National Catholic Register

News

World Media Watch

BY John Lilly

April 30-May 6, 2006 Issue | Posted 5/1/06 at 10:00 AM

 

TV Personality Cured of Skepticism

BBC NEWS, April 12 — British television personality Roger Bolton had his skepticism shaken on a recent trip to the Marian shrine at Lourdes, BBC News reported.

Bolton was sent to Lourdes to report on miracles in the Church. He said he was “brought up in the evangelical Protestant Christian tradition that disapproves of the prominence given to the Virgin Mary, dismisses any talk of her appearing to Bernadette in Lourdes, and positively revolts at the suggestion that the sick should go there to be cured.”

He added, “But when I went to that little town in the French Pyrenees, armed with my skepticism, I was strangely impressed.” He said he was impressed with the fact that the Church has a very rigorous screening process in place to evaluate the thousands of claims of miracles that are put forward, and that the Church was interested in something even more substantive.

“The Church is more concerned with what might be called miracles of the soul,” said Bolton, “and there is no doubt that for many the pilgrimage to Lourdes is a life-changing experience. … Is that a miracle? Whatever it’s called, it is something wonderful.”

Hindu Politician Attacks ‘Christian Proselytizing’

ASIANEWS, April 18 — Former Deputy Prime Minister Lal Krishna Advani continued the Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party’s attack on Christianity when he accused evangelicals of a “conversion campaign,” AsiaNews reported.

“Organized foreign-funded conversion campaign by evangelical groups is a threat to national integration and Hindu society,” Advani claimed. “We will raise our voice strongly in favor of a national as well as state-level legislation prohibiting religious conversions through inducements or coercion.”

Father Babu Joseph, spokesman for the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, said, “By harping on a non-issue like religious conversion in India, Mr. Advani has been conveniently side-stepping the real social and national issues staring in our face.

“The problem of poverty, unemployment, lack of education institutions and communal tensions, to mention a few, are actually posing a serious threat to our national unity and security,” Father Joseph noted, and “Mr. Advani would have been doing a far greater service to this country if he had spoken about the need to bring communal harmony, ensure better employment opportunities and distribution of land to the landless laborers.”

Filipino Bible Expert Assails Da Vinci Code

PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER, April 17 — Father Regino Cortes is the latest to publish a book to refute Dan Brown’s outrageous claims in The Da Vinci Code, which denies the divinity of Christ, among other things, the Manila daily reported.

Father Cortes, professor of sacred Scripture at the University of Santo Tomas, wrote The Da Vinci Code: An Exegetical Review. He joins a growing list of Brown debunkers. One of the books is The Da Vinci Hoax, Carl Olson and Sandra Miesel, which was released recently in the Philippines.

Father Cortes, 64, is an appointee of the late Pope John Paul II at the Vatican’s Pontifical Biblical Commission. He said, “I’m just concerned about the truth.”

“Some people are confused; some are easily swayed,” he admitted. “But there are also good Catholics who know that the book is full of lies. But they don’t know how to respond to it intellectually — with facts.”