Tag Archives: 2018-11

UNHCR urges “decisive action” for some 12 million stateless people

UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said eliminating statelessness is the right thing to do, “humanly, ethically and politically”.

Stateless minority Rohingya people of Myanmar as refugees in Bangladesh. (AFP or licensors)

The United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR on Monday appealed to governments to take “decisive action” to eliminate the problem of statelessness, saying an estimated 12 million people may be its victims.

Regarding it as a grave human rights issue, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said eliminating the problem is the right thing to do, “ humanly , ethically and politically”.

In international law, a stateless person is one “who is not considered as a national by any State under the operation of its law”.  Statelessness can occur for several reasons, including discrimination against particular ethnic or religious groups, or on the basis of gender.

Fundamental human rights

Grandi said that stateless people “still face huge barriers to exercising fundamental human rights”, such as education, medical care or legal employment, and called on states to tackle discrimination in nationality laws, which is regarded as the biggest driver of the problem.

He called on “politicians, governments and legislators around the world to act now, to take and support decisive action to eliminate statelessness globally by 2024.”

“Humanly, ethically and politically it is the right thing to do. Every person on this planet has the right to nationality and the right to say I BELONG,” he said.

Countless in limbo

Grandi’s appeal came four years after the launch of UNHCR’s 10-year  #IBelong campaign to eradicate statelessness globally, in recognition that millions remain stateless and living in limbo around the world, with the majority in Asia and Africa.

According to UNHCR, no region of the world is untouched by statelessness with some countries having hundreds of thousands of stateless persons.

The very nature of statelessness means it is difficult to determine exactly how many people are affected, or at risk. In 2017, approximately 70 countries reported 3.9 million stateless individuals. But UNHCR estimates that this is only a fraction of the total and the true number could be three times higher.

Only 25 countries around the world retain gender discrimination in their legislation that prevents mothers from conferring their nationality to their children on an equal basis as men.

Among the targets of Sustainable Development Goals adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, is Goal 16, which calls for the elimination of statelessness, i.e. ensuring legal identity for all by 2030. – Robin Gomes (Source: UNHCR) 

Pope at Mass: bishop, a humble and meek servant, not a prince

During Mass, Monday morning, Pope Francis spoke about the qualities of a bishop that St. Paul speaks about in his letter to Titus.

Pope Francis at Mass on November 12, 2018. (Vatican Media)

A humble and meek servant, not a prince.  This is what a bishop should be according to Pope Francis.  Celebrating Holy Mass, Monday morning, at the Casa Santa Marta in the Vatican, he delivered a homily outlining the qualities of a bishop.

He took his cue from the Letter of St. Paul to Titus in the day’s Mass, that describes in detail the figure of a bishop, to bring order in the Church.

Church not born in complete order

The Pope pointed out that the Church was born amidst zeal and disorder but also “admirable things” were accomplished.  He noted that there is always confusion and disorder with the power of the Holy Spirit but we must not be afraid because it is a beautiful sign.

Speaking in Italian, the Pope explained that the Church was never born with everything in order, in place, without problems, or confusion – never.  However this confusion, this disorder, he said, must be resolved and put in order.  As an example, he pointed to the first Council of Jerusalem where there was a struggle between judaizers and non – judaizers , but the Council finally fixed the problem.  

Bishop, administrator of God not of goods

Pope Francis said that St. Paul leaves Titus in Crete to set things right, reminding him that “the first thing is faith“. At the same time, he provides some criteria and instructions on the figure of the bishop.

The Pope outlined the definition of a bishop as a “steward of God”, not of goods, power, mutual self-interest but only the interest of God.  The bishop always has to correct and ask himself, “Am I an administrator of God or a businessman?”  The bishop, the administrator of God must be irreproachable – something that God asked of Abraham: “Walk in my presence and be irreproachable”. This, the Pope said, is the basic quality of a leader.

Qualities of bishop

Pope Francis also spoke about what a bishop should not be.  He should not be arrogant or conceited, ill-tempered or giving in to drinking, one of the most common vices in Paul’s time, not a businessman or attached to money.  He said it would be a calamity for the Church if a bishop had only one of these defects. Instead, a bishop should be able to “give hospitality”, a “lover of good”, “sensible, just, holy, master of himself, faithful to the Word worthy of the faith that he was taught”.

The Holy Father said it would be nice to ask these questions at the beginning of an investigation before the election of bishops, before going ahead with other inquiries.  

According to Pope Francis, a bishop, above all must be humble and meek, a servant not a prince. This, he said, is the Word of God.  This, he said, is not something new after Vatican II but goes back much earlier to the time of Paul.  This is from the beginning when the Church realized that it had to fix the problem of bishops.

What counts before God is not being nice and preaching well but humility and service.  The Pope concluded urging for prayers for bishops so that “they may be, or we may be, as Paul asks us to be”. – Robin Gomes, Vatican news

Pope: 100 years from the ‘senseless slaughter’. We must invest in peace, not in war

At the Angelus, Pope Francis remembers the end of the Great War, and asks everyone to “reject the culture of war”. The gesture of St. Martin, of sharing with the poor, “shows everyone the way to build peace”. The “poor and generous widow as a model of Christian life to be imitated”. “To give to the Lord and our brothers and sisters not something of ours, but ourselves”. Thirteen consecrated men and three lay faithful, martyrs of the Spanish civil war, beatified in Barcelona. Next Sunday, November 18, the second World Day of the Poor is celebrated.

Vatican City – “Invest in peace, not war!” this was the appeal that, after the Angelus, Pope Francis addressed today to the whole world in memory of the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War, which Benedict XVI defined “the senseless slaughter”. It is estimated that the war of 1915-1918 was one of the bloodiest with 37 million dead, counting 16 million killed and 20 million injured and mutilated both military and civilians.

Recalling that at 13.30 the bells of St. Peter, along with those of the whole world will sound in remembrance of the end of the conflict, Francis added that the memory of the 100 years “is a severe warning to reject the culture of war and to look for every legitimate means to put an end to the conflicts that still bleed several regions of the world “.

“While we pray for all the victims of that terrible tragedy – he continued – we say forcefully: invest in peace, not in war! And, as an emblematic sign, we take that of the great Saint Martin of Tours, who we remember today: he cut his cloak in two to share it with a poor man. This gesture of human solidarity indicates to everyone the way to build peace “.

Previously, commenting on today’s Gospel (32nd Sunday for year, B, Mark 12, 38-44), the Pope compared the two characters present in the passage: “the scribe and the widow. The first represents the important, rich, influential people; the other represents the last, the poor, the weak “.

The superiority and the vanity of the scribes, “leads them to contempt for those who count little or are in a disadvantageous economic position, like widows”. The widow instead, “goes to put in the treasury of the temple two coins, all that remained, she makes her offer trying to go unnoticed, almost ashamed. But, precisely in this humility, she performs an act charged with great religious and spiritual significance. That gesture full of sacrifice does not escape the attentive gaze of Jesus, who in fact sees the total gift of self shine to which he wants to educate his disciples “.

“Our ‘giving’ to God in prayer and to others in charity – he emphasized – should always shy away from ritualism and formalism, as well as from the logic of calculation, and be an expression of gratuitousness. Just as Jesus did. Jesus did not make us pay for redemption! … This is why Jesus indicates that poor and generous widow as a model of Christian life to be imitated … May the Virgin Mary, a poor woman who gave herself totally to God,  sustain us in the purpose of giving to the Lord and to the brothers not something of us, but ourselves, in a humble and generous offering “.

After the Marian prayer, Francis said that yesterday in Barcelona, ​​Fr. Teodoro Illera del Olmo (1883-1936) and fifteen fellow martyrs were beatified. These are thirteen consecrated persons and three lay faithful. “These new blesseds – the pontiff said – were all killed for their faith, in different places and dates, during the war and religious persecution of the last century in Spain. We praise the Lord for these courageous witnesses “. And he asked those present to applaud them.

Finally, the Pope recalled that next Sunday, November 18, the Second World Day of the Poor will be celebrated, with many initiatives of evangelization, prayer and sharing.

The Day was commissioned precisely by Pope Francis, to sensitize the world to sharing with the poor. “Even here in St. Peter’s Square – he said – a health clinic has been set up which will offer treatment to those in need for a week. I hope that this Day will foster an increasing attention to the needs of the last and the marginalized “. – AsiaNews, 11 Nov 2018

Tribute to the builder of CMI

Fr Thomas Sham

On the blessed occasion of Silver Jubilee celebration of CMI Church, it would not be complete without a dedication to its founder.  As an honour to his memory and contribution, here is a tribute to CMI builder, Fr. Thomas Sham (1920-2004):

Born on 15 Feb 1920 in Putatan, Thomas was the fifth child in a brood of three boys and four girls born to Lucas Sham Koi Yun and Helen Lee Kyun Yin.  The elder Sham was from China who sought his fortune in Borneo and later settled down in Putatan with a local girl.  He was converted to the Catholic Faith by Thomas Lee (Father of Abp Emeritus John Lee) who founded the Putatan Chinese School.

Thomas studied at the Putatan Chinese School from 1928-1932.  With his mother’s blessing he entered the Jesselton Minor Seminary.

Thomas attributed his vocation to a “man in white.”

When he was nine, he was walking with his brother to school when he saw a man in white clothing. “I was awestruck and attracted by the way the man was dressed up, especially in white.  Somehow, something happened and I wanted to dress like him when I grew up,” Thomas said. He asked his brother who the man was and was told that he was a priest (Fr. Joseph Felix Shek).

Baptised in 1932, Thomas was sent to the Major Regional Seminary in Hong Kong with Francis, the brother of Abp Emeritus Lee. He was ordained on 16 July 1946 in Canton China. Back in Borneo by ship in October 1946, Father Thomas served in Tawau, Papar, Kudat, Jesselton, Sandakan, Telipok, Kota Kinabalu, and Tanjung Aru.

Fr. Thomas decided to stay in Tanjung Aru after retiring from active ministry in 2000. Despite failing health, he continued to concelebrate Mass with his successor Father Fundes Motiung. He died on 17 Nov 2004 at the Sabah Medical Centre, Likas where he had been admitted since Nov 6.  He was 84. He was buried at the Mile 4.5 Catholic Cemetery Penampang Road by his nephew Father David Sham.

Well-known as a builder, Thomas acquired mission lands for construction or extension of church and school buildings, one of which is the Church of Mary Immaculate Bukit Padang.

Architect’s impression of CMI Extension (Right Angle)

Going back in history … how it all began

CMI was officiated and blessed by then Bishop John Lee on 31 October 1993.  It was a grand affair with  ribbon cutting and Eucharistic celebration in English and Chinese. But this is only a part of the church’s history.

As we go back further, the story started in 1990 as extracted from the archive of the Catholic Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu:

It came about when Fr Thomas Sham, who was then the pastor of the Sacred Heart Cathedral (1987-1988), noticed the way parishioners literally had to force their way into the church compound for services, which parishioners who were leaving had to undergo a similar ordeal.  That was when he remembered that the church owned a 2.2 acre piece of property in Bukit Padang.

After consultation with Bishop John Lee, Fr Sham approached the state finance ministry officials to explore the possibility of government assistance to put up a new church on that property.  He was met with positive response.

Within three months of coming to serve at SHC, Fr Sham put into motion a plan to build a new church.   CMI also underwent two changes of names before the present name was finally agreed upon.  The previous names were “Church of Our Lady Queen of Peace” and “Church of Mary Immaculate Conception”- CMI SOCCOM

Remembering the beginnings of 25-year old Church and those who built her

Church of Mary Immaculate, with its unique hands-clasped bell tower, Bukit Padang

BUKIT PADANG – When a momentous occasion such as a Silver Jubilee approaches, the first thing that everyone would be looking forward to is a celebration to commemorate the occasion.

When it comes to a church such as Church of Mary Immaculate (CMI), not only is it momentous but it is also a historical event for many people over 25 years and beyond that.

Although the celebration would be looked forward to, but it is the past that we have to go back to so that we are reminded of how God had worked through these individuals, both religious and lay people, who were chosen to build a church, where the communities have grown bit by bit over the years, and now has become one family.

This is reflected in the theme of CMI’s 25 years dedication: “Celebrating Our Journey Together as a Family of Faith”.

The Uniqueness of CMI

CMI is a triangular-shaped building with a 60-ft hands-clasped-in-prayer bell tower equipped with an electric chime.

The concept of the unique bell tower came from retired Town and Regional Planning Department Director, Datuk Thasius Joeman, a member of the building committee in 1990.

This was disclosed in an interview with him by the Silver Jubilee Committee at the church canteen on 8 April 2018 in conjunction with CMI’s 25 years of dedication. Present also was Thomas Koh, a PWD senior officer who was the treasurer of the building committee.

Joeman said he proposed the concept to founder Father Thomas Sham who in turn brought him to see Bishop John Lee.  It is utterly unique as Joeman said, he has not seen that design during his years of travel around the globe.

Joeman said he was thankful that the bishop accepted the proposal just as he did the idea of having a church on the ground and not having a hall beneath the church.  Earlier, the original design by Paul Chong to have a hall beneath the church had been approved by the bishop.

The retired director said he related to the bishop his experience in Sibu when he attended a Mass in a church that has a hall beneath the church.  He could not concentrate on the Mass because of the noise coming from the basement hall.  He also highlighted the point that it might be difficult to climb the stairs to enter the church as one ages.

After 25 years, the praying hands bell tower with electric chime is still unique and has become a landmark in the suburban area of Bukit Padang.

The Dedication

For the Silver Jubilee celebration, an organizing committee was formed to plan and carry out the jubilee activities from May 2018 onwards. It began with the monthly movie nights featuring “Mary of Nazareth”, “Lourdes” and “Fatima” from May to July; Parish Pilgrimage to the Church of Divine Mercy KKIP in August;  Exhibition by Ministries/Groups in September; Triduum leading to the Thanksgiving Mass and dinner on Sunday Oct 28.  As a weekly preparation until October, a Jubilee prayer was recited during Saturday and Sunday Masses as well as petition for specific groups/ministries in the Prayer of the Faithful.  A souvenir magazine and some souvenir items have been on sale as well.

The Future of the Church is the Community

Now that the construction of the building of the Church of Mary, Immaculate is completed, it is important that we proceed with the community building.  A Church without a community is not a Church. A Church’s community is a Christian Community. A Christian Community is a believing and evangelizing community and, a community in dialogue with God and at the service of others.” (Message from Bishop John Lee on the occasion of the Blessing of the Church of Mary Immaculate on 31 October 1993).

The church community has been steadily growing and now is in need of better facilities. With this in mind, an approval was given by Archbishop John Wong to proceed with the extension of CMI.

This extension will see the construction of a multipurpose hall, classrooms, additional toilets, canteen and rectory. An unveiling of this extension was done alongside the launching of the Silver Jubilee Exhibition in September.

In his message, parish priest Fr Paul Lo said the building of the multipurpose hall will provide facilities for the church activities, especially catechetical ministries and youth programs.  He added that he believed that this building project would mark the beginning of the establishment of this church as a parish in the near future. – Sources: Silver Jubilee Committee (Sr Anna Yap) / CMI SOCCOM / CMI Building Committee

Without God, social media is ‘destructive’  

The archbishop Mgr Villegas tells online missionaries that if people use the new forms of communication irresponsibly, they “can divide and deceive” and cause the “slow death for our cherished values and virtues”.

Manila – Social media are a “blessing from God” but “without God” they can become “destructive”, this according to Mgr Socrates Buenaventura Villegas, archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan.

Mgr Villegas (pictured) makes the point in his message for the upcoming Catholic Social Media Summit (CSMS), which is organised by Youth Pinoy, a group of online missionaries, in co-operation with Areopagus Communications and the Media Office of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.

The theme of the meeting, which will be held at the Siena College in Quezon City on 17 November, is #Activate, and is expected to draw online missionaries like young professionals, social media managers, diocesan communicators and religious, congregations and communities from across the country.

Mgr Villegas warns though that using the new forms of communication irresponsibly “can “divide and mislead” people, causing the “slow death our cherished values and virtues”.

The former CBCP president notes that social media without ethics “spoil human progress and render development meaningless”.

“We need social media with God, for the service of God and for the glory of God,” he said. “Then and only then can this latest of human inventions also become the best of human creations”.

In his view, “Social media is power because it can teach, it can ignite, it can inspire. It is a powerful human invention that continues to evolve and get better every minute”. – AsiaNews/CBCPNews

Food waste: Deadlier than Malaria

An FAO report highlights the extent of food waste, the repercussions it has on a global scale, and the benefits that would come from reducing it.

Farmers in India (AFP or licensors)

“The scale and pace of food production would not need to increase…to feed an extra 1 billion people by 2030.” This is according to a report released this week by the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture organisation (FAO). The message FAO, along with other non-governmental organisations, is trying to get across on a global level is simple: 3 billion people worldwide are affected by poor-quality diets but there is neither a lack of food, nor a lack in food quality upon production.

If you don’t steal, don’t waste

In fact, the report states that the loss in the food quality and quantity occurs after its production. In low-income countries “food is mostly lost during harvesting, storage, processing and transportation”, whereas in high-income countries “the problem is one of waste at retail and consumer levels”. Basically, low-income countries face a lack of infrastructure, whereas in high-income countries carelessness and “waste at the end of the food chain” prevail. Pope Francis once stated that “wasting food is like stealing from the poor”.

Hunger: the deadliest disease

It is shocking to see that one in every five deaths globally are associated with poor diets. The report explains that poor diets are caused by consuming poor-quality foods as well as by a general lack of food, of any sort. More people die from not receiving the appropriate amount of food and nutrients that they are entitled to than from threatening illnesses like malaria and tuberculosis. This makes little sense when you consider that food production is totally within human control.

The fact that “one third of all food produced for human consumption never reaches the consumer’s plate”, sheds light on why FAO is urging us to “prioritise the reduction of food-loss and waste as a way of improving people’s access to nutritious and healthy food”.

Fixing one fixes three

The report analyses the benefits that would come from reducing loss and waste in nutritious foods. It would not only be the horrific hunger and malnutrition that would be tackled. When humanity for some reason cannot be put at the top of other people’s list of priorities, very often money can and “the value of food lost or wasted annually at the global level is estimated at $ 1 trillion” should be motivating enough to consider acting. Because said action would also yield substantial benefits for the natural environment.

The changes proposed in the report would “contribute to the efficiencies needed to address climate change”; “unlock savings in water and energy consumption, land use, and resources used in industrial food fortification”. Humanity, the environment and money. Three of what can be considered the most prominent aspects of life on earth, tackled by approaching one global issue.

The benefits of tackling this global issue should be more appealing than the negative outcomes that come from ignoring it: “addressing loss and waste of nutritious foods should be a specific new priority for improving nutrition” and the report highlights some of the ways in which this could be feasible through policy actions, Public-Private partnerships, non-profit interventions and the use of innovative technologies. – Francesca Merlo, Vatican news, 08 Nov 2018

Second Christian-Taoist Colloquium – Seven Key Points of Agreement

Cathedral_of_the_Good_Shepherd_new_nave – Wikimedia Commons

Singapore -The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (PCID), the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore, and the Taoist Federation of Singapore (TFS) jointly organized the Second Christian-Taoist Colloquium in Singapore from November 5-7, 2018. The theme of the Colloquium was “Christian and Taoist Ethics in Dialogue.” Seventy Christian and Taoist scholars and practitioners of interreligious dialogue mainly from Singapore but also from China, France, South Korea, Malaysia, Switzerland, Taiwan, and the Vatican, took part in this event. The participants included a representative each from the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences and the World Council of Churches.

Tan Thiam Lye, Chairman TFS, gave the welcome address and several other representatives offered their greetings. H.E. Bishop Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, Secretary PCID, delivered the keynote address.

The Colloquium focused on the following topics: Today’s Crisis of Ethics and Hope for Tomorrow; Taoist and Christian Responses to the Crisis of Ethics; Social Institutions and the Transformation of Human Persons; Spiritual Development and Self-Cultivation; Global Ethics and the Interdependency of All Human Beings; Fostering a United and Harmonious Society; and Emerging Orientations for Future Christian-Taoist Engagement. The program also included cultural and interreligious visits to the Taoist Kew Ong Yah Temple, the Catholic Church of the Transfiguration, and the Harmony in Diversity Gallery.

Following their spiritual and interdisciplinary exchanges, the participants agreed on the following:

  1. We acknowledge that the Second Christian-Taoist Colloquium has helped strengthen our bonds of friendship and nurture our desire for further collaboration.
  2. We shared our concerns and hopes for the future.
  3. We affirm – because of the fundamental ethical teachings of our religious traditions to do good and avoid evil – that no one can escape the moral responsibility of transforming unjust socioeconomic, political, cultural, religious and legal structures.
  4. We recognize that today’s crisis of ethics requires a rediscovery of universal values based on social justice, integral ecology, as well as the dignity of human life at every stage and circumstance. Therefore, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) remains a shared fundamental expression of human conscience for our times and offers a solid basis for promoting a more just world.
  5. We believe in the capacity of our religious traditions to inspire a multi-faceted response to the challenges of our times. Therefore, it is necessary to improve the methods of communication our traditions and stories in a language that is easily understandable.
  6. We believe that families, educational institutions, and religious communities are places of spiritual and moral formation where today’s youth can learn to shape tomorrow’s world into a better place.
  7. We have seen that interpersonal and scholarly exchanges between our religious traditions enabled us to work together to shape the ethical frameworks needed for the common good of this and future generations. – Zenit.org, 08 Nov 2018

Ethiopian Catholic Church glad with first female President

The Catholic Church in Ethiopia is optimistic that the election of Sahle-Work Zewde as the country’s first female president will Inspire women and girls to reach their full potential as influential actors in society.

Ethiopia’s first female president, Sahle-Work Zewde (AFP or licensors)

The Ethiopian Catholic Church says it is pleased that women in Ethiopia are getting their rightful place in the development of the country. According to a statement from the Ethiopian Catholic Secretariat, it is a blessing to see that Ethiopians are recognising the invaluable talent women have to offer to the integral development of the nation.  The Church’s affirmation came in a statement made available to Vatican Radio’s Africa Service, following the recent election of Sahle-Work Zewde as the first female President of the Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.

Appointment normalises women as decision makers in public life

Ethiopian Members of Parliament recently elected the veteran diplomat as its first-ever female head of state to succeed former president, Mulatu Tehsome, who recently resigned following a cabinet reshuffle. This makes Sahle-Work the only female head of state in Africa after Liberia’s Ellen Johnson Sirleaf completed her term of office this year.

The office of president in Ethiopia is mostly ceremonial.

Ethiopia’s defacto leader, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed welcomed the election of the new head of state saying, “In a patriarchal society such as ours, the appointment of a female head of state not only sets the standard for the future but also normalises women as decision-makers in public life.”

An inspiration for girls and other women

In Ethiopia, the Catholic Church has for years worked towards the empowerment of women, by providing young girls with education and opportunities for them to explore their potential. The Church hopes that the election of a woman to the Presidency will inspire other women and young girls throughout the country to recognise their potential and strive to become influential actors in the international arena. – Africa Service, Vatican News, 06Nov2018

Christians in dialogue with Taoists

Discovering common values through Christian Scriptures and saints and Taoist holy writings and sages can lead to building a more harmonious society.

Stained glass windows portraying 4 saints (Christian Baum / Bonsai Multimedia)

Christian and Taoist scholars met for a Colloquium in Singapore from 5-7 November. In an interview with Sr Bernadette Reis, Fr Indunil Kodithuwakku, Undersecretary of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, spoke about how Christians and Taoists can contribute to resolving the crisis of ethics.

Colloquium background

Fr Kodithuwakku explained that the first Colloquium was held in Taiwan in 2014. The theme for the second Colloquium is on ethics. He said that the Colloquium can be characterized as a Christian-Taoist dialogue because the World Council of Churches was represented, as well as the Presbyterian and Anglican traditions. The majority of the 70 participants were from Singapore. Others came from Taiwan, mainland China, Hong Kong, South Korea, France, Malaysia and Switzerland.

Crisis of ethics

The world is facing an ethical crisis, Fr Kodithuwakku said. “Both Christians and Taoists have the spiritual resources to respond to this ethical crisis”. In the first part of the Colloquium, the crisis itself was analyzed. Scholars then presented the teachings of Jesus and St Paul, Lao-Tzu and other Taoist sages. After looking at the sacred writings of both traditions, “we tried to find some of the orientations, some solutions to make the world a better place”.


In addition, both traditions presented aspects of their spiritual heritage. Fr Kodithuwakku mentioned that St Teresa of Avila and St Ignatius were 2 saints proposed from the Christian tradition. “We saw many similarities”, he said. “The human person is looking for something beyond this world. There are different spiritual paths, but there are also convergences”.

Building a harmonious society

Naming the common values then allowed the participants to plan what they can do together to “build a harmonious society, or for Christians, the Kingdom of God, together”. – Sr Bernadette Mary Reis, fsp, Vatican News, 07 Nov 2018


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