NOVEMBER 04, 2012, Vol 62, No 22

  Destroyed buildings in Aleppo’s main Saadallah al-Jabari Square, where rebels and forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad have been fighting. Destroyed buildings in Aleppo’s main Saadallah al-Jabari Square, where rebels and forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad have been fighting.LONDON – The Chaldean Catholic bishop of Aleppo said Syria’s second-largest city, which he “loves so much”, has been left in ruins by months of fighting, and Christians there are struggling to survive.

“People have fled their homes,” said Chaldean Bishop Antoine Audo.

Speaking at a reception in the British Parliament on Oct 18, the bishop said that, even with the violence of “bombing and snipers”, Aleppo’s bishops have decided to stay with their people to try to prevent the loss of a Christian presence in the area.

“In some areas ... they have fled their homes because of the threat of bombs, they have lost their livelihoods; schools, hospitals and other public services do not function. There is chaos,” he said.

“Eighty percent of people have no job and have no option but to stay at home,” the bishop said. “Poverty is getting very serious, especially with rising prices and no salaries. The face of the city has changed. There is no security, everything is dirty, there are difficulties in basic travel, no taxis, no buses.”
  ‘The government action comes as a shock. We feel it is unfair to the church. This action deprives the St Thomas Church of the school’s facilities for religious classes’  – Kuala Lumpur Archbishop Murphy Pakiam ‘The government action comes as a shock. We feel it is unfair to the church. This action deprives the St Thomas Church of the school’s facilities for religious classes’ – Kuala Lumpur Archbishop Murphy PakiamKUANTAN, MALAYSIA – A case involving the Malaysian Church’s seeking a judicial review of government acquisition of Church land has been postponed to Nov 2.

The case was initially supposed to be heard on Sept 19 but was postponed to Sept 24 and later to Oct 10.

The postponements were apparently to allow the various parties to resolve the matter out of court, according to the Malaysian Catholic weekly, Herald.

The case involves the government trying to take over part of the land where St Thomas Church and Sekolah Menengah St Thomas (St Thomas Secondary School) are located.

The Herald quoted parish priest, Fr Mitchel Anthony Joseph, saying in a statement that the current Sekolah Menengah St Thomas was established in 1956 on land purchased by a priest, Fr Anthony Duvelle, in 1910.

Singapore Church launches Year of Faith:
800 priests, Religious and laypeople gather to mark special year

Filipinos, Japanese and Sisters of the Missionaries of Charity were among those who attended the Mission Sunday Mass.Filipinos, Japanese and Sisters of the Missionaries of Charity were among those who attended the Mission Sunday Mass.“Maybe, I’ll be a missionary, working in neighbouring countries because I believe it’ll be more fulfilling than normal jobs,” said Darren Lim, 15, an altar server at St Anne’s Church.

Lim was among the 1,400 people who attended the Mission Sunday Mass held at St Anne’s Church on Oct 21.

Members of the Filipino, Indonesian, and Japanese Catholic communities, dressed in their traditional costumes, as well as Sisters of the Missionaries of Charity in their trademark blue-striped saris, were among those at the celebration.
Is there a difference between letting a patient die with dignity and withholding medical treatment so patients are spared a long, painful process of dying? Should Catholic hospitals be different from their secular counterparts?

Is there a way out of the abortion debate? Can Catholics keep themselves absolutely free from any cooperation with the many morally illicit practices the secular world is practising today? Is it possible for a Catholic politician to keep faithful to Catholic values?