It is the Chinese New Year, the Year of the Dog:
Xīn nián kuài lè – Have a Happy New Year. - Metro/ Amy Willis
It is the Year 4716 on the Chinese calendar.
“Pope Francis and his diplomats have been quietly pouring energy into negotiations with the Chinese government that could help end a decades-long dispute over control of the Catholic Church in the country.
“But as signs of a possible breakthrough have emerged — how bishops get ordained has long been a sticking point — some Catholics are worried. They fear that the Vatican, in its eagerness for a deal, could betray clerics and parishioners who have illicitly practiced their faith for decades and risked arrest and persecution by worshiping in the so-called underground church. They are also alarmed that a deal could end the independence for which the underground church has long stood.
“The dissension escalated on Friday as the retired archbishop of Hong Kong, Cardinal Joseph Zen, intensified his criticism of the talks, saying that a reconciliation could result in 12 million Chinese Catholics being effectively put in a Communist-controlled ‘cage.’ He has accused church bureaucrats of ‘selling out’ Chinese Catholics, and warned, ‘A church enslaved by the government is no real Catholic Church.’” - Jason Horowitz and Elisabetta Povoledo/ New York Times 2-9-18
A carbuncle is a roiled mass of skin or a beautiful gem. The incredible gem is pictured in the logo below and at the bottom of the short story section...
Kevin O'Kendley is the owner of Carbuncle Moon, and the author of all original material -- cartoons, blogs, shorts, essays, articles -- on the website (there has been a very limited editorial input in some of my work). All quoted sources are noted. I am responsible for all posts. The only blogs not time-dated are those advertising nonprofits. All nonprofits are vetted, investigated, though after the summer of 2018 my vetting has lapsed: (6/1/21).
Kevin O'Kendley: P.O. Box 172, Winterport, Maine, 04496, and 200 P Street, A-32, Sacramento, California, 95814, email@example.com.
Technical help is provided by an evolving computer genius, my son, Conor O'Kendley: A good kid with a great heart who can be reached at P.O. Box 172, Winterport, Maine, 04496. (Conor is in the Navy now, a swabby)
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