Catholic Protesters Clash With Police in China

REUTERS, Aug. 3 — Nearly 100 members of China’s underground Church clashed with police in the north of the country in early August, demanding the release of an arrested bishop and priest, reported Reuters.

About 500 police attacked the group in Zhangbei county in Hebei province when they demanded the “immediate release” of 82-year-old Bishop Yao Liang and Father Li Huisheng, the Cardinal Kung Foundation said. It did not say why they had been arrested.

About 90 Catholics were arrested during the clashes with the police, during which two men were injured and a pregnant woman had a miscarriage. A government official reached by telephone said that the Catholics had caused “chaos” but denied there had been a clash between them and the police.

Cardinal Criticizes ‘State-Sponsored’ Sectarianism

SCOTSMAN, Aug. 6 — Cardinal Keith O’Brien claimed the British state promotes “state-sponsored sectarian discrimination” and Scotland remains afflicted by a “shadowy sectarian culture” that continues to blight many parts of the country, the Scottish daily reported.

Speaking Aug. 6, the cardinal launched a fresh attack against the Act of Settlement, the 300–year old law which prevents Roman Catholics or those who marry Catholics from ascending to the throne of Great Britain.

Cardinal O’Brien’s comments come on the seventh anniversary of the explosive speech by Scots Catholic composer James MacMillan, who claimed in 1999 that sectarianism remained “Scotland’s shame.” MacMillan said that while the matter has improved since his lecture, anti-Catholic feeling still lingers under the surface across the country.

However, Cardinal O’Brien said that until the British constitution is changed to amend the Act of Settlement, sectarianism will always thrive. He said: “Our constitution contains legislation that describes my faith as ‘the popish religion’ and defines me and my co-religionists as ‘papists.’ That this arcanely offensive language enjoys legal sanction is outrageous. Anyone who seriously believes that introducing legislation aimed at eradicating sectarian attacks, which are often verbal, while elements of the very lexicon of hate they seek to abolish remain on our statute books is indulging in willful ignorance.”

India Has No Plans to Legalize Euthanasia

TIMES OF INDIA, Aug. 1 — Despite strong demands from different corners in favor of euthanasia, the Indian government said it had no plans to give it legal status, the India daily reported.

The categorical rejection of mercy killing comes in the wake of recent demands from people and organizations who have petitioned the government seeking permission to commit suicide.

Significantly, the government also put a halt to future speculation, saying that it would not consider any such application. Minister of State for Law and Justice K. Venkatapathy said, “Government is not considering giving legal status to euthanasia. To this date, law has not permitted it and application for the same cannot be entertained.”