In brief

Source: FSSPX News

 

Russia

The Russian Minister of Education is examining the possibilty of introducing an optional course on Orthodox culture into the framework of school education. The Patriarchate of Moscow is still more enthusiastic; it has proposed introducing into the schools a course of initiation into the fundamentals of Orthodox, Muslim, Buddist or Jewish culture « according to region. » There is no mention of Catholic culture…

The Orthodox Patriarch of Russia, Alexis II, proposed to Pope John Paul II on Sunday 22 December to renew « fraternal relations », in a Christmas message addressed to Jean Paul II, according to the Russian press agency Interfax.

Civilta Cattolica goes on the attack

The political and Orthodox authorities of the Russian Federation are in the process of « decapitating » the Catholic communities present on their territory, according to the critical analysis of the Italian Jesuit journal « Civilta Cattolica », in the issue dated 21 December 2002. It alludes notably to the « campaigns of persecution » which are being unleashed against the Catholic Church in Russia for several months now.

« The grave and repeated actions through which a Catholic bishop and priests have been prevented from joining their faithful, hide in reality an intention to decapitate the Catholic communities present in Russia by depriving them of their legitimate and natural spiritual leaders, » writes « Civilta Cattolica ». « These actions, » the authors add, « rekindle our memories of the times of the communist persecution which we had thought definitively to be a thing of the past. (…) The current tale of injustices which the Russian Catholics are living through is becoming a kind of weather vane indicating the direction in which Russia is heading. »

Humanist message of Cardinal Danneels : an appeal to all believers to construct a fraternal society.

At Christmas Midnight Mass in Brussels, in the cathedral of Saints Michel et Gudule, Cardinal Godfried Danneels, Archbishop of Malines-Bruxelles, ended his sermon speaking in French : « On this Christmas night, when Christians celebrate the Prince of peace, permit me – fraternally and without any pretension – to call on my brothers of other churches and Christian denominations, the Jews and the Muslims, to see how we could unite our efforts and work together to establish a society where we are all brothers and sisters, since we all have the same Father. »

Raël sect and cloning

The Raël sect announced on 26 December that they had produced a human baby by the cloning technique. The announcement was followed immediately by universal condemnation. In the face of such news, which seemed at first glance to be totally without foundation, the reactions above all rendered service to the sect in giving it two weeks of high publicity. Such, no doubt, was their primary objective. The second consists in the classic practice of issuing of false information, destined in part to familiarise minds with the unacceptable, and in part to test the resistance and weak points in public opinion. In a word it is certainly not insignificant that this news was announced on 26 December…

Persecutions

Christmas bloodshed in Pakistan : 3 small girls were killed and 16 others injured on Christmas evening in Pakistan in an bomb attack on a Protestant church in the Punjab province. A Christmas of fear and bloodshed for Christians who are greatly in the minority in this country. Violence also marred Christmas in India. Seven people were injured during a Christmas Day Mass by about twenty assailants, who seemingly for criminal motives, violently set about the possessions of the faithful present. Ten other people were injured in attacks committed by militant separatists in Assam in eastern India.

Great Britain

On Christmas Day, BBC1 broadcast a programme on Our Lady containing outrageous and blasphemous remarks, insulting Mary’s perpetual virginity, the Annunciation and her divine motherhood. The faithful of the SSPX followed their priests who gathered at BBC headquarters to publicly protest against this sacrilege and to recite the Rosary in reparation.

Proliferation of satanic sects in Lebanon

In an interview given on Lebanese television LBC1, Elias Murr, Lebanese Minister of the Interior, revealed that a special bureau of the ISF, the Interior Security Forces, has been established to fight against this dangerous phenomenon. The Minister of the Interior indicated that the forces have arrested 23 members of these sects and that 11 other members of these associations, who celebrated « Red Masses » have committed suicide. The majority of them, he declared, left behind letters to their parents affirming that they did not wish for a Mass to be said for the repose of their soul and still less to be buried, according to the report in the latest edition of the Lebanese daily « L’Orient-Le Jour ». The messages of the deceased indicate their desire for their bodies to be cremated and their ashes thrown into the sea.

« The Satan worshipping sects began to spread in Lebanon in 1995, but it is only in the course of the last two years that they have begun to proliferate, » affirms Elias Murr. The minister has warned against the danger of these small groups who celebrate « Red and Black Masses » in graveyards.

Beatifications

Mother Teresa will be beatified on 19 October. Her process of beatification has broken all records for rapidity. Her heroic virtues, as well as a miracle, have been recognised as such at the same time, barely 5 years after her death (the lapse of time required before the introduction of a process at diocesan level). John Paul II has ordered the publication of the 18 decrees which were presented to him on 20 December 2002, thus concluding the canonisation process of 7 candidates for sainthood, the same number for beatification and 4 servants of God whose heroic virtues have thus been recognised.