IN BRIEF

Source: FSSPX News

 

United States: 475 priests ordained in 2007

 At the request of the Secretariat for Vocations and Priestly Formation of the American Bishops’ Conference, the Center for Applied Studies in the Apostolate (CARA) of the University of Georgetown, carried out a survey on the 475 ordinands.

Of the 282 who replied, 221 will be diocesan priests and 61 will be regular priests, spread over 98 archdioceses, dioceses and eparchies of the Eastern Rite, and in 33 religious congregations. The average age of these future priests is 35, one third were born in Vietnam, Mexico, Poland and the Philippines. More than six out of ten had completed their higher education before entering the seminary.

 

 France: Abbé Pierre had asked Rome for the ordination of married men

 In its May/June edition, Le monde des religions published exclusively a letter written by Abbé Pierre on All Saints’ Day 2005 and addressed a short time after to Benedict XVI and the bishops of France. This followed the Synod of Bishops in Rome which confirmed the impossibility of ordaining married men.

Abbé Pierre, who expressed the wish that his letter be published after his death, said in it: “I decided to question all those who, for several decades now, no longer understand. I asked them what should be done? Groups of faithful, priests, bishops, two cardinals in Rome, all said the same thing. Ordain zealous and capable married men.” (…) “Brother bishops, having recently gathered together in Rome for the Synod, you do not yet wish to open this door and give the impatient faithful the answer which most of them know is there. Why wait any longer, when the need is so great?” (…) “Brothers, let us not be afraid! Let us open the doors of our churches! Let us open the door to the priesthood for these thousands of men, of strong faith, ready to enter into this vocation.”

The Vatican has not replied to this letter written by Abbé Pierre, who died last January.

 

 Canada: Pro Life March in Ottawa

 The Canadian Catholic Organization for Life and the Family (COLF), supported by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Canada and the Supreme Council of the Knights of Columbus, called upon their fellow citizens to take part in the 10th National March on Thursday May 10, on the Parliament Hill of Ottawa. We have to “reconsider the unbelievable legal vacuum which persists” in Canada and “allows the unbridled destruction of future citizens by abortion,” declared the COLF. There are “some three million [Canadian] children” who have been killed by abortion since May 14, 1969, the day when abortion was decriminalized in Canada.

“There is no law which protects the child from abortion at any moment during pregnancy,” explained the Pro-Life Organizations and the Montreal Youth mission, the pastoral care service for young people of the diocese of Montreal. “Let us show the government that the young people of Canada know that Life is the only choice.”

The march attained a record participation with the presence of 7,000 demonstrators, 75% of whom were young people. The day had started with speeches from Canadian deputies who were present.

  

Switzerland: Will the Islamic Centre supplant the House of Religions?

 The “The House of Religions” Association has obtained permission from the municipality of Bern for building permission for a project “unique and with a worldwide influence for cultures and religions.” The building will be constructed on the new Place de l’Europe and will offer space for each religion, a Dialogue of Cultures platform, accommodation and a hotel. Its inauguration is scheduled for 2010. The House of Religions has for its mission “to promote dialogue and understanding between cultures,” that is between Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Bahaism. The site will also be an example in opposition to exclusion and the creation of ghettos, said the Bernese offices Bauert and the Dutch Urban office Architects, responsible for the design of the project. The Muslims will have 500m2 at their disposal for the installation of a mosque to their own specifications.

 On April 30, the journal NZZ am Sonntag revealed plans for the construction of one of the largest Islamic Centers in Europe on the site of Wankdorf City, the former location of the abattoirs north of the city of Bern. On an area of more than 23,000 m2, there will be a mosque, an Islamic museum, conference halls, offices and a four star hotel with 120 rooms, at an estimated cost of between 60 and 80 million Swiss francs. Farhad Afshar, a spokesman for Umma, a federation of 11 Muslim associations in the canton of Bern, declared a desire thus “to combine Muslim architecture and Swiss culture, and to make known the richness of Islamic culture” for a better understanding between Muslims and the Swiss people.

 The city of Bern, the proprietor of the zone of Wankdorf City, will announce its final decision on the subject of the allocation of the land next autumn.