Several hundred people attended a two-hour concert held in the centre of Bratislava yesterday evening (Tuesday, July 10) organised in support of Róbert Bezák, who was fired by the Pope last week as archbishop of Trnava. As well as listening to live music, attendees had the chance to sign a petition launched by pro-Bezák activists from Trnava, the SITA newswire reported.
The concert’s main aim was to tell the public about “the fellow feeling with the father archbishop and to stress that [the organisers] are not against anything, but for something”, Marián Pavlovič, one of the organisers, told SITA.
Pavlovič added that he and fellow organisers identified with the ideas presented by Bezák, as well as the way he tried to connect believers with non-believers.
“Bezák is a person who is worthy of being followed,” Pavlovič said. “We respect the decision of the Holy Father 100 percent, certainly we submit to it, but we cannot be silent.”
At the end of the concert, at which musicians performed for free, activists read out an open letter to the Redemptorists’ Order in Slovakia (the Catholic religious order to which Bezák belongs), the Conference of Bishops in Slovakia (KBS), and the apostolic nuncio in Slovakia, calling on them to explain why Bezák had been forced to leave his post. No public explanation has so far been given by the Vatican for its move.
“We ask the KBS to support its member,” the activists said, as quoted by SITA, adding that they require the nuncio to tell Pope Benedict XVI about their requests.
Meanwhile, the KBS, together with Cardinal Jozef Tomko, who supported Bezák’s 2009 appointment to the post of archbishop, backed the Vatican’s decision to dismiss Bezák.
“The announcement of the nunciature is the important answer,” Tomko said, as quoted by the Sme daily.
He was referring to an earlier statement by Vatican representatives in Slovakia saying that they had recalled Bezák after several complaints from priests and church members. They claimed that Bezák knew about the reasons for his dismissal, Sme wrote. However, neither the nature of the complaints, the identity of the complainants, nor the reasons for the dismissal of Bezák – who has been barred by the Vatican from speaking to the media – were revealed.
Source: SITA, Sme
Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
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