News from Home, World and the Vatican

News selected by Catholic Lawyers Society Kuala Lumpur (CLS) for Catholics in Malaysia concerned about social justice and peace.

Includes CLS Internal News | CLS in the News | CLS Press Statements

Two Judges Recuse Themselves From Contentious Interfaith Custody Cases

The two judges who had advised the attorney-general (A-G) on unilateral child conversions have disqualified themselves from hearing two contentious interfaith custody cases.

Datuk Linton Albert, who chaired the three-man bench, told the Court of Appeal that Datuk Mohd Zawawi Salleh and Datuk Umi Kalthum Abdul Majid had opted out to avoid conflict of interest.

"I have consulted them and they have recused themselves because justice must also be seen to be done." Read more »

Hamid Revealed Racial Prejudice In High Court Judgment, Says Retired Judge

Former chief justice Tun Abdul Hamid Mohamad, who has come under fire for his incendiary comments that the position of Islam is under threat in Penang, had revealed his racial and religious prejudice in a decision on a civil case which he heard as a High Court judge in the 90s, says a former federal court judge.

Retired Federal Court judge Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram said he had sat on a Court of Appeal bench in 1996 which came across Hamid’s decision in a civil case that belied his prejudice. Read more »

Christians Worldwide Mobilize For Iraqi Church

“We need more than words now, we need concrete actions; we need the solidarity of Christians worldwide not to be afraid to talk about this tragedy”, says Archbishop Amel Nona of Mosul speaking to Vatican Radio over the phone from Nineveh province, Northern Iraq.

As if in response to this plea, over the past 24 hours, a campaign has been mounting in the global twitter sphere to stand with Iraqi Christians under the hashtag #WeAreN: This refers to the Arabic letter ن, or "n", which Islamic State militants have left on some doorways in areas under their control to indicate that the inhabitants are "Nazarene" or Christian. Read more »

High Court Orders Return Of “Allah” CDs

The High Court today ordered the eight “Allah” CDs which the Home Ministry confiscated more than six years ago to be returned to clerk Jill Ireland.

Kuala Lumpur High Court (Appellate and Special Powers) judge Justice Zaleha Yusof quashed the Home Minister’s decision to seize the religious CDs on the grounds that the CDs used prohibited terms and breached Malaysia Islamic Development Department (Jakim) guidelines.

She also ordered the CDs returned to the owner. Read more »

Viewpoint: Social Justice and the Witness of the Saints - By Brandon Vogt

An interview with Brandon Vogt, whose new book examines Catholic social teaching through the lives and witness of fourteen Blesseds and Saints

“Catholic social teaching has explosive power for changing not just individuals, but whole societies. And it's the saints who light the fuse,” writes Brandon Vogt, author of Saints and Social Justice(Our Sunday Visitor, 2014). In this newly released book, Vogt introduces us to saints both familiar and unfamiliar and demonstrates how their lives offer a living model to putting the Church’s social teaching in action. He spoke with Catholic World Report recently about the true meaning of “social justice” and how it can be better learned and lived today. Read more »

Catholic Lawyers Offer Free Advice

On 22nd June, the Catholic Lawyers gathered together at the church of St Paul the Hermit, Batang Berjuntai, (Bestari Jaya) on the occasion of the feast of St Thomas More, the patron saint of the society.

In conjunction with the feast day and in line with our motto as Catholic Lawyers Society (CLS), and living out its faith through love and service, the Catholic lawyers chose to celebrate the feast of their patron, by way of service. Read more »

No Survey Will Stop Us From Enforcing Hudud, It’s God’s Orders, Says PAS

PAS will remain undeterred in their move to enforce hudud in Kelantan, despite the latest survey by an independent pollster showing Malaysians were not in favour of it, the party’s vice-president said today.

“No matter how many surveys are conducted, hudud is still compulsory for Muslims.

“PAS wants to implement hudud not because of any surveys or research but because it is God’s orders,” Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man told The Malaysian Insider. Read more »

CLS Press Statement: CLS Offers Our Deepest Condolences To Families Of MH17

The Catholic Lawyers Society of Malaysia (CLS) wishes to express its deepest condolences to the families of those on board MH17.

The CLS calls for a full and comprehensive investigation to identify and bring to justice the perpetrators of this henious crime that has robbed so many of their lives and loved ones.

In the meantime, we pray that God will comfort and hold all those who have been so unjustly subjected to this painful experience. Read more »

Christ The Teacher: The Kingdom Is Like Treasure Buried In A Field

Three parables follow in quick succession – the treasure in the field, the pearl of great price, and the dragnet which brings in a haul of fish.

All these are stories of the Kingdom of Heaven seen from different points of view.

The first two parables – the treasure in the field and the pearl of great price – are addressed to the individual, unlike most other parables which are addressed to the group. Read more »

CLS Press Statement: CLS Welcomes New Archbishop Of Kuala Lumpur

The Catholic Lawyers’ Society, Kuala Lumpur congratulates and welcomes our new Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur, Archbishop Elect Most Rev. Julian Leow Beng Kim.

On 3 July, 2014 Pope Francis appointed Father Julian Leow Beng Kim, 50,  as the new archbishop of Kuala Lumpur.

His Excellency, Archbishop Joseph Marino, the Apostolic Nuncio to Malaysia made the announcement at the archbishop’s residence in Kuala Lumpur. Read more »

Viewpoint: Being a Catholic Lawyer Today – By Dr. Charles E. Rice

So you choose your law school, and your courses, with an eye to learning law rather than ideology.

And if you are even younger, choose undergrad courses that will make you think.

“Ninety-nine percent of the lawyers give the rest of us a bad name.” “What do you call a lawyer floating face down in the lake? A good start.” We all know the jokes.

Unfortunately, they have the ring of truth. Read more »

Only One Way Out For Malaysians Seeking To Drop Muslim Status?

Do Malaysians who no longer identify as Muslims have any recourse beyond subjecting themselves to the Shariah system that only recognises adherents of Islam?

With the recent furore over the disruptions of a Taoist funeral and a Hindu wedding by state religious authorities claiming that Muslims were involved, renewed attention has been focused on non―Muslims wishing to dispute official records of their Muslim identity. Read more »

Path To Leave Islam Simple But Far From Easy

An Indian woman whose Hindu wedding was recently disrupted by Selangor Islamic officials insisting she is Muslim despite her efforts to leave Islam has again put the spotlight on the difficulties in exiting the religion.

Like many Malaysians who dispute their official identities as Muslims, she was told to go to the Shariah courts in order to remove the status from her official documents. Read more »

Archbiship John Ha: Federal Government Has Competence To Rescind Ban On Use Of The Word “Allah”

Like all Heads of Churches – and for that matter, like most, if not all Christians – I am very disappointed by and deeply concerned over the implications of the Federal Court’s decision not to grant leave to the Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur to bring the “Herald case” (the ban of the use of the term “Allah” by the Herald) to the Federal Court.

Nonetheless, there is the consolation that the decision was not unanimous. Three of the seven judges on the panel gave a dissenting decision. Read more »

Muslim Groups Fight For Church’s Right To Use Allah

Christians are not alone in their struggle to use the word "Allah" in Malaysia, as Muslim non-governmental organisations (NGO) have taken it upon themselves to educate fellow Malays that the word predates Islam. Islamic NGOs, such as Sisters in Islam (SIS) and the Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF), have taken to social media to spread awareness on the issue, bringing with them views that are a far cry from the threats and exclusivity espoused by groups such as Perkasa and Isma. Read more »

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