In brief

Source: FSSPX News


France: Plenary Assembly of Bishops from June 13 to 15

 The plenary assembly of the bishops of France will now take place from June 13 to 15 in the Paris Region at Chevilly-Larue. Initially planned for April 5-8 at Lourdes, it was postponed because of the death of John Paul II. The main point of the work will be concerned with the reform of the French Bishops Conference.


 Germany: 100,000 euros for VW Golf which once belonged to pope

 More than 100,000 euros were offered on May 5 for the Volkswagen Golf, the former car of Pope Benedict XVI, offered for auction on the Internet. The starting price was 10,000 euros. After several hours of the bidding, the page entitled “Pope’s Golf-cult vehicle” had been visited more than 6.3 million times. The metallic grey car was driven for the first time six years ago. Its owner, a young German, had bought the car last January.


 France: Bishops protest to the CSA concerning the “Guignols”

 The French Bishops Conference has lodged a complaint with the Superior Audiovisual Council (CSA) after the broadcast, on Wednesday April 20, of “Guignols de l’Info” (The News Clowns) on Canal Plus, where a sequence was particularly injurious with regard to Pope Benedict XVI: “The former misrepresented, in a particularly unacceptable manner, the character of the pope and the values he embodied, and it compared all Germans to the most abominable of regimes.” In a communiqué, the management of the television channel expressed “its regrets.”


 China: Arrest of seven Catholic priests faithful to Rome

 Seven priests, aged between 30 and 50, of the “clandestine” Catholic Church, who were on a retreat at Wuqiu, in the province of Hebei, with Mgr. Giulio Jiazhiguo, a bishop “not recognized” by Zhengding, were arrested on April 27. The prelate had himself come out of a month under close surveillance by the security forces who have banned him from all religious activity. After the election of Benedict XVI, the Beijing government had, actually assured the Vatican of its wish to improve its relations with the Catholic Church. Intimidation? These priests were released after eight days of “observation.”


 Australia: Arson attack on Sydney Cathedral


Sydney Cathedral has narrowly escaped disaster. It was thanks to the rapid reaction of some visitors that the fire was not able to spread, said the priest, Mgr. Brian Rayner on May 5. The police arrested the main suspect, a 35 year old Nepalese man, several hours after the attack. On the same day, in Melbourne, began the trial of Novak Majstorovic, aged 19, accused of an arson attack on a church of the Uniting Church in August 2004. This heavy metal singer, a member of the Scandinavian anti-Christian group Burzum claimed responsibility for the attack after the building was reduced to ashes. He had also participated in arson attacks on several churches in Norway in the 1990’s


Rome: Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos in favor of immediate beatification of John Paul II

 The Colombian Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy and president of the Ecclesia Dei Commission, has said in an interview with the religious television channel Teleradiopadrepio that he repeated “with the people: make John Paul II a saint now!” This demand was shouted in St. Peter’s Square during the funeral of Karol Woytyla, on April 8, six days after his death. (see DICI no 114)

The high ranking prelate wanted the beatification of John Paul II to coincide with the 85th anniversary of his birth, May 18 next. “There is no lack of miracles, he already worked some when he was alive,” he said. The Vatican spokesman, Joaquin Navarro Valls, said on April 9, that the beatification of John Paul II was a matter for the “exclusive competence” of the new Sovereign Pontiff.


 France: Cardinal Medina “special envoy” of Benedict XVI to Le Barroux

 On May 12, Cardinal Jorge Medina Estevez consecrated the new church of the community of the Benedictine sisters of Le Barroux. He was there as the “special envoy” of Benedict XVI. This decision, seen as a mark of esteem on the part of the new pope, received no official comment. A journalist of the Italian daily Il Giornale, Andrea Tornielli, wrote that the news had provoked the ill feeling of those at the Vatican who consider that the Traditionalists case is not for discussion. In 1995, Cardinal Ratzinger himself visited Le Barroux.