Wednesday, April 20, 2005

20 apl 2005 / Membership can be restricted to a religion' / The world's 1.1 billion Roman Catholics have a new Pope /

Membership can be restricted to a religion'
Legal Correspondent

Cooperative society not a State: Supreme Court
a.. Plea filed by Zoroastrian society
a.. Cautious approach needed
a.. Does not fall under Article 12
a.. Membership not fundamental right
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has held that a co-operative society can
restrict its membership to a class of persons or to a community or religion
and that such restriction is not violative of the provisions of the
Constitution. The court said that in secular India it might be somewhat
retrograde to conceive of co-operative societies confined to a group of
members or followers of a particular religion, a particular mode of life or
a particular persuasion.

A Bench, comprising Justice B.N. Agrawal and Justice P.K. Balasubramanyan,
pointed out that the fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution were
normally enforced against State action or action by other authorities who
might come within the purview of Article 12 (State) of the Constitution.



VATICAN CITY: The world's 1.1 billion Roman Catholics have a new Pope,
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany, who will be known as Benedict XVI.

Cardinal Ratzinger, 78, known for his conservative views, who was Dean of
the College of Cardinals and one of the closest collaborators of the late
John Paul II, was chosen as the world's 265th Pope by his peers on Tuesday.
Cardinal Ratzinger was the only cardinal not appointed by Pope John Paul II.

In the first words he spoke to the crowds in St Peter's square, the new Pope
paid homage to his predecessor. "Dear brothers and sisters, after the great
Pope John Paul II the cardinals have elected me, a simple and humble
labourer in the vineyard of the Lord," he said.

Conservative views

The new Pope is known for his uncompromising views on church doctrine and
his election will come as a disappointment to those who have been placing
the accent on greater devolution of authority and collegiality within the
church. Cardinal Ratzinger, considered a great theologian who is greatly
respected for his learning, intelligence and integrity, may not find favour
amongst those hoping for reform and decentralisation within the Church.

He has in fact, as part of the Roman Curia, been responsible for some of the
most hard-line doctrinal positions the church has taken on subjects as
diverse as contraception, celibacy, the marriage of priests, euthanasia,
abortion and other thorny issues that have tended to divide the church.

He has rejected the ordination of women and marriage for priests, and also
opposes homosexuality and communism, and he has never been afraid of
upsetting political sensibilities.


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