World Media Watch

Indonesia Puts Execution of Catholics on Hold

CYBERCAST NEWS SERVICE, April 3 — Indonesian authorities postponed the planned execution of three Catholics who were convicted of leading violent incidents against Muslims, the news service’s website reported.

Fabianus Tibo, 62, Dominggus da Silva, 42, and Marianus Riwu, 48, were supposed to be executed by firing squad March 31 or April 1, but judicial authorities announced a delay, citing “technical reasons” without elaborating, Indonesian media reported. The three men were convicted in April 2001 of involvement in incidents of premeditated murder.
Human Rights Watch said in a report the court had “failed to conduct the trial professionally.” Supporters of the trio say they have been made scapegoats to protect others involved in the violence.
Just days prior to the postponement, Pope Benedict XVI sent a message of support to the three by way of an Indonesian Catholic leader.

England’s Prime Minister Primed for Conversion?


INDEPENDENT ONLINE, April 2 — Prime Minister Tony Blair is attending private Mass at his Downing Street home, fueling speculation that he will convert to Catholicism when he leaves office, the London daily reported.

Franciscan Father Michael Seed, who ministered to Members of Parliament Ann Widdecombe and John Gummer during their conversion, has also celebrated Mass at Chequers, the Prime Minister’s country residence. Blair’s wife is Catholic, but Blair, who is Anglican, cannot receive Communion.

The Blairs have been attending Mass at Downing Street and Chequers since 2003, after concerns about security — following the invasion of Iraq — prevented them attending Mass in church.

Blair is well known for saying that he would be judged by God over his decision to support the American invasion of Iraq.

Scotland Funds Abstinence Programs

SUNDAY HERALD, April 2 — The executive branch of the Scottish Parliament is planning to fund an abstinence-based sex education program to combat the culture of death, the Glasgow-based paper reported.

Ministers are to fund the almost $300,000 project that will set itself against “artificial contraception.” The new initiative, entitled Called to Love, will instead promote marriage and the sanctity of human life.

The program, which will be launched in Catholic schools in the summer, will develop materials, a website and training for staff which place the teachings of the Church “at the heart” of guidance for pupils on relationships and sex.

Catholic education leaders have told the Sunday Herald this will mean a focus on delaying sex until marriage, and that condoms and other such contraceptives will not be promoted. They also say issues surrounding abortion will not be addressed as it “isn’t part of sex education.”

The Earth is Not Our Mother

“The main point of Christianity was this: that Nature is not our mother: Nature is our sister. We can be proud of her beauty, since we have the same father; but she has no authority over us; we have to admire, but not to imitate.”—G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy