World Notes & Quotes

Excerpts from selected publications

Protesters Demand Return of the Angelus

IRISH TIMES, Dec. 7—A Sunday procession of 40 cars descended on Ireland's state TV broadcasting facility in Donnybrook to protest a decision by the station to replace its daily Angelus with a feature that makes no reference to the centuries-old Catholic prayer.

The Angelus heralds the Blessed Virgin Mary's acceptance of God's desire to become incarnate in her womb.

The mood of protesters was upbeat, said the report. “We have got protection,” smiled one, showing rosary beads and an image of Mary.

According to the article, the tradition of pausing and praying the Angelus at midday has been acknowledged on Irish television in a special, brief feature each day. That feature has now been altered to be more akin to a moment of silence and fails to show Catholics making the sign of the cross or to include an image of the Blessed Mother.

The protest, it is expected, will have no impact on the decision of the station.

Northern Ireland's Nobel-Winning Accord in Danger

ASSOCIATED PRESS, Dec. 9—As North Ireland Catholic John Hume and North Ireland Protestant David Trimble arrived in Oslo for celebrations leading up to the presentation of the Nobel Peace Prize for the peace accord they helped fashion, the fruits of their efforts were faltering, the Associated Press reported.

“[I]n the less than two months since the committee announced its decision,” said the report, “the accord has run into trouble….”

The new dispute arose when Trimble's Ulster Unionist Party repeated its demand for the outlawed Irish Republican Army to disarm as a prerequisite for including its political wing, Sinn Fein, in a new governing body in Northern Ireland.

Trimble, a member of the British Parliament, was quoted saying recently in Washington that the IRA's stance “is tending to poison the atmosphere.” But he also stressed that the peace accord was not collapsing, according to AP.

The report did not mention Hume's opinion of the issue, except to point out that the former seminarian is a well-known peace activist in Ireland and is considered the driving force behind the accord.

Crucification May Await Sudanese Priests

THE TORONTO STAR, Dec. 4—The force of Pope John Paul II's words on a visit to Sudan five years ago is still being felt. At the time, he criticized Sudan's Islamic regime's tactics, decrying their actions as “a particular reproduction of the mystery of Calvary.”

Now, those words are being recalled by activists as the Sudanese government is threatening two Catholic priests with crucifixion.

Father Hillary Boma and Father Lina Tujano are charged with terrorism on the day celebrating the current regime's coup in the nation, according to the report. The story added, “If convicted, they and 18 co-defendants could be crucified, under the medieval Islamic code that governs Sudan's legal system.”

The priests became the prime suspects in bombings on Aug. 1, when security police swept into St. Matthew's Cathedral in Khartoum to arrest the chancellor of the Catholic Archdiocese of Khartoum, accusing him of masterminding the plot.

Lawyers were prohibited from speaking to the suspects until after they were questioned—and tortured. All pleaded not guilty.

Now, state television has carried a videotape of the chancellor confessing to a crime. “Clerics here privately say he might have done so after being told it was the only way to spare his junior colleague … from further abuse,” said the report.

President Donald Trump during his speech at a "Thank You" Tour rally held at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pa.

President Trump: ‘Faith in God’ Helps Unite Nation

In an apparent reference to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and months of demonstrations and civil unrest across several U.S. cities over racial justice issues, Trump said that faith was an important support for civil and national unity.