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Rome & the World: a patriarch for Kyiv? • abuse report coming for Spain

Sviatoslav Shevchuk

Krysja | Shutterstock

I.Media for Aleteia - published on 02/23/22 - updated on 02/23/22

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.

Wednesday 23 February 2022
1 – With war looming, will Kyiv get a Catholic patriarch?
2 – Bishops in Spain ask lawyers to audit their sex abuse record
3 – Editorial: Pope Francis’ trip to Malta and the problem of general elections
4 – Homosexuality: the Church’s sexual morality is “at the end of its life” according to a German theologian
5 – Rwandan couple killed in the 1994 genocide could be beatified

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With war looming, will Kyiv get a Catholic patriarch?

The Congregation for Eastern Churches, the Vatican office that oversees the Eastern Catholic Churches, is considering a request that the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church be given “patriarchal” status, according to sources consulted by The Pillar. This is the highest canonical status possible for an Eastern Catholic Church. Currently the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, which is the largest of the Eastern Catholic ones with 4.5 million faithful, is headed by a “major archbishop” rather than a patriarch. A Church historian in Ukraine told The Pillar that amid the prospect of a Russian invasion, the appointment of a patriarch for the Ukrainian Church would be “great moral support.” It is not clear for now whether the Congregation will recommend a change in status to Pope Francis. The Pontiff, though, “is considered a moral leader of the world, and Ukrainian society is expecting words of support from him,” the historian explained. 

The Pillar, English

Bishops in Spain ask lawyers to audit their sex abuse record

A Madrid-based law firm will conduct a year-long investigation into past and present sexual abuse in the Church, the Spanish Bishops’ Conference has announced. The decision was made after much soul-searching. Previously, the bishops had instead encouraged victims to report their allegations to existing diocesan offices. The new initiative was not welcomed by all. Some victims of abuse do not like the identity of the founder of the law firm, a Catholic and member of Opus Dei. One of the critics went so far as to compare the commissioned investigation to assigning a study about the “mafia’s crime to the Corleone family.” To complete this work, which the firm is proposing to do on a voluntary basis, the members of the Spanish Parliament are planning to conduct a parallel investigation, the terms of which will be voted on in March. 

AP, English

Editorial: Pope Francis’ trip to Malta and the problem of general elections

Prime Minister Robert Abela has announced that the general elections (legislative elections, which lead to the formation of the government), originally scheduled for May or June, will be held at the end of March. This means that the elections will be held one week before Pope Francis visits the archipelago on April 2 and 3. According to the local daily Independent, this is an electoral strategy on the part of the Labour leader to ensure his re-election, which could upset the Holy See. “It is not ideal that the Pope visits a country within the timeframe of an election campaign, but neither is it ideal for him to visit just one week later.” The risk, he adds, is that the country will be more occupied with choosing a new government than with the Pontiff’s visit. 

Independent, English

Homosexuality: the Church’s sexual morality is “at the end of its life” according to a German theologian

The Herder Korrespondenz looks back at the “Out of Church” initiative earlier this month in which a hundred German Catholics, including priests, came out in protest against the Church’s attitude to homosexuality. According to German theologian Stephan Goertz, who is in favour of an evolution in dogmatic matters, this movement is a sign that Catholic sexual morality is “at the end of its life.” The German bishops, he points out, now consider this “queer audacity” to be welcome. They also support the idea that, “according to its self-image, the Catholic Church has had its day as a true authority in the field of intimate human relations.” However, the revision of the doctrine, the theologian believes, is not for today, especially because the evolution is assimilated to German reformism. 

Herder Korrespondenz, German

Rwandan couple killed in the 1994 genocide could be beatified

The postulator of the cause for beatification of a Rwandan couple killed in the 1994 genocide, Waldery Hilgeman, tells Rome Reports their story. For almost 20 years, the Rwandan couple Cyprien and Daphrose were on the verge of breaking up. For a long time, Cyprien, a well-known poet and teacher, was guilty of being unfaithful to his wife, and even had a child with one of his mistresses. However, his wife, who was a devout Catholic, stayed by his side and bore all her sufferings in silence until the day Cyprian fell seriously ill. He flew to Belgium for medical treatment and had an experience of conversion during the flight. When he got off the plane, he was completely healed. Upon his return he joined the Christian community and radically changed his relationship with his wife. He renounced his job and his reputation and refused to recognize any political party. On April 7, 1994, armed men entered their home and killed the couple along with their six children due to their faith. 

Rome Reports, English

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Rome & the World
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