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RU 09/2007 - GERMANY, ALSACE


- GERMANY: Even though many countries, especially France, consider Germany as a haven of culture - and of Marks (less, it's true, as a haven of good politics, God knows it...), here is a very bad cultural news. The Bavarian university of Eichstätt - the only Catholic university in Germany - dispatched to garbage, in 2005 and 2006, some 17 containers of books, totally about 80 tons (100,000 volumes). Yet this university is known in Germany as the "Mekka of librarians"... Most of these books came from a collection of 350,000 volumes that had been given contractually to the university in 1999 by the central Catholic library of Altötting where the complete libraries of tens of Capuchin monasteries and priories of Bavaria had been centralized after their closing down during the years 90. A sue has been filed to the public Ministry at Ingolstadt for "malversation" against the director of the library, Mrs. Angelika Reich, that will probably be extended to the chancellor of the university, Mr Gottfried von der Heydte, as well as against the provincial of the Bavarian Capuchins, Rev. Father Josef Mittermeier. Malversation of public goods is punished in Bavaria by 3 years of jail or an equivalent fine. The affair exploded when newspapers published in Bavaria photographs showing ancient books of the 16th and 17th century that would have been extracted from the containers which went to garbage. Here are for ex. the titles of some of these extracted books: "Brief Catholic interpretation of the Gospels of all festive days" (1626), "Sermones Sancti" of Thomas a Villa Nova (1661), or "Theatrum asceticum" (1747). Whatever the full truth is, the university took little care while sorting out these Catholic books: sale to antiquarians (30%), integration into the library of the university (20%) or destruction (50%). No inventory has been established, even the titles of the sold/dumped/destroyed books have been listed nowhere. The director of the university library defends herself while saying that "a gift is a gift, and the university can do with it what it wants", or she expressed subterfuges like lacking space and not enough personnel in the library. She also confessed that a larger part of the books has been sold to antiquarians "in order to create funds for permitting some new acquirements". It's necessary to underline that the secularization of 1802 had caused in Bavaria enormous devastations in the religious libraries, especially in those of the Capuchins, considered by the illuminated of Bavaria as havens of obscurantism; since that time, all books remaining from before 1802 are considered by the State of Bavaria as its property. Already from this point of view, the misdoing of the university seems inexcusable, even criminal. Never one heard in Germany of a voluntary destruction of books of that dimension. What happened is simply a second secularization, this time operated by the Catholics themselves. A kind of religious and cultural suicide. - This happening throws an apocalyptic light on the present decline of the Church. The present job of the bishops - to manage the auto-created decline - is accompanied by more and more catastrophic 'collateral effects': dissolution of monasteries by lack of vocations, dissolution of seminaries, dissolution of religious libraries which are sometimes very old and precious, without speaking of the most serious one: the partial dissolution of Christ's Mystical Body which is the flock of faithful. It's the apocalypse of Christian Europe! One prelate seems to wake up currently, cardinal Peter Erdoe, primate of Hungary. He speaks of the 'miserable wealth' of the Church: "The historic wealth - buildings, monuments, historic documents, archives... - is yet existing, but there is no money to manage and to maintain it; only the State will be able to help", he proclaimed, disabused. But beyond all financial considerations, it's also necessary that our bishops wake up in relation to the profound reasons of the present decline: alone the Tradition - and its determined and well organized revival - will assure to the Church its sure and necessary foundation. - (ru; cf. DT Mar. 1)

 

- ALSACE (France): The Catholic clergy doesn't count anymore in this region more than 480 active priests, for 903 townships and 767 parishes. How to manage this eclipse? Hey well, by restructuring ! The new pastoral plan foresees the regrouping of the 767 parishes into 180 to 190 super-parishes, called "communities". This program started in 1999 and will be continued until 2010. Then one will be able to say: we've 180 parishes and 480 priests, where is the problem? That's it, the management of the decline; and on top, one forgets that in 2010 there will be yet less active priests, since the majority of the present priests is aged far over 60 years. But that problem, they will manage later on... By the way, these regroupings are organized today in all dioceses of France. - And when Jesus Christ? Oh, don't mention that, it's necessary to avoid speaking about topics which disturb... - (ru; cf. L'A Feb. 11)

 

- - O.A.M.D.G. - -



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