Belgian unity taboo for priests

22nd October 2007, Comments 0 comments

22 October 2007, BRUSSELS – Pro-Belgian unity association Spontaan has sent 600 Flemish and Walloon priests an email asking them to call on the faithful to sign a solidarity petition to preserve Belgium as a unified country. The petition should then be handed out in church after the mass. Cardinal Godfried Danneels is not at all happy with the initiative however, he writes in a letter.

22 October 2007

BRUSSELS – Pro-Belgian unity association Spontaan has sent 600 Flemish and Walloon priests an email asking them to call on the faithful to sign a solidarity petition to preserve Belgium as a unified country. The petition should then be handed out in church after the mass. Cardinal Godfried Danneels is not at all happy with the initiative however, he writes in a letter.

"The separation of church and state must be respected," the cardinal writes. "Everyone is free to sign the petition. The handing out of the petition in the church could be misinterpreted however in the various parishes. The church does not want to pressure anyone into making this kind of decision."

The Hasselt diocese is taking it a step further. "Priests who agree to the initiative can expect a firm talking to," says spokesperson Clem Vande Broek.

The group Spontaan sees it as a missed opportunity. "We want to reach as many people as possible," says Annette Spiltoir, member of Spontaan. "The church can help us to do so. The negotiations with De Post to have the petition delivered to every letter box in Belgium continue. If 400,000 Belgians are willing to donate a euro as a symbol of support, that will cover the costs."

[Copyright Expatica News 2007]

Subject: Belgian news

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