Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Polish Man Found Guilty of Libeling the Pope

A court has fined a man $6,500 for libeling the Pope! AP (via Yahoo! News) reports:

Jerzy Urban, founder and publisher of the weekly magazine "NIE" — Polish for "no" — illegally insulted the pope when he printed an article making fun of John Paul's age and frailty before a visit to Poland in 2002, the court ruled.

He was found guilty of violating a law that bans publicly insulting foreign heads of state.

Read more: Polish Publisher Guilty of Libeling Pope

Saturday, January 22, 2005

The Pope Says, "No, We Haven't Changed Our Minds About the Condom Thing"

It certainly did not take long for the Holy Father to respond to some, ermm, inaccurate comments from Father Juan Antonio Martinez Camino. Reuters reports:

Pope John Paul has stressed that the Roman Catholic Church believes abstinence and fidelity within marriage, and not condoms, are the best way to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS.

The Pope's words, spoken to a new ambassador to the Vatican, took on an added significance being his first direct comment on the controversial topic since a Catholic official in Spain this week appeared to question the Church's stand against condoms.

"The Holy See ... believes prevention through education about the sacredness of life and the correct practice of sexuality, that is chastity and faithfulness, is necessary above all other things in order to prevent this disease responsibly," the 84-year old Pontiff said in a written address.

Read more: Pope reaffirms no condom stand after Spain debacle

Friday, January 21, 2005

Archbishop Casmoussa Released

Archbishop Casmoussa, the leader of the Syrian-Catholic archdiocese of Mosul, has been safely released. Zenit reports:

The Holy See expressed John Paul II's "great satisfaction" over the release of Archbishop Basile Georges Casmoussa of Mosul, who had been briefly held hostage by gunmen in Iraq.

The Pope's sentiments were published today in a statement by JoaquĆ­n Navarro Valls, director of the Vatican press office, shortly after Iraqi Catholic sources reported news of the Syrian-Catholic archbishop's release.

"The Holy Father was informed immediately and he thanked God for the happy outcome of this vicissitude," said Navarro Valls.

Read more: Pope Grateful for Iraqi Archbishop's Release