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    Tuesday, September 26, 2006

    Another "sanctuary" episode

    The Hunchback of Notre Dame's Esmeralda and her living in "sanctuary" in
    the cathedral tower.

    I had to locate the dim organic memory banks to find just where this notion
    of Sanctuary had first impressed me so. The Church taking a stand against
    government for the sake of the poor and oppressed. I think there were also
    references to it in the original Zorro TV series.

    So that's what impressed the little boy in me so many years ago. I still
    think it is impressive.


    A Scottish prelate, who has supported the extension of Catholic church sanctuary to a Pakistani Christian couple who fears torture if the deportation order is carried out, has called on the British government to halt the move to return them.

    Christine and Masih Raymond, who have lived in Scotland since early 2004, were ordered to be returned to Pakistan on the evening of Sept. 20, but received sanctuary in the parish house of St. Patrick Church here.

    "As Christians we have no choice but to take sanctuary in St Patrick's Church,” the couple said in a statement. “Going back to be persecuted, tortured or even murdered in Pakistan is not an option."

    "It is morally unjustifiable to return people to a country where they have already been persecuted and are very likely to face further persecution,” said Archbishop Mario Conti of Glasgow.

    Father Gerry Nugent, pastor of St. Patrick’s Church, offered the Raymonds his own quarters and assured them that he and the parish community will offer them shelter and support until the threat of extradition is lifted.


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