News briefs

Source: FSSPX News


France: The question of traditionalists is the order of the day in the assembly of bishops at Lourdes

The Plenary Assembly of French Bishops was held the 4th through the 7th of April. It was a closed-door event. On the agenda, three main questions: the suburban situation and the social crisis today – for this topic the bishops invited Jean-Marie Bockel, senator-mayor of Mulhouse and Jean-Louis Borloo, Minister of Labor, Social Cohesion and Housing, on Thursday, April 6; the reform of the structures of the French Bishops’ Conference, around two themes: the vote on the new statutes of the Conference of French Bishops and the definition of the mission statements of national services; the question of the “traditionalist” groups and the reception into the diocesan churches of the faithful attached to Tradition.

Poland: The birth home of John-Paul II purchased and offered

At the end of March, the Krauze Foundation acquired the birth-home of the Polish pope, where he lived the first 18 years of his life. Fr. Robert Necek, spokesman for Msgr. Dziwicz, Archbishop of Krakow, declared that on March 31 Ryszard Krauze, president of an information technology group, had made a gift before a notary of the house in Wadowice – which has become the John-Paul II Museum – to the Archdiocese of Krakow.

France: 50,000 youths have joined the sects

Philippe Vuilque, Socialist Party deputy and president of the Study Group on the Sects in the National Assembly, declared on March 31 during a meeting in Saint-Priest: “Several thousand children and adolescents are in sects today. They represent a profitable investment: they ensure continuity”. Jean-Pierre Jougla, member of the National Union of Associations for the Defense of Families and Individuals (UNADFI), estimated at 50,000 children the number of victims of the 700 sects active in France (including the Jehovah’s Witnesses), representing a total of 700,000 members.

United States: Abortion forbidden in South Dakota

In February, the state of South Dakota adopted a new law forbidding the practice of abortion, except when the mother’s life is in danger. Regarding this challenge to the legality of abortion, allowed in the U.S. by the Supreme Court in 1973, President George Bush responded to the ABC television network that, to him, there should be “three exceptions”: “rape, incest and the life of the mother”. And he specified that it should be the life of the mother that’s in danger and not just her health, which is “a very vague term”. This bill is also being discussed in the Legislature of the state of Mississippi.

Germany: A mosque can hide another one

At the end of March, the German magazine Der Spiegel declared that 39 of the 2,500 mosques in Germany sheltered Islamic radicals. Fifteen of them were identified as dangerous “centers of radicalization” and recruitment, according to information gathered by organs of the Federation and the states charged with the protection of the Constitution. The report of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, which will be published next May, could reveal this information.

Poland: No alcohol for Poles during the visit of Benedict XVI

Jacek Bartlewicz, spokesman for the prefect of the region of Krakow announced the visit of Benedict XVI to Poland to take place between the 25th and the 28th of May. Visits are planned to Warsaw, to the Marian shrine of Czestochowa, to Wadowice, native city of John-Paul II and to the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp.

“There will be no sale of alcohol during the pope’s visit”, declared the prefect of the region of Krakow. This was the case all along the itinerary of John-Paul II during his visits.

France: A Muslim institute to form imams in Lille

The Avicenna Institute of Muslim Theology will open next September in Lille and will hand out diplomas “including doctoral degrees”, declared the president of the National Federation of French Muslims (FNMF). A private institution, financed by “gifts and support” and by “co-financing” of various institutions, it will be a place of “reflection” and of “dialogue”. It will have a curriculum on theological research and study given by Muslim scholars, teachers and imams”. Among the instructors will be: Pierre Joxe, former socialist minister, “on the institutions of contemporary France and the European Union”, Dominique Chevalier, an orientalist, Paul Balta, a writer, as well as Catholic, Protestant and Jewish personalities.

United States: The “Pizza-King” wants to build a Catholic city

Tom Monaghan, Irish sailor turned “Pizza-King” in the United States, purchased a large tract of land in the Everglades, in Florida. He has plans to build a Catholic city 140 km from Miami with his own funds (the equivalent of 300 million euros). 30,000 inhabitants will be able to come to Ave Maria where life will be ruled by Catholic principles: pornography, abortion and the pill will be illegal. A Catholic university will also be located there.

 [Translator’s note: since this story was written, Monaghan seems to have caved in under pressure from radical civil rights groups and the media. Now he says he will only “suggest” that local stores refrain from selling pornography and says that people of various religions and even homosexuals will be “warmly welcomed”.

France: New criteria for the recognition of miraculous healings

Msgr. Jacques Perrier, Bishop of Tarbes and Lourdes and Father François-Bernard Michel presented new norms for the recognition of healings at Lourdes during a press conference in Paris on March 16. In fact, explained Fr. Michel, “medical science has considerably evolved these last 50 years in both diagnostic and therapeutic techniques”. As a result, “this ever-more advanced medical knowledge and practice has attained a degree of sophistication that it becomes more difficult, in a case of healing, to distinguish what can be attributed to a treatment and what concerns a medically inexplicable phenomenon”.