A world that carefully adheres to the dictates of being “politically correct” yet refuses to respect people’s faith in God is a “sad paradox”, the Vatican newspaper has said.
The January 6 article, headlined “The Charlie Hebdo question: Manipulated faith”, came in response to the front cover of the latest issue of the French satirical magazine.
Marking the first anniversary of when two Islamic extremists raided the magazine’s offices and killed 12 people, the magazine featured a drawing of an angry God running with blood spattered on him and a machine gun slung over his back. The headline read: “One year on: the assassin is still out there.”
The article in the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, said the satirical dig was nothing new “because behind the misleading banner of uncompromising secularism, the French weekly is forgetting once again what religious leaders of every faith have been repeating for a long time in rejecting violence in the name of religion – that using God to justify hatred is true blasphemy, as Pope Francis has reiterated several times”.
In the latest cover design for Charlie Hebdo, the article said, “one observes the sad paradox of a world that is ever more careful about being ‘politically correct’ almost to the point of being ridiculous … but that does not want to recognise and respect every believer’s faith in God”, regardless of what religion it is.
The Vatican newspaper quoted Anouar Kbibech, president of the French Council of Muslims, saying the drawing “harms all believers of different religions. It is a caricature that is unhelpful at a time when we need to come together side by side.” The French bishops’ conference questioned whether this “sort of controversy was the kind of thing France needed”.
Palestinians divided by wall have ‘lost hope’, says bishop
An American bishop visiting the Holy Land for the second year in a row has said that Palestinians whose land has been divided by the Israeli separation barrier “have lost hope”.
“It was very sad to see the present situation where individuals have their lands confiscated and trees uprooted,” said Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, New Mexico.
“This is a sign of something much larger. It seems to be a diminishing of the rights of Palestinians to be there and a lack of acknowledgment of their legitimate right to be present whether in the state of Israel or in Palestinian lands.”
Bishop Cantú and 12 bishops from Europe, South Africa and North America visited the Cremisan Valley as part of the Holy Land Coordination, in which they come to show solidarity with Palestinian Christians.
More than 55 Christian families had their land confiscated by Israelis in this agricultural valley adjacent to the village of Beit Jalla to make room for the Israeli separation barrier, despite years of legal attempts to have the route of the barrier moved. The barrier is a series of cement slabs, barbed wire fences and security roads snaking across the valley.