A.R.CIIBISHOP Henri Lemaitre (left) who has succeeded Fr Werenfried van Straaten (right) as head of Aid to the Church in Need which he founded 34 years ago to bring relief to refugees after World War II.
Fr van Straaten, 68. was involved in controversy last year when his remarks criticising Cardinal Laszlo Lekai, primate of Hungary. were published. He had said that Cardinal Lekai was too submissive in his relations with the Communist government. The cardinal asked the Papal Secretary of State, Cardinal Agostino Casaroli to intervene and Fr van Straaten received what he called an 'admonishment' from him.
When Er van Straaten and Cardinal Lekai met at the funeral of Cardinal Wyszynski in May this year. they were still unable to agree. "He told me that I was a great prophet, but a false prophet. And I told him he seems to be completely in the hands of the communist regime," Fr van Straaten said.
Fr van Straaten will remain as spiritual director of Aid to the Church in Need. His successor is Apostolic Pro Nuncio to Uganda. and has been a Vatican diplomat in seven countries.