Archbishop Fernand Beauval
Archbishop Fernand Beauval is the head of the Roman Catholic archdiocese of Rêvane, in Ariddia, and is the highest ranking Roman Catholic authority in the communist, Pacific Ocean State. An estimated 1.6% of the population is Catholic in this predominantly atheist nation.
Archbishop Beauval recognises Pope Leo XIV of the Holy Vatican See. However, he is a controversial figure among Catholics abroad. A staunch communist, he is affectionately described by Ariddians as "the Heretic Priest" or "Father Heresy". He has spoken out against "archaic, dogmatic practices" which, according to him, "narrow the minds of so many of the faithful." "God does not oppose knowledge, and wisdom, and curiosity," he once stated. "He encourages them."
The Archbishop has spoken up in favour of tolerance, respect, and understanding of diversity. He has called for the ordination of women and homosexuals, and has rejected the preaching of sexual absistance as "unrealistic, dangerous, and I might even say criminal".
- "There are those who claim to be Catholics, and yet who would have us believe Christ's message is one of ignorance and narrow-mindedness, of fear and selfishness and bigotry. Those people have distorted and perverted the teachings of our Lord and Saviour. I pray that they may yet turn back to a true Christian faith."