In Brief

Source: FSSPX News


Switzerland: Dominicans in favor of ordination of married men

 Under the title “Des pretres? Encore et pourquoi!,” Sources, the Swiss Dominican revue, has taken a stance in favor of the ordination of married men. At the height of the crisis which has hit the clergy of the Catholic Church, the editorial asserts that, today, the debate can no longer be evaded. “Faced with the evident shortage of ordained priests, the burning question today is: how to overcome this lack in order to ensure, whatever the cost, the spiritual survival of the Christian people?” And he adds: “If it is true, that the Church is built around the Eucharist, it is also true that a priest is needed to preside over it.”


Chile: Introduction of the divorce law

 The law authorizing divorce was passed in April, but came into force only on November 18. The legislation was hailed by the president Ricardo Lagos as “a great step forward.” The Catholic Church in Chile, however, has warned that this law would constitute “a threat to the stability of the institution of marriage and the family.” The Catholic authorities also consider that the legal periods of separation before a divorce are too short. In fact, according to the new law, a couple may divorce one year after separating, if the two parties mutually agree. Otherwise, the divorce may be pronounced only after three years. – Malta and the Philippines are the only two remaining countries where divorce remains forbidden.


Canada: Bishops reduce 2005 budget.

 The Canadian bishops conference is reducing its budget for 2005 by 800,000 Canadian dollars. And in order to achieve this, they are reorganizing their various offices and services. Thus, the Office for aboriginal affairs will disappear in its current form, and will be integrated with the Office of Social Affairs. Similarly, the Offices for Christian Unity, Interreligious dialogue and Interreligious relations will integrate to become a new theological Office.

 “Even though we have had to make adjustments of staff, and reorganize the way our employees work, the Episcopal Commissions which are comprised of bishops, will remain the same,” promised Archbishop Brendan O’Brien of St. John de Terre Neuve, president of the Canadian Bishops Conference. “Certainly we will be demanding more of our staff. They will have to establish priorities regarding the importance of needs.”


Germany: Diocese of Essen must make serious economies.

 According to the German daily Rhein/Ruhr Zeitung, the diocese of Essen, between now and 2009, will have to part with more than a thousand members of its staff. From this perspective, a model will be presented in which the 287 parishes of the diocese will be regrouped into 30 “pastoral units.” Around 200 kindergartens will also have to close. According to the diocesan spokesman, Ulrich Lota, “the internal discussion process has not yet been completed.” The diocesan authorities are in fact waiting for the exact deficit figure before making their official decisions in January 2005.

 Bishop Felix Genn and Vicar General Hans-Werner Thönnes announced budget cuts a long time ago. According to Ulrich Lota, the fiscal receipts for the diocese of the Ruhr are falling sharply. There is also a serious decline in the numbers of faithful and priests in the diocese.