Monday, May 30, 2011

Maltese Fallout

by Edd Doerr

On May 28 in Malta, the tiny Mediterranean country with less than half the area and population of Maryland's Montgomery County, 72% of eligible voters turned out to vote 53% to 47% in favor of legalizing divorce. The referendum was only advisory, but the Parliament is expected to agree.

Catholic Church officialdom opposed the referendum hysterically, advertizing that voting for divorce or even abstaining from voting against it would be a "mortal sin". Malta is nominally about 98% Catholic, so the referendum is another indication of how little ordinary Catholics think of Vatican pronouncements.

Chalk up another victory for church-state separation. Too bad so many American politicians are moving in the opposite direction.

Ratko Mladic and Clergy

Serbian war crimes fugitive Ratko Mlakic was arrested in Serbia last week. On May 30 the New York Times' report on his arrest noted that Mladic declared that "he had been visited by many priests", obviously Eastern Orthodox. Deputy war crimes prosecutor Bruno Vekaric said that apparently Mladic maintained ties to an "'anti-Hague' lobby of religious leaders". The Serbian newspaper Blic reported that in 2006 Mladic had taken refuge in the St Melanije monastery near Lazarevo.

So, some religious leaders were shielding an alleged war criminal and covering up war crimes? That too bears investigation and exposure.

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