16 Notes & Comments

posted Dec 5, 2018, 8:56 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Dec 5, 2018, 8:56 AM ]

Pope lights candle for peace in Syria


"Advent is a time for hope," Pope Francis said at the Angelus on Sunday, Dec. 2. "At this time, I would like to make my own the hope of peace of the children of Syria." The Holy Father added his voice to an initiative of the international charitable foundation Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), by lighting a candle to officially kick off their 'Candles for Peace in Syria' Campaign.


Pope Francis: Advent is a time of joy-filled waiting


As the Advent season begins, it is a good time to reflect on the Christian call to joyful expectancy, finding hope and consolation in waiting for Christ, Pope Francis said Dec. 1.

"We Christians are called to safeguard and spread the joy of waiting: we await God who loves us infinitely, and at the same time, we are awaited by Him. In this way, life becomes a great betrothal," the Pope said Dec. 1.

"Tonight," he continued, "begins a time of consolation and hope, the time of Advent: a new liturgical year begins, which brings with it the novelty of our God, who is the 'God of all consolation.'"


World AIDS Day: Progress made, but more needed

vatican news

December 1 marks World AIDS Day, and this year's theme was "Know Your Status". UNAIDS estimates that more than 9.4 million people living with HIV still do not know their status. This year also marks the 30th anniversary of the day which was initiated by the World Health Organization in 1988. So what strides have been made in treating the virus? One person who has worked for many years on the issue of HIV/AIDS is Msgr Robert Vitillo, who serves as the attaché on health for the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the UN in Geneva. He said, "We still need to maintain our concern; certainly, a lot of progress has been made in terms of helping people who know that they're infected get access to anti-retroviral treatment, which means that they can live in a more healthy way and for much longer, so that's good progress. But we still have an elevated number of new infections in the world, and more people need to be tested and diagnosed, and therefore, put on treatment." 


Politicisation of Religion, Religionisation of Politics is a social spectacle in Asia


"As the increasing trend of religion assumes major roles in civil and political affairs, politicisation of religion and religionisation of politics have become a pervasive social phenomenon in Asia today," said the General Secretary of the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA), Dr Mathews George Chunakara.

Delivering the 32nd Thomas Mar Athanasius Suffragan Metropolitan Memorial Lecture on the topic 'Politicisation of Religion and Religionisation of Politics in Asia', Chunakara told the gathering at the Bethel Aramana auditorium Manganam, Kottayam in the Southern Indian state of Kerala, on November 24, 2018, that "the emerging trend with regard to religion and politics is that religion becomes a dividing force in its more intensive and durable forms; it creates not only a religious rift, but also a threat to communal and social harmony in several Asian countries that were once known for tolerance and liberal human values."