National Catholic Register


World Media Watch

Keeping an eye on the news from around the World.

BY John Lilly

April 2-8, 2006 Issue | Posted 4/3/06 at 10:00 AM


Cardinal: Catholic Hospital Must Tighten Ethics

REUTERS, March 20 — Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor called for tighter ethical measures at a fashionable Catholic hospital that is embroiled in a controversy over the  morality of abortion, Reuters reported.

Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor ordered an inquiry after the Hospital of St. John and St. Elizabeth in London decided to build an extension where doctors would operate medical services under the UK’s National Health Services. He is concerned that the doctors would be obliged under their contracts to refer women for abortions and prescribe contraceptives.

The cardinal, who is the patron of the hospital as well as archbishop of Westminster, called for “a revision and clarification of the code of ethics.” He said differences of opinion had arisen about how the code’s provisions applied to referrals for abortion, contraception and “amniocentesis for purposes other than safe delivery.”

He said, “Achieving clarity inevitably involves some discomfort and commercial risk but these are challenges which, if accepted, will secure the Hospital of St John and Elizabeth as a Catholic Institution in the tradition in which it was founded.”

Cardinal’s Appointment Honors Korean Catholics

ASIANEWS, March 24, — Cardinal Stephen Kim Su-hwan of Seoul said Pope Benedict’s naming of Cardinal Nicholas Cheong Jin-suk reflects the Holy Father’s love of the country, the news service reported.

The Pope “has given great joy to Korean Catholics and has honored the whole nation,” the cardinal emeritus said. “I had the impression that the Holy Father may consider the possibility of appointing a Korean cardinal.”

This joy is “greater still” if one considers that this is the “first consistory of Benedict XVI: He could have chosen many bishops, including from the former Soviet Union, and the fact that a Korean was included among the 15 new cardinals demonstrates how much consideration he has for Korea.”

The cardinal added, “My successor has a clear view on missionary work in Asia, including North Korea, and he is on the frontline of the pro-life struggle, so I have little advice to give him. I expressed my joy for the appointment of Cardinal Cheong in a personal meeting with the Pope, and I sought to explain to him how important the decision was for Koreans, including non-Catholic ones.”

South Korea Cloning Doctor Fired

BBC NEWS, March 20 — Dr. Hwang Woo-suk, the discredited and disgraced South Korean cloning scientist, has been fired from his professorship at Seoul National University, BBC News reported.

Hwang and six members of his team were suspended from working at the university last month pending a disciplinary investigation. The university concluded in January that Hwang had faked the key points of his stem-cell research. Before his fakery was uncovered, his research provided fuel for proponents of embryonic stem-cell research, which has proven unsuccessful, unlike adult stem-cell research, which doesn’t involve the killing of human life.

“The disciplinary committee has decided to fire Hwang and to take punitive action against six other professors,” a university spokesman told the French news agency AFP. “The professors fundamentally abandoned honesty and sincerity ... and caused the fall in the school’s honor and the country’s international confidence,” the university said in a statement.

Prosecutors are expected to wrap up their investigation soon into whether Hwang should also face criminal charges of fraud and embezzlement for the alleged misuse of millions of dollars of funds.