10/08/2015VATICAN Pope: God never abandons the just, while the wicked "in the Book of God's memory, have no name" "How often do we see this reality in bad people, in people who do evil, and seem to do well in life: they are happy, they have everything they want, they want for nothing. Why Lord?". The answer is in the Psalm of the day, which proclaims "blessed" he "who does not enter the counsel of the wicked" and who "finds joy" in the "law of the Lord." Vatican City (AsiaNews) - God does not abandon the righteous, but the wicked "in the Book of God's memory, have no name”, was Pope Francis reflection during the Mass celebrated this morning at Casa Santa Marta, responding to the question of why...
10/08/2015INDIA Intellectuals condemn beef lynching as Modi boosts Hindutva Writer Nayantara Sahgal and poet Ashok Vajpeyi return the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award. Indian president and Home minister speak out for diversity, tolerance and plurality in India. Politicians from the Bharatiya Janata Party instead make statements fomenting sectarian hate. The prime minister tightens beef export controls. Opposition parties, particularly Congress, fail to counter sectarian violence in the country.
10/08/2015INDONESIA Family planning is a good thing, not abortion and contraceptives by Mathias Hariyadi Members of the Catholic Church in Indonesia are in favour of government family planning, as long as it promotes “responsible parenthood." Started by Suharto in the 1970s, family planning had fallen by the wayside after 1998. Now the government wants to cut population growth, deemed a burden on the economy.
10/08/2015VIETNAM Following Francis, the Vietnamese Church promises help and hospitality to migrants by Paul N. Hung Modernisation and industrialisation have driven millions of people to the big cities. The Bishops' Conference calls for openness to these "brothers and sisters" in difficult conditions. Parishes are tasked to provide pastoral care. For Vietnamese bishop, migrants must be "helped, supported, loved and encouraged”.
10/08/2015PAKISTAN Pakistan’s Supreme Court confirms death sentence for murderer of Salman Taseer by Skafique Khokhar The Governor of Punjab was murdered for defending Asia Bibi. Lawyers killer ask for presidential pardon. The culprit has defended "legitimacy" of murder. Catholic activist: "The judgment shows that the Court is independent and free from the extremists pressures." Analyst warns: "The government will face pressure to avoid carrying out the judgment."
10/08/2015PHILIPPINES Del Torchio kidnapping: "May not be Islamist groups" Fr. Giovanni Re, PIME regional superior in the Philippines, says that "it is more likely to be groups looking for ransom, as often happens before elections." The area of Mindanao "is still one of the most dangerous. We take precautions but sometimes kidnappings occur even in quiet areas ". Some classmates of the former missionary describe him as "a person of great sensitivity and practical skills. Intuitive and resourceful ".
10/08/2015YEMEN - SAUDI ARABIA Yemen air strike hits wedding party: at least 15 dead and 25 wounded The raid took place in the late afternoon yesterday. Private home hit in Sanban, about 100 km south-east of Sana'a, under the control of the Houthi rebels. No comment from Riyadh, but Saudi-led coalition behind the attack. Humanitarian emergency: 80% of the population is at risk of hunger, at least 2,300 civilian casualties.
10/07/2015EGYPT Egypt is changing: burqa ban, Qur’anic exegesis, equal rights for Muslims and Christians For Fr Greiche, spokesman for the Catholic Church, the government has taken significant steps that are starting to spread to the population. They include a ban on the burqa in universities, and exegetical attempts to reread Islam’s holy book. Building will soon begin on the ‘Martyrs Church’ dedicated to the Copts beheaded by the Islamic State group in Libya.
10/07/2015VATICAN Synod: searching for a ‘language’ to announce the ‘Good News’ to today's families Thirteen language groups are “working in complete freedom, listening in total humility". In each, "we must not necessarily agree on everything; we must speak about our differences in different situations." Indeed, “In the Catholic Church, we are very keen on unity, but we want cultural differences to emerge, so that everyone can express himself.”
10/07/2015INDIA Hindutiva’s discourse of hate, the life of "sacred cows" is “more precious than that of a human being" by Ram Puniyani Cows are sacred. Crimes against them are used to stir up political hatred for electoral purposes, even though India is a large beef exporter. Gandhi once said that there should be “fullest recognition of freedom to the Muslims to slaughter". Ram Puniyani, president of the Center for Study of Society and Secularism in Mumbai, looks at the lynching of Muslims suspected of consuming beef.
10/07/2015HONG KONG Academic barred for being "a friend of Occupy Central" Johannes Chan Man-mun has been barred from the post of pro-vice-chancellor. Fr Gianni Criveller, PIME missionary in Hong Kong, gives his opinion on the matter. Yesterday, 2,000 students and teaching staff marched in silence through the HKU campus for their autonomy from China. "This is one of many episodes,” Criveller said. "From now until the 2017 elections, Beijing will make its presence felt more and more.” A second rally is scheduled on 9 October.
10/07/2015YEMEN - SAUDI ARABIA Saudi Arabia may lose finances and military prestige in Yemeni quagmire by James Brandon - Nicholas A. Heras The Houthi Shiite rebels have agreed on the seven point UN peace plan in writing. The agreement calls for a ceasefire and the withdrawal of troops from the cities. The military campaign of Saudi Arabia and the UAE complicates the agreement. On the Yemeni front Riyadh risks its prestige and finances. The analysis of two Middle East experts, courtesy of Jamestown Foundation.