Page 9, 1st February 1963

1st February 1963
Page 9

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OVER 10010 Austrian Catholics leave the Church every year, according to the annual report of the Austrian Central Office of Statistics. This figure, when set against the estimated 5,000 who come in or return, leaves a nett loss of about 5000. The country's Catholics and Protestants pay taxes to their Church authorities based on income and property. So there comes a point when the lapsing Christian, unless held back by social or other considerations, will be inclined to leave the Church by announcing his decision in writing. In Vienna alone last year 761 unmarried, 2,624 married, 241 widowed and 266 divorced persons officially left the Catholic Church. Proportionately, more divorced Protestants left their Church than Catholics theirs. Only the Protestant Church, it appears. is registering rising numbers of resignations as well as rising conversions. Catholics are most liable to leave the Church (officially, as opposed to lapsing temporarily) between the ages of 31 and 41; Protestants between 41 and 51; Old Catholics between 51 and 61. And during 1961. 800 Viennese over the age of 60 changed their religion or abandoned it.

Portuguese tour

DR. KUBITSCHEK DE OLIVEIRA, the ex-President of Brazil. has completed his tour of Portugal with a visit to Fatima, where be signed the Book Of Honour at the sanctuary. In the book he wrote: "I came from Brazil to thank our Lady of Fatima for the graces she has given Mc. In Brasilia, my wife had the first Catholic Church to be built in the new capital dedicated to Our Lady of Fatima in recognition of the graces she has given to us. 1 have seen this sacred place with emotion. May Our Lady of Fatima protect us and protect Brazil". Dr. De Oliveira and his party attended Mass said by the Bishop of Leiria in the Chapel of the Apparitions and afterwards Madame De Oliveira placed two bouquets ef flowers, joined by ribbons in the national colours of Portugal and Brazil, at the foot of our Lady of Fatima's statue in the chapel.

Pax Christi college

ACOLLEGE for young people who want to work in the mission countries has been opened in Vienna under the auspices of the Pax Christi movement. Called the "Institute for International Cooperation", its international staff will teach students drawn from all parts of central Europe. The institute will collaborate closely with other Pax Christi training centres in England, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium and France. It will complement these centres by providing technical training on the university level. urgently needed in the underdeveloped countries, which has not been available up to now. There will also be correspondence courses with a brief semin Lr at the end of each. Graduates of the new school will be sent out to countries throughout Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Emergency grant

CATHOLIC Relief Services in Morocco have received an emergency grant of £5,000 from OXFAM to aid victims of the country's recent severe floods. The fertile Gharb area north of Rabat has been particularly badly hit.

Solving problems

APITTSBURGH experiment in "shared-time" education in which Catholic pupils spend half Dr. Daniel O'Connell, M.D., F.F.R., F.F.R. (R.C.S.1,), a greatgreat-grandson of the Irish "Liberator" of the same name, has been appointed physicianin-charge of the radio-therapy department at Charing Cross Hospital. He is medical officer to the Society of Our Lady of Lourdes and is well known for his work for the sick in Lourdes. He is also one of the two representatives of the Hierarchy at the annual medical commissions which discuss the authenticity of alleged miracles at Lourdes. He is married

with three children.

Work on the new Lady Chapel at St. George's Cathedral, Southwark, has now passed the half-way mark to completion. but £25,000 is still needed for the building fund launched two years ago by Bishop Cowderoy. Work on the chapel-which was designed by Romilly Craze, who also designed the cathedral four years ago-was started last January and it is hoped to complete it this summer. Our picture shows a view of the under croft of the new chapel.

the day at a Catholic school and the other half at a public school has been described as "working out beautifully" by Mgr. J. B. McDowell. superintendent of Pittsburg diocesan schools. The advantages of this plan, which may be a signpost to a solution in the Amerman ChurchState disagreement over aid to independent schools, were "countless-, Mgr. McDowell said. "It gives Catholic people direct benefit for their tax dollars. And public school officials get fuller use of their facilities,'

Expiation gift

DOPE JOHN has given a chalice Ito an expiation church near the site of the Nazi Bergen-Belsen concentration camp with the wish that the church "may help to keep the spirit of atonement alive." Papal Secretary of State Cardinal Cicognani said in a message to Bishop Janssens of Hildesheim, "It is the Holy Father's sincere wish that this memorial church, dedicated to the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, may help to keep the spirit of atonement alive in the people of our times." The message, which called the chalice a symbol of this spirit, asked Bishop Janssens to give the chalice and the Pope's blessing, to the church's pastor and parishioners. The chalice had been given to the late Pope Pius XII.

Diplomatic roll

FlFTY diplomatic missions are accredited to the Holy See, according to the new list published in Vatican City. There are 37 embassies and II legations. The Uruguayan embassy and the legation of Indonesia are being kept open by charges d'affaires. Twelve new ambassadors presented their credentials to Pope John during 1962, the list noted. They were the envoys of Argentina, Cuba. the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Honduras, Iran. Ireland, Japan, Nicaragua, Peru, the Philippines and Spain. Two new ministers -those of Finland and India-also presented their credentials during the year,


SIX Catholic priests of different rites offered Mass simultaneously at the high altar of St. George's Maronite cathedral in Beirut, Lebanon, as part of the observance of the Chair of Unity Octave. Armenian Rite Patriarch Ignace Pierre XVI Batanian of Cilicia, who lives in Beirut, presided at the Sunday evening celebration. Four other bishops who reside in Beirut were present in the sanetuary: Martesile Rite Archbishop Ignace Ziade of Beirut: Bishop Ephrern larjour, Auxiliary of the Syrian Rite Patriarch of Antioch; Coadjutor Bishop Gabriel Ghanni of the Chaldean Rite Diocese of Beirut; and Massachusetts-born Bishop Eustace J. Smith, 0.F.M.. Latin Rite Vicar Apostolic of Beirut. In offering the Holy Eucharist, the six priests stood at the altar facing the overflow congregation. 'The Latin Rite Mass was celebrated by Father Joseph I. Holland, S.J., of Boston, who is chaplain of the Newman Club at the American University of Beirut. Only once before had Mass been offered simultaneously in six rites in Beirut in 1954, when Cardinal Ronealli, now Pope John XXIII. went to Lebanon as Papal Legate to the Marian Congress.

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