THE CASE of the former Trnava Archbishop Róbert Bezák, who was forced to step down from his post under unclear circumstances in the summer of 2012, has recently garnered publicity in Austria and has stirred interest among Slovaks after rumours surfaced that Pope Francis was considering meeting Bezák and even rehabilitating him. This information however turned out to be ungrounded.

The claims about Bezák were voiced at a press conference of the Austrian initiative “We are the Church” on January 11, where a meeting of Bezák with the Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet was discussed. The cardinal was involved in the investigation of the case by the Holy See.

At the press conference, former Austrian deputy chancellor Erhard Busek and theologist Paul Zulehner said that the dismissal of Bezák was “simply bad” and called for his rehabilitation, the Sme daily reported.

Austrians also launched a petition to support Bezák and

Zulehner, at the press conference, cited the supporter of Bezák, former conservative politician František Mikloško, who allegedly suggested that the rehabilitation of Bezák by the Holy See was a question of weeks, and that a meeting between Bezák and Pope Francis was being considered, Sme wrote.

The Új Szó daily reported that Bezák met Ouellet after his arrival to Bussolengo, Italy, where he moved in late 2013 to live in a monastery. But their meeting had no influence on the progress of the case, Új Szó wrote. The cardinal did not promise Bezák rehabilitation or an audience with the Pope, but told him to remain modest, Sme wrote.

Source: Sme, Új Szó

Compiled by Michaela Terenzani from press reports
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