NEWS FROM FOREIGN PRESS
CORRIERE DELLA SERA
A mafia boss cannot be a godparent
Mafia bosses cannot be either godparents or witnesses of Confirmation sacrament. It was decided so by archbishop Michele Pennisi, an ordinary of the Monreale diocese in Sicilia. The hierarch gave out a decree during a discussion which began in Italy in December this year, when it was revealed publicly that a famous Sicilian mafia boss Salvatore ‘Toto; Rina had become a godfather of his cousin’s son. A week earlier he had received Confirmation sacrament.
The even did not take place on the area of the jurisdiction of archbishop Pennisi, but being known for a steadfast attitude towards the Italian mafia, the hierarch decided to edit this decree. On pages of the Italian ‘Corriere della Sera’ he reminded that godparents should be a guarantee that a child will grow up in faith, which is not absolutely guaranteed by mafia bosses. He also admitted that he did not deprive mafia bosses of their right for conversion but he reserved the fact that it must be real. The hierarch also added that the problem of a mafia or an organized criminality does not concern the south of Italy, but the whole country and Europe at general, so similar rules should be implemented everywhere.
Motifs of the Muslims’ conversion
What does the issue of the Muslims’ conversion into Christianity look like among the last crowd of immigrants who have arrived in Europe? There appear voices that there are a lot of such situations, although they are counted rather in hundreds than thousands, but it is known that in the last years millions of the Muslims have arrived onto the Old Continent.
Surely, it is impossible to speak about mass conversions. What are motifs of hundreds of the converts? Some European newspapers, like the British ‘Guardian’ and ‘The Mail’ or the German ‘Der Spiegel’, talked both with protestant pastors – as the Muslims usually receive baptism in these communities – and the converts who want to remain anonymous in respect for their fear of revenge from their co-brothers in faith. What is certain, is a calculation which decides about receiving baptism. These people hope that it may help them gain a right for a permanent stay here and protection from deportation. There also happen – although less numerous – sincere conversions resulting from a real meeting with Jesus, for example, through the Bible which some people had held in their hands for the first time, because it was forbidden in their countries.
All newspapers emphasize a risk of the Muslims’ conversion. The converts often expose themselves to a cruel revenge even from the members of their families. There were also cases that Arabian interpreters who mediated in a talk of a convert with immigrant clerks, were interpreting words of a convert wrongly only in order to weaken his chances to gain asylum.
The election in Holland was observed by Europe with great interest, although this is a small country. Everybody was curious if the Dutch, considered as the most open to freedom of custom, would elect a populist anti-immigration Party of Freedom which might result in the increase of analogical attitudes in other European countries. And what did Dutch bishops think about it? After the victory of the People’s Party for the sake of Freedom and Democracy of the previous prime minister Mark Rutt and a weaker, than it had been expected, result of the Party of Freedom, a spokesman of the Dutch Episcopate Anna Kruse said that nobody should expect a special statement of the Dutch bishops’ conference. However, she pointed to the pre-electoral attitude of bishops – pastors of the Church in Holland took on an attitude against intolerance. It may mean that the election proceeded according to the Dutch hierarchs, although it is difficult to say how much their attitude had an influence on voters’ decisions.
Officially the Catholics amount to 28 per cent of 17-million Dutch population. 42 per cent of the Dutch do not confess any other religion.
An assassination onto the Holy Mass
The extremely leftist Spanish party Podemos began a campaign for the sake of removing the Holy Mass from the public television. Representatives of the party, which is the third political force on the Iberian Peninsula, refer to the constitutional separation of the Church from the State.
‘El Pais’ reminds that religious programmes are nearly in all public TV stations in Europe, even in aggressive laic France. The journal also quotes specialist of TV market, who say that the biggest losers in a situation if the leftist activists managed to remove the Holy Mass from television, would be elderly and ill people who numerously sit in front of TV sets every Sunday.
Viewing figures of the Holy Mass, which is a low-budget broadcasting in a financial sense, amounts to 300 thousand people.