Media Watch

250 Christians Arrested in Lebanon

MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, Aug. 9 — Up to 250 Christian activists, including two senior Christian officials, were arrested by Lebanese troops, the Milwaukee, Wis., daily reported.

The arrests followed many Christians' demands that Syria pull its 25,000 soldiers out of Lebanon. The army said it had arrested only anti-Syrian activists holding illegal meetings.

The Maronite Catholic Church and an influential Druze politician condemned the arrests and warned of political repercussions.

Man Rams Car Into Lourdes Shrine

ASSOCIATED PRESS, Aug. 15 — A Spanish man driving a car filled with explosives rammed through the entrance of the sanctuary in Lourdes, France, the wire service reported.

The man then set the car on fire. Although 40,000 people were attending Mass to celebrate the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, no one was injured.

The man said he was trying to commit suicide and had no religious or political motive. He was taken into police custody.

Survey Shows What Religious Give to Irish Society

THE IRISH TIMES, Aug. 6 — A new survey by the Conference of Religious of Ireland attempted to determine how much priests and religious give to the “social economy,” the Irish daily reported.

For example, 80% of the care for the disabled and mentally handicapped in Ireland is done by religious.

As fewer priests and religious are available to teach and work in Irish hospitals, costs will inevitably rise, since lay workers do not adhere to a vow of poverty.

Killer of Pro-Solidarity Priest Freed

ASSOCIATED PRESS, Aug. 16 — Grzegorz Piotrowski, a former Polish secret police officer, was freed after serving 15 years for the 1984 killing a popular pro-Solidarity priest, the wire service reported.

Three other secret police officers convicted of abducting and killing Father Jerzy Popieluszko have also been freed. They were convicted in a hasty 1985 trial by the Communist government.

Poland's current government recently announced a new, independent investigation into Father Popielusko's murder. The govern-ment's National Remembrance Institute said it hoped to indict top-ranking Communist officials who are believed to have ordered the killing.

Wladyslaw Ciaston, the former deputy head of the communist-era Interior Ministry Security Service, is already being retried for possible involvement after his 1992 trial led to an acquittal for lack of evidence.

Singapore May Become Embryo Research Center

AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE, Aug. 16 — One of the top three embryonic stem-cell research companies said it would help make Singapore a center for the embryo-destroying research, the wire service reported.

ES Cell International announced plans to set up its main research and production facility in Singapore by Christmas. Singapore has no restrictions on embryonic stem-cell research yet, although a Bioethics Advisory Committee is studying the issue.

The Catholic Medical Guild of Singapore protested the announcement.