World Media Watch

Cardinal: Islam Is Totally Diverse From Christiaity

THE TELEGRAPH, Sept. 27 — Two senior Church leaders have risked reigniting the controversy over faith schools by voicing their reservations about Christian children going to Muslim faith schools, The London Telegraph reported.

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, the head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, welcomed that fact that Jewish and Muslim parents sent their children to Catholic schools because they like the “ethos.” But he said that he would not want large numbers of Catholic children attending Muslim schools because he would not want them to be brought up “in that atmosphere.”

His remarks were echoed by the Right Reverend Tom Butler, the Church of England's Bishop of Southwark, who said he would not have sent his children to a Muslim school.

“Although religion is taken seriously in a Muslim school, I think the particular insight of Islam … is not mine,” he said. Both clerics were speaking on the BBC television program “God and the Politicians.”

Cardinal O’Connor added that, while he welcomed dialogue between the faiths, “fundamentally, the creed of Islam is totally diverse from the creed of Christianity.”

Abortion Fight Rages in Colombia

CHICAGO TRIBUNE, Sept. 27 — The public fight over abortion that has raged for decades in the United States has finally reached this intensely Catholic nation where the practice is outlawed but up to 400,000 abortions are carried out each year, the Tribune reported.

Monica Roa, a 29-year-old lawyer, ignited the debate in April when she filed a lawsuit in Colombia's Constitutional Court challenging the constitutionality of the nation's abortion ban. She also is asking the justices to legalize abortions when the unborn child is deformed and cannot survive outside the womb. One example Roa cited is anencephaly, a rare and fatal condition where the unborn children don't develop most of their brains.

Bishop Fabian Marulanda, secretary general of the Colombian Conference of Bishops, stated, however, “If we would accept the principle that a deformed child doesn't have the right to life, we would be taking part in a kind of Nazism.”

El Tiempo, Colombia's leading newspaper, published a lengthy editorial in August supporting Roa's lawsuit, which the court is expected to rule on in the next few months.

However, Catholics collected 2 million signatures defending the right to life of all unborn children.

Belgium Seeks Rwanda Priests Case

BBC NEWS, Sept. 27 — Belgium has asked Rwanda to allow the case of a Belgian priest, on charges relating to the 1994 genocide, be dealt with by Belgian justice, BBC News reported.

Foreign Minister Karel De Gucht also asked his Rwandan counterpart to return Father Guy Theunis to Belgium. Father Theunis, 60, denies reproducing articles inciting killings, in a Rwandan magazine he once edited.

Under the proposal, a Belgian judge would investigate the charges against Father Theunis and decide whether or not to prosecute.

“At first glance, we can't find any damning facts in the case, and we had a proper look,” de Gucht was quoted as telling Belgian radio.

Rwanda's Foreign Minister Charles Murigande said he would consider the request, saying, “We will need some guarantees on how the process is carried out.”