Media Watch

Scots Back St. Andrew's Holiday

BBC NEWS, Nov. 22 — The proposal to make Nov. 30, St. Andrew's Day, a national holiday is garnering increasing support in Scotland.

A poll by the whiskey distiller Glenlivet shows more than three-quarters of Scots back the idea, up from 68% in 2001. Cardinal Keith O'Brien, archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh and primate of Scotland, says his country's patron saint is “taken for granted.” Political supporters include the Scottish National Party, which believes St. Andrew's Day should be as important to Scots as St. Patrick's Day is to the Irish.

St. Andrew, brother of St. Peter, was crucified on an X-shaped cross, which became known as the St. Andrew's cross and became Scotland's national symbol after the apostle's relics were transported from Constantinople to Scotland in the eighth century.

Church Cautions Kenyan Leaders on Abortion

NAIROBI NATION, Nov. 22 — Archbishop Raphael Ndingi Mwana a' Nzeki of Nairobi has announced that the Church in Kenya will campaign against politicians who support legalized abortion in the 2007 elections.

Speaking Nov. 21, Archbishop Nzeki supported “abstinence from sex as the best option for youth, saying it had no costs or side effects.”

Abortion has come to the forefront in Kenya after Dr. John Nyamu was charged with murder after 15 aborted babies were found in garbage bags in Nairobi earlier this year. Dr. Nyamu's defense is supported by the Kenya Medical Association.

African Priests to Re-evangelize Britain

LONDON DAILY TELEGRAPH, Nov. 22 — Britain's bishops are considering a proposal to import African priests to shore up failing numbers in their country.

One hundred bishops met with the blessing of Pope John Paul II in Rome in November to consider trading African parish priests for European teaching priests. England and Wales have ordained only 18 priests this year, while Nigeria has 5,000 candidates for the priest-hood.

Archbishop John Onaiyekan, president of the African Council of Bishops' Conferences, said, “Just 150 years ago, it was Europeans who were doing the evangelizing. Now we should have two churches doing the work—Africa and Europe.”

Bishop Tom Burns, representing the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, welcomed the proposal, but cautioned, “I don't think there are any real answers to the vocations crisis unless we are able to foster our own vocations and let our people feel that they have their own priests.”

Christmas Is for Charity, not Consumerism

CATHNEWS, Nov. 23 — The Australian director of Catholic Mission has called on his countrymen to celebrate the birth of Jesus by giving to charity as “a great counter-balance to the over-commercialization that all family members, particularly children, are bombarded with in the weeks before Christmas.”

The 160-year-old Catholic Mission assists children in such under-developed countries as Albania, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kenya and Madagascar.

In a Nov. 19 press release, Father Terence Bell wrote, “It's timely to remember that for many of the world's children, it's not a choice between computer games and (cell) phones at Christmas but a matter of where their next meal is coming from.”