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Rome & the World: a hunger strike on facing the congregation at Mass • European organization defends life

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Photo messe Syro-malabare ND de paris mai 216

Messe du dimanche 29 mai à Notre-Dame de Paris en rite syro-malabar © Père George / MEP

I.Media - published on 01/25/22

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.

Tuesday 25 January 2022
1 – Indian priests end hunger strike over facing the congregation at Mass
2 – Professor Rodrigo Guerra López reflects on why the Church in Latin America seems to be losing ground
3 – A European organization defends the right to life 
4 – Father Zollner, expert on protection of minors, comments on the Munich report
5 – Care for leper patients has slowed due to COVID-19 pandemic

1Indian priests end hunger strike over facing the people at Mass

Priests and lay members of the Syro-Malabar Church, an Eastern Catholic Church based in India, have called off their hunger strike after being promised ‘a permanent solution’ by the metropolitan vicar of the Church. The demonstrators were protesting against the decision by their synod in August 2021 to follow a uniform mode of liturgical celebration in its 35 dioceses.

This would put an end to a dispute that has lasted over four decades concerning at what point the priest should face the congregation or face the altar during Mass. All the dioceses had agreed to the August 2021 decision, except Ernakulam-Angamaly, where certain priests and lay members began a hunger strike in protest, as they wanted to continue celebrating Mass completely facing the congregation. 

UCA News, English

2Professor Rodrigo Guerra Lopez reflects on why the Church in Latin America seems to be losing ground

After several articles signaled that the population of Catholics in Latin America is decreasing, Diario Las Américas interviewed Professor Rodrigo Guerra López, Mexican theologian and secretary of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, on the matter.

Professor Guerra López said the phenomenon is not homogenous across the continent : certain countries, like Brazil and Chile, have seen a much more rapid decrease compared to other nations, such as Mexico. He also said that it is important not to interpret this decrease according to “European style” theories of secularization, and underlined that in Latin America many people become disenchanted because they find the Catholic Church does not offer them an affective and communitarian experience, like other faiths might.

Diario Las Américas, Spanish

3A European organization defends the right to life

From January to June 2022, France will be presiding over the Council of the European Union. In this context, French President Emmanuel Macron declared on January 19 in a message to members of the European Parliament that he wanted to revise the Charter of Fundamental Rights by adding the “right to abortion.” In response, the European federation “One of Us,” which brings together some 40 associations for the defense of life and human dignity, said in a January 24 statement that it was “standing up for the weakest, the unborn, and reminds the French presidency of the Council of the European Union of the unsurpassable value of life and the dignity of every human being.”

Acidigital, Portuguese

4Father Zollner, expert on protection of minors, comments on the Munich report

In the aftermath of the publication of the Munich report, Father Hans Zollner, an expert on protection of minors, said in an interview with German Catholic news agency, KNA, that he thought Pope Benedict XVI’s 82-page declaration in the report lacked awareness of the human side of issues, focusing mostly on the legal and canonical aspects. Father Zollner also called on the Pope Emeritus to make a statement apologizing and acknowledging his possible role in certain cases concerned in the Munich report. Father Zollner applauded the report’s completeness, saying it does not only deal with the legal aspects but also with the image of the Church.

Crux, English

5Care for leper patients has slowed due to COVID-19 pandemic

Guido Barbera, President of the association “Voglio Vivere” (“I want to live”), which helps leper patients, says that care for those affected by this disease has slowed down due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The World Health Organization estimates that there are still 3 million people affected by leprosy in the world and that around 15,000 children get diagnosed every year, Barbera explained. He stated that due to the pandemic many are being diagnosed too late or not being diagnosed at all, worsening contagion. In light of the 69th World Leprosy Day, which will be celebrated on January 30, Barbera reiterated his organization’s efforts to fight against this disease by not only offering medical cures, but also supporting people financially and socially. 

SIR, Italian.  

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