Cardinal Deplores New European Union Resolution

THE UNIVERSE, Jan. 29 — Cardinal Camillo Ruini, the Pope’s vicar for Rome, denounced the European Parliament over a resolution threatening members with legal action if they refuse to treat married and same-sex couples equally, the Catholic newspaper reported.

Cardinal Ruini decried the resolution, made Jan. 18, as “profoundly wrong and full of negative consequences.” The cardinal described the European Union’s actions as “part of moral pressure aimed at weakening the very cornerstones of our civilization.”

He also said the Church could not accept “equating the rights of homosexual couples with those of true and legitimate families.” The cardinal also emphasized what he called “the growing importance that specific anthropological and ethical problems are assuming, even in the political and legislative realm.”

In this connection, he also referred to the “widespread tendency in many countries ... to introduce norms that, while they do not respond to actual social needs, would compromise the value and functions of the legitimate family, founded on marriage, and the respect due to human life from conception to its natural end.”

Contemporary Passion Play to Air on British TV

BBC NEWS, Jan. 26 — The British Broadcasting Corp. plans to mark the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ this Easter with an hour-long live procession through the streets of Manchester, featuring pop music, BBC News reported.

The program, called “Manchester Passion,” has received support from both the Catholic Church in England and Church of England. BBC, which plans to show the event live on Good Friday, insisted the event was inspired by “the way Bach and other composers fused music and the Passion story.”

“It is a piece of contemporary theater and that is going to get people to think about the story in modern terms,” Canon Robin Gamble, canon evangelist at Manchester Cathedral, said. “It is going to come from the streets, with the sounds of traffic and people bustling around and it will make people think about this story in a new way.

Gillian Oliver, a spokeswoman for the Diocese of Manchester, said, “We are ... very pleased to be taking the Gospel on to the streets of Manchester,” she said. “Something like this can translate the old story into new terms.”

Scotland Introduces Plan to Beat Sectarianism

THE GUARDIAN, Jan. 31 — Catholic schools will be twinned with non-denominational schools in Scotland in an attempt to tackle the country’s sectarian divide, the London daily reported.

Catholic schoolchildren in Scotland are schooled separately from other children from the age of 5, but under new proposals they will come together for activities such as drama, sports and school trips.

Scotland’s First Minister Jack McConnell announced the move Jan. 30 as part of a program that he hopes will end the often bitter divide between Catholics and Protestants in Scotland. He wants to see increasing interaction between faith and non-faith schools and more cooperation in activities outside school hours. He is also pushing for more community involvement to stamp out what is often referred to as “Scotland’s secret shame.”

“Sectarianism has damaged Scotland’s reputation for far too long,” McConnell said. “It is time to stamp it out. This is a national effort, and we all have a part to play. But it is ordinary Scots who can make the biggest difference. It is in Scotland’s communities that bigoted attitudes are born and nurtured, and it is in Scotland’s communities that these attitudes can be wiped out.”