Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Meanwhile over in New Zealand...

Joshua of Psallite Sapienter is in New Zealand at the moment and mentioned that Fr Rizzo FSSP had been splashed all over the front pages of the papers there. Apparently he was conducting the funeral of an apparent murder-suicide (! ), and the police came in full force (literally, including guns) with a view to apprehending the son of the deceased, wanted for serious crimes including kidnapping and stabbing.

Funeral of a murder-suicide...

Here is a media report on the subject:

"A Catholic priest has condemned Christchurch police as "tactless" after they staked out a funeral and allegedly stopped a car-load of mourners at gunpoint in an effort to find the dead man's fugitive son.

Several police were at the funeral of Linwood's Tala Seleni, who was found dead in an apparent murder-suicide this month.

At the time Seleni's son, Tasi, 29, was on the run from police who wanted him on charges of kidnapping and stabbing. He did not attend the service after he got wind of the police presence.

Pauline Seleni, Tasi's mother and Tala's separated wife, said police had violated the "sanctuary" of the church and prevented her son from making his farewell to his father. Yesterday, police confirmed they had officers at the service at St Paul's Church in Dallington 10 days ago. Armed police were present but that went "hand-in-hand" with the violent nature of the charges. Seleni was eventually arrested in Rangiora on Thursday. Police had issued a public alert for him in mid-February.

Father John Rizzo, who conducted the funeral, said he got a call from the funeral home saying there would be a "discreet police presence".

Rizzo said the action was "tactless". "Obviously there was some potential trauma. They were planning to arrest him on the spot. I said, if you have any contact with the police, please, ask them, please, let him come to the funeral, let him grieve and get some closure."

Pauline Seleni said after the funeral police searching for her son had "put guns on the mourners" at the Memorial Park Cemetery on Ruru Road, Linwood, and had stopped a car of mourners at gunpoint. She said as they buried her husband police in armed offenders fatigues could be seen in the trees. "They had them in the trees there, the dogs were there, we could hear them barking. "It's disgusting. I know they were after my son but not there the church is a sanctuary, world-wide."

She claimed a deal had been struck with Samoan community elders to bring Tasi in to police the day after the funeral if he were allowed to attend.

But Detective Sergeant Scott Anderson, of the Hornby Police, said there was no such deal. "We were present at the funeral, we made no secret of that. Her son was wanted on very serious offences, he was on the run from police. We're duty bound to try and arrest him." Anderson said Seleni was arrested following a tip from the public. Last night, a police spokeswoman said a church was a public place and a person can be arrested in one."

Bizarre stuff from several perspectives, could be straight out of the movies, no?

The TLM in Christichurch

Joshua also notes that in Christchurch, traditionalists are 'spoilt for choices', with two daily Latin Masses: '7.30am Mass with the F.Ss.R. at their chapel of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, or 8.15am Mass with the F.S.S.P. at the beautiful Bl Sacrament Cathedral...' Not bad for a predominantly Anglican city of 380,000, with 62,000 catholics in the diocese. It was nice to see that the two traditional congregations combined to celebrate the Easter Triduum.

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