World Notes & Quotes

Embattled Chiapas Bishop Samuel Ruiz Retires

THE NEW YORK TIMES, Nov. 4—A controversial prelate, Bishop Samuel Ruiz Garcia of Chiapas, Mexico, whose advocacy of liberation theology has drawn criticism from the Vatican for over 20 years, turned 75 Nov. 3 and offered his resignation to Pope John Paul II, the Times reported.

According to the article, Bishop Ruiz was doctrinally orthodox at the time of his consecration as bishop 40 years ago. He adopted a radical approach to combating injustice after witnessing the conditions under which his Indian parishioners lived, the Times article said.

In the ‘80s, the article added, some of Bishop Ruiz's disciples grew frustrated with the authorities’ hostile responses to their demands for better treatment, and secretly joined the Zapastista guerrillas. After the rebels attacked several Chiapas towns, Bishop Ruiz was accused of instigating the violence. In 1993, Mexico's papal nuncio asked Bishop Ruiz to step down as bishop, but popular support for him caused the Vatican to allow him to remain on as bishop until he reached retirement age.

Saudi Police Raid Christians in Private Prayer Meetings

NEWSROOM, Nov. 4—Some 40 Filipino Christians were arrested in Saudi Arabia Oct. 8 after police in Riyadh raided prayer meetings in two private residences, the Protestant news agency reported.

According to the report, 27 of those arrested were released the same day. The remaining 13 were released Oct. 31. Saudi police required those arrested, who were visiting Saudi Arabia on business, to sign statements promising not to attend religious meeting in the Arab nation again. They were then deported, the news service reported.