Media Watch

Poland Had Doctors at the Ready

ASSOCIATED PRESS, Aug. 9 — Elite medical teams and a hospital were set aside in Pope John Paul II's old home city of Krakow, Poland, for his visit Aug. 16-19, according to Associated Press.

Poland Deputy Health Minister Aleksander Nauman said the country prepared thoroughly to care both for the sickly Pope and the needs of the estimated 4 million pilgrims who attended.

New Vatican Envoy to Khartoum

AFRICAN CHURCH INFORMATION SERVICE, Aug. 12 — War-torn Sudan, where Christians have been persecuted through war and induced famine for more than a decade, has a new apostolic nuncio, Bishop Dominique Mamberti.

According to the African Church Information Service, Cardinal Angelo Sodano hailed the Church in Sudan “for its involvement in evangelization and human development,” noted the sufferings of Christians in that country and said the Church asked for nothing more in Sudan than “the freedom to proclaim the Gospel as a message of peace and hope.”

Lebanese President Congratulates Pope

THE DAILY STAR (LEBANON), Aug. 10 — Lebanese President Emile Lahoud congratulated Pope John Paul II on the success of World Youth Day in Canada, according to the Lebanese paper The Daily Star.

In a letter, Lahoud described the event as “an opportunity for youth from all over the globe to gather and share their spiritual experiences and values together in a world threatened by winds of divisions, anxiety and uncertainty.” He added: “I am sure that this new generation of youth ... is capable of constructing a loving civilization, unshaken by world divisions.”

Lebanon, once a successful multireligious society, fell into a vicious, decade-long civil war. Christians began having smaller families than Muslims in the 1960s, upsetting the balance of power enshrined in its 1930s constitution.

Now the nation struggles to rebuild as younger Christians stream out to Europe and the United States as refugees and the country lies under the heavy hand of Syrian occupation.

Catholic-Muslim Accord Announced

VATICAN PRESS OFFICE, Aug. 9 — According to a release published by the Holy See's press office, the Islamic-Catholic Liaison Committee, which met in England in mid-July, has issued its final report.

The Muslim attendees were led by Professor Kamel Al-Sharif, secretary general of the International Islamic Council for Da'wah and Relief. Catholics were led by Cardinal Francis Arinze. Their report stated:

“We affirm that our religions both teach that Almighty God has created all people equal in dignity, and therefore we reject every form of racism.

“We condemn the racist practices which exist today in many societies and we accept our responsibility to endeavor to eliminate misconceptions and prejudices which in turn generate racial discrimination.

“We call upon individuals, educational and social institutions and the media to join this effort against racism.

“We believe that adherence to religious values and engaging in dialogue to achieve mutual understanding and mutual respect are conducive to a world of justice and peace.

“We commit ourselves to continue to promote a culture of dialogue and to work together in order to introduce this culture of dialogue into our respective communities and more specifically in educational and cultural programs.”