News Brief

Source: FSSPX News


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Austria: Vatican Dispensed Bishop Wagner From Being a Bishop

In a communiqué from the Vatican on March 2, the Pope dispensed Bishop Gerhard Maria Wagner “from accepting the post of auxiliary Bishop of Linz”, in Austria. Benedict XVI has thus complied with Bishop Wagner’s request for the annulment of his nomination presented on February 15 last. A 54-year old parish priest in Windischgarsten, he was named auxiliary Bishop of Linz on  January 31 last. In Austria this decision provoked great controversy. Catholic associations mobilized against the nomination of a conservative priest, fearing that it would alienate faithful from the Church. (See DICI n° 190).

Despite this, or perhaps because of it, Father Wagner will be named as an emeritus citizen of Windischgarsten, by decision of Mr. Norbert Vögerl, Mayor of the town.


New Postal Stamps for the Vatican

Beside a series of stamps published on February 10, on the occasion of the 80th Anniversary of the foundation of the Vatican State and City and the 700th year of devotion to Our Lady of Europe (Gibraltar), the Vatican State and City Philatelic Bureau is to issue new stamps in the course of the year. Among them will be those to mark the Centenary of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, the International Year of Astronomy, World  Book and Copyright Day, the 500 years of Raphael’s “Dispute over the Holy Sacrament”, the Bicentenary of Louis Braille’s Birth and the 50th Anniversary of the Convocation of Council Vatican II.


The Ukraine: Catholics Recuperate Church Which Had Been Turned into a Casino 

The Catholic Church, which is a minority in the Ukraine, has declared itself satisfied with the promise made by the Local Authorities of Dnipropetrovsk to return a church, which had been confiscated under the Soviet Regime, a year after an American company had bought it in order  to turn it into a Casino. “The Regional Government has offered a different site to the company concerned and we have now reached some preliminary agreements”, explained Oleg Kovyniov, speaking on behalf of the Kharkiv-Zaporijia diocese. “We still don’t know whether this transfer will be delayed by further legal obstacles. Nonetheless, if we manage to assemble sufficient manpower and resources, the church might be used again in a year’s time.”

Bishop Marian Buczek, bishop of Kharkiv-Zaporizhia, declared that there were still legal requirements to be completed before the church could be handed over, especially those concerning immediate preservation work  which has been carried out on the dome. The Latin-rite Catholic Church numbers 870 parishes in the Ukraine and the Greco-Catholic Church 3.386.


Vatican: Inauguration of Solar Panels

The Vatican’s State and City Governing Authorities officially inaugurated solar panels on the roof of the Paul VI’s Hall, in which General Audiences take place. The structure, composed of 5000m2 of roofing was entirely financed by the German Company, Solar World, for an estimated cost of 1,2 million euros.  2394 photovoltaic cell panels were installed between September and November and went into use on the evening of November 25. This installation should produce 300 megawatts a year, to supply all or part of the building electrical needs. The Hall, built by the architect Pier Luigi Nervi between 1966 and 1971, also contains offices and rooms for the Bishop’s Synod. The new installation should enable an economy equivalent to 80 tons of oil per year

Solar energy began to be used this year, 2009, on the roof of the canteen of the employees of the Vatican State and City. Solar panels should also enable the production of hot or cold water for the building’s air conditioning. Beside, Frank Asbeck, German  President and delegated Administrator of the Solar World Company, has disclosed his intention of presenting the Pope with an ecological “Pope mobile” working off solar energy.