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Author: CBCP News

German bishop urges families to be inspired by pope’s exhortation

BERLIN, Dec 31, 2016–As traditional family holiday celebrations continued with the coming of the New Year, an official with the German bishops’ conference encouraged Catholic families to read Pope Francis’ exhortation on the family, “Amoris Laetitia” (“The Joy of Love”). “The feast of the Holy Family, which this year falls uniquely on a Friday rather than a Sunday, moves the facets of the family in harmony with the Christmas festive season, especially in the focal point of thoughtfulness,” said Archbishop Heiner Koch of Berlin, chairman of the bishops’ Commission for Marriage and Family. The exhortation was released in April...

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New York cardinal to participate in Trump inauguration

WASHINGTON DC, Dec 30, 2016–New York’s Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan will take part in the upcoming presidential inauguration of Republican Donald Trump. “I am honored to have been asked to offer a reading from Scripture at the upcoming presidential inauguration, and look forward to asking almighty God to inspire and guide our new president and to continue to bless our great nation,” Cardinal Dolan said in an email to Catholic News Service. Trump, a lifelong New Yorker, will be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States Jan. 20. According to the president-elect’s inaugural committee, other faith leaders who are scheduled to be present include the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference; Paula White of New Destiny Christian Center; Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean and founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center; the Rev. Franklin Graham of Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association; and Bishop Wayne T. Jackson of Great Faith Ministries International. The Washington Post reported in a Dec. 21 story that Trump is scheduled to attend “a private family church service at St. John’s Episcopal Church near the White House,” where many previous presidents have worshipped just before being sworn-in. A day after the inauguration, Trump is expected to attend the 58th Presidential Inaugural Prayer Service, an interfaith service at Washington’s National Cathedral. “The cathedral is a sacred space for the...

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China’s state leader meets Catholic representatives

HONG KONG, Dec 30, 2016–A meeting with a Chinese state leader and a Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament officially concluded the Ninth National Congress of Catholic Representatives of the government sanctioned open church community on Dec 29. The 365 participants comprised bishops, priests, nuns and lay leaders who elected officials of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association (CCPA) and the Bishops’ Conference of Catholic Church in China (BCCCC). They also discussed the work report of the two government-sanctioned church bodies in the first two days of the meeting that began Dec. 27. Before meeting with the state leader, a closing...

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Hangzhou Catholics put pope’s encyclical into practice

HANGZHOU, Dec 23, 2016–In response to the appeal of the pope’s encyclical on environment Laudato si, parishioners of eastern Hangzhou Diocese in eastern China held a charity bazaar to spread environmental awareness among Catholics. The charity bazaar was held by the Catholic social service group of Hangzhou Diocese at the square of the Immaculate Conception Church on Dec. 18. “We will send the 3,000 yuan (US$432) we raised and 11 other boxes of commodities to two Catholic NGOs in northern Hebei province for the needy they serve. It will be Christmas by the time they receive the gifts,” Tu Chun, one of the organizers, told The bazaar was result of earlier discussions among some enthusiastic Catholics about creative ideas for evangelization and for the promotion of environmental protection, he said. “We are not only doing philanthropy, it is also a learning activity, for which parishioners could live out awareness on environmental protection,” he said. Another organizer Maria Jin said it was the first time that they have had a donation drive in the diocese. “The activities were promoted through bulletin boards, using social media to promote the reduction of paper use,” she said. The group collected 300 re-usable items, including clothing, electronic products, books and other items to sell in the bazaar, Tu noted. “Some friends shared that the bazaar also made them reflect on their consumption habits,” Tu...

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Vietnamese diocese appeals for flood aid

QUI NHON, Dec 22, 2016–Qui Nhon Diocese in central Vietnam has appealed for emergency relief for victims of severe flooding in the central provinces. Floods caused by torrential rains since mid October have inundated many places in 10 central provinces. More than 110 people have died or are missing, while at least 121 have been injured. The floods have also destroyed 316,720 homes, 86,760 hectares of crops and countless bridges, schools and other public places, according to the national flood and storm control committee reports. Binh Dinh is the worst-hit province with 34 dead people and damage totaling $32 million with more than 32,000 hectares of crops destroyed. Father Phan The Vinh, priest of Trung Ai parish in An Nhon district, told that floods have inundated the area five times washing away all crops, livestock and belongings of local people. Last week many people moved to the parish house to avoid being washed away. They also took their cattle to the church for safety. The priest has provided clean water, instant noodles and rice to local people, most of them farmers. “They are in need of basic food and water,” Father Vinh said. Father Vinh said he is calling on people from elsewhere to provide basic provisions to people who could not afford to buy seed rice for cultivation and will face severe lack of food in the...

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