Guy Fawkes Fireworks Spark Battles

THE UNIVERSE, Nov. 7 — Muslims aren’t the only ones burning the Pope in effigy. British subjects celebrate Guy Fawkes day on Nov. 5 by setting off fireworks and, in some cases, burning an effigy of the Pope.

The celebrations commemorate the foiling of a Catholic plan to blow up London’s parliament building in 1605.

Guy Fawkes was executed as part of the Gunpowder Plot. A modern-day namesake has condemned the annual celebration. Fawkes, who teaches science in north London, wants fireworks banned, reported the U.K. Catholic weekly.

In South Africa this year, a child lost fingers in a fireworks accident on Guy Fawkes day.

In Canada, dogs fled in fear at the sound of Guy Fawkes fireworks in a Toronto suburb. Eight were struck by cars and killed.

In England, Green movement activists called for an end to the yearly bonfires and fireworks because they say they contribute to global warming.

In New Zealand, firefighters complained of a strain on resources that compromised safety as firefighters were called to battle blazes sparked by Guy Fawkes fireworks.

Kenya Catholics Fight AIDS

CATHOLIC INFORMATION SERVICE FOR AFRICA, Nov. 7 —
Catholics in Kenya say enough is enough. The tragic spread of AIDS in Africa is caused by one thing only: promiscuity. And Catholics there say the only way to fight promiscuity is by promoting abstinence, reports the Catholic Information Service for Africa.

Ironically, promoting condoms has the opposite effect — causing more promiscuity. And since condoms aren’t used 100% of the time even at their highest usage rate, and since they are not always effective even when they’re used, that only causes more deaths.

The Catholic Church in Kenya unveiled its national policy on HIV/AIDS the first week in November, said the service.  

“This We Teach and Do,” was launched Nov. 10 at Resurrection Garden, Nairobi, where the Catholic Bishops of Kenya are holding a plenary meeting.

“Some 1.27 million Kenyans, half of them women, are living with HIV,” said the report. “The prevalence rate dropped marginally from 6.1% in 2005 to 5.9% this year.”

Braveheart II? Polish Highland Catholics

GLASGOW DAILY RECORD, Nov. 8 — There are more Catholics in Scotland than there have been for years. The reason? Polish immigrants, said a report in the Scottish daily.

“Congregations have swollen by up to 50,000 since Poland and other former eastern bloc states joined the EU in 2004,” said the report.

About 20,000 Polish Catholics have boosted Mass attendance in Edinburgh. Thousands of Slovaks and Slovenians boost Catholic numbers in the Highlands and Aberdeen.

The story quoted a Church spokesman saying:  “It is the biggest increase since Irish immigration at the end of the 1900s. People are always happy to see a further regeneration, as we are not having enough kids and we are seeing a large scale of emigration.”

By contrast, said the story, the Protestant Church of Scotland’s membership has plunged by 25% in a decade.