Italian Priest Kidnapped in Philippines
Today's Top Five
1. Anti-Christian terrorism strikes again in the Philippines
In Friday's Weblog, I wondered why the five-year anniversary of the botched rescue of American missionaries Martin and Gracia Burnham has elicited several major media pieces. After all, the Burnhams' story made national news only a few times while it was going on, and the main development in the Philippines is that several of their captors have been killed. (For Charles Colson fans: Monday's BreakPoint broadcast responded to the Burnham-focused New Republic article.)
Well, this weekend sadly brought a new news hook, as Muslim kidnappers abducted Italian priest Giancarlo Bossi Sunday as he was on his way to celebrate Mass. While police say that a splinter group of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front was behind the kidnapping, the MILF says it was Abu Sayyaf, the group that kidnapped the Burnhams.
2. Church of England says it may sue over video game's 'virtual desecration'
The Playstation 3 game Resistance: Fall of Man, which has been out in the U.S. since November but only since late March in the European Union, takes place in an alternate 1950s Britain. An alien race has conquered Europe and is laying siege. It has an elaborate alternate history but uses several buildings recognizable in the real 1951 world. It's the game's use of one of these buildings, Manchester Cathedral, that has the Church of England furious. "The video footage of the Cathedral battle on 'YouTube' has shocked and dismayed us beyond words and can only be described as virtual desecration," Dean of Manchester Rogers Govender wrote to Sony officials. "We are shocked to see a place of worship, prayer, learning and heritage being presented to the youth of today as a location where guns can be fired."
Govender has asked that Sony immediately withdraw the game, apologize, and "make a substantial donation" to the church for its work "resisting the culture of gun crime and other forms of violence in our society."
A Sony spokesman told The Times, "It is entertainment, like Doctor Who or any other science fiction. It is not based on reality at all. Throughout the whole process we have sought permission where necessary." The Times and others wonder if the Church of England would really win in a lawsuit.
3. Study: IVF works best with one embryo at a time
There's not much grassroots evangelical opposition to in vitro fertilization, but where there is opposition, it's because IVF is usually done by implanting multiple embryos in the uterus. This can lead to multiple pregnancies and what is euphemistically called "selective reduction." We saw two good-news exceptions to selective reduction this week, as sextuplets were born in Arizona and Minnesota, but most such instances don't have endings that are quite so happy. "Fertility experts say [sextuplets] could become increasingly common as more couples seek artificial methods of conceiving babies," the Associated Press reports.
Well, maybe. Or maybe not. A new study out of the U.K. "discovered that transferring one embryo at a time to the womb can slightly increase success rates," The Times of London reports.
The author of the study, Yacoub Khalaf of Guy's Hospital in London, tells The Times, "It is a myth that single embryo transfer has to lower the success rate. If you select the right patients, and use blastocyst transfer, it can be just as good. We believe firmly that a twin pregnancy is not an ideal outcome. People think it is two for the price of one, but the risks are real and we see heartache time after time."
Launched in 1999, Christianity Today’s Weblog was not just one of the first religion-oriented weblogs, but one of the first published by a media organization. (Hence its rather bland title.) Mostly compiled by then-online editor Ted Olsen, Weblog rounded up religion news and opinion pieces from publications around the world. As Christianity Today’s website grew, it launched other blogs. Olsen took on management responsibilities, and the Weblog feature as such was mothballed. But CT’s efforts to round up important news and opinion from around the web continues, especially on our Gleanings feature.
- Feuding Monks, Nativity Scene Shock, and a Dangerous Christmas in Indonesia
- The Non-Haggard News
- K.A. Paul Gets Attention After Hastert Meeting
- 'Christianity in America Won't Survive Another Decade'
- A Christian Hijacker