FROM A SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
CARDINAL Suenens of Brussels, in a statement this week, rejected outright the criticisms by "a few Curial cardinals" of views on the election of Popes and the Vatican's power structure which he expressed in a recent interview with the magazine Informations Catlin
His statement, the full text of which appears on Page 4, said he could not accept that his intentions were questioned, and that a discussion which was about ecclesiastical structures should be considered as an attack on personalities.
"I consider as being totally unacceptable the accusation made against the interview, saying it was defamatory and slanderous, and I therefore also see no cause for a retraction," Cardinal Suenens said.
Certain people, he added, wanted discussion of the problems of Church structures and systems to be treated in very private circles "and others do not want them to be discussed at all."
Intolerance of public discussion of vital problems concerning the whole Church, under the pretext of preserving unity, "seems to me to he harmful in the present day."
Among the letters received by Cardinal Suenens following publication of the interview was one from Cardinal Tisserant, 85-year-old Dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals.
According to Italian Press reports this criticised Cardinal Suenens views and the "disrespectful" tone of the interview, and invited him to "correct" his thinking in another public declaration.
A Vatican spokesman sub sequently confirmed that reports of the dispute between the two cardinals were "substantially true."
In the magazine interview, Cardinal Suenens said: "I believe that one day the election of the Pope will have to be reviewed in the light of episcopal collegiality.
"A question of such importance for Church good must be decided by all Church members; and it would distort the Church to say that this question only concerns the Pope."
Cardinal Suenens also challenged the traditional right of a Pope to name cardinals and appoint bishops without discussion with other churchmen.
He called for radical changes in the Curia, saying: "Better freed from an excessively centralising system which enrobes it, the Papacy will be able to develop its incomparable mission."