Page 2, 24th September 1999

24th September 1999
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Page 2, 24th September 1999 — Europe
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Europe

Martini hails Basil Hume

CARDINAL Basil Hume, the late Archbishop of Westminster, is the ideal model for a bishop, according to one of the Church's most senior clerics.

Jesuit Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini of Milan, which is Italy's second most important See after Rome, said that Cardinal Hume possessed the sort of qualities that the Church would demand of its bishops in-the new millennium.

"If we were to ask what a bishop should be as we enter the third millennium, it would be just such a person as Basil Hume," wrote the Cardinal in the Italian newspaper, Il Regno attualita. He described Cardinal Hume as " person of simplicity who was yet openminded; one who was honest and courageous; faithful to the Gospel; trusting in the power of the Holy Spirit".

He said the Cardinal could "speak of prayer with great insight in words that are readily understood by his contemporaries — who could speak in the language of ordinary people" and said he was "profound yet uncomplicated; easy-going and yet humble; and a bit unpredictable".

Cardinal Martini, who took over from Cardinal Hume as president of the European Council of Episcopal Conferences, added: "In particular, I admired his calm manner, his objectivity and clear-headedness. He did not pass himself off as always being sure of the way ahead. He did not force solutions on us."

Russia's crisis

RUSSIANS need strong moral guidance and a restored sense of justice to help them recover from their country's economic and political crises. "Unfortunately, more and more often I hear people affirm that perhaps things were better under the communist regime," said Mgr Bernardo Antonini, responsible for the Russian Church's Year 2000 commemorations.

"Beyond economic aid," he said, "we need a strong moral force to keep the extremists from profiting from the situation of crisis."

Quashed

MORE THAN a year after Pope John Paul II beatified a martyred Bulgarian bishop, the country's Supreme Court of Appeals has overturned the Communist-era conviction which led to the bishop's death.

After refusing to join the Orthodox Church or form a national Catholic Church without ties to the Vatican, Bishop Eugen Bossilkov of Nicopoli was shot by a firing squad in 1952. He was convicted of espionage and of leading an illegal organisation that aimed to overthrow the government.

Pope John Paul beatified hirn in March 1998 as "one of the many victims sacrificed by atheistic Communism".




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