World Media Watch

Cardinal Calls to Allow Catholic Monarchy

BBC NEWS, Feb. 15 — Cardinal Keith O’Brien, leader of the Catholic Church in Scotland, called for a removal on the ban of Catholics to the throne of England, reported the BBC.

Saying the Act of Settlement was “hurtful and “discriminatory,” O’Brien said Catholics should be allowed to rise to the monarchy. He delivered his remarks at a summit on Scottish Executive plans to tackle religious bigotry.

“Here in Scotland one in five of the population is an equally loyal Catholic,” O’Brien said. “So why should Prince Charles, or any heir to our throne, be able to marry not just someone of the Anglican faith, but someone who is a Muslim or, but not a Roman Catholic.”

The Orange Order in Scotland dismissed the call, claiming the act guaranteed everyone’s religious liberty, according to the BBC.

Listen to the Bishops

ALLAFRICA.COM, Feb. 14 — The Lusaka (Zambia) Post praised the country’s Catholic bishops, saying in an editorial they “have come out to demonstrate their pastoral and prophetic role that God has truly placed on them.”

“First and foremost, the Catholic bishops have not hidden their feelings and their concerns on the endemic tension that has truly become characteristic of our country,” the editorial stated. “The good thing to all those involved in the political process is that the bishops have provided very rare wise counsel that should be considered if the nation is to make progress on matters of governance.”

The capital city’s publication went on to urge the county’s lawmakers to “take interest and seek knowledge from the free counsel that the eleven bishops from different parts of Zambia have offered at this most right moment.”

In Search of St. Valentine

THE SCOTSMAN, Feb. 14 — With the publication of Valentine, a new novel by Chet Raymo, St. Valentine has been reinvented as non-Chritian.

At least three St. Valentines are mentioned in early martyrologies, all with their feast days on Feb. 14. The two main contenders (whom some commentators think may have been the same person) are described as a Roman priest and physician, and a bishop of Interamna. Both were martyred around the year 270 A.D. and both are thought to have been buried along the Flaminian Way out of Rome. Nothing is known of a third Valentine, apart from the belief that he suffered for his faith in Africa.

“It seemed to me a perfect story just waiting to be invented,” the writer told The Scotsman.

Raymo’s narrative depicts Valentine as an Alexandrian-born doctor in Rome, a strict rationalist, who becomes involved with Christians and, ironically, ends up a Christian martyr against his better judgment, The Scotsman reported.

Catholic leaders: Israel Has Abandoned Us

HAARETZ.COM, Feb. 15 — Israel has abandoned its responsibility for the security of its Christian members, leaders of the country’s Catholic community in the wake of violent weekend clashes between Druze and Christians in the mixed village of Maghar in the Galilee, according to the Web site for Haaretz International.

Archbishop Michel Sabah and Catholic leaders in Israel, in a letter sent to President Moshe Katzav, placed the responsibility for their security on Israel’s security forces.

Haaretz reported that dozens of Christian businesses were burned to the ground Feb. 10, and many Christian families fled the village during riots that began after a rumor spread that Christian youths had placed pornographic pictures of Druze girls on the Internet.

After an extensive investigation that included experts on computer-related crimes, police determined a 16-year-old youth had lied to his friends about the pictures.

The violent clashes peaked Feb. 12 when eight residents of the village were injured, two moderately and the rest lightly. Three police officers were also lightly injured, Haaretz reported.