National Catholic Register


Vatican Media Watch

Keeping an eye on the news from the Vatican.

BY John Lilly

April 1-7, 2007 Issue | Posted 3/27/07 at 10:00 AM


Imam Caving in to Peer Pressure?

Sheikh Mohammed Sayyed al Tantawi, imam of Sunni Islam’s highest seat of learning, al-Azhar university in Cairo, postponed his scheduled March 22 trip to meet Pope Benedict XVI, the international news service AKI reported.

In recent weeks, the highly touted visit was criticized by some Egyptian media, mainly by those who complained that Pope Benedict XVI had not clearly apologized for having offended Islam and the Prophet Muhammad in his speech in Regensburg, Germany, last September.

Cardinal to Obey Benedict’s Request to Stay

Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun of Hong Kong (l) said he will obey Pope Benedict’s request that he not retire so he can continue to participate in the mission of the Church in Asia, Agence France Presse reported.

Cardinal Zen, who has already reached the retirement age for diocesan bishops at 75, said he has been informed by the Vatican that he should stay on as Hong Kong bishop despite his repeated request to be relieved from duty.

“Obedience is fundamental duty grounded in our sacramental ordination,” the cardinal said. “I look up to the example of St. Joseph and submit myself to the will of God.”

Papal Warning Aimed at Liberation Theology’s Adherents

La Chiesa columnist Sandro Magister said that the Vatican’s criticism of liberation theologian Father Jon Sobrino was meant as a warning to the bishops, priests and laypeople of Latin America.

Distorting the truth of Jesus — as occurs, in the judgment of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in the books Jesuit Father Sobrino, major author on Christology in Latin America — is the same as distorting the truth of the Church, the meaning of its mission in the world.

This is precisely what’s said in the title Benedict XVI has given to the general assembly scheduled next month at the Aparecida in Brazil: “Disciples and missionaries of Jesus Christ, that our people may have life in him,” together with these words of Jesus in the Gospel of John: “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”