Media Watch

Bolivia: Catholic Radio and TV Stations Bombed

INDEPENDENT CATHOLIC NEWS, Oct. 17 — In the popular turmoil that led to the ousting of Bolivian President Hugo Banzer, Catholic media outlets were attacked, reports Independent Catholic News.

Radio PIO XII in Oruro, named for Pope Pius XII, and Channel 13 University Television station were both subject to bombs aimed at their broadcasting transmitters.

SIGNIS, the World Catholic Association for Communication, sent a message of solidarity to the staff of both stations: “We support them and all Bolivian communicators who have been subjected to threats and violence while covering the current social conflict. We encourage them to continue to build through their work a culture of peace, justice and respect for human rights. We call upon the Bolivian authorities to guarantee the freedom and integrity of the communicators … and of all journalists.”

Bosnian Islamist Leader's Nazi Ties Rate a Yawn

THE NEW YORK TIMES, Oct. 20 — In reporting the death of Alija Izetbegovic, the former president of Bosnia, The New York Times dismissed his published intention to transform that polyglot region of the former Yugoslavia into an Islamic state.

The paper spoke instead of his “dream of a Muslim-led independent Bosnia and Herzegovina,” admitting that the Bosnia which resulted from the clash among Muslims, Catholic Croats, and Serbs was “an international protectorate with few prospects for future unity.”

Mentioned only briefly in Izetbegovic's Times obituary was his involvement with Nazi collaborators during World War II — a charge which has widely (and falsely) been made against the recently beatified Croatian Cardinal Aloysius Stepinac. Cardinal Stepinac resoundingly condemned the atrocities committed by the self-styled “Catholic” regime which the Nazis had imposed upon the conquered Croats.

The Times wrote blandly of Izetbegovic: “During World War II, when Bosnia became part of the puppet-Nazi state of the Croatian Ustashe, Mr. Izetbegovic joined the Young Muslims, a group torn between siding with the German-sponsored Handzar divisions organized by the German SS or with the Yugoslav Communist partisans led by Josip Broz Tito. Mr. Izetbegovic supported the Handzars.”

The paper did mention that Izetbegovic's embattled Muslim government received aid from Osama bin Laden — who visited him in Sarajevo in 1993, and carried a Bosnian passport.

The Christian Martyrs of India

CHIESA.COM, Oct. 16 — The Italian Church news Web site Chiesa.com reported that Christians in India may feel uplifted by the beatification of Mother Teresa of Calcutta — but they have few other consolations. It cited ongoing attacks sponsored by Hindu fundamentalist groups — some associated with the ruling party of India, the BJP. It noted that on Oct. 7, Father Sajeevanand Swami, 52, of Kerala, was killed by a gang of six Hindu activists, who opposed his work to help local farmers.

Chiesa.com quoted Archbishop Vincent Concessao of Delhi, who told Pope John Paul II during an “ad limina” visit Sept. 6, “We have had martyrs who have lost their lives and those who have been brutally beaten up and imprisoned and at times have to live under constant threat and danger of being attacked particularly in the remote rural areas of our dioceses where they are very poor and few in number.”

Archbishop Concessao said that where laws have been passed restricting conversions, evangelization has become extremely difficult and even human development work is looked upon with suspicion.

Pope Francis waves to pilgrims during his Angelus address August 30, 2020.

Pope Francis: The Path to Holiness Requires Spiritual Combat

Reflecting on Sunday’s Gospel, the pope said that “living a Christian life is not made up of dreams or beautiful aspirations, but of concrete commitments, in order to open ourselves ever more to God's will and to love for our brothers and sisters.”