World Media Watch

Cardinal-Designate: Allow Priests in North Korea

THE KOREA TIMES, Feb. 27 — Cardinal-designate Archbishop Cheong Jin-suk of South Korea said that Pope Benedict XVI would not visit North Korea as long as the country doesn’t allow priests into the communist nation, The Korea Times reported.

“We have demanded several times that Pyongyang accept Catholic priests of any nationality,” the archbishop said during a press conference held at Myongdong Catholic Cathedral in central Seoul. It was his first official press conference since being named the second South Korean cardinal. “However, North Korea kept saying it is not time yet. Therefore it is difficult for the Pontiff to pay a visit to the North.”

The new cardinal, however, pointed out that the Korean Catholic Church will continue to support the impoverished nation. Archbishop Cheong said the support is provided as a humanitarian cause rather than as part of missionary works in the reclusive regime.

He said, “Conditions have grown worse as many people become skeptical about unconditional support for North Korea. However, we will continue our humanitarian efforts.”

Nurse Raped for Refusing to Carry Out Abortions

THE TELEGRAPH, Feb. 27 — A 26-year-old Pakistani nurse was gang-raped for refusing to perform illegal abortions, outraging Pakistani officials and intensifying calls for the repeal of its rape laws, which require four witnesses, the London daily reported.

Rubina Kousar was attacked by three men after they burst into her room at a rural hospital in the western Punjab Feb. 22. Police arrested Allah Nawaz, 24, his brother Malik Riaz, 34, and Mohamed Ashraf, 25, on suspicion of rape. According to Pakistani law, abortion is illegal except when the mother’s life is at risk.

“I was constantly put under pressure over the course of six months to carry out illegal abortions on two women but I refused,” Kousar said. “And so revenge was taken.”

“This case is part of the feudal system. Unless we change society these cases will continue,” said Riaz Hussein, of the Punjab Healthworkers’ Association. “In the past our staff has been subjected to this type of victimization for refusing to carry out illegal abortions but they have not raised their voices for fear of retribution.”

Kenya’s Catholics Advised to Shun Splinter Group

THE NAIROBI STANDARD, Feb. 26 — The bishop of the Diocese of Kitale in Kenya advised Catholics to shun a splinter group calling itself Reformed Roman Catholic Church, the Kenyan daily reported.

In a letter to all bishops and read at Church services countrywide, Bishop Maurice Crowley said the sect was started by a suspended priest and has no connection to the Church. The letter stated that the sect was holding ceremonies at which teachings of the Church were being repudiated.

“Because some of our Catholics are being led astray, I ask all of you to bring this matter to the attention of the faithful so that they know the truth,” he said.

The bishop’s announcement came in the wake of a similar warning by Nairobi Archbishop Ndingi Mwana a’Nzeki about the schismatic Society of St. Pius X, which has established a church in Nairobi.