In brief

Source: FSSPX News


Departure of electors from the College of Cardinals

Cardinal Jan Chrysostom Korec, archbishop of Nitra in Slovakia, reached 80 years of age on January 22, thus leaving the circle of cardinals eligible to vote. To date, 129 cardinals out of 193 are entitled to vote.

The next cardinals to leave the group of eligible voters are Indian D. Simon Lourdusamy, February 5, the Italian Silvano Piovanelli, February 21, and the Pole Anrzej Maria Deskur, February 29.

Role of the laity in the Church

The plenary assembly of the Congregation for the Clergy was held the 8-10 January in Rome. It dealt with two themes: the collaboration of faithful with the priests and the pastoral activity of priests in the shrines.

About the "collaboration of the faithful with priests through various organizations of consultation" (the presbytery, the diocesan pastoral council and various parochial councils) created by Vatican II, Jean-Paul II recalled, on welcoming the participants in this session: "the legitimate pastors, in the exercise of their mission, should never be regarded as simple executors of decisions deriving from the majority opinions given by the parish council (...) the structure of the Church cannot be designed on simply human political models. Its hierarchical constitution is based on the will of Christ and, as such, forms part of the depositum fidei - the deposit of the Faith - which must be preserved and transmitted whole and entire down through the centuries ".

Underlining the problems encountered in this field, Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos, Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, affirmed to Radio Vatican "the councils which would like to have the capacity of government and to thus dominate the parish, even the Church, are not lacking".

These reminders are very necessary. We hope there will follow disciplinary measures which will make them effective.

Laicism, here is the enemy?

Questioned on Radio Vatican, January 15, Cardinal Roberto Tucci, former organizer of papal trips, declared that Europe was discovering the "religion" of laicism.

While wanting to be outside the realm of religion, it is creating its own religious creed, which in fact goes against religion as a social fact", he explained. "That is very serious: laicism is ever more openly becoming what it always was, i.e. an ideology, which is not a true respect of beliefs and religious freedoms. The laicism of today is tending more and more toward becoming a "counter-faith", which however, claims to be more and more the faith of everyone".

The Islamic-Catholic Dialogue at an impasse?

"I encourage you, you and the representatives for the various religions, to promote a culture of dialogue, mutual comprehension and respect (...) Faced with the tragedies which continue to afflict humanity, it is all the more necessary to convince people that peace is possible. It is even a duty", declared John-Paul II to the participants in the 9th annual congress of the Islamic-catholic liaison committee, organized in the consistory hall of the Vatican by the Pontifical Commission for Religious Relations with the Moslems, the 20 and 21 of January.

"Your committee, which facilitates the communication between Christians and Moslems, was established at a time of great expectation of peace in the world. Unfortunately this hope has not yet been answered", he concluded.