Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Alois Speaks, Meisner Prays

Frere Alois Leser, the German Catholic nominated by Frere Roger to succeed him, has returned from Cologne and according to a release from Taize, "entered straightaway into his ministry as servant of communion at the heart of the community."

And he's speaking to the press:

Leser told AFP he planned to continue Schutz's work.

"I can smile today but my heart is in pain," he said. "We are grateful for the path Brother Roger opened for us and that we will continue."

He said he had a "heavy heart" returning to Taize. "I came quickly to be here in the heart of the community because the brothers are dispersed around the world but we have need of a home."

At prayers with young followers, he said he gave thanks for all the messages coming in, "and I said that we will trust together in God."

More on the assailant:

A state prosecutor, Jean-Louis Coste, told a press conference the Romanian woman, whom he identified by her first name Luminita, had apparently attacked Schutz "to attract attention but didn't want to kill him."

He said she had tried unsuccessfully to speak with him beforehand, adding that initial psychiatric evaluation did not suggest she should be committed to a mental institution.

A community brother said she had arrived in Taize two days earlier and that followers had noted signs of "psychological problems."

In Cologne, Cardinal Meisner signed a book of condol- ence and led prayers, clad in a black stole.

"The news spread like wildfire in our group," said Marie-Pierre Cockenpot, in charge of a group of 300 young French people at Cologne who often went to Taize.

"Many were crying, some wanted to leave, saying they didn't have the heart to go on with the festival but we told them Brother Roger would have wanted it to continue," she added.

The funeral will be Tuesday afternoon at the community.



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