World Media Watch

Poland Brings Culture of Life to European Union

THE NEW YORK TIMES, Dec. 5 — The presence of pro-life Eastern European countries like Poland in the European Union is causing a clash of cultures with its permissive fellow members, The Times reported.

When Polish members of the European Parliament placed an anti-abortion display in a parliamentary corridor in Strasbourg, France, recently, Ana Gomes, a Socialist legislator from Portugal, had the display taken away by Parliament guards after a scuffle in which an argument ensued between Gomes and the Polish contingent.

“New groups have come in from Poland, the Czech Republic and Latvia, and Catholicism is certainly becoming a very angry voice against what it sees as a liberal E.U.,'’ said Michael Cashman, 54, a European Parliament member from Britain who has campaigned for homosexual rights.

““We want to see Europe based on a Christian ethic,'’ said Maciej Giertych, one of 10 European Parliament members from the League of Polish Families Party.

““We accept the teachings of the Catholic Church on all moral issues. If you want to know our opinions, read the opinions of the Catholic Church.''

Vandals Desecrate Eucharist in Bengali Church

REUTERS, Dec. 5 — A mob desecrated the Eucharist before setting fire to pages of the Bible at the Jalalkhali Catholic Church in West Bengal after priests objected against the activities of a local criminal gang, Reuters reported.

The attackers also destroyed furniture and stole silver chalices in what looked like “a case of local rowdies disturbing the Church authorities because the priests were leading a campaign against crime,” police officer Biswarup Ghosh said.

No one was injured in the attack, he said, adding that one person had been arrested in connection with the case.

Father Antony Kariyattil, the church's pastor, said Church leaders had repeatedly protested against local gangs who teased girls, disturbed worshippers and indulged in petty crime.

South African Court Allows Same-Sex “Marriage'

WASHINGTON POST, Dec. 2 — South Africa's highest court ruled that homosexuals have a right to marry, and it gave the national parliament one year to change the words “husband” and “wife” to “spouse” in its marital laws, according to the Post.

Under the ruling, which was greeted with frustration by some Church leaders, South Africa will become the first African nation and the fifth in the world to extend full marital rights to same-sex couples.

The Catholic Church in South Africa stated it will never recognize marriages between same-sex couples, which are “disordered” relationships.

The Southern African Catholics Bishops conference said in a statement that it will oppose the measure in Parliament.