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Rome & the World: is Pope too hard on priests? • canonization in India • & more …

Antoine Mekary | ALETEIA

I.Media for Aleteia - published on 02/18/22 - updated on 02/18/22

Every day, Aleteia offers a selection of articles written by the international press about the Church and the major issues that concern Catholics around the world. The opinions and views expressed in these articles are not those of the editors.

Friday 18 February 2022
1 – Is Pope Francis an anti-clerical pope?
2 – Is religious freedom important for Biden’s Asia diplomacy?
3 – The Church in India plans the canonization of Devasahayam
4 – The Churches of North Africa continue their synodal journey under the sign of Charles De Foucauld
5 – The Cypriot electricity company is developing a solar park project with the Church of Cyprus

Is Pope Francis an anti-clerical pope?

Anti-clericalism is a notion that has appeared often in Catholic discourse in the last years, as Pope Francis has made it one of his battle horses for his ideas of reform, but it is also a great source of misunderstanding, writes Vatican journalist of French media outlet La Vie, Marie-Lucile Kubacki. Although some priests may feel that Pope Francis focuses too often on the “spiritual illnesses” of priests, Kubacki explains that “warnings” are a recurring feature of Francis’ style with everyone he addresses. She also notes that when the Pope criticizes “clericalism” he is not speaking exclusively of the clergy, but also of laypeople who want to create a “little elite” circle around the priest.

La Vie, French

Is religious freedom important for Biden’s Asia diplomacy?

In May, US President Joe Biden is scheduled to visit Asia. A continent “of major world religions where freedom of religion is fast shrinking for minorities,” writes UCANews journalist Ben Joseph in an opinion article. He explains how religion is a powerful tool for US diplomacy in Asia, especially in terms of promoting religious freedom and the link to the wider body of human rights norms it represents. However, the article warns of a “Christian soft spot in US policy” which could have negative associations in Asia and not result in the well-being of Christians worldwide. The author concludes by saying that if Biden wants to redefine religious liberty, “Asia, home to all world religions, is the right place to start.”

UCANews, English

The Church in India plans the canonization of Devasahayam

To celebrate Blessed Devasahayam, India’s first martyr, who will become the country’s first canonized layman on May 15, India’s Latin Rite bishops have planned a series of national events: A 7-step quiz contest on his life and message; an essay contest in schools and colleges; a thanksgiving celebration on June 5 in Aralvaimozhi, where Devasahayam lived out his martyrdom; and on June 24, the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, all families will be dedicating themselves to the Sacred Heart. The 18th-century Indian married man converted from Hinduism to Catholicism and was martyred in 1752 in what is now the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. In 2009, the bishops asked the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to expedite the canonization process. 

Vatican News, English

The Churches of North Africa continue their synodal journey under the sign of Charles De Foucauld

In the final message of their annual assembly, the Bishops’ Conference of the North African Region (CERNA) applauded the canonization of Charles de Foucauld, which will be occuring on May 15.  “The forthcoming canonization of Charles de Foucauld is an opportunity to rejoice and further deepen his insights,” especially in the specific context of the Church in North African countries, they wrote. They mentioned in particular the “mutual emulation in the faith in contact with other believers, interest in the culture of the other,” and  “the desire for universal brotherhood.”  They met in Algiers from February 12 to 15 after not being able to meet in person since September 2019 due to the pandemic. 

Fides, English

The Cypriot electricity company is developing a solar park project with the Church of Cyprus

A company set up by the Church of Cyprus and the state-owned Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC) is working on a group of photovoltaic power plants worth €70 million and with an overall capacity of 68 MW. The project plans to build 14 solar power plants on a 195-hectare area in the mountainous region of Achera in the Nicosia district. Work is expected to begin next year and last until mid-2025. But while the Ministry of the Environment is studying the environmental impact of the project, the Ministry of Agriculture has indicated that it is opposed to it, as the area is cultivated and moderately fertile. 

Balkan Green Energy News, English

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Rome & the World
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