Press briefing: Church in the world

Around 300 people, including a marching music group and participants from several European countries, joined the march through central Prague, Czech Republic, aimed at bringing to light the persecution of the Falun Gong spiritual movement in China.

Michaela Rihova/Czech Press Agency/PA Images

Russia’s first Catholic auxiliary bishop has pledged to raise awareness of his church in the country, while strengthening its distinctly Russian character. “The Church here is authentic and in many ways unique, although its sources and origins are still too little known, even among local Catholics,” said Bishop Nikolai Dubinin, a Conventual Franciscan who was ordained in 2000 after training in Poland. “Its unusually rich and varied history over the centuries is also little studied, and this dramatic lack of knowledge explains why its roots are so often severed or completely eroded.” The Rostov-born bishop spoke after his appointment as auxiliary to Russiaof the Moscow-based Archdiocese of the Mother of God, assisting Italian Archbishop Paolo Pezzi. In an interview with his church’s website, he said Russian Catholics, who currently make up less than half a percent of the population of 144.5 million, drew their strength from the blood of martyrs and the sufferings of many faithful, exiled and persecuted during the Soviet era, and were now called to proclaim the Gospel, to witness to the Good News and to do good works. “Our other great challenge has a more global dimension – to adopt a missionary stance and bring evangelical joy and pastoral conversion to the contemporary world,” said the 48-year-old bishop, whose church also has Catholic headquarters in Saratov, Irkutsk and Novosibirsk. , and an apostolic prefecture in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk.

Following the August 4 explosion in Beirut more than 2,000 tons of ammonium nitrate that killed 158 people and injured more than 6,000, the Maronite Christian Patriarch of Lebanon, Patriarch Bechara Boutros al-Rai, said the entire cabinet should resign because he cannot “change his way of governing”. the resignation of a deputy or a minister is not enough…the whole government should resign because it is unable to help the country recover,” he said in his Sunday sermon. Rai’s request received a partial response on Monday when Prime Minister Hassan Diab resigned. Diab made the announcement as riot police wearing body armor and carrying batons clashed with protesters who converged on Parliament Square in the thousands. Pope Francis last week sent a donation of nearly $300,000 to the Church in Lebanon to help with recovery efforts, and international Catholic groups responded by providing health services and basic necessities to the victims. At least 16 Catholic organizations, including Catholic Relief Services and Caritas International, are helping victims who urgently need shelter, medicine, hygiene kits and mental health services. Cardinal Leopoldo José Brenes Solorzano of Managua said Mass last Wednesday at the entrance to the Chapel of the Blood of Christ in his cathedral, which had been burned down the previous week. “The Church has always suffered and will continue to suffer, but our assurance is that the Lord is with us,” Cardinal Brenes said during the August 5 Mass. He called the July 31 incendiary attack “an act of terrorism”.

The five residential cardinals of the we joined Archbishop Jose Gomez, president of the bishops’ conference, in signing a letter to members of Congress, asking for support for Catholic education. The clerics noted that “the closure of schools that serve urban areas disproportionately harms low-income and black children served by these schools,” groups already disproportionately affected by the Covid-19 virus. The Archdiocese of Newark announced that five elementary schools were closing and three more would be merged with neighboring schools. More than 140 schools across the country have announced their closure.

Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento, California, issued a letter to the faithful announcing that Father Jeremy Leatherby had incurred an excommunication lataessentiae. The priest, who is being investigated for unrelated allegations of behavior ‘in breach of his priestly promises’, refused phone calls and letters from the bishop, and continued to celebrate Mass and preach in violation of de Soto’s orders. At issue was Leatherby’s denial of the legitimacy of Pope Francis and the consequent refusal to include his name in the Eucharistic Prayer. “[T]he Masses of the past few months I have celebrated in union with Pope Benedict, not with Pope Francis,” Leatherby wrote in a letter he sent in defense of his position. He went on to condemn “Bergoglio” for actions and comments deemed reprehensible by “radical traditionals” and in particular the suspension of liturgies in light of the pandemic. Leatherby asks for a dispensation from the clerical state.

Pope Francis has appointed a U.S.-based Spanish executive as secretary general of the Economics Secretariat. The Vatican announced Aug. 4 that the position, vacant since 2018, would be filled by Maximino Caballero Ledo, 60, who has worked in finance at an Illinois-based healthcare company, Baxter International, for more than 13 years. Caballero, married with two children, is a childhood friend of the prefect of the secretariat for the economy, the Jesuit father Juan Antonio Guerrero Alves.

Systematic violence against Nigerian Christians by Fulani herdsmen constitute genocide, according to Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah of Sokoto, who pointed out that Muslims are also victims of the violence. He was speaking to Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need following the execution of five aid workers by the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP).

the Congregation for the Doctrine of FactOn August 6, ha issued a clarification on the Sacrament of Baptism, stating that changes to the formula to emphasize community participation are not permitted. Responding to a question about whether it would be valid to administer the sacrament by saying “We baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” the CDF said the formula for baptism, according to the Catholic Church , is “I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” and all baptisms administered with the formula “we baptize” are invalid.

spain Catholic bishops have thanked former king Juan Carlos for his past services to the country, as a leading nun denounced him as “a womanizer and a corrupt thief”. “We express our gratitude for his decisive contribution to democracy and harmony among Spaniards,” the bishops’ executive commission said as King Juan Carlos I, who abdicated in favor of his son, Felipe VI, in 2014, announced he was leaving Spain for good after denying corruption charges linked to his four decades in power. One of Spain’s best-known nuns, Lucia Caram, an Argentinian-born Dominican ecumenist, said the 82-year-old king had set a “harmful example” during a “reign full of vices”. way to his departure last week for Abu Dhabi.

Russia first Catholic Auxiliary Bishop pledged to strengthen the distinctly Russian character of his Church. Bishop Nikolai Dubinin, 48, a Conventual Franciscan who was ordained in 2000 after training in Poland, spoke after his appointment as auxiliary to the Moscow-based Archdiocese of the Mother of God in Russia, assisting the Italian Archbishop Paolo Pezzi. He said Russian Catholics, who currently make up less than half a percent of the population of 144.5 million, have drawn their strength from the “blood of martyrs and the sufferings of many faithful, exiled and persecuted in the Soviet era.

Pedro Casaldáliga, the Spanish-born bishop who was one of the best-known exponents of liberation theology in Brazil, died on August 8 at the age of 92 in Batatais, State of São Paulo. Casaldaliga had suffered from Parkinson’s disease since at least 2012 and called him “Brother Parkinson”. His funeral mass took place in Batatais on August 9.

Malawi ordered churches closed after coronavirus cases doubled in the past four weeks. For months, Malawi appeared to set aside WHO guidelines on social distancing to focus on the general elections in which Lazarus Chakwera was elected president.

Martha J. Finley