In brief

In brief
Hong Kong churches to commemorate Tiananmen victims

Seven churches in Hong Kong will offer candlelight vigil Masses on the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre this June.

The Diocese of Hong Kong’s Justice and Peace Commission has announced that the churches will each offer a Mass for the Dead on the night of June 4.

“For various reasons, we may not be able to speak openly, but we must not forget history,” the Catholic commission said in the May 24 announcement.

“Let us offer the life-giving holy sacrifice of the Mass that the Lord of history may look upon those who died in the spring and summer in the pursuit of truth.”


Four killed as Myanmar army shell hits Catholic church

Four people were killed after the Burmese army shelled a Catholic church in the early hours of Monday May 24.

The National Unity Government of Myanmar (NUG), which describes itself as the country’s legitimate governing authority following a February 1 coup, said that four civilians were killed and around eight others injured when the military fired a heavy artillery shell at a Catholic church in Kayan Thar Yar village in the eastern Kayah State.

The NUG said in a statement that the attack occurred at 1 am on May 24. The NUG said that children and elderly people were hiding in the church after fleeing their homes amid bombardment.


Swiss bishop appoints lay people in place of episcopal vicars

A Swiss Catholic bishop has announced that he is appointing lay people in place of episcopal vicars in his diocese.

Bishop Charles Morerod, OP, who has led the Diocese of Lausanne, Geneva, and Fribourg since 2011, revealed the decision in a May 25 interview with the Swiss Catholic Church’s website

He said that he had chosen two lay people and a deacon as his “lay representatives,” replacing three episcopal vicars.

“By virtue of Baptism, lay people have an active role in the life of the Church and should not only take care of administrative matters, but also be active in pastoral care,” he said.


English bishop warns assisted suicide could become law

England and Wales face “the very real threat” of assisted suicide becoming law, the bishops warned Catholics on the eve of the introduction of new bill to legalise the practice.

Auxiliary Bishop John Sherrington of Westminster, the lead for life issues of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, said the “aid in dying bill” would “fundamentally change the relationship between the doctor and the patient as it would change from treatment and care to assisting another’s death”.

He said the private member’s bill, due to be introduced May 26 into the House of Lords, was based on “false compassion” for sick and elderly patients.


Priest warns of crisis in Congo volcano aftermath

A missionary priest in eastern Congo is warning of a crisis after a volcanic eruption flattened homes, destroyed structures and left thousands of people displaced near the city of Goma.

Fr Dennis Dashong Pam, assistant provincial superior of the Missionaries of Africa in the Central African province, said days after the eruption, tensions were still high in the city as repeated tremors continued to shake everything and crack houses.

“Those who lived closer to the point of eruption lost everything. Houses were covered, the water reservoir that was giving water to part of the town was burned with all its pipes.