News Brief

Source: FSSPX News


France: Number of priests keeps dwindling

The French Catholic Directory announces that 142 young men entered the seminary in 2005 against 116 in 2004, and that the number of seminarians in 2005 is 784 against 758 in 2004. We record 98 ordinations of diocesan priests in 2005, and 27 ordinations in the religious orders, which amounts to almost the same total in 2005 and 2004.

In 1995, the Catholic Church in France numbered 28,700 priests, against 21,700 in 2004, and 21,100 in 2005 – 16,000 diocesan priests and about 5,100 religious priests. On the other hand, we note a steady increase of the number of permanent deacons from 1,061 in 1995 to 1,958 in 2005.

 Italy: The reality of the demographic crisis

 On March 3, the Jesuit review La Civiltà Cattolica published an article by Fr. Michele Simone S.J. written shortly after the resignation of Romano Prodi and before the confidence vote by the Senate which re-instated the government.

Speaking of the bill of February 8 of the Prodi government on common-law couples and homosexual couples, the Jesuit Father noted that such a debate “would have been a timely opportunity” to present measures in favor of the family. “In the major part of Western society, demographic crisis is one of the priorities, and up to now Italy has done very little… in favor of the family. Other countries, such as the Scandinavian countries and more recently France, intervened efficaciously. Without doubt, a government too busy with its own “survival” has a hard time establishing the list of political priorities for the common good,” he continued.

Declaring the recognition of homosexual unions as contrary to the family founded on marriage, Fr. Simone denounced a “prevalent ideology… in Western society” in which everything is proposed as a free option within a wide range of free choices: marriage between heterosexuals, concubinage between heterosexuals, homosexual unions, and so forth.<

France: Are religions untouchable?

The weekly Le Pèlerin in its February 7 edition, published a survey made by the Sofres and entitled: Are religions untouchable? The survey shows that 79% of the French “find it unacceptable to publicly make fun of a religion” and 76% “find it unacceptable to publicly make fun of religious representatives.” Mgr Jean-Michel di Falco Léandri, bishop of Gap and President of the Council for Communication of the French Bishops Conference, commented: “What can we say about these results? Can we say that the majority ready-made thinking which is habitually broadcasted by the media only correspond to what is thought by those who have access to the media mouthpiece? If we go by this survey, the answer is yes!”


Austria: Imam wishes pope’s death

The discourse held by imam Adnan Ibrahim at the Al Choura Mosque in the 2nd arrondissement of Vienna last autumn has been made public. Shortly after the address of Benedict XVI at Regensburg University, the imam declared: “Maledictions must follow the pope. The offensive and stupid words against the noble prophet Mohammed show that the present pope is even more of a fool than his predecessors.” And he went on inveighing against the Pope: “May God not keep you alive any longer, you fool! Mohammed is magnificent, whether you want it or not. Your offensive and stupid words against Islam are worthless and do not even so much as scratch the foot of our noble prophet.” – In return, on February 6, the Viennese daily Wiener Zeitung wrote that it was irritating to see the Austrian Islamic community present this imam as “moderate and enlightened.”