Here are a couple of noteworthy and encouraging bits of news.
First… I have to go to Croatia. It keeps popping up on my radar. I had a note from a recently ordained Croatian priest looking for a little help for a building project. And there was the World Cup. And now there is this…
I read at Messa in Latino that in Croatia a new 25 Kune coin has been issued with the image of an unborn child.
Also, I read at lefty La Croix that the Archbishop of Avignon has caused a stir. During a major arts festival
French archbishop causes controversy during Avignon arts festival
The Archbishop of Avignon’s [Jean-Pierre Cattenoz] homily broadcast during the Avignon Festival that champions performing arts has evoked strong criticism especially since the archdiocese also canceled a fundraising campaign in objection to some of the images and messages displayed during the festival.
On Sunday July 15, in the middle of the Avignon Festival, Archbishop Jean-Pierre Cattenoz’s Mass in the Avignon Cathedral was broadcast on Radio France Culture.
“The Festival is a marvelous occasion for us to answer Jesus’ call to evangelism,” said the archbishop.
The month-long Avignon Festival, founded in 1947, is one of the most important contemporary performing arts events in the world.
It is traditional to broadcast one of the Sunday Masses in Avignon Cathedral during the Festival. What was new this year, however, was that the archbishop decided to give the homily himself.
His focus was on “gender, the theme of this year’s festival” and he also called for “conversion and the discovery of the message of the Gospel.”
On the Wednesday after the Mass, an article criticizing the archbishop’s homily was published in the weekly paper, Marianne.
Titled “The public channel France Culture broadcasts a fundamentalist Catholic sermon on LGBT and against Simon Veil,” the article caused a storm of debate on social media.
“I have never met anyone who is L, G, B, T or, now, Q. I only see and know people with the richness of their femininity and masculinity inscribed in their flesh and deep within their most profound being,” the archbishop said. [Good for him!]
He “marveled,” he said, “at the complementarity between man and woman, at the love that springs between them and gives rise to the gift of life.”
“Abortion, assisted suicide, IVF, surrogacy, eugenics – all became possible in the name of a primary principle since 1968: ‘It is forbidden to forbid… my pleasure is my right.’”
He denounced what then came about: “decriminalizing everything and making it a right.” [Do I hear an “Amen!”?]
Archbishop Cattenoz quoted John Paul II: “Abortion is the most abominable crime that there is … the victim is not even able to cry out in its suffering,” and Mother Teresa, who said, “Abortion is abominable because it is a mother killing her own child.”
The archbishop then targeted, without mentioning her name, Simone Veil.
“I am telling you, I wept a few weeks ago when I saw the body of the woman who led the battle to legalize abortion being laid to rest in the Panthéon of the Republic,” he said.
As he concluded, the archbishop of Avignon emphasized the wishes of Jean Vilar, the Festival’s founder, for religion to be given a place in the program. [What do want to be that it won’t be next year?]
He also referred to Pope Francis’ advocacy for the family in mid-June, during an audience with a delegation of the Forum of Family Associations.
In his advocacy, the pope recalled the Nazi obsession with “racial purity” and, in reference to the abortion of babies who have something wrong, said, “We do the same as the Nazis … but with white gloves.”
Relations between the Archdiocese and the Festival are complicated. On the same weekend as the broadcast of the Sunday Mass, the archdiocesan resource center decided to end a fundraising campaign launched on July 10, objecting to some of the images and messages displayed at the Festival. [I am not sure what this part is all about.]
There’s more to the article and the poster problem, which I found rather difficult to piece together. But the sermon of the Archbishop… yahoo!
Fr. Z kudos to Archbishop Cattenoz.