#ShortNews: Chinese Catholics fearful of government’s campaign to ‘Sinicize’ religions

Sinicization “is a trap”, a way to “intimidate the Catholic Church”; it has the purpose of “distorting the creed of all religious communities” in China. These are the thoughts of two Chinese Catholics, Peter of Hebei, and Paul of Shaanxi referring to the program wanted by Xi Jinping to assimilate religions to Chinese culture and society, a program that provides for submission to the Communist Party and verification of assimilation by the Patriotic Association (PA), the Party’s long arm over religious communities. The PA and the Council of Bishops have already prepared a five-year plan for the implementation of sinicization. By the end of August, every diocese in China will have to present its plan at a diocesan level.

If the red flag – a symbol of communist power – takes the place of the crucifix in the church; if people have to sing the national anthem before mass; if the priest glorifies the atheist party in his homily; if the police have to register all the faithful who enter the places of worship, who will want to participate anymore in religious activities?

Read full story: http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Chinese-Catholics:-Sinicization-is-a-trap-to-block-the-Church-and-distort-the-religions-44721.html

#ShortNews: A decade after brutal anti-Christian violence, Indian prelate discusses Church’s growth

Christians in India are marking the 10th anniversary of the brutal violence that Christians of eastern India’s Odisha state faced in 2008, with a Mass in the state capital, Bhubaneswar, on August 25.

Archbishop John Barwa together with the Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI) are celebrating the 10th anniversary Mass at St Joseph Convent School of Bhubaneswar on the theme, “Reconciliation, Thanksgiving and Grace”.

Efforts are under way in Cuttack- Bhubaneswar Archdiocese to recognized the martyrdom of those who have been killed because of their Christian faith. Archbishop Barwa said gathering evidence of their martyrdom takes a long time because family members, neighbours and eye witnesses are often reluctant to talk fearing for their future.

Read more here: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/church/news/2018-08/india-kandhamal-barwa-anniversary-violence-martyrs.html

#ShortNews: Pope Francis writes letter to the entire Church on the abuse scandal

Letter of the Holy Father Francis to the People of God

“If one member suffers, all suffer together with it” (1 Cor 12:26). These words of Saint Paul forcefully echo in my heart as I acknowledge once more the suffering endured by many minors due to sexual abuse, the abuse of power and the abuse of conscience perpetrated by a significant number of clerics and consecrated persons. Crimes that inflict deep wounds of pain and powerlessness, primarily among the victims, but also in their family members and in the larger community of believers and nonbelievers alike. Looking back to the past, no effort to beg pardon and to seek to repair the harm done will ever be sufficient. Looking ahead to the future, no effort must be spared to create a culture able to prevent such situations from happening, but also to prevent the possibility of their being covered up and perpetuated. The pain of the victims and their families is also our pain, and so it is urgent that we once more reaffirm our commitment to ensure the protection of minors and of vulnerable adults…”

Read full article: http://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/en/bollettino/pubblico/2018/08/20/180820a.html