The Catholic Parish of
Saint John Henry Newman

 Covering most of East Leeds

Parish Magazine - Nov/Dec 2004

Page 19 of 21 Read 777 Times

"From Rome and the World"

(extracts courtesy of the Catholic Times)
compiled by R.T.S.


A Turkish court rejected a request by Mehmet Ali Agca, the Turk who shot Pope John Paul II in 1981, for his early release from prison in light of recent legal amendments. Agca's lawyer Dogan Yildirim told reporters outside the Istanbul court that he had asked the judges to set his client free, citing sentence reductions foreseen for some crimes under a major overhaul in September of the country's penal code. Following his extradition from Italy in June 2000, Agca was sentenced to seven years and four months for armed robbery committed in the late 1970s, for which he is now serving time in an Istanbul jail. His lawyers were arguing that he was eligible for early release as the new penal code, enacted to boost Turkey's bid for European Union membership, cuts down almost by half sentences for robbery. Agca shot the Pope on May 13 1981. He was sentenced to life imprisonment in Italy, but was pardoned by President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi in June 2000. Agca was brought back to Turkey, where he was imprisoned for murder.


A new survey said most Italians favour the extension of some benefits to cohabiting couples, as well as the right to adopt children. But most Italians are against homosexual marriage and say homosexual couples should not have the right to adopt, the survey said. The telephone survey polled a population sample of 1,000 people over the age of 18. Bishop Elio Sgreccia, vice president of the Pontifical Academy for Life and a leading Vatican official on family and bioethics issues, said the results of the poll raised some concerns but generally confirmed the importance of the family in Italian social life. "It should be remembered that the Church does not change its moral teachings on the basis of statistics. The Church always defends its values without being conditioned by anyone," he said.


The Pope said scientific researchers always should value the sharing of knowledge over competition and financial gain. He made the remarks in a talk to members of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, who were meeting in a plenary session devoted to the theme of science and creativity. The Pope said that, in a sense, scientists are called to be "co-creators" with God as they use their knowledge and skill to shape the cosmos in harmony with a divine plan. Such creativity "demands respect for the natural order and, above all, for the nature of each human being".

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Published Mon 27th Dec 2004 18:21:50

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