Media Watch

Catholic Priests Fall Afoul of French Law

REUTERS, Oct. 7 — Catholic chaplains in southern France have become unexpected targets of France's new law against religious dress in public schools.

Reuters reported that five priests have been refused entry to schools in the Var region even though they have long been permitted under French law to meet with Catholic students in state schools, diocesan spokesman Father Charles Mallard said.

In early October, a school in Toulon barred Father Antoine Galland for wearing a cassock, “the traditional black robe he wore last year without problem before the new law barring conspicuous religious symbols came into force,” Reuters said.

The French law, which came into effect this fall, was passed primarily to prevent Muslim girls from wearing headscarves in state schools. In order to avoid singling out Islamic symbols, the law banned all “conspicuous religious symbols” from schools, including headscarves, Jewish skullcaps and large Christian crosses.

Now, in the Toulon area, it appears that Catholic chaplains will only be allowed access to schools if they refrain from wearing traditional clerical clothing.

Said local Bishop Dominique Rey of Fréjus-Toulon, “These decisions were taken unilaterally without consulting the chaplains.”

Same-Sex ‘Marriage’ Destroys Meaning of Family

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, Oct. 12 — Mexican Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan gave a scathing denunciation of Spain's plan to legalize same-sex “marriage,” saying it would be similar to regarding household pets or pests as family members.

In an interview published in the newspaper Reforma, Cardinal Lozano Barragan noted that promoters of homosexual “marriage” often define families to mean people who are living together.

“They even give cockroaches the rank of family now because they live under the same roof,” Cardinal Lozano said. “If there's a cat, a dog, two lesbians and everything living there, it's a family.”

Added the cardinal, “One of the great goals of the culture of death is destruction of the family, so on all sides, not merely in Spain … there are these proposals that say that the family consists of all those who live beneath the same roof.”

Ugandan Chastity Program Takes Root in Kenya

CATHOLIC INFORMATION SERVICE FOR AFRICA, Oct. 13 — Catholic youth in the Archdiocese of Nairobi held drama competitions Oct. 9 to promote morality in society.

The event, sponsored by Catholic Relief Services, was part of the “Youth Alive” program. The program was begun in 1993 by Irish missionary Sister Miriam Duggan and is a key component of that country's successful abstinence-based program to combat the spread of AIDS.

Sister Venantius Munee, Youth Alive's Kenyan coordinator, said drama was chosen as the best means of preaching behavior change in order to get youths personally involved and to help them develop their talents.

“This is both a way of keeping the youth busy and allowing them to generate income from their talent,” Sister Munee said.

Since its inception in Uganda, the Youth Alive program was exported to Malawi, Tanzania and South Africa before coming to Kenya in 2003, Catholic Information Service for Africa reported.