Quotes and news
‘Stop organ trafficking, sex tourism’ – Pope
Pope Benedict described sex tourism and organ trafficking as “evils that must be dealt with urgently”. He said such crimes “trample on the rights of millions of men and women, especially among the poor, minors and handicapped”.
The Pope sent this message to delegates taking part in the 7th World Congress on the Pastoral Care of Tourism in Cancun, Mexico.
The congress emphasised the importance of an ethical code or framework for the tourism industry as well as promoting socially responsible tourism.
Talks included the fight against poverty and stopping the sexual exploitation of children.
Churches to solemnise same-sex unions?
A Catholic legal expert has advised that if Great Britain recognises same-sex marriages, churches will be required to solemnise such unions, despite the guarantees promised by Prime Minister David Cameron.
Neil Addison of the Thomas More Legal Centre said that European Court rulings demonstrate that the government would be required to give homosexual couples all the same legal rights as heterosexual couples, including the right to a religious service. He went on that a proposed legal exception that allows religious entities to decline to perform same-sex marriages would not stand a challenge in the European Court of Human Rights.
Regular churchgoers favour Mitt Romney
A new poll of American voters by the Pew Research Centre finds that Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney holds a sizeable advantage over President Barack Obama among voters who attend religious services regularly.
Among Americans of all faiths who attend religious services weekly or more, Romney leads Obama by an authoritative margin of 56 to 38 per cent. Among those who worship less frequently, the numbers are almost precisely inverted, with Obama leading 56 to 37 per cent.
Romney also leads among Catholic voters, by 50 to 45 per cent. Among white non-Hispanic Catholics the Republican candidate’s advantage is more prominent: 57 to 37 per cent. Protestants also favour Romney by 51 to 43 per cent.
But the Pew poll shows a spectacular preference for Obama among African-American Evangelicals; the figure shows Obama monopolising support in that group by 96 to zero per cent.
The Catholic Church in China reported that over 22,000 people were baptised on Easter Sunday while the Study Centre of Faith in He Bei reported 22,104 baptisms for the entire country including 3,500 in Hong Kong. However, some dioceses had not yet reported their baptisms, so the number is expected to climb. Roughly 75 per cent of those baptised were adults.
Russia ‘an alternative to capitalism system’
Russia today offers a feasible alternative to a capitalist economic system, said Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, chief public affairs representative of the Russian Orthodox Church. He said that while Russia registered some economic progress under the Soviet regime, that system of government was deeply blighted by an atheist ideology.
He went on to say that today’s Russian government, no longer hindered by Marxist ideology, “is designed to offer the world its recipe for a social order in which money and selfish personal gain are not be the primary goal”.
(Compiled by Fr Joe Borg)