Thursday, October 19, 2017

Pope Benedict's favourite abbey and college distance themselves from the Correctio

Cathcon note: the Cistercian Abbey of Heiligenkreuz has a very closely associated college, named after the Pope, in its grounds.
The College was opened during Pope Benedict's visit in 2007.

Heiligenkreuz distances itself from "Correctio"
Among the signatories of Pope Francis's public "Correction" is also a guest professor at the College of Heiligenkreuz. They have now distanced themselves from the philosopher.

The Heiligenkreuz College dissociates itself from one of its guest professors, who had signed a public "Correction" of the pope . He had signed in his own name. Nevertheless, this throws a shadow on the college, says the statement, which was published on the college's website. The sponsor of the Philosophical-Theological College Benedict XVI is the Cistercian Abbey of Heiligenkreuz.

Since its founding in 1802, it belonged to the core values of the Heiligenkreuz College, "to teach and act" inviolably "cum Petro et sub Petro". "We therefore make it clear that Heiligenkreuz College is closely connected to Roman Magisterium in all things, and we regard it as our greatest honour and our first duty to keep the faithful to Peter's successor, that is to say, our Holy Father Pope Francis", it says in the position statement. It is signed by the Abbot of Heiligenkreuz, Maximilian Heim, as well as the university rector, Father Karl Wallner.

Guest professor accuses Pope of "heresy"

The guest professor of philosophy, Thomas Stark, who is not mentioned by name in the statement of the university, together with other critics accuses Pope Francis in spreading heresies. This "Filial correction for the propagation of heresies" had been published on the Internet at the end of September. The authors argue that Francis had indirectly or directly represented a false doctrine of marriage, morals and the Eucharist, and urged him to publicly reject them. In addition to Stark, further laymen, clergy and theologians, among them the German author,Martin Mosebach, the Italian, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi , former President of the Vatican Bank and Bishop Bernard Fellay of the Society of St Pius X, who has seceded from Rome.

According to the Latin title, the "Correctio filialis de haeresibus propagatis" refers to the papal "Amoris Laetitia". Already in November 2016, four cardinals had sent a letter with five so-called "Dubia" (doubts) to Pope Francis and asked him for clarification.


Inter-religious education replaces Catholic education in Austria

The Kirchliche Pädagogische Hochschule (KPH) Vienna / Krems is an "open space for the coexistence of religions" is, according to the words of Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, . Austria's largest private educational college, in which seven Christian churches work together and which also cooperates with the free "churches" as well as the Muslim, Alevi and Israelite religious communities, being "no bastion one against the other." "The churches are concerned about the future of our country and education," the Viennese Archbishop said at a ceremony on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the KPH on Wednesday afternoon at the University of Vienna-Strebersdorf.

My faith, your faith, no faith.  Our Country.

As the most important task of education, and thus also the goal of ecclesiastical teacher training, Schönborn described as the "promotion of responsible freedom" (Cathcon: the universal law of the Church is the salvation of the soul). The "passionate educator", Pope Francis has written about this in a programme form: "The prudence, the good judgment, and the reasonableness depend on a whole chain of elements that form a synthesis within the person, more precisely; in the centre of their freedom. " Education should promote "responsible liberties that choose with meaning and reason at decisive moments" and let people understand that "their life and that of their fellowship is in their hands, and that this freedom is an immeasurable gift," the Cardinal quoted the Papal Letter "Amoris laetitia" (Para. 262).

Schönborn also recalled the pre-history of the KPH Wien / Krems: As a result of a challenging Academies Study Act in 1999, the Catholic Bishops' Conference had taken a "courageous decision" with financial commitments for the church to remain in teacher training. Education is ultimately a "primordial element of the Jewish-Christian tradition" and "an essential part of what we understand by religion". Since 2007 the "ecumenically launched" KPH Wien / Krems has taken "an important place in teacher training" thanks to "excellent cooperation between the churches and the state".

"Role model for society and school"

The chairman of the university council, Andrea Pinz, described the KPH as the "response of the churches to one of the great challenges of our time", . The training centre was a "role model for society and school" by providing a meeting place for "learning in diversity". Graduates were "ready for the reality, which is as plural as the university itself" in the face of today's multi-ethnic composition of school classes. In this situation, "a sensitive treatment of religion as well as with ethical and social diversity" and also the knowledge of one's own background was important, emphasized Pinz.

Today the KPH Wien / Krems stands as a "strong, large facility" with an influence far beyond the confines of the religions and the country, according to the chairman of the university council. It was a "workshop for the future that draws from the past". Pinz announced that the churches would continue to work independently in the training of teachers.

Five hundred high-ranking guests from the worlds of religion, science and society took part in the ceremonial act at the Vienna-Strebersdorf university, including Cardinal Schönborn, St. Pölten, Bishop Klaus Küng and Bishop Conferences General Secretary, Peter Schipka, as well as the Lutheran Bishop, Michael Bünker, Paisios Jung, the president of the Muslim community, Ibrahim Olgun, Arie Folger, the Jewish Chief Rabbi and the Alevitian head of the school, Ertürk Maral.


A video saves thousands of words as Marxists flee before Our Lord and Saviour


1 Thesallonians 5
[5] For all you are the children of light, and children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. 
omnes enim vos filii lucis estis, et filii diei : non sumus noctis, neque tenebrarum.

Marxists are children of darkness, par excellence 

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Bishop of Mainz calls for rethinking of gender roles.

The Mainz Bishop Peter Kohlgraf has presented a differentiated opinion on gender and gender equality in the Catholic Church. He considers it justified to "rethink gender roles in the face of gender issues today", the Catholic Magisterium can not escape the topic. Kohlgraf writes in a contribution to the Mainz newspaper "Allgemeine Zeitung" (Thursday). God had not "become man rather as a humanbeing ". Kohlgraf is concerned about the fact that the church is being discussed about admission to "power-holding offices". This shows that "something has gone wrong overall".

He emphasizes that not only women but also most men are excluded from questions of power "because too many themes have been linked by power over the centuries with ordination." Kohlgraf, however, sees himself as a bishop "of course, bound to the statements of the papal Magisterium". In 1994, Pope John Paul II had decided the question of a consecration of women and "Pope Francis reaffirmed the statement". The bishop therefore assumes a duty of loyalty for himself.

Nevertheless, according to Kohlgraf's words, the ecclesiastical Magisterium cannot "put their head in the sand and pretend that any opposition is only nonsense." The opponents can also not do this. Until the nineteenth century, the question of women's ordination had not been a relevant issue for society as well, according to the bishop. This does not mean, however, that today's church arguments are a product of the 19th century. The question was whether the church could change a tradition that had been "completed" in the second century.

(Cathcon: No!)


Diocese has more new bishops than new priests this year

Diocese has more new bishops than new priests
A number of dioceses have been struggling with a shortage of new recruits . However, in this archbishopric, the situation is particularly extraordinary: in the past, even more bishops were consecrated as priests were ordained.

In the Czech Archdiocese of Olomouc, only a new diocesan priest was ordained this year - but two new bishops were consecrayed. Archbishop Jan Graubner took this situation as an occasion to call for prayer, as Vatican Radio reports.

Graubner expressed his request, according to the report on the occasion of the double bishops' consecration in the Olomouc St Wenceslas Cathedral last Saturday. Antonin Basler and Josef Nuzik, two new auxiliary bishops were consecrated to the Archdiocese. Graubner emphasized at the festive service that prayers were not sufficient for vocations; one must also have "enough children for God to call someone". The Archbishop also thanked all those who worked for the protection of Christian marriage and life, such as by voting in the upcoming parliamentary elections.

According to the Pontifical Yearbook, the Archdiocese of Olomouc last counted a three-million-million-strong Catholic population of 343 priests. Last year, five new diocesan priests were ordained.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Pope Francis launches "A New Enlightenment"

Club of Rome sees Pope Francis pioneer of new thinking

"Virtue of balance"
The Club of Rome confirms that Francis plays an important role in solving humanity's problems. Instead of doctrines, the Pope had launched a "virtue of balance", according to the international group.

With the encyclopaedia "Laudato si" (2015) a "new enlightenment" had begun, which the world needs to escape elf-destruction, the new report of the international association of personalities from science, culture, economy and politics, the Club of Rome, which was presented on Monday evening in Munich.

To this extent, the Pope was a "historic landmark". The report bears the German title "Wir sind dran", one of the two main authors is Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker.

The role of the economy

Weizsäcker said in Munich that civilization was in a "deep philosophical crisis". The knowledge about the necessary changes for the preservation of the world was available, but all the therapies so far proposed by the policy made the situation worse.

The second chief author of the report, Swedish Anders Wijkman, said the role of the economy must be redefined. The question was whether the task would be to make one percent of humanity even richer, or to satisfy the needs of all human beings.

Critical confrontation with creation

"A great deal can be achieved by looking at religiously-based teachings that require care and care of our shared house," the report says in reference to "Laudato si". Critically, the authors deal with the Jewish-Christian Islamic tradition of the so-called Creation Order. The mandate to mankind to multiply itself and subdue the earth could no longer be valid for a "full world" with now 7.5 billion inhabitants.

"Instead of doctrines," the "new Enlightenment" must emphasize the "virtue of balance", wrote Weizsäcker, Wijkman and their 32 co-authors. The relationship between man and nature, public and private goods as well as short-term and long-term interests and consequences must be balanced. In the key part of the book are 18 success models for business and politics, which invite immediate action.

Private capital should flow into climate friendly companies

After the book presentation, entrepreneurs in Munich called for an "investment change". Private capital should be targeted at those companies that felt committed to the Paris Climate Treaty and the sustainable development goals of the United Nations, thus contributing to solving the real problems of the world.

Since 1968, the Club of Rome has been unifying personalities from science, culture, business and politics. His first report on the "limits of growth" in 1972 inspired the global environmental movement.


Organiser of Pro Pope Francis letter hits out at critics of the Pope

Co-initiator Zulehner for public support for the Pope

"Do not sit in the armchair"

"Pro Pope Francis". This is the name of a group in which Catholics have joined forces to publicly support Pope Francis. A co-initiator is the Viennese pastoral theologian Paul M. Zulehner, who explains this step at
In the shadow of Cardinal König You have written an open letter to Pope Francis, signed by several bishops, theologians and well-known Catholics from public life. How did this letter to Pope Francis arise?

Prof. Paul M. Zulehner (pastoral theologian from Vienna and co-founder of the initiative "Pro Pope Francis"): There was considerable criticism of the pope by the letter from cardinals to him and finally the allegation that he was moreover a heretic (Ed: deviating from official church doctrine (Cathcon: what a world in which the word heretic actually has to be explained- part of the great problem). This is theologically as well as practically unacceptable. (Cathcon: although his Protestant ecumenical partners think many Popes up until the Reformation were heretical; he won’t be raising the issue with them any time soon. Has he not read St Thomas Aquinas among many others ?) I think you have to make a counter-position visible and put the situation back into balance by showing that a very large number of faithful and committed, outstanding personalities of the church and public life really welcome and very much support this pope. Is this also indirectly a response to the writing of the so-called "Letter of the 62 "? Recently there was a letter from critics who accused the Pope of heresy.

Zulehner: We believe that the discussion with this letter can happen on a different level, in theological parlours. One can certainly discuss one or the other. But both the Viennese Cardinal Schönborn and Pope Francis, in the publication of the papal "Amoris laetitia", have said that it is practically theologically and systematically watertight and airtight, and that from a dogmatic point of view it is nothing new at all. (Cathcon: saying that it is, does not make it true. This is how Luther justified one of his erroneous translations of the Bible)

The Pope wishes that mercy, which is also identical with the righteousness of God in the Jewish Torah, is the supreme measure for the practice of the Church. (Cathcon: the salvation of souls is this measure) Then it cannot be that people can ultimately no longer participate in a hopeless situation in ecclesiastical life, because this is not God's way, so to deal with people who have been made guilty for tragic reasons and want to return to the Gospel..

It is inadmissible to say - as a Cardinal Pell once formulated in a preface to a book - that God may forgive them, but the Church cannot forgive them. This is, from a theological point of view, the self-abolition of the Church, if it does not make experienceable what God does in man. The Catholic Church has its principles. Take the example of the remarried divorced. The Pope's critics say that the doorway to interpretations is opened and the Catholic sacrament of the uniqueness of marriage is fundamentally questioned. This cannot be made so easy, say the critics.

Zulehner: This is, however, a very fundamentalist understanding of the so-called indissolubility of marriage, since the early church has in fact already said that there are certain situations where someone can leave the marriage bond. And there is above all, the is the practice of the Eastern Church since third fourth centuries, which is truly Christian and has not been accused or will be accused of heresy.

The Council of Trent has expressly expressed the opinion that the practice of Eastern Churches is not condemned. So, we can say with a clear conscience that there are apparently different forms of the original power of the gospel. The Catholic Church has now gone to the school of the Eastern Church and is learning to better understand the Gospel. (Cathcon: It would be useful here to go to the Council of Trent as a whole, and the Degree on Justification as a whole ) In the letter, you support and praise the pastoral culture of the incumbent Pope. For what pastoral culture does the Pope stand?

Zulehner: All the great secular organizational developers say that the relationship between an organization and people is determined via culture, that is, the dealings, the content, the acceptance, via what people gain from the organization. This seems at least as important to me as the structural change, for example, the centralization of the church, for the spread of Magisterium into the entire world church.

If one- formulated in a quite stricking way, at the way that accents shifts, then it goes from sin to wound, from the law to the face, from the moralization to the healing and from the ideologist to the shepherd. These are clear accents which present the past practice of the Church at the same time as not like that of Jesus.

What Francis is doing is to dig deeper and deeper into this original power of Jesus' dealings with men. Especially with those on the margins of society. This, I believe, is the jumping point.
The Pope is not superficial, but, if one reads through his texts, one realizes that it is the image of God from which he talks that you must, becoming like the father of mercy and the Lord, make this the pastoral of mercy as a church, otherwise you would betray our God. It is a public letter that you wrote to Pope Francis. Does the Pope have so many opponents that he needs this support?

Zulehner: Mario Politi (journalist and Vatican expert, editor's note) says that Francis had too little support. He does not only have too little support in the Vatican but he has too little support in the entire Church throughout the world. The Eastern European bishops are silent. The Western European bishops are also silent.

I am very curious about how we can win German bishops. We are in conversation with the Secretariat of the German Bishops' Conference. There will be a clarification on Wednesday as to whether and how German bishops can join. I would also like to win Cardinal Woelki. This is what I would like to publicly. For he is, for me, one of the admirable Cardinals who, in the footsteps of the Pope, is completely clear and unaffected. (Cathcon: ignoring here, for whatever reason, the Cardinal’s lack of commitment to ecumenism)

I think we are also doing a bit of awareness raising in the church that now you cannot sit in the armchair under this Pope, but that there is a historical moment in the Church, an open window, which is to be used world-wide.

Progressive Catholic "big-guns" attack Correctio Filialis

Conservative Catholics had criticized the Pope with a "Correction". Now, many bishops, theologians and other prominent Catholics are reacting - and defending Francis in an open letter. Even a former German Bundestag president has signed.

Francis is to be defended with a new international initiative against attacks by Catholic critics. The group "Pro-Pope Francis", in which Catholics from the church and public life are represented, addresses directly the Pope in an online-accessible letter. "With this public letter, we are expressing our gratitude for your courageous and theologically well-founded leadership", says the website "".

The "pastoral culture" of Francis stands for a manner of dealing with the people in which not the law but the compassion should have the last word, their website says. And, "They dream of a 'church as mother and shepherdess'. In addition to the initiators, the theologians Paul Zulehner (Vienna)
Here with Cardinal König

and Father Tomas Halik (Prague),

 more than 100 signatories of the open letter are currently available (as of Tuesday). These include, for example, the Austrian retired bishops Paul Iby, (Eisenstadt)

 and Helmut Krätzl (Vienna), 

the Abbot of Pannonhalma (Hungary), Asztrik Varszegi, 

the Prague auxiliary bishop Vaclav Maly 

and the former bishop of North Aliwal (South Africa). Among other things, the Berlin sociologist, Andreas Lob-Hüdepohl, the Jesuit and chief editor of the "Voices of the Times", Andreas Batlogg, 

Father Batlogg SJ (a thoroughly modern Jesuit)

as well as the former President of the Bundestag, Wolfgang Thierse, 

A modern Socialist, Wolfgang Thierse

have signed up from Germany. In addition, there are around 1,000 "supporters" who have participated online in the campaign.

Answer to the Pope's "childish correction"
In the letter, ask the Pope not to deviate from his way, and assure him of his support. Francis has been able to reform the pastoral culture of the Catholic Church in a short time. He has taken to his heart the "wounded" peopl, but also the wounded nature. "They see the church at the edges of life as a field hospital," it says.

The background of the initiative is a "childlike censure" of conservative clerics and theologians, who demanded the pope distance himself from "heresies". The signatories take the view that Francis "directly or indirectly" encouraged heretical positions on marriage, morals, and the doctrine of the sacraments. Among them are the German writer Martin Mosebach, the former head of the Vatican bank IOR, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, the former chairman of the national research council in Italy, CNR, Roberto de Mattei, and the philosopher and priest, Antonio Livi, former dean at Lateran University , Among the signatories is Bernard Fellay, General Superior of the traditionalist Society of St Pius X.

The open letter
Highly esteemed Pope Francis!
Your Pastoral Initiatives and their theological justification are currently being strongly attacked by a group in the Church. With this public letter, we express our gratitude for their courageous and theologically well-founded leadership.

In a short time, you have succeeded in reforming the pastoral culture of the Catholic Church from its original origins. You have taken to your heart the wounded people, the wounded nature. You see the church at the edges of life, as a field hospital. Your concern is every single person loved by God. The last word in dealing with men should not be a legalistic but a mercifully interpreted law. God and His mercy characterize the pastoral culture that you wish for the Church. You dream of a "church as mother and shepherdess". We share this dream with you.

We ask you not to deviate from this path, and assure you of our full support and our constant prayer.

The signatories

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Catholic support for a Muslim holiday in Germany

After harsh criticism from the Union (the conservative side of German politics), Federal Minister of the Interior, Thomas de Maizière (CDU), receives support from the Catholic Church for his suggestion of a Muslim holiday in Germany: "In a multi--religious society, an Islamic holiday can be added in regions with a high proportion of religious Muslims, without the Christian tradition of our land being betrayed- this happens much more in the transformation of St. Nicholas to Santa Claus, said the President of the Central Committee of German Catholics (ZdK), Thomas Sternberg, the "Passauer Neue Presse" (Tuesdays edition).

The calendar of feasts is "neither a museum nor a mere sequence of labour-free days, but signs of the wealth of European traditions," Sternberg justified his position and demanded: "Where there is a significant proportion of Muslims, one should also take note of their festive culture." The Central Committee of the German Catholics is a union of representatives of the diocesan councils, the Catholic associations and institutions of the lay associations. In kindergartens and school, the renouncement of St. Martin, Christkindl or Cross is not the appropriate reaction, but also the "Sugar Festival" (the end of Ramadan) for the Christian or other educated children Sternberg said. Christian holidays are a public holiday "an expression of the bond between our society and the Christian tradition". However, this would be less endangered by the introduction of a Muslim holiday, but by the fact that fewer and fewer people could start out with these days. "A great concern is the ever less familiarity with the content of these festivals, whether it is Christ's Ascension or Whitsun," the ZdK President said.

New citizens and refugees could find out little about Christian festivals. "This is why it is equally important to inform the churches, educational institutions and the media about the content of the Christian festivals," said the call of the church functionary. The argument that in many Muslim countries it is impossible for Christians to exercise their religion freely, Sternberg does not allow as an objection to the introduction of Muslim holidays in Germany. "The complaint about this cannot affect the religious friendliness of our state system," he said. De Maizière had recently shown himself open at an election campaign to the introduction of Muslim holidays in certain regions of Germany. He had been sharply criticized for this from the ranks of the CDU and CSU.


Monday, October 16, 2017

Media director who made refugee boat into altar fired for foolish tweet

Media director Mayer leaves archbishopric Cologne
He succeeded in obtaining one or another PR coup for the archbishopric of Cologne. But then Mediendirektor Ansgar Mayer got a tweet in the headlines. At the end of the year he will give up his office.

The Media Director of the Archdiocese of Cologne, Ansgar Mayer, will left the diocese at the end of the year at his own request. According to the archbishopric on Monday, the reason was a new task in Hamburg, which he wanted to concentrate on. Mayer had only taken over in January 2016 the former staff office and converted it to the main department of media and communication. He headed three departments with around 40 employees and developed, among other things, a holistic media strategy for all platforms and channels.
The Archbishopric regretted Mayer's decision. He had succeeded in establishing a corporate communication which meets the needs of the time, said Vicar General. Dominik Meiering. In addition, the 45-year-old had a "PR coup" for the archbishopric. Thus, media attention was attracted from beyond the German borders, when Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki used a refugee boat in front of the Cologne Cathedral as an altar.
Corpus Christi in Cologne
Negative headlines

At last, however, Mayer had drawn attention to himself with his personal negative headline. In a tweet about the many electors' votes for the Alternative for Germany in Saxony (a depressed state in former Eastern Germany), he had written after the Bundestag election: "Czech Republic, how about: We take your nuclear waste, you take Saxony?" On top of that, there were some critical reactions, which were spread over Twitter and Facebook as well as on numerous Internet portals. Later, Mayer asked for forgiveness. Whether or not his present departure from the Archbishopric of Cologne is also connected with these occurrences was not divulged by the Archbishopric.

Mayer was born in 1972 in Ellwangen. He studied political science, history, journalism and Catholic theology. Among other things he was head of the Crossmedia training at the Axel-Springer-Akademie from 2007 to 2012 and from December 2012 until his change to Cologne on the board of the "Computerbild" in Hamburg.


Cardinal asks forgiveness for the way the Church has treated the divorced, separated and remarried

Cardinal Philippe Barbarin presented on Sunday, October 15 to a full cathedral the "paths of discernment" proposed by Pope Francis in Amoris Laetitia.

After Rouen and Le Havre, Lyon is the third diocese to organize such a meeting, to "concretely implement" the Apostolic Exhortation on the Family.

Catherine waits on the forecourt. A book under her arm, she watched Cardinal Philippe Barbarin. For an hour the Archbishop of Lyon lingered with those "people who had experienced a marital breakdown", whom he invited on Sunday evening 15 October, to exchange thoughts with him in the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist. The night has fallen, Catherine can finally hand the work to him. A copy of The Joy of Love, the apostolic exhortation on the family that this childcare assistant asks the cardinal to dedicate. Before starting the conversation.

At her side, her new companion, Laurent. This maintenance technician had to "leave" his parish, at the same time that he separated from his wife. Like Élodie, "unmarried mother", who joined the exchange. "We had to be accepted elsewhere," she regrets. "We feel that the Church is no longer fixed on these issues," underlined Laurent, 52 years old. Catherine and I went to see the priest freshly arrived in our parish. He welcomed us. "

Ensure to "never use the language of the permitted and the forbidden"

Symbolically seated among the crowd at the beginning of the encounter, and then encountered in the shadow of a pillar, the cardinal applauded at the end of the six testimonies of "separated, divorced or divorced remarried Catholics ", delivered before a full cathedral. This, a year and a half after the publication of Amoris laetitia. And ten days after meeting Pope Francis, with 80 priests of the diocese. "When I asked the priests: What theme would you like him to talk to?", The answers were unanimous: "On Amoris laetitia chapter 8" to "accompany, discern and integrate fragility" ", says the cardinal.

For it is "a difficult road" opened by the Pope, commented the Archbishop of Lyon. Starting from the points on which Francis insisted on to the Lyon delegation. First of all, to consider "people first" and not marital situations. Next, make sure to "never use the language of the permitted and forbidden".
A "difficult road", therefore, that some priests of the diocese borrowed. Like Father Franck Gacogne, parish priest of Saint-Benoît, in Bron, standing beside Florence and Georges. It is they who speak, with a voice. Twelve years ago, they sought to "reconnect with the Church", especially during the baptism of their three children. But they had long received only "inadequate answers," they say modestly.

The cardinal wanted to "ask for forgiveness"

Other witnesses do not hide the sufferings. Some say they have found themselves found in a "club of outcasts". "Neither judged nor dismissed from the Christian life," another person confides nevertheless "to be confronted with contradictory, indifferent or embarrassed positions of certain pastors". And the cardinal insisted on "asking for forgiveness," before handing each of the witnesses a copy of the apostolic exhortation.

Finally, Florence and George were heard, in the person of the parish priest of Bron. "Are you at peace?" This was his first question, "reports the couple who are both divorced and now remarried, who then chose to get involved in the local community, by holding welcoming consultations. The beginning of a long journey. They were now going to Mass as a family. But they felt "lonely on their bench" at the time of communion. "The more we find our place, the less we feel we have the right to have it," they summarize.

Thanks to the paths opened by Amoris laetitia, the priest offered them a support, based on a course built by the Reliance Teams linked to the Teams of Our Lady. Then they prepared "a celebration with a blessing of our couple". At the next Sunday mass, they returned to the Eucharist. And they became even more involved in the parish, especially with other divorced-remarried couples, who were in turn engaged in a path of discernment. Before, "possibly", like them, an access to the sacraments.

Reception groups are still rare

This prudence is in line with that of Cardinal Barbarin, who developed the question at length, recalling that "access to communion has always been a delicate problem in the Church" for all Christians. As for the divorced-remarried, of course, he says, "when a person cannot bear not being able to communicate and finally decides, because of this internal hurt, not to come to Mass, it would be absurd and inhuman to continue to wield a banning sign in front of them. " "For some people, the Cardinal repeated several times, this path of faith will go through the fact of going communion, for others to participate in the mass without communion, like Charles Peguy. "

The important thing in the eyes of the Cardinal is above all to enable those "in a situation of rupture" to "find their place in the Church". And, from this point of view, there is still some way to go.
The Florence and Georges route is a rare example of support driven by a parish dynamic. "Some of my colleagues are aware of the issue, but perhaps they prefer personal support," says Father Franck Gacogne, “While the ecclesial dimension seems important to me”. In fact, few parishes in the diocese of Lyon have for the time being set up a reception group for people whose marriage has broken down.

The latter are currently invited by Bénédicte and Édouard Michoud, episcopal delegates for the pastoral care of families, to "continue with their local community, their parish". Without a "single path", they insist, the important thing being "to overcome possible fears". On the part of the people whose marriage has broken down, as on the part of the local communities.


Radio Vatican deeply concerned about the result of the Austrian election

Austria has decided that the People's Party under Sebastian Kurz has emerged as a clear victor of the elections this Sunday. In short, the government has now a mandate. This scenario also seems to suggest a coalition of the People's Party with the liberal-populist FPÖ. It was a difficult choice for Christians in the country, whose election campaign was also marked by mutual hits beneath the belt and populism.

Sebastian Kurz, however, could now become a source of hope for the Alpine region: this is maintained by the electoral observer and Catholic publicistm Heinz Nußbaumer. The political pressure from the right was undeniable, but now had to be conducted in quieter waters, says Nußbaumer in conversation with Vatican Radio. "Both parties - the ÖVP and the FPÖ - who have called for a stricter, the FPÖ even for a very strict migration policy, have won very strongly. The issues of security, migration, fear of Islamism were certainly the dominant motives. The second phenomenon is the deep-seated wish of the Austrians to change the basic constants of politics. "

According to Nußbaumer, this constellation of electoral themes, which was "massively overplayed" in the election campaign, had made the vote so complicated for Christians: "The decisive factor for me as a Christian on election day was the fact that precisely those two parties, have presented themselves as the hardest in terms of migration, dealing with refugees, and closing refugee routes. "

The Christian faith had been a "sign of our culture and identity" but Christian content was missing. In this context, Nußbaumer points to the theologian Paul Michael Zulehner, who had already identified the precarious situation for Christians before the election: "Not a few Christians will be politically homeless this time because political action on the refugee question, these populist simplifications and the lack of a Christian inspired and attractive vision of an Austria of the future disrupts many committed believers and has brought them into a difficult emotional isolation. "

The scaremongering of the threatened Islamization might thus have possibly decided the Austrian election, the more important is now a rethink, says the long-term head of the Austrian Presidential chancery. "We must now look to see if these two parties [ÖVP and FPÖ, Note], should they jointly form a coalition, then descend from this exposed position given governmental responsibility."

In any case, he expects a Chancellor such as Kurz to say that the "exclusion emotions" observed in the election campaign will now be replaced by "a more moderate and responsible attitude, but also a humanitarian and Christian understanding", Nußbaumer is confident.


See also Bishops take on the political right

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Muslim public holiday in Germany being considered by German Interior Minister

When Thomas de Maizière chatted in Wolfenbüttel on Monday evening, he did not know that he was stirring  a heated debate. It belongs to the essence of the 63-year-old, sometimes to let his thoughts to hang, sometimes a little chat, without larger plan behind it. But because he is the Federal Minister of the Interior, even the smallest talk can become a big number.

At the invitation of the election campaigning CDU party colleagues De Maizière drove to Lower Saxony. On Sunday is Regional Elections and it could be quite close. In the venue called Komm, it was about refugee policy, about integration and the so-called "defining culture". As Minister of the Interior, he feels "responsible for the social context", he said, according to a report from the portal, and said: "Now is the question, what is it, in the traditional sense of the word, the rubber band binding society, and what to do so that it does not tear? "

Thomas de Maizière now experiences how difficult this rubber band when it is already under tension. In the course of the evening, he also commented on German holidays and said, ""I'm ready to talk about whether we could introduce a Muslim holiday. Maybe one might like to do this. There are also regions where there is All Saints' Day, elsewhere not. Where there are many Catholics, there is the Feast of All Saints, where there are few, there is no All Saints. Where there are many Muslims; why cannot you think about a Muslim holiday?

De Maizière then became louder and emphasized: "But our holidays are a Christian one, and that should remain so. Whitsun, Easter, Christmas."

What remained of it in a country in which even the Greens are currently discussing the term "Heimat"? That the Interior Minister thinks about introducing Muslim holidays in Germany. (His general additional comment is less important.)  This leads to considerable excitement, especially in his party CDU and his Bavarian sister CSU.  They really wanted to close "the right flank", following the modest results at the German Parliamentary election three weeks ago. And this obviously excludes the inclusion of Muslim fasting or the Feast of Sacrifice (Eid) as a holiday in the German calendar.

"Our Christian heritage is not negotiable," said CSU regional group leader, Alexander Dobrindt of the Bild . "To introduce Islamic holidays in Germany is out of the question for us." Party colleagues, Joachim Herrmann, Manfred Weber and Stephan Mayer expressed similar opinions. The CSU hace not been so united for a long time. So as not to leave the AfD any more space, the party shortened De Maizier's statement to the maximum and poured ridicule on it. "De Maiziere for Muslim holiday!" states an AfD poster on the Internet and to this: "We propose February 30th !

De Maiziere also received criticism from his CDU . Lower Saxony's election campaigner Bernd Althusmann was not very pleased with the statement, he was likely to fear losing electoral votes of his conservative clientele. "Holidays have a long tradition in Germany, and I see no need to change these structures," said Regional Head. Interior expert, Wolfang Bosbach explained that Germany had a Christian-Jewish religious character, and not an Islamic one. The SPD chairman Martin Schulz has already stated: "I have noted above all the ways in which Mr De Maizière is immediately kicked by his own ranks."

De Maizière: Holidays marked by Christianity

Thomas de Maizière is obviously uncomfortable with the hustle and bustle of the game. It was not, after all, a fundamental consideration or political initiative, but rather was expressed in the small Wolfenbütteler Saal. On Saturday, the German Ministry of the Interior told the Süddeutsche Zeitung : "Minister De Maizière has made it clear that our holidays are shaped by Christianity and that this should remain so." Although he was ready to talk about individual Muslim holidays in certain regions, he said, "but in principle, he maintains that our holiday culture has precisely Christian and no other roots."

It also points out that the German constitution guarantees freedom of religious exercise. This also means that people can celebrate their religious festivals. The city states of Hamburg and Bremen have therefore concluded agreements with Muslim associations, according to which Muslim pupils can be exempted from high school on Islamic holidays and can take leave of their employees. In fact, other states would also proceed in this way.

But the impression remains that the Union is currently not prepared for a differentiated discussion about Muslim holidays in Germany. Especially not the CSU. The shock of the rise of the right-wing populists from the AfD has hit deeply, they would prefer for such topics not to be raised. Especially when they come from their own ranks.


Call for female deacons and married priests from progressive episcopal supporter of Pope Francis

Bishop Paul Iby emerges as a strong supporter of the incumbent Pope and the path he has set the church. "Francis had become my Pope," writes the 82-year-old bishop in his now-published book "Trust in God and Life." In Eisenstadt 1999, Iby had launched a dialogue initiative with reformists urging reform and received harsh criticism for this. However, the confirmation had come with Francis in 2013 that "the Church must follow this path of dialogue with the people" Pope Francis had become my Pope. Seen like this, I had become a bishop too early.

According to the Austrian bishop, the topic of women was also important. In Rome, he had committed himself to the consecration of female deacons. He is still convinced of the correctness of this request. "When the Church really studies the question of female ordination and is intensely occupied with it, this time will come. Similar to the abolition of the obligation celibacy. "


Bishops take on political right-wing

Bishops against populists throughout the world

The AfD in Germany, the FPÖ in Austria, Trump in the USA: Populism seems to be gaining ground worldwide. This is challenged by the church. For in fact, it depends on the separation from the state. But more and more bishops are departing from this principle – and are making criticism

The state and the church are strictly separated in democratic countries in the best case. But sometimes the spiritual power raises its voice in the political debate. In the past few months, this has been the case several times around the world, supported by the growth of populist forces. The most recent example comes from Austria, where church representatives found warning words before the upcoming national election. "The aggravation in the words and the gestures hurts me," said the newly-appointed Innsbruck Bishop Hermann Glettler at the beginning of the month.

Fear of "real harm" for democracy

Above all the style of the current election campaign excited Glettler's displeasure. Offensive statements by the party leaders about each other led to discussions all over the country. A scandal was even associated with the Social Democratic SPÖ, which had specially engaged a specialist for "dirty election campaigning". The Austrian Caritas , too , had a serious warning: "If this continues, I am afraid of real harm to our democracy," said President Michael Landau a few days ago. At the same time, he insisted on "basic principles such as cohesion, respect, honesty and a minimum of decency".
According to the recent survey, three quarters of the population in Austria believe in the Catholic faith. Therefore, objections by church representatives have weight from the outset. However, objections such as these are nevertheless remarkable and owed to the exceptional political situation of the country: the election procedure of the new Federal President, Alexander Van der Bellen, who took office at the beginning of the year, lasted seven months. Unprecedented antics and mishaps in the course of this period were detrimental to the democratic discourse, at least to the extent that they were playing into the hands of the right-wing populist, FPÖ.

One week after the Austrians, the Czechs are also called upon to elect a new parliament. There, too, the bishops are currently concerned about political culture. In a statement, the bishops' conference called on the citizens of the country to participate in the election earlier this week, not following "cheap promises of rapid change". Rather, the electorate should prefer decency. This would "not be replaced in the political scene by arrogance and vulgarity".

The populism warning of the Czech bishops can be understood as a wink in the direction of the favourite, Andrej Babis. An investigation into the embezzlement of EU subsidies has just been initiated against the billionaire. His "Political Movement ANO 2011" is currently the second strongest force in parliament and according to current polls would clearly win the upcoming election. However, observers see in the party a populist protest movement without any substantive policies.
French bishops against the Front National

But just as populists were ideologically more clearly positioned in recent months, the Church interfered in political debates. Even in France, where laicism as a republican achievement is otherwise respected from all sides, many bishops broke a promise in the past presidential election. For, indeed, the chief shepherds were anxious to keep away from every conception of partisanship; especially after the departure of the French Catholic candidate, Francois Fillon . Just a week before the election day in May, two bishops expressed their opposition to the right-wing candidate, Marine Le Pen . The populist was still considered a favourite in the polls, but ultimately fell sharply against the independent, Emmanuel Macron,

For quite other reasons than their French brothers in office, the Polish bishops have also recently been subjected to political criticism. In the most Catholic state of Europe, the church has traditionally been on the side of the government since the turn of the century ; also because political opposition still generates scepticism in the young democracy. But the majority government of the national conservative party, PiS, which has been in power for two years, has put the traditional tolerance of the bishops to the test.

When the new government began to remove power the constitutional court of the country at the end of 2015, the church remained calm. Later the Episcopal Conference called for a pacification of the embittered debate. The shepherds, on the other hand, did not comment on the threatened dismantling of the rule of law. However, one year later, when the conflict between the government and the opposition had become even sharper, their demand became clearer: both sides would have to stop talking in slogans and talk with each other.

Polish bishops criticize the government

In September 2017, there was finally clear and clear criticism of the government . The bishops turned against the idea, virulent in government circles, of demanding reparations for the Second World War from Germany. For the bishops, who had made one of the strongest signs of reconciliation after the war, through the reconciliation with their German brothers in office, this was an unacceptable affront against newly won friends.

Populist provocations are currently also the order of the day in the USA and concern the Catholic Church in the country. The relationship of the bishops to the competing parties is ambivalent as in no other democracy as in the United States. While a broad support for Hillary Clinton emerged before the presidential elections last November, the US bishops deliberately withdrew. From their point of view, the Democrat did not only address ethically questionable positions, for example, in matters of life protection. One month before the election day, moreover, complaints were made about Catholics from Clinton's election campaign. In the end, the chief shepherds declared that the issue of life protection was a crucial test for Catholics and indirectly helped Republican Donald Trump.

After the billionaire had won the election with the help of a majority of the Catholic electorate, the bishops began to make progress in abortion. At the same time, it quickly became clear that the Church would have to contradict the Republican in most other questions. Whether migration, the entry ban or the North Korean conflict: on all the decisions which Trump exploits for propaganda, there are criticisms from the bishops. It was only on Wednesday that the Bishop's conference called Trump climate policy a "disappointment".

Marx wants "verbal disarmament" after the German Parliamentary election

The bishops in Austria and the Czech Republic can still hope that they will not lose out after the elections in their respective countries. But it is more likely that the populists will also celebrate their successes there. Thus, despite all warnings from the Church, the entry of the AfD into the recently elected Bundestag was also foreseeable. The German bishops, however, remained on their line to reject populism. In a first statement, the President of the German Bishops' Conference, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, called for "verbal disarmament" after the election campaign. He especially hoped that he would not have to hear in the future: "the language of hatred and exclusion".


Muslims want distance put between them and "unbelievers" in cemetries

A Muslim burial ground will not exist in Oberhaching, at least in the next few years. The main town council committee decided in its latest meeting.

Oberhaching - The town council focused on the harmonious shape of the cemetery in Oberhaching during the 1970s. This is true today and not just for the external form. Tolerance towards other denominations is a self-evident foundation. This also means that there should be no confessional trenches. Also no whole areas from which other believers are excluded. It was precisely this desire that an Islam-confessing family had now expressed to Mayor Stefan Schelle (CSU). The main and financial committees of the Town Council made a clear refusal to this request.

The cemetery of Oberhaching is circular and oriented towards the center as a circle. Each grave field has its own orientation. In one field, urn burial is possible, in the other an anonymous burial, in the third a burial under a tree, as Mayor Schelle clarified to the Münchner Merkur.  The wishes of the mourning relatives for the ritual of burial are, of course, met in Oberhaching. A Muslim funeral with its own rituals (provided that they are compatible with the applicable laws) is just as possible as with any other religion. The deceased, as the Mayor of Schelle knows, are so buried that they look to Mecca on their side. "This is not a problem either. In our graveyard, graves can be freely aligned. "

"Is there a metre specification in the Koran?"

All for the best. The Muslim family, however, claimed a whole burial ground. In this, everything should be aligned in the direction of Mecca. This contradicts the basic concept in Oberhaching with an open structure, as the committee argues. Moreover, according to Schelle, no unbelievers should be buried in the immediate vicinity of this burial ground. "Then it will be difficult."

The family had a Muslim funeral director at the appointment in the mayor's office, who demanded a certain distance from the remaining graves. The mayor had no understanding for this. Schelle asked, "Is the distance to the Jewish fellow-citizen wider than to the Christian or to someone who has left the church? Or is there a metre specification in the Koran? That about 2.80 meters deep must keep a corresponding distance of 2.80 meters? "

Own grave areas for Muslims in Munich and Ottobrunn

The family did not allow itself to be budged from their request and referred to similar arrangements of burial grounds in Munich. Muslims have their own areas at the Wood Cemetery as well as at the West and Southern Cemeteries. For two years there has been a Muslim graveyard in Ottobrunn. There are over 1,200 Muslim believers in the area. The local authority wanted to demonstrate with this gesture, the separate field, that the Muslims belong to it. However, the offer was hardly in demand. According to the local authority, only one grave has been occupied for the past two years.

The Mayor of Oberhachingen understands something different about "belonging" in the community. He considers the demand for their own grave field to be exaggerated: "If only Muslims are buried in a whole district, then we get a problem. Then I have the Buddhists on the cheek tomorrow. And, in the end, it is said, "There is the Catholic part behind, and the evangelical next door." Moreover, the Muslims are not necessarily one among themselves, for example the Shiites with the Sunnis, the Alevites and the Wahabites.

Schelle summarized: "It is not possible to make any claims to graveyards. It is part of the freedom of religion that the other religion is tolerated alongside itself. The Christian must also tolerate that there is a Muslim beside him. "


Friday, October 13, 2017

‘Miracle’: Cebu’s Cardinal Vidal wakes up from coma


CEBU CITY, Philippines – Physicians attending to Cebu Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal described the former prelate’s revival from a two-day coma as a miracle, saying they were preparing for the worst.

Vidal, 86, the country’s most senior cardinal, was rushed to the Perpetual Succour Hospital past 2 am on Wednesday, October 11, due to fever and shortness of breath. The retired cardinal, however, collapsed a few hours later in the same hospital and fell into a coma."

Full story

Full interview- Cardinal Müller speaks out on Catechism, Amoris Laetitia and the Correctio Filialis, attacks bishops


"Clarify the unclear and do not obscure the clear"

Cardinal Gerhard Müller on over 25 years of the World Catechism and the question of whether "Amoris laetitia" is Thomistic.

Eminence, the Catechism of the Catholic Church is now a quarter-century old. It is always said that the theologians in Germany had at that time been somewhat disdainful and judged it as handed down from above. You were a dogmatic theologian in Munich at that time. How did you receive the new Compendium of the Faith from Rome in 1992?

At that time, I let internationally renowned theologians write profound analysis on the subject as I was the chief editor of the Munich Theological Journal. That has found a good response. However, there were some disagreeable objections from colleagues who were fed more by an anti- Roman resentment. The opponents of that time have now changed their coat into enthusiastic Papal devotees.

Is this World Catechism a summary of the theology and results of the Second Vatican Council, or a step back behind the Council, as critics claim?

Certainly, it is a good summary of the entire doctrine of the Church in the light of the Second Vatican. The slogans such as "beyond the Council" - the so-called "Bologna School" - or "behind it" are simply stupid, that every historical and systematic expert knowledge glances off.

The time has passed since 1992. The Holy Year 2000 came, including the great prayer of forgiveness of the Latin Church, then the teaching of Benedict XVI and finally that of Pope Francis. Must one today "rewrite" the World Catechism, that is to say, to supplement more recent aspects – on is thinking of "Amoris laetitia"?

It is certainly possible to supplement some aspects of the doctrinal development in a ne32 version in response to new medical, bioethical and scientific challenges. The content of the Faith handed down by the Apostles, the "depositum fidei", is both invariable and variable in its forms of expression and understanding. It is worthwhile to study on this subject the second chapter of the Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, "Dei verbum" of the Second Vatican Council entitled " Handing On Divine Revelation".

The debate on "Amoris laetitia" is relentless and it is always said that at the theological core this post-synodal writing is pure Thomism. In the Second Synod on Marriage and the Family, it was above all the German linguistic circle, which apparently, on the basis of the propositions of Saint Thomas Aquinas, united itself to a common language rule. You sat in this language group. What happened then?

I myself have raised the reference to Questions 79 and 80 of the Third Part of the "Summa theologiae" in this language group, so that Cardinal Christoph Schönborn was happy about all that his brother of the Order had already written six hundred years ago on the subject of the lawful and fruitful Reception of the Eucharist. It is said that the final report was adopted with one vote, namely mine. The truth however was this vote was secret. If the Holy Father calls the "Doctor communis" to assist the right interpretation of "Amoris laetitia" in the light of the Catholic doctrine of the sacrament defined at the Council of Trent, then this can mean only in the explanations of "Amoris laetitia" to make the clarity of St. Thomas the criterion, and not vice versa. We want to clarify the unclear and not to obscure the clear. In an introductory essay to an essay by Professor Rocco Buttiglione, I tried to make the most of the situation. The unity of the Church must be preserved in the truth of the Gospel.

See also Cardinal Schönborn on the writing of the Catechism

Could St Thomas, therefore, sign the pastoral instructions which the Bishops of Malta, the Philippines, or the Greater Buenos Aires district have given to their parish priest on the basis of "Amoris laetitia" especially with regard to the remarried divorced?

Some of these episcopal statements have attempted a purely textual interpretation of "Amoris laetitia". They thought that, in a mere doctrinal positivism, they could dispense with the examination of their theses against the findings of the entire teaching tradition of the Church, and above all in the corpus of Scripture, and still with the renunciation of the principles of interpretation of Catholic theology based on Revelation itself. The applause of the published opinion is by no means a theological criterion. A synopsis of these texts with the corresponding statements of St. Thomas on the Sacraments of Repentance, the Eucharist and marriage, conscience, the commandments of God and the concept of grave sin and the state of sanctifying grace could open many eyes.

There are "doubts" on some points of "Amoris laetitia". The "Correctio filialis" has brought the accusation of heresy into the room. You propose a mediated dialogue between advocates and critics of Papal letter. How could this look?

There has been a gap developing between fierce critics and most biting advocates. The dispute can neither be extinguished nor solved by an attempted knock-out blow. We must solve the theological and pastoral problems objectively with an advance of trust and help the affected persons as best they can on their way to God. Neither can the indissolubility of the marriage be shaken, nor can we remain inactive in the face of the many marriage crises. Somehow, both concerns are correct. Some set a stop sign in front of a dangerous ditch, the others are already trying to build bridges over it. Both are necessary on the path of salvation.


Question 79 On the Effects of the Sacrament

Question 80 The Use or Receiving of the Sacrament in General

Cardinal Müller criticises national episcopal conferences on Amoris Laetitia

Müller: Do not sit out dispute over Amoris Laetitia

Gerhard Ludwig Müller promotes a dialogue between supporters and critics of "Amoris laetitia". At the same time he sees a red line in the interpretation of the letter, which should not be crossed.

Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller has again promoted a dialogue in the dispute over the interpretation of the Papal letter, "Amoris laetitia" on marriage and family. "A gap has been opened between the most critical critics and the most biting advocates," the former prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith analysed in an interview with the Catholic newspaper "Die Tagespost" (Saturday) in Würzburg. "The dispute can neither be extinguished nor solved by any knock-out hits being attempted."

Müller: Pastoral care must help with marriages

Mueller says that "with an advance of trust, the theological and pastoral problems should be solved objectively and the affected persons would be best be helped on their way to God." The indissolubility of the marriage cannot be shaken. In view of the many marriage crises, however, one should not remain inactive in pastoral care. "Somehow, both concerns are right. Some set a stop sign before a dangerous ditch, the others are trying to build bridges over it." "Both are necessary" on the path of salvation.

The Cardinal also criticised the interpretations of several national and regional bishops' conferences, including Malta and the Philippines, which derive from the Papal letter that re-married divorced persons could be admitted to communion in certain circumstances. Some of these episcopal declarations were of the opinion that they could forgo the basic principles of interpretation of the Catholic Church, Müller complained. The applause of the published opinion, however, is "not a theological criterion."


Protestants could be admitted to Catholic Communion next year according to Protestant leader

In the opinion of the Council President of the Protestant Church in Germany, Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, Protestants could be admitted to the Catholic communion.


"You have to talk about it," said Bedford-Strohm on Friday in Munich. The Catholic German Bishops' Conference was discussing this and wrestling with the issue a bit. "We may be anxious; I am very optimistic that there will be a result next year. "The Reformation Jubilee has strengthened ecumenism, said the Bavarian regional bishop.

There was much friendship and confidence between the two great Christian churches in comparison to the past few years: "What two or three years ago there was distrust with regard to the celebration of this year, where the Catholics thought the Protestants now want to promote themselves. "
On October 31, 500 years ago, the reformer Martin Luther (1483-1546) had succeeded in nailing his 95 theses against the indulgences on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg. This led to the division of the church. In Bavaria, there were more than 4000 events for the anniversary.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Bishop resigns after clashing with his diocese over Latin Mass

Pope accepts premature retirement from the French bishop
French radio station reports about clashes between members of the rural diocese of Lucon and their local bishop

Pope Francis accepted the premature retirement of the Bishop of Lucon, Alain Castet. This was announced by the Vatican and the French Bishops' Conference on Thursday. The 67-year-old headed the Loire diocese in western France since 2008. Reasons for the resignation were not officially named.

The French radio station "Franceinfo" reports of numerous clashes between members of the rural diocese and the bishop who worked 33 years in Paris. One reason was his participation in a meeting of the traditionalist of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter in Wigratzbad. In addition, the broadcaster reports that the bishop celebrates the Mass, especially according to the pre-conciliar rite and basically without women at the altar. His communication behaviour is described as difficult.