National Catholic Register


World Media Watch

BY John Lilly

May 7-13, 2006 Issue | Posted 5/8/06 at 10:00 AM


New Church Opens Its Doors to More Worshippers

GULF TIMES, April 23 — The Catholic community in Ras Al Khaimah, Dubai, has seen its congregation triple since they took possession of their own worship space, the Middle Eastern daily reported.

Catholics in Dubai began using St. Anthony of Padua Church in mid-December following a fire that devastated St. Luke Church, where they had worshipped for about four years. The Catholics, along with other Christian denominations, used St. Luke’s for worship but lack of space limited the size of congregations there.

Masses are held in a variety of languages, including Latin, English, Malayalam and Arabic and attract worshippers from a number of different countries including Lebanon, the Philippines and India.

“At our last three Masses, we had a total of about 3,600 people, which is excellent,” said Baby Mathew. “The whole community is very much pleased that we are using our own church now.”

Cardinal Issues Plea for the Environment

DAILY INQUIRER, April 23 — Speaking from one of the world’s most infamous symbols of environmental destruction, Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales urged a greater respect for nature, the Philippine daily reported.

“Give the earth back its primal strength by respecting the laws of nature instead of abusing its bounty for greed and profit,” he said in his homily during Mass at Manila’s Smokey Mountain, once a massive heap of trash that stood for years as a symbol of poverty in the country. The cardinal led environmentalists, businessmen and government officials, including President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, in celebrating Earth Day at the former mountain of shame, which is now a resettlement site.

Cardinal Rosales said, “God has shown humans, through tragic experience, that nature has a way of fighting back, if only to protect them and their future.”

Croatian Bishop Seeks ‘Decency Zone’

ASSOCIATED PRESS, April 25 — Bishop Ivan Kordic of the northwestern Croatian island of Krk has asked public officials to declare a “decency zone” in the city’s center, Associated Press reported.

In a letter, Bishop Kordic said “scarcely dressed” summer tourists wearing nothing but swimsuits “harm the morale, the spirit and the soul” of other people in the city. The Church has already successfully fought against sex education that promoted use of contraceptives and for the longtime practice of keeping retailers closed on Sunday. But this task may prove harder to accomplish.

Tourist officials and many residents have already rejected the idea, arguing that in Krk, as most other Croatian tourist resorts, city centers are adjacent to beaches and it is therefore normal for people to walk around, have a drink or do some shopping in their swimsuits. Besides, a dress code could put off tourists, who are responsible for most of the island’s — and the country’s — hard currency income, they said.

“It’s quite logical that one should be dressed decently when entering a holy place,” Majda Sale, a local tourist worker, told a local newspaper. “But walking in public places is a question of personal freedoms and a good taste.”