Precisions on the public burning of the Da Vinci Code
Relying on the report of CIPA press agency, we printed that in Ceccano two priests had publicly burnt copies of the novel by Dan Brown (see DICI 137). A faithful Italian reader told us that this was done not by two priests but by two laymen, municipal councilors of the town of Ceccano, in the province of Frosinone, near Rome, namely a lawyer, and Christian Democrat, Stefano Gizzi, and Doctor Massimo Ruspandini, a member of the National Alliance. This is all to their honor.
Canada: Catholic marriage on the decline in Quebec
In 2004, 8142 Catholic marriages were celebrated out of a total of 14523 for all denominations. According to the Quebec daily Le Soleil, among the marriages contracted outside of the Catholic Church, an increasing number of marriages took place in two sects "very active in this field". Thus Line Giguère, assistant-director of the "Priestly Society of the Children of Aquarius" (New Age), declared that the rhythm of marriages among the Children of Aquarius is 200 per year and has today reached a total of "at least 5000". To these are added the marriages in the sect "The New Thinking". Both groups declared that they gather about a hundred celebrants… Two interviews precede the marriage ceremony, price is 395 $, tax included.
Belgium: Bishops against shops opening on Sundays
Last March, the Liberal-Socialist government of Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt decided to "modernize" the rules for commerce authorizing shops to open on 9 Sundays per year.
After the trade-unions and the Distribution Federation (employers) had shown themselves openly hostile to this measure, the Bishops’ Conference of Belgium in a communiqué of June 7 said that "the day of the Lord" must not become "a day like the others". Opposed to shops opening on Sundays, the bishops added: "In a society already so much stamped with individualism, a limitation of the working time is necessary in order to allow a minimum of family contacts, and some cultural life as well as collective entertainments. To submit Sundays even more to commercial pressure will be done to the detriment of common life". - And also to the detriment of Sunday Mass attendance!!
The Netherlands: Only eleven new priests this year
The Dutch Bishops’ Conference announced the ordination of eleven priests this year instead of 12 in 2005 and 16 in 2001. Out of the seven Dutch Catholic dioceses, the diocese of Rœmond has no ordination this year, neither does the diocese of Breda which has not given a single priest for five years.
The Catholic Church, the largest religious community in the Netherlands, numbered 4.6 million members as of the beginning of 2006. However, Sunday Mass attendance is steadily declining; less than 8% Catholics attended Sunday Mass in 2004.
Spain: Toledo’s cardinal is angry
In the Italian daily Il Tempo of June 15, Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, archbishop of Toledo declared: "The legislation introduced by the government of Prime Minister José Luis Zapatero is a kind of death sentence for the family". "A policy of support of the family has been replaced by a policy which negates it at the root" and even if this "may annoy the government", continued the cardinal, (…) "the Church cannot shrink from the duty of affirming that, without the family, there is no future for man, no future for society".
The day before, the cardinal vice-president of the Spanish Bishops’ Conference had stated during a lecture at the Catholic University of Toledo: "How can we say no to the war (in Iraq), how can we say no to violence, to violence in the home and say yes to abortion?"