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Malaysian archbishop rues government failure to act on desecration

Catholic World News - March 04, 2010

Archbishop Murphy Pakiam of Kuala Lumpur has denounced a decision by the Malaysian government not to prosecute journalists who desecrated the Eucharist.

The attorney general of Malaysia, Abdul Gani Patail, said that the government saw no reason to take action against two reporters from the journal Al Islam, who had attended Mass and received Communion as part of their investigation into complaints that Catholics were seeking to convert Muslims. The reporters said that they had later spat out the Blessed Sacrament, stirring outrage among Catholics. But the attorney general, after studying the case, concluded that the reporters "did not intend to offend anyone," but acted out of "sheer ignorance."

Archbishop Pakiam said that the Church was willing to forgive the journalists, and would not pursue any legal action, if Al Islam merely apologized for the episode. But he said that the government's failure to intervene "would appear to legitimize" the reporters' behavior.

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