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Candidates promise no election violence during pope’s Sri Lanka trip

Candidates promise no election violence during pope’s Sri Lanka trip

COLOMBO, Dec 19, 2014–Church officials say they have received vows from the opposition candidate and the incumbent Mahinda Rajapaksa that the results of next month’s presidential election will be accepted without protests or post-election violence. “Both [opposition and incumbent] candidates assured the bishops that they can control election violence before and after the election,” said [...]

MALAYSIA, Dec 19, 2014–Police have returned all 31 copies of Christian hymnals to a Catholic priest, two weeks after they were seized near a bookshop in Tangkak, Johor for containing the word “Allah”. Father Cyril Mannayagam said the books were handed over to him at the Ledang district police headquarters in Tangkak at 9:45pm Thursday [...]

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PESHAWAR, Dec 18, 2014 “Catholic schools and institutions should observe a minute of silence during morning assemblies and offer prayers for the victims of thebarbarous attack in the military-run public school in Peshawar,” said Mgr Joseph Coutts, archbishop of Karachi and president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Pakistan, as he honoured the more than 140 [...]

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MUMBAI, Dec 17, 2014–”At Swarga Dwar, Christmas is an important day. We bear witness to Jesus before our guests and friends, who are mostly Hindus and Muslims. And his message becomes theirs,” said Fr Vijay Rayala, regional superior of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME) in India, as he talks about the Heaven’s Gate [...]

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PAKISTAN, Dec 17, 2014–”Terrorism is a global problem, and global was the condemnation for the killing of children and teachers. We must once again stick together, work together, despite their differences,” said Mgr Rufin Anthony. The bishop of Islamabad/Rawalpindi spoke at a prayer vigil in the capital last night, where he condemned yesterday’s Taliban massacre at a [...]

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MULLATIVU, Dec 17, 2014–On Pope Francis’s birthday, Tamil Catholics in a northern Sri Lankan community expressed their best wishes to the Holy Father for a “long and healthy life” because the people of Sri Lanka “needs the pope’s prayers for a lasting peace.” The pontiff, who is 78 today, will travel to the island nation [...]

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South Korean Catholics seek healing across border

SEOUL, Dec 17, 2014–The division of the Korean Peninsula has outlasted the Cold War, numerous political leaders and repeated attempts at rapprochement. But as the 70th anniversary of division approaches next year, a group of Catholic clergy in South Korea is seeking engagement with the controversial state-sanctioned Church in North Korea in the hope of overcoming [...]

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SYDNEY, Australia, Dec 16, 2014–In the aftermath of a hostage situation at an Australian café, Sydney’s Archbishop Anthony Fisher, O.P., stressed that the love of Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace, can overcome fear and darkness. “We are not used to hearing words like ‘siege,’ ‘terrorist,’ ‘hostages’ and ‘security forces’ associated with our city. Yet for [...]

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PESHAWAR, Dec 16, 2014– “My soul is overwhelmed by deep sorrow and great distress for the horrible massacre of innocent children in the school in Peshawar. The loss of young and precious lives in neighbouring Pakistan is a source of grief and mourning also for my country, India,” said Card Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Mumbai. [...]

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NEW DELHI, Dec 16, 2014–“Untouchable” Catholics in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu on Monday urged the Vatican to eradicate caste discrimination within the Indian Church. In a petition delivered to the Vatican embassy in Delhi, a group of Tamil Catholics belonging to several dalit organizations and a Tamil political party called for Vatican [...]

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COLOMBO, Dec 15, 2014–”Pope Francis’ visit will bring unity and peace to Sri Lanka. You must have faith.” These were the words Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, Archbishop of Colombo and President of the Episcopal Conference (CBCSL), addressed to the country’s Christians in response to a debate that has been sparked by the proximity of Presidential elections [...]

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SINGAPORE, Dec 15 2014–“Do things out of the ordinary. Mingle with people you normally would not, such as the poor and marginalised,” said Father Clifford Augustine at this year’s World AIDS Day Mass held on November 30 at the Church of St Mary of the Angels in Singapore. The Mass, which is held annually, was organised [...]

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SINGAPORE, Dec 14, 2014–The Sri Lankan Catholic community in Singapore has created a mobile application “Supuwatha” or Good News, which gives daily Mass readings in text, audio and video – in Sinhala and Tamil. The community also has a website of its own and a strong presence on social media. Sister Mary Susila Thomas together with [...]

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KOLKATA, December 14, 2014–Leaving their habits behind and disguised along with police in regular clothes, a small group of three or four nuns raid brothels in Kolkata, India, at night, snatching young women and girls as young as 12 from the clutches of their captors. In four years, “we have put 30 traffickers in jail,” [...]

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Australian bishop entrusts diocese to Mary, Star of the Sea at Installation

PENNANT HILLS, Australia, Dec 13, 2014–During the homily at his Mass of Installation as Bishop of Broken Bay on Friday, Peter Comensoli entrusted both the diocese and his ministry to Our Lady Star of the Sea, and centered on the proclamation of Christ. “On this feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, for who I have [...]

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BHUBANESWAR, Dec. 13, 2014–The Missionary Sisters Servants of the Holy Spirit (SSpS) operating in Odisha (Orissa) have decided to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the founding of their congregation (1889-2014) by offering a scholarship to ten poor deserving girls to pursue their studies, get a job and become independent. The event was celebrated on 8 December [...]

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