Media Watch

Zambian Nun: Western Fashions Fuel AIDS

THE POST (Lusaka, Zambia), Aug. 4 — Sister Petronella Bweupe's message to Zambian women may not be fashionable to Western ears, but she believes it's a lifesaver: Modest dress is key to preventing AIDS.

Sister Bweupe, the HIV/AIDS coordinator for the Diocese of Mansa, told the Lusaka Post that Western styles of dress are contributing to risky sexual activity among young Zambians.

The nun bluntly advised Zambians to discard the immoral habits that are contributing to the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

“Under our traditions, Zambian girls are taught how to hide what men are not supposed to see in public,” Sister Bweupe said. “We cannot talk about behavioral change when people see what they are not supposed to see in public.”

Chile's ‘Anonymous Superheroes’ Honored

CATHOLIC NEWS AGENCY, Aug. 6 — The Chilean office of Aid to the Church in Need has launched a campaign called “Superheroes Anonymous” to highlight the selfless dedication of Catholics who make their daily lives a “heroic adventure” of service.

Aid to the Church in Need, an international apostolate founded 52 years ago in Holland by Father Werenfried van Straaten, said individuals singled out for recognition are “real people whose names have been changed to respect their anonymity. They are people who give of themselves completely to those threatened by drug use, delinquency, persecution or the loss of values.”

Catholic News Agency reported that the “Superheroes” singled out for recognition include: “Pedro, a young man who has built three chapels and is not an engineer. Tom's, a priest who travels thousands of kilometers on foot in order to minister to the faithful. Carmen, a cloistered nun, and Juan, a lay Catholic, who risk their freedom distributing thousands of Bibles in Cuba.”

Said Aid to the Church in Need, “In a world in which entertainment celebrities have become the primary role models, we need to highlight the examples of thousands of anonymous superheroes who not only give of their financial resources, but also give of themselves completely.”

Philippines Cardinal Rejects Two-Child Policy

PHILIPPINES DAILY INQUIRER, Aug. 8 — Cardinal Ricardo Vidal of Cebu has denounced a proposed two-child population policy that some legislators are currently pushing in Asia's only predominantly Catholic country.

“Life is a gift,” Cardinal Vidal said. “I don't think we have to limit God's gift to us, otherwise he will limit his gift for us.”

The Philippines Daily Inquirer reported that the cardinal also rejected the alleged link between poverty and the Philippines’ robust fertility rate, saying that vices like greed were actually to blame.

Cardinal Vidal stressed that while parents have a right to control their family size, it is only moral to do this through the use of natural family-planning techniques.

Estrella Yapha, chairman of the province of Cebu's health committee, agreed that the proposed bill would violate the right of couples to determine the number of their children. She told the Daily Inquirer that instead of population control, the Philippines’ government should focus on programs that would help couples meet their families’ needs.