MONDAY
February 7, 2000
volume 11, no. 26
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NEWS & VIEWS     Acknowledgments
Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and International Dossiers, Daily Dispatches and Features at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

VATICAN CLOSELY WATCHING AUSTRIAN POLITICAL SCENE

    VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- The Vatican is closely monitoring the political situation in Austria, but not rushing to react to the installation of a new government, according to Cardinal Angelo Sodano.

    Cardinal Sodano, the Vatican Secretary of State, cautioned that "we should not move too fast" in reacting to the inclusion of the right-wing Freedom Party in the Austrian cabinet. "The Holy See does not have the habit of making premature judgments about individuals or programs," he said.

    The European Union has already announced sanctions against Austria because of the inclusion of the Freedom Party, whose leaders have made (and later retracted) some statements indicating sympathies for the Nazi regime.

    If the new Austrian government does undertake any projects "contrary to Christian morality," the cardinal continued, Catholic citizens of Austria should be among the first to respond. The Austrian bishops would be next in line to speak out against such policies, he added, "and then, after that, the Holy See." He concluded by saying, "If the new government has anything to say, the Holy See is always ready to talk."

    The Austrian bishops' conference has taken a similar approach. Vienna's Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, the president of the bishops' conference, issued a statement indicating that "the bishops will not intervene in the formation of the government, but will examine its programs carefully." He said that the bishops would be especially interested in how the government handles "the important questions involving justice, tolerance, peace, human rights, and respect for life in all its stages." Cardinal Schoenborn himself celebrated Mass in the Vienna cathedral on Friday, February 4, offering the Eucharistic sacrifice for "the political situation today" in Austria.

          

February 7, 2000
volume 11, no. 26
NEWS & VIEWS

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