TIMES, July 22 — Archbishop Henri Tessier of Algeria, the birthplace of St. Augustine, said
the importance of the Church in a Muslim land is to act as a kind of living
exhibition of Western values for Muslims who are otherwise cut off from the
Western world, The Times reported.
The archbishop, 77, reflected on
the ebbing of Christianity from North Africa’s shores as Islam spreads across Europe. Every morning he celebrates Mass for 15 or 20
people at the chapel of the diocesan house where he lives and then goes by car
to his office. There he receives visitors and addresses the problems of his
When he began his work as a parish
priest in 1958, there were more than 700 churches in the country. Now, there
are only about 20 churches left, and they are mostly empty. But the archbishop
is not a man to show despair. He maintains that the Roman Catholic clergy has a
role to play in Algeria
and elsewhere in the Muslim world even if there is no indigenous Church left to
“Our job isn’t to be a Church that
takes care of the Church, but a Church that works for the country,” he said,
adding that he believed the Church had won a measure of respect from Algerians
for refusing to abandon the country. “With all of these problems, the Church is
a sign and an instrument.”
BY Jim Cosgrove
Fifty Babies Survive Abortions Yearly in Britain
THE SUNDAY TIMES Nov. 27 — Doctors in Britain, which allows abortion up to the 24th week of pregnancy, have reported that up to 50 babies survive abortions annually, according to the Sunday Times of London.
The Confidential Enquiry into Maternal and Child Health and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, which regulates methods of abortion, mounted investigations. But rather than reevaluate the fact that abortion kills babies, however, the investigations come amid growing unease among abortion doctors that could see them being charged with murder.
Paul Clarke, a neonatal intensive care specialist in Norwich, has treated a boy born at 24 weeks after three failed abortion attempts. The mother decided to keep the child, who is now 2 years old but is suffering what doctors call “significant ongoing medical problems.”
The issue was highlighted by abortion survivor Gianna Jessen, 28, who spoke Dec. 6 at a parliamentary meeting organized by the Alive and Kicking campaign, which is lobbying for a reduction of the abortion limit to 18 weeks.
She said, “If people are going to talk about abortion, then it's important for them to know that these are babies that can be born alive and survive.”
Patriarchs’ Assembly Hopeful on Christians’ Future
ASIANEWS, Nov. 28 — The patriarchs of the seven Eastern Catholic Churches convened a meeting full of hope and confidence for the future of Christians in the Middle East, AsiaNews reported.
Latin Patriarch Michel Sabbah, Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir, Melkite Patriarch Gregorius III Lahham, Coptic Patriarch Stephanos Ghattas, Chaldean Patriarch Emmanuel Delly, Syriac Patriarch Ignace Pierre VIII Abdel Ahad and Armenian Patriarch Nerses Bedros XIX Tarmouni gathered in Amman, Jordan, for the “Justice and Peace” conference.
Cardinal Sfeir said the meeting comes at “a critical time not only for the Middle East” since there is much talk “about clashes between different cultures, especially between Christians and Muslims.”
Archbishop Ghattas said he hoped the assembly will go well since it involves a topic that profoundly touches everyone. “In the East we suffer from the lack, if not the absence of, justice and peace.”
Liechtenstein Rejects Anti-Abortion Measure
ASSOCIATED PRESS, Nov. 28 — Voters in the tiny, predominantly Catholic alpine principality of Liechtenstein soundly rejected an initiative would have prevented abortion, Associated Press reported.
Less than 20% of voters cast ballots in favor of a constitutional amendment, supported by the country's archbishop, seeking to protect human life from conception to natural death. Instead, nearly 80% ratified a government counterproposal, which legalized abortion. The country had previously permitted abortion only in limited cases such as when the mother's life is in danger.
Once a sovereign state of the Holy Roman Empire, Liechtenstein is about three-quarters Roman Catholic. Liechtenstein, a country nestled in the Alps between Switzerland and Austria, is the size of Washington, D.C., and has a population of 33,000. The national holiday is August 15, the Catholic feast of the Assumption.
Archbishop Wolfgang Haas called the legislation a “death melody.”