COLOGNE, Germany (CNS): A German cardinal invoked canon law to prevent a dismissed French bishop from speaking in his archdiocese.
Cardinal Joachim Meisner of Cologne cited Canon 763 of the Code of Canon Law to force Bishop Jacques Gaillot to withdraw from a speaking engagement in the archdiocese.
Canon 763 allows bishops to prevent other bishops from preaching in their dioceses, “but only in particular instances and for a serious reason, for example, that the bishop is known to be preaching error or folly”.
Bishop Gaillot was removed as head of the Diocese of Evreux, France in 1995 for opposing official Church positions on issues like celibacy, women priests and the use of condoms to prevent AIDS.
He was scheduled to speak at an October 28 panel in Bonn on “Being Christian in the Third Millennium: A Faith Which Has Hope”.
In a statement read during the panel, Bishop Gaillot said he “had experience with prohibitions”, but “the word of God cannot be put in chains”.