Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Kidnapped priests released

You may recall that Fathers Joseph Mackwey and Sylvester Mogga were kidnapped from St. Josephine Bakhita parish in Rabak on January 15th in Sudan.  I am delighted to pass on the happy news that they were released January 30th.  At the time of their release they were in good condition.

Hindus attack Catholic college in Karnataka

After St. Joseph Angel in Karnataka, India failed to fly the Indian flag on a national holiday on January 27th, a group of angry Hindu adherents attacked the college, beating students.  Following the attacks, the rector of the college, Father Melvin Medonca, was arrested:
During the attack. Fr. Melvin Mendonca, director of the institute, and Fr. Anil D'Mello local superior of the Jesuits, tried to calm the crowd, which broke into the school, disrupting classes. The police were present but did nothing to stop the attackers. Students from the school had to form a shield to defend their rector, but were beaten by security agents before the extremists. To avoid accidents, the priest turned himself in to agents. Under pressure from the radicals, the police forced the priest to walk the distance to station on foot under a shower of verbal abuse, anti-Christian slogans and intimidation. Without any reason, the agents detained Fr. Melvin at the station only releasing him at 9 in the evening after nine hours of interrogation [more].

A look at Boko Haram

On January 31st, Reuters' Faith World published a special report on "Nigeria's Boko Haram - between rebellion and jihad."

Noting an increase in attacks by Boko Haram, Joe Brock asks:
Is Boko Haram just the latest in a long list of violent spasms in Nigeria, or is it the next battalion of global jihadists, capable of thrusting Africa's most populous nation into civil war? 
The answer to that is not simple. There is evidence - some of it detailed in this story for the first time - that elements of Boko Haram have received training from foreign militant groups, including North Africa-based al Qaeda in the Islamic Magreb (AQIM [more]).

Friday, February 3, 2012

Irish Bishops warns of secularist advance and is accused of inciting hatred

His Excellency the Most Reverend Philip Boyce, Bishop of Raphoe, has been accused of inciting hatred following a sermon he preached in Knock:
The gardai have confirmed to former Fine Gael election candidate John Colgan that they have prepared and forwarded a file to the DPP after he made allegations that the address by Dr Boyce was in breach of the Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act, 1989. 
The homily, entitled: "To Trust in God" was delivered to worshippers during a novena at the Marian shrine in Co Mayo last August and subsequently reported in the media, including The Irish Times, under the headline: "'Godless culture' attacking church, says bishop." 
Mr Colgan, a retired chartered engineer and economist from Leixlip, Co Kildare, referred in his formal complaint to two key passages in Dr Boyce's homily which he believes broke the law. 
One of the passages referred to the Catholic Church in Ireland being "attacked from outside by the arrows of a secular and godless culture". 
A second passage, which was included in the complaint, stated: "For the distinguishing mark of Christian believers is the fact they have a future; it is not that they know all the details that await them, but they know in general terms that their life will not end in emptiness." 
Mr Colgan, who was a leader in the 'Campaign to Separate Church and State' in the late 1990s, said in his complaint: "I believe statements of this kind are an incitement to hatred of dissidents, outsiders, secularists, within the meaning of the [Incitement to Hatred] Act, who are perfectly good citizens within the meaning of the civil law. The statements exemplify the chronic antipathy towards secularists, humanists etc, which has manifested itself in the ostracising of otherwise perfectly good Irish citizens, who do not share the aims of the Vatican's Irish Mission Church" [more].
It is a sad day when one is accused of hatred simply for speaking the truths of Catholic faith.

Christians in Saudi Arabia face deportation

Saudi Arabian authorities recently raided a home in Jedda during a religious service conducted by Ethiopian Christians and have detained 35 people, most of whom are women and three of whom were strip searched.

The 35 Christians now face deportation on charges of "illicit mingling," though no law defines that meaning.