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Daily Briefing: Poland, North Korea, France & A Pope’s Phone Call


Wroclaw, Anastasiia Chepinska (Unsplash)

Agence I.Media - published on 11/02/19

We bring you news, stories, voices, and issues that significantly impact the life of the Church around the world.

“Polish bishops say ‘no taboo topics’ during ad limina visit to Vatican”

Crux, English

Auxiliary Bishop Adrian Galbas of Ełk, in northeastern Poland, spoke to Crux about the Polish bishops’ recently concluded ad limina visits to the Vatican. The Church in Poland has recently gone through a troubled period after media reports documenting the extent of clerical sexual abuse started emerging over the last years. It was within this context that the ad limina visits took place, but Mgr Galbas stated that “there were no taboo topics” and insisted there was a “brotherly” and “fatherly atmosphere in the dicasteries and with Pope Francis. Mgr Galbas also emphasized that the ad limina visits are not “a criminal court case leading to execution,” but rather a good moment to discuss a crisis.

The article also mentioned that recently Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki, president of the Polish bishops’ conference, told the Polish Catholic Information Agency KAI, that he spoke about the punishment of bishops in a meeting with Cardinal Marc Oullet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops. Mgr Gądecki said that they spoke about the “disproportionate punishments” on bishops accused of coverups, compared to convicted abusers.

“Pope must be careful with North Korean poisoned chalice” (opinion)

UCAnews, English

Last Friday, October 29, 2021, Pope Francis met with South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in, who invited him to visit North Korea. In this opinion article, writer and human rights activist Benedict Rogers, offers five conditions which he believes should be fulfilled for the Vatican to undertake a visit to North Korea and ensure it is meaningful.

Firstly, he said the leader of North Korea, Kim Jung Un, needs to show some progress in the field of human rights. Secondly freedom of religion and belief must be upheld and respected. Third and fourth, the Pope should be able to meet survivors of North Korea’s prison camps and it should be guaranteed that there would be no reprisals against these individuals, or others the Pope meets. Lastly the author says the Pope should commit to speaking about human rights, justice, religious freedom, human dignity and peace and should be free to do so. Rogers states that if these conditions were not to be met, the visit would be a “non-starter”. 

Bishops of France meet in Lourdes to discuss abuse

Vatican News, French

Less than a month after the report of the Independent Commission on Sexual Abuse in the Church in France (Ciase), the bishops of France are meeting in Lourdes for their fall assembly, from November 2 to 8. They have modified their initial program to spend more time reflecting on the issue of abuse. Victims of sexual assault will also be received. On Saturday, November 6, a special prayer with a “penitential gesture” for the victims is planned. The Ciase estimated that 216.000 persons have been abused by clerics or religious since 1950 in France. The members of this commission will be received by Pope Francis in early December.

“I am Pope Francis: Many Wishes for your 104 years”

La Nuova Sardegna, Italian

Antonietta Porqueddu, a 104-year-old lady from Thiesi, Sardinia, received a surprising 104th birthday gift on Sunday, October 31: a phone call from Pope Francis.

“How are you Mrs. Nietta?” the Holy Father asked. “So-so,” she replied. A few words and a lot of happiness for a woman who throughout her life made prayer her daily life, explains the daily newspaper “Nuova Sardegna”.

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