Hong Kong cardinal warns against Vatican-China deal

Published: Friday, February 09, 2018 @ 11:42 AM
Updated: Friday, February 09, 2018 @ 11:41 AM


            Retired archbishop of Hong Kong Cardinal Joseph Zen gestures during an interview in Hong Kong, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. Zen has warned that a deal between the Vatican and China that cedes too much power to Beijing would place the country's Catholic followers in a big
Retired archbishop of Hong Kong Cardinal Joseph Zen gestures during an interview in Hong Kong, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. Zen has warned that a deal between the Vatican and China that cedes too much power to Beijing would place the country's Catholic followers in a big "birdcage." (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

Hong Kong's retired archbishop warned Friday that a deal between the Vatican and China that cedes too much power to Beijing would place the country's Catholic followers in a big "birdcage."

Cardinal Joseph Zen said the Holy See should abandon talks with China over contentious bishop nominations if it would have to compromise too much to please the country's Communist rulers.

Zen compared China's "underground" Catholics to birds and said Beijing wants "the Vatican to help them to get all those birds into the cage."

Zen's comments come as tensions rise over a possible deal between the Vatican and Beijing.

The Roman Catholic Church is pushing for a historic breakthrough in relations with China but negotiations have touched off a bitter dispute inside the church.

Zen, 86, said there's no reason at the moment to believe in any goodwill from Beijing on working toward a reasonable compromise.

The feisty and outspoken Zen, who retired in 2009, has been a longtime critic of China. In recent blog posts, he has slammed the talks as a catastrophe and described making a desperate journey to Rome in a personal effort to prevent a legitimate underground bishop from being replaced by an excommunicated one favored by Beijing.

"The Communist government just wants the church to surrender, because they want complete control, not only of the Catholic church but all the religions," Zen told reporters at the hillside Salesian monastery where he lives. "If that's true then there's no hope of getting a good agreement and ... at a certain moment you must say we cannot solve the problem, the problems are there so we go home, when we have anything new we come again."

China broke off relations with the Holy See in 1951, after the officially atheist Communist Party took power and established its own church.

The Vatican, particularly under Pope Francis, is has been eager to reach a deal with the Chinese government and unite the churches. A sticking point in the secret negotiations is whether Rome or Beijing has the final say over bishop appointments.

Unconfirmed reports say the Vatican is close to a compromise with China, which has an estimated 12 million Catholics. About half worship in underground churches that recognize only Rome as their highest authority while the rest belong to state-authorized churches with clergy named by Beijing.

Though the Vatican has claimed bishop ordination as its right, both sides had an unwritten agreement allowing Beijing to pick candidates that the Holy See would consider and then tacitly endorse. Though the deal wasn't always adhered to, it generally prevented Beijing from appointing bishops that the Vatican would consider flawed for personal or doctrinal reasons.

Zen weighed in on recent news reports suggesting that such an arrangement would be formalized, effectively giving the pope veto power over future bishop candidates.

"Sounds wonderful, but it's fake," Zen said, adding that if the pope uses his veto too often, "the Chinese government will say: tell the whole world the pope is not reasonable."

He added that he would prefer giving the pope the power of appointment and letting China veto.

___

This version corrects the short headline that Zen is a cardinal but retired as archbishop.

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Twitter reflects on legacy of Billy Graham after news of his death

Published: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 @ 10:20 AM

Billy Graham Dead at 99

People are mourning the loss of influential evangelist Billy Graham after news of his death broke early Wednesday. He was 99.

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Born William Franklin Graham in North Carolina, the religious leader was known as “America’s pastor.” He also had a huge global following through his radio and television ministry, reaching millions.

Throughout his career, which spanned more than 70 years, he developed relationships with politicians and activists, including the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Presidents Harry Truman, Richard Nixon and Barack Obama.

As details regarding his death hit the internet, many flocked to social media to write condolences. Several said they were sad to hear about his passing.

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Some praised him for his dedication and passion, while also reflecting on the lives he affected. Many called him “kind” and “amazing.”

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Others chimed in with their favorite quotes from Graham. 

While a few criticized some of his preachings and political ideas, they still expressed their respect for him. 

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Monkey, dog live inseparable lives

Published: Monday, February 19, 2018 @ 11:44 AM

WATCH: Dog and Monkey Have Inseparable Bond

A Capuchin monkey and a dog have made an unlikely pair in Colombia.

The dog, according Reuters, recently lost her litter of pups. She then became a surrogate mother of sorts to the monkey, Reuters reported.

Now the two are the best of unusual friends, Sky News reported.

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But their friendship may soon be forced to come to an end. 

The monkey becomes upset when anyone gets near them, so the Environmental and Ecological Protection Police took the dog and monkey and could separate them, returning the monkey to the wild, the Independent reported. But there could be a hiccup to their plan. The Independent reported that the Capuchins in the wild may not welcome the monkey into their group.

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Couple who lost everything in fire wins $1 million lottery

Published: Thursday, February 15, 2018 @ 11:30 AM

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A couple in Canada can now start rebuilding their lives after they were big winners in the Atlantic Lottery.

Bill Pendergast and his wife accepted a $1 million check this month, nearly two years after their home and all their belongings were destroyed in a wildfire.

The May 2016 Fort McMurray wildfire destroyed their home, along with about 10 percent of the Alberta, Canada, town, the BBC reported.

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Pendergast was recently visiting his sick father in Newfoundland, who ask him to get a soda at a store, the BBC reported. He bought a ticket at the local gas station on a whim. The next morning, he found out he was a new millionaire, CNN reported. He then called his wife, who hopped on a plane to Newfoundland to help her husband cash in on his newfound money, CNN reported.

The money, the couple said, will be used mostly to help put the pieces back together, including finishing construction on their new home, CBC reported.

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“Our rebuild should be finished in the next two to four months, so this is going to go a long way towards that,” Pendergast told CBC.

The family, including the couple’s five sons, is also going to take a family vacation, CBC reported.

But there is one thing the lucky winner always wanted that will now become a reality.

“I have always wanted a Mustang, and I will finally have one, I’m 100% sure of that,” Pendergast told CNN.

FILE PHOTO(Andy Marlin/Getty Images)

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London City Airport shuts down due to unexploded WWII bomb

Published: Monday, February 12, 2018 @ 1:59 PM
Updated: Monday, February 12, 2018 @ 1:59 PM

London City Airport canceled all flights in and out of it after a 1,100-pound bomb was found. The WWII-era bomb was found nearby in the River Thames. The airport is situated in an area of London heavily bombed by the Germans in WWII.

All flights in and out of London City Airport were canceled Monday after a 500-kilogram (1,100-pound) unexploded World War II-era bomb was found nearby in the River Thames.

The Metropolitan Police service cleared an area within 214 meters (700 feet) of the bomb, including several residential streets, as officers worked with specialists from the Royal Navy to remove the device.

Police said the bomb was discovered Sunday at the George V Dock during pre-planned work at City Airport. They described it as a 1.5-meter (5-foot) shell that was lying in a bed of dense silt.

"The first stage of the removal operation is to free the shell from the silt so that it can be floated for removal," police said in a statement.

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Local officials offered emergency accommodations to residents and said work to remove the bomb would continue into Tuesday.

Airport CEO Robert Sinclair said he recognizes that passengers will be inconvenienced but said the airport is cooperating fully with authorities "to resolve the situation as quickly as possible."

London City, the smallest of London's international airports, handled 4.5 million passengers last year. Popular with business travelers, it's located in east London's docklands, an area that was heavily bombed during World War II.

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