Q+A – What’s next in Malaysia’s “Allah” row?

January 5, 2010
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Facebook group protesting Allah ruling, 5 Jan 2010/Bazuki Muhammad

Malaysia’s government has filed for a stay of execution pending its appeal of a court ruling allowing a Malay-language Catholic paper to describe the Christian God as “Allah”, amid growing Islamic anger in the country. We reported on the dispute here yesterday, including how it has spilled over into Facebook.

Malaysia’s “Allah” row spills over into Facebook

January 4, 2010
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The word "Allah" in a Malay-language Catholic newspaper, 29 Dec 2009/Bazuki Muhammad

Muslims, Catholics rap Senegal prez over Stalinist-style tribute to Africa

January 4, 2010
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African Renaissance monument under construction, 19 August 2009/Finbarr O'Reilly

Cuban pilgrimage mixes Santeria with Catholic faith

December 18, 2009
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Worshipper pushes rock to shrine of Saint Lazarus, 17 Dec 2009/Desmond Boylan

Some dressed in sackcloth, a few crawling on their hands and knees, thousands of Cubans paid homage  to a Catholic saint who doubles as a powerful deity in the Afro-Cuban Santeria faith. The Saint Lazarus pilgrimage on Thursday is one of the most important religious events on the communist-run island, melding Afro-Cuban faiths with Roman Catholic beliefs that were marginalized for decades after the 1959 revolution.

INTERVIEW-Lisbon treaty to boost EU, church contact-Cardinal Dziwisz

December 18, 2009

dziwisz 2There was something missing from our post yesterday entitled Pope John Paul remains touchstone for Poland’s Catholic Church — a link to the story Reuters published based on the interview that Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz gave to Gabriela Baczynska and me. Since it hasn’t been posted separately on the web, here’s the story:

Pope John Paul remains touchstone for Poland’s Catholic Church

December 17, 2009
JP2 commemoration (Photo: Candles in Warsaw on fourth anniversary of Pope John Paul’s II, 2 April 2009/Peter Andrews)

Four and a half years after his death, Pope John Paul II remains a dominant presence in Poland’s Roman Catholic Church. Pictures of him are still ubiquitous in his homeland, and not only in churches. His former private secretary, Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, regularly invoked the name of the Polish-born pontiff during an interview in Krakow with Reuters, either lauding his role in the victory of democracy over communism in eastern Europe two decades ago or speaking of the need for the church today to follow his example in reaching out to other faiths in a spirit of ecumenical dialogue.

from Raw Japan:

Church attacks shake Kansai

December 17, 2009

In the minds of many people, religious rivalry could occasionally be expected to  spill over into violence in places as diverse as the occupied West Bank or Glasgow's 'Old Firm' football derby.

Child abuse crisis to spark Irish Catholic Church shake-up

December 12, 2009
irishvatican Archbishop Diarmuid Martin (L) and Cardinal Sean Brady (C) after meeting Pope Benedict, 11 Dec 2009/Tony Gentile

Could Irish abortion case lead to a “European Roe v. Wade”?

December 10, 2009
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European Court of Human Rights,30 Jan 2009/Vincent Kessler

Ireland has defended its strict law against abortion at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg in a case that could overturn that ban if the judges agree with three women who said it endangered their health and violated their rights.  The women, two Irish and one Lithuanian living in Ireland, had travelled to Britain to have abortions because traditionally Catholic Ireland allows the procedure only when the mother’s life is in danger. Read our full story on Wednesday’s hearing here.

Q+A – Vietnam and Vatican talk about diplomatic relations

December 8, 2009

vietnam cathedral

Vietnamese President Nguyen Minh Triet will meet Pope Benedict this week during a trip to Italy to talk about improving ties. The Vatican and the Communist-run Southeast Asian country do not have diplomatic relations. Click here for some questions and answers about the Vietnam-Vatican relationship.