World Media Watch

Christian Groups Demand Removal of ‘Sins’

REUTERS, Feb. 21 — Christian groups in India demanded a ban on an Indian movie depicting a sexual relationship between a Catholic priest and a woman half his age, saying it was hurtful to their faith.

The Hindi-language film, called Sins, is set for release Feb. 25, according to the wire service.

“Religion needs to be a personal affair and should not be a subject for entertainment or for commercial use,” Joseph Dias, general secretary of Catholic Secular Forum, said in a statement.

He said Christians would demonstrate in front of cinemas planning to screen the film and various Catholic groups had begun collecting signatures to support demands for the ban.

Christians make up just about 2 percent of India’s more than 1 billion people. Hindus make up about 80 percent and Muslims 13%.

Satanic Group Jailed for Slayings

ASSOCIATED PRESS, Feb. 22 — Two members of a heavy metal group called the “Beasts of Satan” who confessed to taking part in three ritual satanic slayings, were sentenced to prison, and a third defendant was acquitted, Italian media reported.

Andrea Volpe, Pietro Guerrieri and Mario Maccione had confessed to roles in the grisly 1998 killings of Chiara Marino, 19, and Fabio Tollis, 16, in the woods outside of Milan. Five other members of their suspected satanic cult have been ordered to stand trial in June.

Volpe, considered the mastermind of the ritual killings, was sentenced to 30 years in prison. The wire service reported Guerrieri was given 16 years in prison. Maccione was cleared. The verdict comes amid growing concern in Italy that young people are turning to satanism and the occult. To counter this, Regina Apostolorum Athenaeum in Rome recently opened a two-month course for priests on diabolical possession and exorcism (See related story on this page).

Reconciliation in Spotlight as Educators Meet

THE BELFAST TELEGRAPH, Feb. 22 — The future of Catholic education to heal the hurts of Northern Ireland is set to be molded at a major conference with an eye on making it more of a faith-based sector open to all.

The Consultative Group for Catholic Education has organized the inaugural conference “Promoting Reconciliation through Education” as the next step in its work to maximize the contribution all Catholic schools can make to reconciliation in Northern Ireland.

The Telegraph reported that more than 300 education specialists from a wide spectrum including schools, teachers’ unions and political parties gathered Feb. 22 to hear from key speakers from outside the Catholic-managed sector.

Bishop Donal McKeown, chairman of the Consultative Group, stated that Catholic schools make up 45% of all Northern Ireland’s schools, educating around 160,000.

“This conference is a serious, open attempt to face the future. We want to look at how the largest single sector in Northern Ireland can take seriously its responsibility and how we have a clear vision of what we want to contribute.”