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Daily Briefing: China jails 600 Christians – Tattoos, sign of devotion? & More

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Agence I.Media - published on 11/04/19

→ “The authentic spirit of the Synods is in knowing how to put oneself out there” (Analysis by Antonio Spadaro)
→ Colombian nun freed in Mali said goodbye to Pope Francis
→ Cardinal Pell thinks he could have prevented London building scandal
→ When tattoos are a sign of devotion
→ Russian Church warns against turning vaccination into factor of national division
→ Islamic-Christian international appeal for the protection of prayer communities and Holy Places
→ Beyond COVID-19, pilgrims help rediscover trust and hope
→ A Presbyterian writer explains the power of the Catholic intellectual ecosystem, and why Protestants lack something like it…


China jails 600 Christian cult members amid crackdown

UCA News, English

China’s communist regime has intensified its crackdown on a Christian cult movement, the Church of Almighty God (CAG), with hundreds of members jailed. Some 600 CAG members have been sentenced to between six months and seven years in prison across China, Bitter Winter reported. The renewed persecution is part of a three-year plan by the Chinese Communist Party known as the “Final Solution” to eradicate the church, it noted.

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“The authentic spirit of the Synods is in knowing how to put oneself out there” (Analysis by Antonio Spadaro)

Avvenire, Italian

Father Antonio Spadaro, Jesuit priest and director of the Italian magazine La Civilità Cattolica, offers some points of reflection on synods within the Catholic Church. He underlines the central role of the Holy Spirit by saying how putting the Church in a synodal state “means making it restless, uncomfortable, tense” because it is guided by the Spirit. Father Spadaro compares the synod to a football game, where one has to play but also “be played,” meaning be willing to adapt to the situations on the field. In the case of a synod it means letting the Holy Spirit guide the process and “overturn the tables,” without expecting everything to go exactly according to a predefined plan. Father Spadaro also emphasizes that the Church is not “a construction of different Lego bricks that all fit together in the right place” but rather a “a jazz concert, where you play following the inspiration shared in the moment.”


“Colombian nun freed in Mali said goodbye to Pope Francis”

Infobae, Spanish

Sister Gloria Cecilia Narvaez is a Colombian nun who spent 4 years in captivity after being kidnapped by jihadists in Mali. She was released on October 9, 2021 and has since been staying at the Vatican. Yesterday she attended the general audience and Pope Francis came to greet her at the end of his catechesis. The pontiff joked with her and asked: “”What are you still doing here? Did you go to Colombia, or not?”. She is due to return to Colombia on November 16, 2021.

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Cardinal Pell thinks he could have prevented London building scandal

La Stampa, italien

In an interview, Cardinal George Pell looks back at the time when, as Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, he opposed Cardinal Becciu. He believes that he could have avoided the London scandal if the former “number 3” of the Holy See had let him do his auditing work at the Secretariat of State. “We had permission to enter but they prevented us from doing so,” he laments, years later. The current trial – which deals with the major financial scandal in the London building in which the Italian cardinal is indicted – is a progress, even if it is “moving very slowly.”

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“When tattoos are a sign of devotion”

L’Osservatore Romano, Italian

The Osservatore Romano writes about an original initiative called “Tattooing in front of the altar” (Tätowieren vor dem Altar) in Frankfurt (Germany). A catholic education organ, Katholischen Erwachsenenbildung, and the diocese of Limburg, organized for an artist to be able to give tattoos inside a Church in the city. The leaders of the campaign explain it is to show their closeness to the German Catholic youth and emphasize that tattoos are not prohibited or sacrilegious (depending on what kind of tattoo is chosen though, they underlined).

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Russian Church warns against turning vaccination into factor of national division

Interfax-Religion, English

Vaccines not only create divisions in Western countries and among Catholics. Russian Orthodox also suffer their impact. The Russian Orthodox Church considers it important to prevent a societal split over the issue of vaccination.

“We must not turn the vaccination problem, just as any other acute problem which may arise in our development, into a factor of national division,” Vakhtang Kipshidze, deputy head of the Russian Orthodox Church Department for Church, Society and Media Relations, told a press conference in Moscow.

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Islamic-Christian international appeal for the protection of prayer communities and Holy Places

Fides.org, English

The bloody attacks on places of worship that host communities of faith gathered in prayer or while taking part in ritual acts, represent the “summit” of justified atrocities and violence by bringing up “religious” issues. Faced with the continuing of these phenomena, it is necessary to encourage the creation of an interreligious and inter-cultural “global network”, which works to protect the sites of worship and all the believers who frequent them, as a contribution to the development of a “common human civilization” nurtured by the recognition and sharing of “common human values”. This is the urgency relaunched by the International Appeal for the protection of the Holy Places from all the violence and abuses that affect the various praying and worshiping communities.

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Beyond COVID-19, pilgrims help rediscover trust and hope

Asianews.it English

After groups, individual visitors can now enter Israel if they respect a strict health protocol. As of 6 November, people can stay overnight in Bethlehem. For  Father Francesco Patton, Custos of the Holy Land, it is possible to get over the emergency; in fact, while the virus remains, now “it is manageable.” Religious tourists, especially Christians, make an essential contribution to the local economy.

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A Presbyterian writer explains the power of the Catholic intellectual ecosystem, and why Protestants lack something like it…

Adfontesjournal.com, English

“For a variety of reasons including the progressive apostasy of the mainline churches and the subsequent loss of distinctly Protestant Ivy League divinity schools, Protestants lack top-tier academic institutions of our own,” explains Onsi A. Kamel, Editor-in-Chief of The Davenant Press, as well Associate Editor at Mere Orthodoxy.

“Evangelicals run institutions, to be sure, but these are often not up to the intellectual level of their Catholic or secular counterparts. More often, they are several tiers lower, and Protestants today lack robust access to non-Protestant political and cultural outlets”.

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