Jesuit priest’s cheerful disposition kept hope alive during Afghan captivity

Kabul, Afghanistan, Feb 27, 2015 / 02:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A key player in working for the release of a Jesuit priest held by suspected Taliban militants in Afghanistan for eight months said Thursday the priest never lost hope and was confident in the efforts being made to secure his freedom. Fr. Alexis Prem Kumar, S.J., was the Afghanistan director for Jesuit Refugee Services at the time of his abduction by unidentified men on June 2, 2014. Some reports identified the men as Taliban … [Read more...]

Indians rise up to defend Mother Teresa’s legacy after attack by Hindu leader

New Delhi, India, Feb 26, 2015 / 04:01 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Indians from all walks of life and religions have joined to condemn allegations made against Bl. Teresa of Calcutta by a fundamentalist Hindu leader charging that her sole objective in helping the poor was converting them to Christianity. Mohan Bhagwat, head of the Hindu nationalist organization RSS, said Feb. 23 in India's Rajasthan state that “Mother Teresa's service would have been good. But it used to have one … [Read more...]

Chinese Bible association gathers to make Scripture the heart of Church’s life

Taipei, Taiwan, Feb 26, 2015 / 02:04 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The United Chinese Catholic Biblical Association held its tenth World Chinese Biblical Congress last month in Taiwan, drawing participants from 18 countries to reflect on Scripture and its place in the new evangelization. “The congress was a very touching experience of a new Pentecost with the outpouring of gifts of the Holy Spirit in the company of the Blessed Mother … engendering fresh new inspirations, hope, and vision … [Read more...]

For Thailand’s new cardinal, secularism is the face of the devil

Bangkok, Thailand, Feb 23, 2015 / 05:12 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The main challenge facing the Church today is secularism, according to Cardinal Francis Xavier Kriengsak Kovithavanij of Bangkok, who boldly called the phenomenon the devil's face in the modern world. “It is not just a challenge for the Asian Churches … all the world is facing the challenge of secularism,” Cardinal Kriengsak told CNA Feb. 20. “Secularism is the new way the devil presents himself in … [Read more...]

Australians welcome appointment of new apostolic nuncio

Canberra, Australia, Feb 19, 2015 / 12:03 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Australia's Catholics have received with joy the news that Pope Francis on Tuesday appointed Archbishop Adolfo Yllana, a Filipino native, as their apostolic nuncio. “For the bishops, priests, religious and people of our country, I am deeply grateful to Pope Francis for his nomination of Archbishop Adolfo Yllana as Apostolic Nuncio to Australia, to succeed Archbishop Paul Gallagher,” Archbishop Denis Hart of … [Read more...]

Chinese New Year bumps Ash Wednesday fasting for Asia’s Catholics

Bangkok, Thailand, Feb 17, 2015 / 12:03 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Since Ash Wednesday coincides this year with Chinese New Year – also known as Lunar New Year – many bishops in East Asia are granting dispensations from the fasting and abstinence normally required on the day which begins the season of Lent. This year, Ash Wednesday falls on Feb. 18, which is the eve of the day which begins the Year of the Goat in the Chinese calendar. “In view of the celebration of the Chinese … [Read more...]

What are the challenges facing family catechesis in India?

Shillong, India, Feb 16, 2015 / 09:09 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The Indian Catechetical Association held its ninth annual convention last week to evaluate the central challenges to both the evangelization and catechesis of families on the subcontinent. “The family, this basic cell of society and the Church, is going through a social and ecclesiastical evolution,” said Fr. Gilbert Choondal, S.D.B., president of the Indian Catechetical Association. “It is our task to reflect, … [Read more...]