Thursday, January 10, 2008

Church and state

These two stories struck me as interesting. In Slovakia a radio station has been fined for making fun of the Vatican`s document on road safety while in Spain the government asks for the country`s bishops to apologise for holding a day to celebrate the family. It seems to me that both of these reactions are somewhat extreme.

Spanish leaders want bishops' apology for pro-family rally
Madrid, Jan. 3, 2008 ( - Spanish government leaders have asked the country's Catholic bishops to apologize for the massive pro-family rally held in Madrid on December 30, Vatican Radio reports.

Leaders of the Socialist governing party have charged that the Church intervened in partisan political affairs with the rally, which drew nearly 2 million participants. (The government is reporting that only 160,000 took part in the demonstration.) The government has asked the bishops' conference for an apology.

Although 40 bishops took part in the pro-family event, and the hierarchy gave clear support to the event, the rally was organized primarily by lay Catholic activists. The organizers have consistently argued that the rally was not intended as a partisan political event, but as a public expression of support for the traditional family founded on Christian marriage.

Slovak station fined for criticizing Vatican's “ten commandments” of driving

Bratislava, Jan 10, 2008 / 04:02 am (CNA).- A Slovakian television station has been fined two-million koruna ($88,400), for making fun of a Vatican document on Christian driving, Agence France Presse reports.

Slovakia’s broadcasting council said that a program on the commercial station Joj abused viewers’ religious sensibilities and was not objective.

The program targeted the 2007 document issued by the Pontifical Council for Migrants “Guidelines for the Pastoral Care of the Road,” widely characterized by media reports as teaching the “Ten Commandments” of driving.

The program said that priests were “not the best experts” to give instructions on driving because the Vatican had "only two kilometers of highway and the last traffic accident was more than half a year ago."

Around two-thirds of Slovakians describe themselves as Catholic.

1 comment:

gemoftheocean said...

I wonder what the traffic accident was?!

(And yes, I think they were both overreactions.)