Media Watch

Information Technology for Peace

VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE, Dec. 16 — The Holy See has proposed at a recent international forum that information technology be transformed into an instrument of peace.

The Vatican Information Service reported on a talk by Archbishop John Foley, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, at the World Summit on the Information Society in Geneva, Switzerland, Dec. 11.

Media networks such as the Internet, Archbishop Foley said, “can serve the culture of dialogue, participation, solidarity and reconciliation without which peace cannot flourish. Instead of featuring violence, immorality and superficiality, [these media] could foster a more open and respectful use of information technology to build better reciprocal knowledge and respect and to foster reconciliation and a more fruitful relationship among peoples of different cultures, ideologies and religions.”

“Technology is a means,” Archbishop Foley said. “We are responsible for using it so that, in this communication age, the search for truth and true freedom might be advanced among all peoples.”

Cardinal: Trial but No Death Penalty for Hussein

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, Dec. 16 — Cardinal Renato Martino, head of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and an outspoken critic of the U.S. war in Iraq, told the Associated Press the captured Saddam Hussein should face trial for his crimes against his people and neighboring countries.

However, he said, Saddam should not face the death penalty — a punishment that is part of Iraqi law but is not available to tribunals associated with the United Nations.

It is still unclear in which venue Saddam'd trial will proceed. The cardinal also criticized the United States for televising footage of the defeated dictator'd dental exam, saying the video portrayed Saddam “like a cow.” Cardinal Martino professed “compassion” for Saddam, whom he called a “destroyed man.”

As for Saddam'd capture, Cardinal Martino was skeptical it would bring peace to Iraq, saying: “It seems illusory to hope that it will repair the drama and damage of the defeat against humanity which war always is.”

Singer Criticizes Church at Vatican Concert

ANANOVA.COM, Dec. 16 — Hip-hop singer Lauryn Hill, while performing at a Dec. 13 Christmas concert attended by leading cardinals in Rome, interrupted her performance to criticize the Church'd handling of sexual-abuse allegations.

“I did not come here to celebrate the birth of Christ with you but to ask you why you are not in mourning for his death inside this place,” she said. “God has been a witness to the corruption of his leadership, of the exploitation and abuses … by the clergy.”

According to news site, Hill told the crowd she did “not believe in representatives of God on earth.”

“Last year Lauryn Hill stepped onstage at Carnegie Hall and admitted to the crowd that her life was ‘a mess,’” commented Catholic League for Civil and Religious Rights President William Donohue in a news release. “Judging from her latest outburst in Vatican City, nothing seems to have changed. … Hill'd personal problems do not justify her rants against the Catholic Church.”