#ShortNews: Pope at Mass: Martyrdom doesn’t make the news

At Mass at the Casa Santa Marta, the Pope comments on the day’s Gospel, saying that the Church is made manifest “in the Eucharist and in good works.”

The Church, he said, is manifested “in the Eucharist and in good works,” even if they don’t “make the news.” The Bride of Christ has a temperament given to silence; she produces fruit “without making a fuss,” without “sounding the trumpet, like the Pharisees”.

“The Church grows through witness, through prayer, through the attraction of the Spirit who is within,” Pope Francis said in his homily, “and not through events.” These events certainly help, he continued, but “the growth proper to the Church, that which bears fruit, is in silence, in hiding, with good works, and the celebration of the Lord’s Paschal Mystery, the praise of God.”

In a world that too often gives into the temptation to sensation, to worldliness, to appearance, Pope Francis recalled that Jesus Himself was tempted to create a sensation: “But why take so long to accomplish the work of redemption? Perform a good miracle. Cast yourself down from the temple, and everyone will see; they will see, and they will believe in you.” But He chose “the path of preaching, of prayer, of good works,” the way “of the Cross” and “of suffering”.

To read full article: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope-francis/mass-casa-santa-marta/2018-11/pope-francis-homily-daily-mass-martyrdom-does-not-make-news.html

#ShortNews: 4 underground priests subjected to ‘brainwashing’ for over a month in China

Thanks to the provisional agreement between China and the Vatican on 22 September, the Chinese government recognized the role of the Pope in the Catholic Church for the first time. On the surface, this agreement created a sufficient condition for reconciliation between the “underground” Church and the “official” Church in China.

The increasing number of optimists consider that with this agreement the government will be able to offer more freedom to Chinese Catholics in their life of faith. But the real situation is the exact opposite , as the faithful of some regions are experimenting.

The “underground” priests are forcefully brought to concelebrate with the “official” bishops led by the government and then photographed. In this wave of “conversion of underground priests”, Hebei is the most influenced region because of the many faithful [over a million Catholics – ed]. The kidnapped include four priests of Zhangjiakou: Fr. Zhang Guilin and Fr. Wang Zhong of the Diocese of Xiwanzi; Fr. Zhao He and Fr. Su Guipeng of the Diocese of Xuanhua.

To read full article: http://asianews.it/news-en/Hebei,-four-underground-priests-subjected-to-‘brainwashing’-for-over-a-month-45475.html

#ShortNews: Catholic leaders express ‘deep concern’ about President Trump’s new asylum limits

WASHINGTON— Bishop Joe S. Vásquez, of Austin, Texas, Chairman of the U.S Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Migration, Sister Donna Markham, OP, Phd, President and CEO of Catholic Charities USA, Jeanne Atkinson, Executive Director of Catholic Legal Immigration Network, and Sean Callahan, President and CEO of Catholic Relief Services issued an statement reiterating that it is not a crime to seek asylum and urging the Administration to seek other solutions that will strengthen the integrity of the existing immigration system.

On November 9, 2018, President Trump issued a proclamation barring people arriving to the U.S./Mexico border from receiving U.S. asylum unless they request it at a U.S. port of entry, a direct contradiction of existing U.S. asylum law.

To read the full statement: http://www.usccb.org/news/2018/18-183.cfm

#ShortNews: Christian-Taoist dialogue on ethics affirms 7 points

The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (PCID), the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore, and the Taoist Federation of Singapore (TFS) jointly organized the Second Christian-Taoist Colloquium in Singapore from 5-7 November 2018. The theme of the Colloquium was “Christian and Taoist Ethics in Dialogue.” Seventy Christian and Taoist scholars and practitioners of interreligious dialogue mainly from Singapore but also from China, France, South Korea, Malaysia, Switzerland, Taiwan and the Vatican, took part in this event. The participants included a representative each from the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences and the World Council of Churches.

The Colloquium focused on the following topics: Today’s Crisis of Ethics and Hope for Tomorrow; Taoist and Christian Responses to the Crisis of Ethics; Social Institutions and the Transformation of Human Persons; Spiritual Development and Self-Cultivation; Global Ethics and the Interdependency of All Human Beings; Fostering a United and Harmonious Society; and Emerging Orientations for Future Christian-Taoist Engagement. The program also included cultural and interreligious visits to the Taoist Kew Ong Yah Temple, the Catholic Church of the Transfiguration, and the Harmony in Diversity Gallery.

To check the 7 points read here: https://www.pcinterreligious.org/latest-news

#ShortNews: Link between love of God and love of neighbor is inseparable

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

At the centre of this Sunday’s Gospel (cf. Mk 12: 28b-34), there is the commandment to love: love for God and for neighbour. A scribe asks Jesus: “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” (v. 28). He answers by quoting that profession of faith with which every Israelite begins and ends the day, and which starts with the words, “Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one” (Dt 6: 4). Thus Israel safeguards its faith in the fundamental reality of the whole of its creed: there is only one Lord and that Lord is “ours,” in the sense that He bound Himself to us with an indissoluble pact; He has loved us, He loves us and He will love us forever. It is from this source, this love of God that the twofold Commandment stems: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. […] You shall love your neighbour as yourself” (vv. 30-31).

Choosing these two Words addressed by God to His people and, putting them together, Jesus taught once and for all that love of God and love of neighbour are inseparable; rather, more than that, they support one another. Although placed in sequence, they are the two faces of the same coin: lived together they are the believer’s true strength! To love God is to live of Him, for Him, for what He is and for what He does. And our God is donation without reserve; He is unlimited forgiveness; He is a relationship that promotes and makes one grow. Therefore, to love God means to invest one’s energies every day to be His collaborators in serving our neighbour without reserve, in seeking to forgive without limits and in cultivating relationships of communion and fraternity.

Read the full message of Pope’s words here: http://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/en/bollettino/pubblico/2018/11/04/181104a.html

#ShortNews: Christians flee Henan to escape persecution

As a province with one of the largest population of Christians in East Asia, Henan has always been under the authorities’ radar. At the beginning of this year, the provincial authorities launched a campaign to persecute religious belief. As a result, numerous churches, including the government-approved Protestant Three-Self places of worship, have been sealed off or forcibly demolished.

Bitter Winter interviewed a couple that used to belong to a Three-Self church in Pingdingshan city in the central province of Henan. A few months ago, they fled to Heilongjiang – China’s northernmost province – because their hometown church and its congregation had been frequently harassed by the local government. Officials came to the believers’ houses to register their personal information, including their religious beliefs. If believers were identified, all of their government subsidies and benefits were revoked. Religious items and books found in households were destroyed or confiscated.

Read full article from Bitter Winter: https://bitterwinter.org/christians-flee-henan-to-escape-persecution/

#ShortNews: Worldwide decline in number of priests, seminarians, sisters; Catholic population rises by 14 million

As every year, in view of World Mission Day, which this year celebrates its 92nd anniversary on Sunday, October 21, 2018, Fides News Service offers some statistics chosen to give a panorama of the missionary Church all over the world. The tables are taken from the latest edition of the “Church’s Book of Statistics” published (updated to 31 December 2016) regarding members of the Church, church structures, healthcare, welfare and education.

To 31 December 2016, Catholics in the world numbered 1.299.059.000 units with an overall increase of 14.249.000. The increase affects all continents, except Europe for the third consecutive year (- 240.000). Increases were registered above all in Africa (+6.265.000) and in America (+ 6.023.000) followed by Asia (+ 1.956.000) and Oceania (+ 254.000). The world percentage of Catholics decreased by 0.05 %, settling at 17.67%. By continent: increases were registered in America (+ 0.06), Asia (+ 0,01) and Oceania (+ 0.02), decrease in Africa (- 0.18) and Europe (- 0,11).

To check out the full statistics; http://www.fides.org/en/news/64944-VATICAN_CATHOLIC_CHURCH_STATISTICS_2018