World Media Watch

Da Vinci Code Is not for Children

UPI, Jan. 12 — Opus Dei wants children protected from seeing director Ron Howard`s film The Da Vinci Code, United Press International reported.

“Any adult with a minimum of education can distinguish reality from fiction,” Opus Dei spokesman Marc Carroggio said. “But when history is manipulated, you cannot expect a child to make proper judgments.”

Opus Dei figures centrally in Brown`s plot in a less-than-flattering depiction. Carroggio said Opus Dei would not organize boycotts of the film, scheduled for a May release.

He said the movie demonizes the Catholic Church, presenting it as “a band of criminals who for 2,000 years has tried to hide a huge lie. Just as we protect children from explicit sex and violence, it would seem to make sense to protect them from violence that is more subtle and thus more insidious.”

Muslim Cleric Arrested for Murdering Catholic Teen

ASIANEWS, Jan. 23 — Umar Hayat, a Muslim cleric, was arrested for the 2004 torture and murder of Catholic Pakistani Javed Anjum to get him to convert to Islam, the wire service reported.

Two other teachers, Mohammed Tayyab and Ghulam Rasool, from the Jamia Hassan Bin Murtaza madrassah in Punjab province, were also arrested.

Khalil Tahir Sindhu, the lawyer representing the family of the 19-year-old murder victim, said the presence of many armed Muslim fundamentalists at the trial — some inside, others outside the court room — was making matters worse.

“They want to intimidate us, bring us to the point of withdrawing our charges and dropping the case altogether,” he said. “Pray for me and for the lawyers who are involved in similar cases and for all the victims of discriminatory laws in Pakistan.”

Uganda’s Bishops Reject Abortion Protocol

ALLAFRICA, Jan. 24 — Church leaders in Africa have expressed strong opposition to the right to abortion contained in a new African Union protocol that came into force in November last year, the news service reported.

Article 14.2 (c) of The Protocol to the African Charter on Human Rights: On the Rights of Women in Africa enjoins state parties to “protect the reproductive rights of women by authorizing medical abortion in cases of sexual assault, rape, incest, and where the continued pregnancy endangers the mental and physical health of the mother.”

The protocol, adopted by the second ordinary session of the African Union at Maputo, Mozambique, on July 11, 2003, came into force on Nov. 25, 2005. So far 16 African nations have ratified the protocol. Uganda has signed but not ratified it.

“Never before has an international protocol gone so far,” the bishops said Jan. 19 in an open letter to the government. It is signed by Archbishop Paul Bakyenga of Mbarara, chairman of the bishops’ conference. “We believe strongly that the people of Africa have no wish to see such a protocol introduced into their laws. We are sure the people of Uganda would never wish it. The situations of severe distress mentioned by the text of the protocol [rape, incest, sexual assault] cannot create the right to suppress an innocent life.”

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.”