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Keeping an eye on the news from around the World.
BY John Lilly
Priest Arrested, Then Expelled
From Saudi Arabia
ASIANEWS, April 10 — Father George Joshua
of India was expelled from Saudi Arabia
for celebrating Mass, the wire service reported.
Saudi religious police arrested
Father Joshua, a priest of Kerala, India,
April 5, and he remained in custody for four days. Under shari’a (Islamic law), the practice of any religion other than Islam is
forbidden in Saudi Arabia.
Religious meetings held privately in people’s homes, among friends, are also
AsiaNews reported that Catholic foreigners
in the country number at least 1 million: None of them can participate in Mass
while they are in Saudi
Arabia. Catechism for their children —
nearly 100,000 — is also banned.
Papal Envoy Criticizes
Anti-Semitic Radio Broadcast
EKKLESIA, April 9 — Archbishop Jozef Kowalczyk, the papal nuncio
to Poland, has written to
the bishops’ conference of Poland
urging them to reprimand a Catholic radio station that has been accused of
making anti-Semitic statements, the British website reported.
According to Independent Catholic
News, the station, Radio Maryja, presented a program
March 27 that claimed that Jewish people were making an “industry” out of
Holocaust reparations. The host, Stanislaw Michalkiewicz,
is reported to have accused Jews of “trying to force our government to pay
extortion money disguised as ‘compensation payments’” for property lost during
and after World War II.
“The Holy See expresses its deep
concern about Radio Maryja’s political commitments,”
Archbishop Kowalczyk wrote in his subsequent letter
to the country’s Catholic bishops. He also urged the bishops to “overcome the
difficulties caused by some of the radio’s broadcasts and activities.”
Church Can Thwart Threat to
SPERO NEWS, April 10 — British historian
Michael Burleigh said the Church is the one religious institution that can
“speak the truth in a time of evil,” and can head off the grave threats facing
Western civilization, the news service reported.
Burleigh made his comments in a
wide-ranging interview with Inside the Vatican. He said he is hoping for a
revival of Christianity in Europe, led by an
Burleigh is the author of Earthly Powers (Harper-Collins),
published this month in America, the first of a two-volume history of religion
and politics, from the French Revolution to the present; the second volume, Sacred Causes, is to appear later this
He said the Church’s teachings
about the dignity of human life place the Church in a unique and
pivotal position to make a real difference. Despite the recent scandals in the
Church, and what he calls a “pathological anti-Catholicism” attempting to
exploit them, the time is right for the Church of Rome to act: “No other
religious body has the strength, the respect and the authority to influence the
world for the better.”