Sunday, January 13, 2008

Fined for joking about "Ten Commandments"

Cartoon (c) Mike Graston [The Windsor Star, Ontario], used with his permission.

Yes, a TV Station has been fined for joking about the Ten Commandments--no, not the Ten Commandments, but the Ten Commandments of Driving issued by Church authorities!

According to CNA, the Catholic News Agency, a Slovakian TV station has been fined the hefty sum of $88,400 "for making fun of a Vatican document on Christian driving." The CNA report gives no example of how the station made fun of the document, but the program seems to have pointed out that the priests were incompetent to give advice on driving and that Vatican was too tiny a place to give any resident adequate driving experiences. I never imagined there were countries where making "fun of a Vatican document" was punishable! Read the story here.

The so-called "Ten Commandments for Drivers" that landed the Slovakian TV station into trouble is included in the lengthy DOCUMENT OF THE PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR THE PASTORAL CARE OF MIGRANTS AND ITINERANT PEOPLE: "GUIDELINES FOR THE PASTORAL CARE OF THE ROAD," dated 19.06.2007. The relevant section, 61, of the document is as follows:
[start quote]

61. In any case, with the request for motorists to exercise virtue, we have drawn up a special “decalogue” for them, in analogy with the Lord’s Ten Commandments. These are stated here below, as indications, considering that they may also be formulated differently.

I. You shall not kill.
II. The road shall be for you a means of communion between people and not of mortal harm.
III. Courtesy, uprightness and prudence will help you deal with unforeseen events.
IV. Be charitable and help your neighbour in need, especially victims of accidents.
V. Cars shall not be for you an expression of power and domination, and an occasion of sin.
VI. Charitably convince the young and not so young not to drive when they are not in a fitting condition to do so.
VII. Support the families of accident victims.
VIII. Bring guilty motorists and their victims together, at the appropriate time, so that they can undergo the liberating experience of forgiveness.
IX. On the road, protect the more vulnerable party.
X. Feel responsible towards others.

[end quote]

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