EU to Monitor Pro-Life Groups

INDEPENDENT CATHOLIC NEWS, May 12 – The European Union has a different understanding of freedom than the one Americans are used to.

In the European Union, groups with extremist views are routinely ruled illegal, and spokesmen for “anti-democratic” viewpoints sometimes go to jail. Now the EU has turned its eyes on the pro-life movement – which is much weaker in Europe than in the United States.

Independent Catholic News reported that the European Union has set up a unit to monitor the activities of life advocates.

Peter Smith, of the British-based Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child, lodged a protest at the European Parliament, saying, “I am a British taxpayer working for a voluntary organization. It is galling in the extreme to know that my taxes, some of which are used to fund the commission, will go to employing people whose job could be to refute the good quality material which I give to [members of the European Parliament] on matters such as abortion.

“Not only do pro-abortion nongovernmental organizations get EU funding, but EU money is now also going to this attempt to thwart our good work in defense of mothers and their unborn children. However, in the end, the truth will [come] out.”

Catholic-Rights Activists Mourn Sisulu

CATHOLIC INSTITUTE FOR INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, May 12 – In an obituary for Walter Sisulu, an anti-apartheid activist in the African National Congress who died May 5, Ian Linden, former director of the British-based Catholic Institute for International Relations, reflected on what he'd learned from meeting Sisulu: “There is only one word to use to speak of the quality that such [a man] radiated: spirituality. Walter Sisulu had the spirituality that grew from political struggle. [The Catholic Institute for International Relations] will be thinking of his distinguished widow and family at this time and, I know, will hope always to discover and celebrate that spirituality in its work.”

Iraq Priest Launches Appeal for Country's Christians

FIDES, May 9 – “After 12 years of U.N. sanctions, many people in Iraq are extremely poor,” Father Nizar Semaan of the Diocese of Niniveh told Fides, the Vatican missionary news agency. “Those who suffered most in these 12 years were the middle class and the most needy, who in the last two or three years have struggled with a state of dire poverty.”

In the wake of the U.S.-led war, Father Semaan said Iraqis “must think only of the future. It is not worthy of Christians to cry over the past; we look ahead because we are full of hope. This is why I hope the conscience of the world will soon awaken to relieve the needs of the Iraqi people.”

Father Semaan called on “the Christians of the world, particularly Church organizations, to bring help to Iraqi Christians.”