#ShortNews: ‘Joy is the air Christians breathe,’ Pope preaches at weekday Mass

Referring to the passage from the Gospel of Mark, Pope Francis reproposes the theme of being men and women bearing joy in his homily on Monday at Casa Santa Marta.

It is “joy that Christians breath”, he said. Christians express themselves joyfully. Joy cannot be purchased or forced.

Joy does not mean living from laugh to laugh. No, it’s not that. Joy is not entertainment. No, it’s not that. It is something else. Christian joy is peace, peace that is deeply rooted, peace in the heart, the peace that only God can give. This is Christian joy. It is not easy to foster this joy.

There is a healthy restlessness, and there is another which is not healthy – that which seeks security above all, which seeks pleasure above all. The young man in the Gospel was afraid that if he gave up his wealth he would not be happy. Joy, consolation: this is our breath as Christians.

Article taken from https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope-francis/mass-casa-santa-marta/2018-05/pope-francis-mass-santa-marta-joy.html

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#ShortNews: India: 2017 saw 20% increase in atrocities against Christians, says lawyer

Amid growing extreme Hindu nationalism in India, dozens of speakers have called for concerted action to uphold the country’s constitution and fundamental rights, at a conference to mark four years of government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“There is a grave threat to plurality,” told Professor Ganesh Narayan Devy, a scholar on India’s religious and linguistic diversity. “We are living at a time when you are questioned about the food you eat, about the god you worship and branded as anti-national for expressing a different view [contrary to Hindu nationalism],” said Devy.

“They [Hindu nationalists] demonise and attack us: 2017 saw a 20 per cent increase in the number of atrocities against Christians,” Tehmina Arora, a lawyer and director of rights group ADF India, told the conference.

On the status of Christian minorities, she added: “When you go to police, they hardly cooperate and often refuse to register complaints. There is a growing culture of impunity. We could file only 25 criminal cases, as against the 240+ incidents reported in the year.” Read more: https://www.worldwatchmonitor.org/2018/05/india-2017-saw-20-increase-in-atrocities-against-christians-says-lawyer/

#ShortNews: Chinese officials adopt 5-year plan to for “Sinicization” of Catholic Church

The Patriotic Association of Chinese Catholics (PA) and the Council of Chinese Bishops (BCCC) have launched a “Five-Year Plan of Development for the Sinicization of the Catholic Church in China”. In his address to the gathering, Yu Bo, vice director of the State Administration for Religious Affairs, explained that ” The 4th coalition meeting is to implement deeper the spirit of the Ninteenh National Congress of the Communist Party in October 2017 and the spirit of the National Conference on Religious Work in April 2016, and to focus on the deliberations of a five-year plan to advance sinicization of the China Catholic Church”.

It involves:
a) increasing assimilation of Chinese culture into religious expression, eliminating “foreign influences”;
b) “independence from foreign influence” (which means to do without the mandate of the Holy See for episcopal ordinations);
c) submission to the Party because it must “guide” religions and must “hold firmly the role of leadership in all religious activities”.

However, a news report of the “Minzu Bao” (the official journal on religious and ethnic topics) of July 25 2017 on the first coalition meeting offered glimpses. Read more: http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Ahead-of-China-Vatican-dialogue,-a-five-year-plan-to-Sinicize-the-Church-under-the-Party-44038.html