Thursday, March 26, 2009

European/US media too busy attacking Pope to ask awkward questions about South Africa and the murder of Fr. Lionel

The funeral of Fr. Lionel Sham took place in Johannesburg, the day before Pope Benedict flew to Cameroon. Father was a Maronite priest of the Lebanese parish church of Our Lady of the Cedars of Lebanon. He had been robbed, kidnapped and strangled, and his body left in the open veld. His alleged killers, one of whom died in the crash of Father's stolen car, are alleged to have been young men whom he had helped in the past. His surviving alleged assailant is now on bail and on legal assistance, unless my latest reports are not entirely up to date.

I have relied on my correspondent 'Tango' to keep me up to date. It will be noted in previous comboxes on this subject that s/he has been careful to give information only and, apart from prayers, has not given a personal opinion. That silence speaks volumes.

After the first small reports of Fr Lionels's disappearance and murder, the mainstream media of my headline above have as far as I can see, more or less ignored the case. It was a brief distraction from their main goal, namely to continue their unprecedenedly savage attacks on Pope Benedict, who has shown in his actions that he has more care and understanding of Africa in his little finger than most of these journalists have in their entire bodies. They hide beneath an apparent concern for Africa, when in fact their true intent is to use any opportunity to vilify, insult, mock and discredit the Pope. They either hate him or misunderstand him because in the course of his sacred duty, he preaches a convinced moral and spiritual dimension which must be at the basis of any long term solution to the many prevalent problems in Africa. AIDS and its treatment is without question, a major one of these, but others, all of which the Holy Father addressed during his recent visit, are corruption, war, persecution, injustice, poverty, and worries about climate change............... If our western Media had given him plenty of credit for any of that, then they could at least be congratulated for balanced reportage. As it is, - no such matter.

The fact that Fr Sham's murder and its aftermath have been largely overlooked, is in some part due to the timing of events, and I'd be most gratified to find that when the latest 'Benedict bsshing' frenzy has died down, some journalists of integrity will follow up on the cases of Father Sham and the other priest who was murdered not long before him. Somehow I doubt it.....But I will be on the watch.

I speak of the majority of the media and am well aware of the several excellent defences of the Pope that are beginning to appear on the Internet. If there is a great deal more that I have missed, I will be profoundly happy to stand corrected. Also, I acknowledge that the media are fed and encouraged by people within the Church herself, people who as the Holy Father himself said in his recent letter to the universal episcopate, 'should have known better'.

Prayer, the first recourse, is available to us all, and I am certain that I bring all my readers with me, when I promise to use it for the repose of Fr. Sham and for his bereft and traumatised family and parishioners.


Tango said...

Cedars of Lebanon- Psalm 29:5

Ascribe to the LORD, O sons of the mighty,
Ascribe to the LORD glory and strength,
Ascribe to the LORD the glory due to His name,
Worship the LORD in holy array.
The voice of the LORD is upon the waters;
The God of glory thunders,
The LORD is over many waters,
The voice of the LORD is powerful,
The voice of the LORD is majestic.
The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars;
Yes, the LORD breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.
He makes Lebanon skip like a calf,
And Sirion like a young wild ox;
The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness;
The LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
The voice of the LORD makes the deer to calve
And strips the forest bare;
And in His temple everything says "Glory!"

RIP Father Sham

PatriciaGreene said...

May Father Lionel rest in peace and may those responsible for his untimely death be quickly brought to justice.