Daily Archives:May 25th, 2018

Vatican suggests ways to prevent and eradicate corruption in Wesak Day message

VATICAN – In a message for Wesak, the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue analyses the causes and ill effects of corruption and suggests ways to prevent and eradicate it.

The Vatican is inviting the world’s Buddhists and Christians to work together to combat and prevent the “heinous crime” of corruption by eradicating its underlying causes. The Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (PCID) made the call in a message released on Wednesday, 11 Apr 2018, in view of the upcoming Buddhist festival of Wesak.

“Corruption involving the abuse of positions of power for personal gain, both within the public or private sectors, has become such a pervasive scandal in today’s world that the United Nations has designated 9 December as International Anti-Corruption Day,” says the message signed by PCID President Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, and Secretary, Bishop Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot. Vatican News

Message for the Feast of Wesak which falls on 29 May 2018.

Dear Buddhist Friends,

1. On behalf of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, we extend our warmest greetings and prayerful good wishes on the occasion of Wesak. May this feast bring joy and peace to all of you, your families and your communities throughout the world.

2. We wish to reflect this year on the pressing need to promote a culture free of corruption. Corruption involving the abuse of positions of power for personal gain, both within the public and private sectors, has become such a pervasive scandal in today’s world that the United Nations has designated 9 December as International Anti-Corruption Day. As the phenomenon of corruption becomes more widespread, governments, non-governmental organisations, the media, and citizens around the world are joining together to combat this heinous crime. As religious leaders, we too must contribute to fostering a culture imbued with lawfulness and transparency.

3. Pope Francis’ monthly prayer intention for February 2018 was “Say ‘No’ to Corruption.” In denouncing “the sin of corruption,” he recognises that corruption is found throughout the world among politicians, business executives and clerics. Those who ultimately pay the price for corruption, he observes, are the poor. Recalling the words of Jesus to his disciples, “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant” (Matthew 20:26), the Pope insists, “the only road leading out of corruption […] is service. Because corruption comes from pride, from arrogance, and service is humbling: it is precisely the humble charity of helping others” (Morning Meditation, Domus Santae Marthae, 16 June 2014).

4. Dear friends, as Buddhists, you regard corruption as an unwholesome state of mind that causes suffering and contributes to an unhealthy society. You identify three principal toxins — greed, hate and delusion or ignorance — as sources of this social scourge that must be eliminated for the good of the individual and society. The Second Precept of Buddhism, “I undertake to observe the precept to abstain from taking that which is not given,” teaches Buddhists to discern whether those things that come into their possession are indeed meant for them. If such things have been taken from others illicitly, they may not rightfully be kept. Buddhist teachings and practice not only disapprove of corruption but also seek to transform the unhealthy state of mind, intentions, habits and actions of those who are corrupt.

5. Even though both our religious traditions firmly denounce the evil of corruption, we sadly acknowledge that some of our followers participate in corrupt practices and this leads to bad governance, corporate bribery and the pillaging of national assets. Corruption puts lives at risk for it is connected to low economic growth, weak investment, inflation, monetary devaluation, tax evasion, great inequality, poor education, sub-standard infrastructure, and the degradation of environment. It also threatens the health and safety of individuals and communities. People are scandalised by incompetent and corrupt politicians, ineffective legislation and the failure to investigate major corruption cases. Populist movements, sometimes motivated and sustained by religious fundamentalism, have arisen to protest the breakdown of public integrity.

6. We believe that corruption cannot be answered with silence, and that well-intentioned ideas will prove inadequate unless they are applied, and that such implementation is necessary for corruption to be eliminated. We, Buddhists and Christians, rooted in our respective ethical teachings, must work together to prevent corruption by eradicating its underlying causes and to root out corruption where it exists. In this effort, our main contribution will be to encourage our respective followers to grow in moral integrity and a sense of fairness and responsibility. Our common commitment to combating corruption must include cooperating with the media and civil society in preventing and exposing corruption; creating public awareness of corruption; holding white-collar criminals who plunder national assets accountable for their actions, regardless of their ethnic, religious, political, or class affiliations; teaching and inspiring all people, but especially politicians and public servants, to act with the utmost fiscal integrity; calling for due legal process to recover assets that are stolen through corruption and bringing to justice those responsible for this crime: encouraging more women to participate in politics: refusing to entrust with public office those engaged in illegal activities; and introducing transparent and inclusive institutions based on the rule of law for good governance, accountability, and integrity.

7. Dear friends, may we actively commit ourselves to fostering within our families, and social, political, civil, and religious institutions, an environment free of corruption, by living a life of honesty and integrity. It is in this spirit that we wish you, once again, a peaceful and joyful feast of Wesak!

Vatican official says Christians and Muslims need to move from competition to collaboration in Ramadan message

VATICAN CITY – Christians and Muslims need to move from competition to collaboration. Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran said this in the Ramadan and Aidil Fitri message dated 20 Apr 2018.

A spirit of competition has too often wounded the image of religions and their followers.

“It is important that we Christians and Muslims recall the religious and moral values that we share, while acknowledging our differences.

See below for full text of the message

Message for the month of Ramadan and Aidil Fitri

Dear Muslim Brothers and Sisters,
In his Providence, God the Almighty has granted you the opportunity to observe anew the fasting of Ramadan and to celebrate Aidil Fitri.

The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue appreciates the importance of this month and the great effort by the Muslims throughout the world to fast, pray and share the Almighty’s gifts with the poor.

Mindful of the gifts prompted by Ramadan, we join you in thanking the Merciful God for his benevolence and generosity and we extend to you our heartfelt best wishes.

The thoughts we would like to share with you on this occasion, dear Muslim brothers and sisters, concern a vital aspect of relations between Christians and Muslims: the need to move from competition to collaboration.

A spirit of competition has too often marked past relations between Christians and Muslims, the negative consequences of which are evident: jealousy, recriminations, and tensions. In some cases, these have led to violent confrontations, especially where religion has been instrumentalised, above all, due to self-interest and political motives.

Such interreligious competition wounds the image of religions and their followers, and it fosters the view that religions are not sources of peace, but of tension and violence.

To prevent and overcome these negative consequences, it is important that we, Christians and Muslims, recall the religious and moral values that we share, while acknowledging our differences. By recognising what we hold in common and by showing respect for our legitimate differences, we can more firmly establish a solid foundation for peaceful relations, moving from competition and confrontation to an effective cooperation for the common good. This particularly assists those most in need, and allows us to offer a credible witness to the Almighty’s love for the whole of humanity.

We all have the right and the duty to witness to the All-Powerful One we worship, and to share our beliefs with others, while respecting their religion and religious sentiments.

So that we may further peaceful and fraternal relations, let us work together and honour each another. In this way, we will give glory to the Almighty and promote harmony in society, which is becoming increasingly multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-cultural.

We conclude by renewing our best wishes for a fruitful fast and a joyful ‘Id, and assure you of our solidarity in prayer.

From the Vatican, April 20, 2018


source: herald malaysia

CMI ends Marian month with rosary procession

The devotees end the rosary procession from the grotto to the white statue of Our Lady at the entrance of the Church of Mary Immaculate Bukit Padang, 24 May 2018.

BUKIT PADANG – The Church of Mary Immaculate (CMI) here ended the month of May with a rosary procession on 24 May 2018.

Around 50 people attended the bilingual (English, Mandarin) rosary procession, the first in CMI’s history, around the car park with lighted candles.  The devotion ended with a potblessed fellowship at the canteen.

The different groups and ministries took part in praying the rosary in English (Mon, Tue, Thu) and Mandarin (Wed, Fri) at 7:30 pm since May 1.

Throughout the year, the rosary is recited before the 6 pm Mandarin Sunset Mass on Saturdays and before the 9 am English Mass on Sundays.

The Rosary is an important devotion that honours Mary while focusing on the events in the life of Jesus Christ.

There are twenty mysteries reflected upon in the Rosary, and these are divided into the five Joyful Mysteries (said on Monday and Saturday), the five Luminous Mysteries (said on Thursday), the five Sorrowful Mysteries (said on Tuesday and Friday), and the five Glorious Mysteries (said on Wednesday and Sunday).

The question is sometimes asked, why, of all the incidents in our Lord’s life, the Rosary only considers these particular twenty. The mysteries of the Rosary are based on the incidents in the life of Our Lord and His Mother that are celebrated in the Liturgy. There is a parallel between the main feasts honouring our Lord and his Mother in the liturgical year, and the twenty mysteries of the Rosary. Consequently, one who recites the twenty mysteries of the Rosary in one day reflects on the whole liturgical cycle that the Church commemorates during the course of each year. That is why some of the Popes have referred to the Rosary as a compendium of the Gospel. One cannot change the mysteries of the Rosary without losing the indulgences that the Church grants for the recitation of the Rosary. – www.rosarycenter.org

UCAN gets new leadership, expands into services

Father Michael Kelly SJ (L) has handed over UCAN’s executive leadership to Peter Monthienvichienchai (R).  (ucanews.com photo)

BANGKOK – The Union of Catholic Asian News (UCAN) has a new leader — Peter Monthienvichienchai, who succeeds Father Michael Kelly SJ as executive director after the latter spent almost 10 years in the job.

Peter is Thai with a doctorate in computer science from University College London and extensive experience in management, education and social media. He is the first Asian and first lay person to lead UCAN.

Peter was educated by the Benedictines at Ampleforth Abbey in York in northern England before taking his doctorate in London. He is married with two children and returned to live in Thailand after completing his postdoctorate research and working with data companies in Europe. On his return, he led St John’s International School for 10 years and then worked at senior executive level for two years in the property development sector in Bangkok.

“It’s a privilege to serve in such a unique organisation as UCAN,” Peter said. “Together with our network of correspondents throughout Asia, I look forward to enhancing UCAN’s ability to support the mission of the church and to provide the strongest voice for the voiceless of Asia.”

He started with UCAN in September 2017 as deputy executive director, chief financial officer and chief technical officer. He succeeded Father Kelly on 15 May 2018.

But Father Kelly is not leaving UCAN. He is moving sideways to take more responsibility for new ventures developed in the last three years — the daily publication of La Croix International for Bayard Presse and the English edition of La Civilta Cattolica.

Two digital projects are also in development: a booking platform for travelers who want to stay at monasteries, convents and retreat houses across the world called Good Night and God Bless (www.goodnightandgodbless.com) and a Facebook-like site dedicated to memorials for the deceased called Skymorials.

These are promising times for UCAN as it develops relationships with long-standing partners such as the Paris Foreign Mission, Maryknoll and European donors and new ventures with some of the key publishers in the Catholic world such as Bayard Presse in Paris and La Civilta Cattolicain Rome.

“I feel more than confident in Peter’s capacity, skills and vision to take UCAN to a new level of performance and service to the Catholic Church in Asia,” Father Kelly said. – ucanews.com, 23 May 2018

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