In Brief

Source: FSSPX News


Argentina: Archbishop of La Plata against rock music


Mgr. Hector Aguer does not like rock music. During the course of a reflection made during the television program Key for a better world, the archbishop of La Plata described this music as a “sub-culture”. He commented particularly on the climate which surrounds rock music: the noise and the alcohol, among other things. Mgr. Hector Aguer said that “this type of music encouraged a kind of anarchic freedom” which did nothing for either men or women. In his opinion, “rock culture is incompatible with the Christian life.” And he added that Argentina had a wealth of folk music sufficient to warrant its being protected.

Germany: World Youth Days in Cologne open to non-Catholics

The World Youth Day (WYD) 2005 in Cologne will be more open to those who are far from the Church. “We hope that the spark of the Holy Spirit will move them,” said the secretary general of WYD, Mgr. Heiner Koch, stressing the importance of “contact with the sister Churches.” Four major ecumenical celebrations will express the close ties existing between the “Christian churches”. More than a million young people from every part of the world are expected between August 11 and 21.

Canada: Archbishop of Quebec forbids general absolution

For Lent 2005, Cardinal Marc Ouellet, archbishop of Quebec addressed a pastoral letter to his faithful, which read: “I ask all pastors and all ministers of the sacrament (of penance) to suspend general absolution throughout the diocese.” And he recalled the teaching of the Motu proprio Misericordia Dei of John Paul II (April 2002) on the ordinary form of the sacrament: “Individual and integral confession with absolution constitutes the only standard form by which a person, conscious of a mortal sin, is reconciled to God and the Church.” The primate of Canada specified that this ban on general absolution “was intended to encourage not a step back to the past, but a deepening of personal conversion in the spirit of the Church.”

Switzerland: Advertising campaign by the Catholic Church in Geneva

“Jeroboam is not just a large bottle of wine”, “Sion is not just a football club”. Such are the messages that the people of Geneva can read on the trams and buses, reminding them that well known consumer goods have names taken from the Bible. The object of this campaign, according to those responsible, is to suggest that the Church has a disinterested vocation, having “nothing to sell but everything to offer.” Something which does not stop it every year for the past three years, spending 250,000 Swiss francs on this publicity operation. With tangible results: the total revenue in 2001 was 4,200,000 Swiss francs, which increased to 6,700,000 francs in 2004.

Brazil: Cardinal Hummes notes decline in number of Catholics in Latin America

In the face of a major decline in the number of Catholics in South America, the Church should be asking herself why she can not keep her faithful, the archbishop of Sao Paulo has said. If the Church is not capable of offering them a “greater religious experience”, people will look elsewhere. And it is mostly sects who rush to meet them: they are more “emotional” and preach in a simpler fashion . Sects do their best to seek direct contact with new followers, whereas the Catholic Church waits for people in the parishes, he lamented. In plain language, Cardinal Hummes found that sects were more efficient than the Catholic Church, commercially speaking.

Spain: Religious teaching in state schools

The reform of religious education in state schools is one of the many subjects of disagreement between the Spanish socialist government and the Catholic Church. On Friday February 17, the head of the government, José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, during an interview given to Radio Cadena Ser, said that he was going to “guarantee the right” to this instruction. “Religious instruction,” he said, “is a right which must be guaranteed and which the government is going to guarantee.” He was saying the exact opposite of the Academic State Council, a consultative body which, the day before, had recommended the suppression of religious education in state schools because it was contrary to the constitutional rights of citizens.