World Notes & Quotes

From selected publications

A.P. Distorts Cardinal's Concerns

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, March 5—The archbishop of Barcelona has criticized anti-AIDS campaigns that promote condom use without warning of their failure rate.

Cardinal Ricardo Maria Carles also said the condom program is contributing to the spiritual and moral ruin of the young.

He voiced his opinion of the government media campaign promoting condoms in a newsletter circulated throughout his northeastern Spanish city.

The AP's spin was that the Cardinal “condemned” and railed against the program, pointing out that “the article comes after the church in Spain elected a particularly conservative leadership at its Bishops Conference.”

Calling for full disclosure by the government of the health risks involved in its campaign hardly seems “conservative,” however.

According to official figures, there are 53,000 AIDS patients in Spain. Most of them contracted the illness through drug use, said the report.

Need for Gaelic Questioned for Scottish See

THE IRISH TIMES, March 10—Should the next bishop of the Scottish Highlands and Islands be a Gaelic-speaker?

Reported Douglas Fraser, “priests in the diocese of Argyll and the Isles are disagreeing over whether the priority is to have a bishop whose cultural roots are strong in the area or an outsider whose qualifications are more spiritual.”

Father Paul Hackett, an English-born Gaelic-learner in Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis, commented: “In a climate of Gaelic revival, the churches should be seen to be showing an interest. It's part of the culture of the isles in the music and the hymns. This is the language in which people pray.”

But only six out of about 22 priests in the diocese speak Gaelic, and Msgr. Roderick Macdonald of Glencoe told the paper, three of them are too old to be made bishop.

“It would be great to have a good Gaelic-speaking bishop, but it's a nonsense to say that it's essential,” Msgr. Macdonald is quoted saying.

Three Nuns Reported Missing in the Congo

FIDES, March 10—Three nuns are missing in the Republic of Congo, where vandals have sacked Catholic religious communities, forcing more than half of them to close, Fides announced in Rome.

Father Bernardo Cervellera, director of the news agency operated by the Vatican Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, said a group of nuns had written to Fides from the Congo to report that violence against church property and staff has reached alarming proportions.

The letter said three nuns have disappeared from the Diocese of Brazzaville, 29 convents have been attacked and sacked and 49 of the 81 religious communities in the country have been forced to close their doors.

About 40% of Congo's population of 2.4 million is Catholic, according to church figures, said the report.