National Catholic Register


World Media Watch

Keeping an eye on the news from around the World.

BY John Lilly

January 14-20, 2007 Issue | Posted 1/10/07 at 11:00 AM


Northern Irish New Year Prayer for Peace

ASSOCIATED PRESS, Dec. 28 — Northern Ireland’s four biggest churches want peace for the New Year. Catholic Archbishop Sean Brady, Presbyterian Moderator David Clarke, Church of Ireland Archbishop Robin Eames and Methodist President Ivan McElhinney issued a joint statement saying that in 2007, they “face a year of decision which will affect our future and that of our children and grandchildren. … The decision we make will either take us forward into a shared future with a mindset of moving forward together or leave us in the past trapped by our grudges and prejudices.”

Church Helps State on Pregnancy

THE AUSTRALIAN, Jan. 2 — Australia’s Health Minister Tony Abbott (pictured) said he is confident a Church agency will be able to provide professional and independent advice to women with its new helpline service.

Despite criticism from fans of abortion and foes of religion, the Church’s health and welfare arm in Australia will provide training for pregnancy counselors. The Church will not provide direct counseling on the helpline, which will begin May 1. But Abbott said he hoped the service might reduce the number of abortions in Australia. AP Photo/Junji Kurokawa

Chinese Deny Crackdown on Priests

ASIA NEWS, Dec. 30 — On the Feast of St. John the Evangelist, Dec. 27, nine priests loyal to the Vatican were arrested. An official of the government-controlled Catholic organization called the Chinese Patriotic Association was quoted in Asia News denying his organization was behind the deed.

“The priests were arrested in north China’s Hebei province by police as they gathered to pray near the city of Baoding,” said the report. “The province has some 1.5 million Catholics, most belonging to the unofficial Church.” He added underground churches that violate the law would be dealt with by police, not the Catholic Patriotic Association. AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File

New Mess: ‘Married’ Homosexual Clergy

THE SUNDAY TIMES, Dec. 31 — The Church of England is facing a new rift over homosexual clergy with the disclosure that more than 50 homosexual or lesbian priests have “married” in civil partnership ceremonies.

Those opposed to homosexual clergy said they would force an open debate of the issue at February’s meeting of the General Synod.

“Many of these people have defied the guidance,” of the church, said George Curry, an evangelical Anglican leader. “These figures expose the bishops’ failure of leadership.”