(RNS) Vatican walks a fine line on trying to combat blasphemy

Just one week after Pope Benedict XVI ended his successful visit to Lebanon, the country’s most senior Catholic leader called for a United Nations resolution “that will ban denigrating religions.”

Meanwhile in Pakistan, the country’s only Catholic cabinet member, Minister of Harmony Paul Bhatti, this week told an interfaith gathering in Lahore that he will press U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon to pass a UN resolution that condemns “defamation and contempt against religions.” Bhatti said “we must not allow anyone to break our harmony” between Christians and Muslims.

Both moves are understandable in light of increasingly popular efforts in predominantly Muslim countries to outlaw blasphemy or defaming religion. But they could prove problematic for the Vatican as it fights to protect the rights of Christian minorities around the world.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Law & Legal Issues, Other Churches, Politics in General, Pope Benedict XVI, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Theology

3 comments on “(RNS) Vatican walks a fine line on trying to combat blasphemy

  1. Charles52 says:

    The harmony between Muslims and Christians in Pakistan is, indeed, legendary.

  2. Catholic Mom says:

    Never underestimate the power of a really bad idea.

  3. Katherine says:

    Christians in the Middle East are under intense pressure. I just saw a U.S. State Department terrorist warning for some threat against female American missionaries in Egypt. Nothing will come of this censorship effort as far as the UN is concerned. I hope, at least, that these letters help the situations of Christians in the Middle East.

    The problem, of course, is that each of the monotheistic religions having their origins in the region have, as part of their foundational teachings, statements which are scandalous or blasphemous to the other two.