09 Jun

The Latest Concerning the Diocesan Inquiry in the Cause of Abbot Francis

After many efforts to get hold of every one of the members of the “Historical Commission” and of the tribunal – made of the episcopate delegate, the promoter of justice and the notary – I finally succeeded to organize a meeting of the tribunal on the 28th of May in Umzimkulu. It was the first time that such a meeting took place in Umzimkulu, which is the place where all the sessions of the tribunal must take place by law – the diocese where the Servant of God died. All were present except two members of the “Historical Commission”, Dr Joy Brain, historian, who is now too weak to travel and Fr. Pius Paul OSB, who was still on home leave in Europe.

This meeting of the tribunal was preceded by a very last meeting of the Historical Commission whose members still wanted to bring in some last minute minor and yet meaningful additions to their report. It went rather quickly and efficiently and all the members signed the report.

Afterwards the tribunal meeting began with a prayer and the countersigning of their citations by all the participants called for the meeting. Then the President of the Commission of Experts in Historical and Archival Matters – this is the official name of this commission -, Br Philippe Denis OP, lecturer in Church history, handed in the report (relatio), the notary took note of this handing in and the episcopal delegate ordered that this report be put in the acts of the inquiry. Afterwards, one after the other the 10 members of the Commission present all took the oath required after their work is brought to its end. Again the notary took note of all this and all those documents were officially put in the acts of the inquiry. Of course all the proceedings were noted in minutes, which are also part of the documentation.

On June 8 two other short sessions of the tribunal took place. Since the theological censors had not yet taken their oath after their work was finished, they did it then. It was, strictly speaking, a very technical session.

UntitledRight after this meeting the members of the tribunal headed for the house of Dr. Joy Brain to take her oath since she was not able to attend the 28 May meeting of Umzimkulu. Again a strictly speaking technical meeting.

With these meetings one can say that an important phase of the diocesan inquiry is over.