The Vatican double standards

via Coustesy: Ashok Chowgule and Ramesh Chitnis published on October 5, 2009

When the Pope meets the Pakistani President, Zenit (the Vatican e-newspaper) report of October 1 has the following heading:

“Pakistan Leader, Pope Talk of Attacks on Christians”

However, when the Indian Ambassador to Rome met the Pope, Zenit report of last May had the following heading:

“Attacks Against Christians Trouble Pontiff”

The two reports conform to the tone of the heading – pleading in the case of Pakistan, aggressive in the case of India.  Clearly the Pope is a coward in front of the Paksitani leader, and a bully in front of the Indian Ambassador.

The two reports are enclosed herewith.

Ashok Chowgule


Pakistan Leader, Pope Talk of Attacks on Christians

Consider Elements Favoring Violence

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, OCT. 1, 2009 ( – Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and Benedict XVI have discussed anti-Christi
an violence in Pakistan, emphasizing the need to overcome discrimination. The leader of the Islamic republic visited the Pope today in Castel Gandolfo.

A communiqué from the Vatican press office characterized the discussion as “cordial,” saying it “provided an opportunity to examine the current situation in Pakistan, with particular reference to the fight against terrorism and the commitment to create a society more tolerant and harmonious in all its aspects.”

The communiqué added: “Talk then turned to the positive role played by the Catholic Church in the social life of the country through her
educational, health care and aid activities.

“Evoking recent episodes of violence against Christian communities in some localities, and the elements that have favored such serious
incidents, emphasis was given to the need to overcome all forms of discrimination based on religious affiliation, with the aim of promoting
respect for the rights of all citizens.” Christians and Hindus combined make up only 5% of Pakistan’s 176 million people.


A series of violent incidents in the last few months have resulted in the death of several Christians at the hands of Muslim fundamentalists.
In this regard, Christians are urging the repeal of an anti-blasphemy   law, which they claim gives Muslims “an invisible sword.”

These laws were at the heart of a conflict in September, for example,  when a Muslim mother, enraged at her adolescent daughter’s romance with a Christian, accused the young man of desecrating the Quran. The boy was arrested and executed in prison.

The anti-blasphemy regulation went into effect in 1986; it calls for  life imprisonment or death for those who blaspheme Mohammed or desecrate
the Quran. Most of those who have been prosecuted under the law are  Muslims.

However, the World Council of Churches says the law keeps minorities  living in a “state of fear and terror” since it is often invoked as a
way to punish minorities in business disputes.

In 2000, then President Pervez Musharraf tried to reform the law but  failed under the pressure of fundamentalist groups.

Zardari, in office for just over a year, has announced that his government would work against the abuse of the legislation and increase
Attacks Against Christians Trouble Pontiff
Notes Concern When Greeting India’s Ambassador

ROME, MAY 29, 2009 ( – Benedict XVI expressed his desire that  everyone should enjoy religious freedom in a message written for the new ambassador from India, where Christians were the object of a wave of  violence last year in the eastern state of Orissa.

The Pope said this today in a written statement he gave to Chitra  Narayanan. The Pontiff received the envoy in an audience together with seven other ambassadors representing Mongolia, Benin, New Zealand, South  Africa, Burkina Faso, Namibia and Norway. He addressed the eight as a group, and then gave each one a written statement that addressed  concerns particular to each county.

In his message to Narayanan, the Holy Father said that “as Chief  Shepherd of the Catholic Church, I join religious and governmental leaders throughout the world who share a common desire that all members  of the human family enjoy the freedom to practice religion and engage in civil life without fear of adverse repercussions on account of their  beliefs.”

“I therefore cannot help but express my deep concern for Christians who  have suffered from outbreaks of violence in some areas within your borders,” he said.

Ongoing Hindu-Christian tensions flared into a wave of violence last  August after Hindu extremists in Orissa blamed the slaying of a Hindu leader on Christians. Dozens of Christians, including a priest, were  killed, and more than 54,000 fled their homes. Thousands of them are still living in displacement camps.

The violence spread to more than 392 towns, where some 5,000 houses, 149  churches, and 40 schools were destroyed or burned to the ground.

Benedict XVI recognized the government’s efforts “to provide the  afflicted with shelter and assistance, relief and rehabilitation, as well as for the measures taken to implement criminal investigations and  fair judicial processes to resolve these issues.”

“I appeal to all to show respect  for human dignity by rejecting hatred  and renouncing violence in all its forms,” he added.

The Pontiff continued: “For her part, the Catholic Church in your  country will continue to play a role promoting peace, harmony and reconciliation between followers of all religions, especially through  education and formation in the virtues of justice, forbearance and charity.

“Indeed, this is the inherent goal of all genuine forms of education  since — in conformity with the dignity of the human person and the call of all men and women to live in community — they aim at cultivating  moral virtues and preparing young people to embrace their social
responsibilities with a refined sensibility for what is good, just and noble.”


Note the tone of the Headings. 
To Pakistan- Submissive. Pleading!
To India- Arrogant. Overbearing!
Reminds one of Gandhiji’s comments, “By nature, a Hindu is a coward and a Muslim a bully. And as long as there are cowards, there will be bullies”.
The observation still holds good!
The Pope has gone round the world apologizing to all countries, big and small, for the atrocities committed by the Church in the past.
But has refused to do so to the Hindus.
Any lesson to learn?

Ramesh Chitnis

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