#ShortNews: Is this still the Catholic Church?

“Is this still the Catholic Church?”: This is the reaction of a young Chinese man to the text we publish below today in full translation, concerning the “formation courses” held in Beijing for the priests of the diocese of Mindong (Fujian) who joined the Patriotic Association.  As already reported Mindong – which was to be the “pilot project” for the Sino-Vatican agreement – was given a new ordinary bishop, Msgr.  Zhan Silu (formerly excommunicated, reconciled by the pope) while the underground bishop Msgr.  Guo Xijin agreed to be demoted to auxiliary bishop at the request of the pontiff.  Despite this, he was never officially recognised by  the government because Beijing requires him to formerly adhere to an “independent” Church.

Many priests – mostly from the underground branch – have not agreed to sign.  However, a few dozen have.  From July 21 to 27, the Party, together with Msgr. Zhan Silu organized an “internship” in Beijing for these men, where Party members, professors, and United Front cadres introduced them to the work of priests who have to carry forward socialism, sinicize the Church, love their country first and  then religion, to develop “an independent, autonomous and democratic Church”.

Click this link below to read translation from the Chinese original of the report of those days, drafted by a member of the Patriotic Association of Fujian, Deng Wenlong; http://www.asianews.it/news-en/In-Beijing,-the-patriotic-formation-of-Mindong-priests.-Is-this-still-the-Catholic-Church-47750.html

#ShortNews: 1,000 Catholics march in Hong Kong against extradition law

Faced with the growing tension between the government and civil society due to the infamous extradition law, and after the increasingly violent clashes between law enforcement and groups of protesters, the auxiliary bishop’s proposal emerged during last night’s march of a thousand Catholics held in the streets of the Central district.  Organized by four groups, including Justice and Peace in Hong Kong, the torchlight and smartphone march reached the Court of Appeal.

At the end, Msgr. Ha said: “In the last two months, the city has been in turmoil. We should have a cooling-off period and a ceasefire of at least two or three months, for both sides to sit down and come to an agreement to move society forward”.

In recent months, Msgr.  Joseph Ha was very close to the young people and to the protesters, often leading moments of prayer at the sit-in near the Legco (Hong Kong parliament).  Card John Tong, apostolic administrator of the diocese, and the head of the Protestant churches in the area, Eric So Shing-yit, already in June had supported the two fundamental demands of the anti-extradition movement.

Source: http://www.asianews.it/news-en/-Bishop-Joseph-Ha:-A-three-month-ceasefire-between-police-and-protesters-47714.html

#ShortNews: After 10 years of Boko Haram violence, Nigerians crave peace

Suicide bombings, mass kidnappings, tens of thousands of people killed. A ghastly insurgency by the homegrown Islamic extremist group Boko Haram marks 10 years this week in northeastern Nigeria, where many residents say life has been set back by decades.

Boko Haram seized the world’s attention with the mass kidnapping of nearly 300 schoolgirls from Chibok in 2014, sparking a #BringBackOurGirls campaign supported by then-U.S. first lady Michelle Obama and others. While many schoolgirls have since been freed, countless other people abducted over the decade remain lost to their loved ones. They include aid workers; on Wednesday a recently seized nurse pleaded in a video for Nigeria’s government to help, saying they could be killed.

Even though Boko Haram has been in the public eye for 10 years, not much is still known about the extremist group, said Matthew Page, associate fellow with the London-based international affairs group Chatham House.

Mamman, whose displaced family has sheltered in the city for five years, said he imagined the extremists could be weary as well after a decade on the run.

“Ten years is just enough for them to give up and embrace peace,” he said. He plans to do his part. He is now studying at the University of Maiduguri and says he will use his experience to persuade Boko Haram’s members “in my own little ways” to put down their arms for good.

Source: https://www.apnews.com/f21bf9766a6d4563a0767cc013bde9b5