Media Watch

Vatican: Homosexuality Has No 'Social Value'

THE GUARDIAN (U.K.), April 1 — The Holy See has issued a 900-page lexicon designed to help Catholics cut through the jargon used in reports by the United Nations and various international agencies frequently to obscure or distort the moral content of policy documents.

In it, the Vatican debunked such euphemisms as “safe sex” and “reproductive health” and insisted the condition of homosexuality has no “social value” — to the predictable outrage of gay activists.

The Guardian called the 900-page Lexicon On Ambiguous and Colloquial Terms About Family Life and Ethical Questions“one of the Vatican's most scathing attacks yet on what it considers deteriorating social values.”

The newspaper quoted the book as saying “Leaders who encourage the use of condoms for safe sex are running a commercially motivated ‘exercise in self-justification.'"

It added that the book accused pro-condom forces of “concealing the fact that tests show condoms don't work 10% of the time.”

Pagan Games Return

REUTERS, March 31 — Some 40 Italians gathered in Rome's Colosseum on March 31 wearing breastplates and plumed helmets to stage a gladiatorial combat in defiance of police, according to Reuters.

“After 2,000 years, Rome is reliving the revolt of the centurions,” read the banner they held.

The gladiators generally make a living posing with tourists for photographs and staged the games as a protest against Italian authorities, who banned them from the historic ruin.

“How dare they say that we disfigure the Colosseum?” asked Franco Magni, a.k.a. “Brutus,” a swordsman dressed in sandals and armor.

The barelegged centurions and gladiators waved swords, raised fists and chanted “we want to work” to the smiles and flashbulbs of passing tourists with cameras.

Roman authorities have criticized the gladiators for wearing “tacky uniforms” and using cheap plastic swords, and proposed regulations that would require more authentic outfits.

Hang-Glider Tries Protest at St. Peter's

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, March 28 — An Austrian peace activist landed his hang glider in a deserted St. Peter's Square early March 28 and tried to post an anti-war sign only to be arrested, Associated Press reported.

The 26-year-old flyboy was awaited by some seven supporters who held video cameras and banners and were likewise held by Italian authorities.

The man landed at about 6:30 a.m. local time, when the square was virtually empty, police said.

Vatican airspace — which, the AP noted, does not include an airport — is closed to aviators.