Commemoration May Lead to China Visit

SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST, Oct. 17 — Hopes that a Beijing conference commemorating Matteo Ricci's mission 400 years ago to China would facilitate diplomatic relations between Beijing and the Holy See were put on hold as neither members of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association nor Vatican representatives attended, the Hong Kong newspaper reported.

A slight chance still existed for the two sides to make progress at the second half of the conference under way in Rome, which Pope John Paul II was expected to address.

It is hoped that negotiations between the Vatican and Beijing may lead to a papal visit to China in 2003.

Catholics to Open Ghanaian University

AFRICA NEWS SERVICE, Oct. 8 — A Catholic University near Sunyani, Ghana, is expected to be operational by next September, the news service reported.

Catholic University of Ghana, Fiapre, initially will offer programs in business management and administration, information science and technology and theology and philosophy. The Ghanaian Chronicle reports that religious participation in the country's educational sector has been on the rise.

Indian Catholic Group Prays for Terror Victims

THE TIMES OF INDIA, Sept. 23 — The All India Catholic Union, the oldest Catholic lay organization in India, condemned the Sept. 11 terrorist acts against the United States and promised the prayers of its members.

The group expressed solidarity in the fight against terrorism and at the same time called for greater protection of the minority Dalit Christian community, The Times reported.

The Union's vice president, John Dayal, said he was distressed by what he termed “right-wing communal fundamentalist forces” rejecting the Dalits' cause at last month's U.N.-sponsored World Conference on Racism in South Africa.