World Notes & Quotes

Prime Minister Sides with Nuns, Not Their Homosexual Critics

John Howard, prime minister of Australia, refused to support Sydney's Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade because it was anti-Catholic, the Australian Associated Press reported Feb. 25.

“I suppose the political thing for me to do would be to send a message” of support to the parade, Howard is quoted saying.

But the parade ridicules Catholic nuns, and “I just take the view that if an activity ridicules a group in the community for whom you have regard and respect,” he said, “it's a bit odd then to turn around and send a message“ of support.

He said that while he doesn't mean to “criticize” people who are homosexual, “Why should I positively endorse something that includes ridicule of people in the community for whom I have immense respect?”

Korean Escapes Martyrdom, Becomes President

Ash Wednesday was an appropriate inauguration day for Kim Dae-Jung. The South Korean president is Catholic and knows all about sacrifice and suffering.

“Kim Dae-Jung, a survivor of assassination attempts, prison and exile, takes office [on Ash Wednesday] … with a promise to replace a culture of political vengeance with one of magnanimity,” The Washington Times reported Feb. 24.

“The message reflects Mr. Kim's Roman Catholic background. After several brushes with martyrdom, he still limps from one of the assassination attempts.”

“Whether the former dissident can apply his message of reconciliation may prove crucial as he tries to rebuild South Korea's crippled economy and achieve peace with a hostile North Korea.”