Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Floating around out there

Polish TV bans sex for papal visit | ANSA

According to Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza, TVP is determined to avoid anything which might distract viewers' attention and sully coverage of Benedict's May 25-28 visit to Poland.

This thing with Poland illustrates an interesting point about the United States that I would just like to observe. If/when Benedict makes it to the US, I can hardly see the networks and cable channels doing anything at all like that. But at the same time, is the US as liberal as Poland in allowing on TV a soccer advertisement with a couple having sex? We have a lot of commercials that certainly push the envelope as far as nudity and such, but I don't recall the last time I saw a commercial with sex or implied sex. I guess we're not as crass and commercialistic as we seem?

Moving on... CHINA WATCH

The Vatican's China problem by Seth Faison | LA Times

Faison offers an interesting look at the history of relations between the Holy See and the People's Republic. One passage explains Rome's support for the Republic of China/Taiwan:

Their tortured relationship started off on the wrong foot, then deteriorated. The Vatican was a strong supporter of Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek, a practicing Christian. Like the United States, the Vatican was unable to accept the possibility of a Communist victory in China, so when it actually happened, Rome lived in denial, stubbornly insisting that Taiwan was the true government of the mainland.

It's important to remember that Taiwan really didn't become a real democracy until recently. Before that, the legislative bodies were made up of old men who had been elected before 1949 and kept their seats for the duration of the emergency. The Holy See stayed with the Nationalists because their undemocratic government was ruled by a Christian and allowed religious freedom whereas the undemocratic government of the Communists was ruled by a psycho-dictator who sent Christians to languish in prisons.

Now of course, Taiwan is a functioning democracy with free and fair elections along with religious freedom and all that...

Vatican ties to remain intact | The China Post

A beleaguered Ministry of Foreign Affairs is now enjoying a welcome respite. China has ordained two bishops without Vatican consent, forcing the pope to excommunicate them and two priests who consecrated them. That effectively nipped in the bud the latest orchestrated move between China and the Holy See to normalize relations at the expense of Taiwan. Taipei's embassy in the Vatican City, the only one in the whole of Europe, has a new lease on life.

It is possible that China now considers its control over the Catholic faithful more important than its ties with the Holy See. The loss of control may have a domino effect. Islam in Xinjiang and Lamaism in Tibet and Inner Mongolia may get out of control. Beijing fears it may wind up losing control over all religions, which Mao Zedong professed as opium that poisons the Chinese people. That fear must have compelled China to call off an almost sewed-up deal with the Vatican.

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