BY CINDY WOODEN IN ROME
THE PONTIFICAL COUNCIL for the Laity has withdrawn the canonical recognition of the International Catholic Union of the Press (UCIP) as a Catholic organisation because of operational irregularities.
Guzman Carriquiry, undersecretary of the council, said: “It is a disaster from a functional point of view.” Mr Carriquiry said that the council’s decision had nothing to do with questions involving faith or morals but was motivated by questions involving the rights of members and the transparency of UCIP’s staff and top officers.
“For too long, the association has not functioned and too many Catholic journalists and organisations have abandoned it for this reason,” he said.
In a letter sent last month Cardinal Stanisław Ryłko, council president, and Bishop Josef Clemens, secretary, outlined the Vatican’s concerns to Bernhard Sassmann, UCIP president. In it they said that the laity council, in consultation with the Pontifical Council for Social Communications and the Vatican Secretariat of State, revoked its “recognition decree” and “from now on, the UCIPwill have to remove from its name the adjective Catholic”.
The council said it had been following UCIP closely since 2007 “to resolve the situation of crisis” and had communicated its concerns.