News Brief

Source: FSSPX News


United Kingdom: From the crib at Bethlehem to the Wall of separation

 This year, the faithful have been unable to admire the crib scene at the Sacred Heart Catholic church in St. Ives in the county of Cambridgeshire. Fr. Paul Maddison, the parish priest, has replaced the traditional crib with its sheep, donkey and ox, by a wall, as a protest against the inhuman conditions imposed on the inhabitants of Bethlehem. The parish recalls that unemployment in the Palestinian territories stands at more than 70%, the public services (schools, health service, etc.) on the verge of paralysis and infant malnutrition in the Holy Land is similar to that of the Congo or Zimbabwe.


Switzerland: Catholic church used as place of ecumenical worship

As of January 6, a Catholic church is used as a place of ecumenical worship in the Zurich town of Grafstal bei Kemptthal, south of Winterthour. It is used communally or according to the rites appropriate to each denomination, bringing together the faithful of the Catholic parish of St. Martin and those of the Protestant church of Lindau.

This ecumenical collaboration is due to the efforts of Monika Schmid, “Gemeindeleiterin” – theologian responsible for St. Martin’s parish.

Thus every first Saturday of the month there will be a joint celebration uniting Catholics and Protestants. This initiative is a response to the desire to “not organize ecumenism as a mere event – as a one-off – but to integrate it into daily life.”


Canada: Tribunal rules that a child can have one father and two mothers

The Court of Appeal of Ontario has ruled that a child may legally have one father and two mothers, with regard to a lesbian couple who are bringing up “their” five year old boy with the help of his biological father. The child, born in 2001, calls both of the women who look after him “mom.”

The Director of the Catholic Organization for Life and the Family (OCVF), Michèle Boulva has stated that a study must be made of the impact on children of decisions concerning the redefinition of the concept of marriage and the family. The OCVF is campaigning for the reestablishment of the traditional definition of marriage, called into question by the introduction of same-sex “marriage”. Michèle Boulva would like to see a global policy on the family, which would give priority to the rights and needs of children in the face of the wishes of adults. In her view, the Canadian government cannot leave the care of defining such matters to tribunals.


Holland: Researchers anticipate a shortage of incense

In twenty or thirty years, the boswellias of Ethiopia, whose aromatic resin is the basis for the manufacture of incense, could disappear through lack of time for their regeneration. This warning was given by Dutch and African researchers, printed by the Journal of Applied Ecology which is published by the British Ecological Society.

Incense is produced mainly from the boswellias which are found in the Horn of Africa: Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia. Dutch researchers from the university of Wageningen and African scientists have studied its exploitation in these three countries and have asked for the establishment of rules governing the production of resin, so that the trees have time to regenerate. Without which, the production of incense could be seriously jeopardized in the near future.