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Rome & the World: unvaccinated Orthodox priests suspended • which albums does Francis choose?

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A Mask-clad Greek Orthodox Cypriot priest attends the Easter midnight mass amid a lockdown in the country to limit the spread of the coronavirus, at a church in the capital Nicosia, on May 1, 2021. (Photo by David VUJANOVIC / AFP) |

I.Media - published on 02/01/22

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 1 February 2022
1 –  Italian bishops pondering national abuse inquiry
2 – Cyprus Orthodox archbishop suspends 12 unvaccinated priests
3 – As war continues in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, Catholic relief programs struggle
4 – In Pope Adrian VI, glimpses of Pope Francis’ priorities 500 years ago
5 –  Pope Francis sends vinyl records to Cardinal Ravasi

1Italian bishops pondering national abuse inquiry

Will the Italian Church launch an independent investigation into sexual abuse committed by the clergy? The question has been agitating the Peninsula for several weeks. After the reports commissioned by the Church in France and Germany, the pressure is mounting on the Italian bishops who once again briefly raised the issue of abuse during a meeting of the Permanent Episcopal Council held from January 24 to 26.

Speaking at a press conference, Archbishop Stefano Russo, secretary general of the Italian bishops’ conference, said that if an investigation is conducted, “we will do it in a careful way to ensure that it is meaningful in terms of results.”

Crux, English.

2Cyprus Orthodox Church suspends anti-vax priests

Archbishop Chrysostomos II, head of the Christian Orthodox Church in Cyprus, told public television channel CyBC that he would suspend a dozen priests from his diocese for refusing to be vaccinated against COVID-19. While the number of infections and deaths remains high in the island nation, the archbishop called the priests’ insubordination “unheard of” and threatened them with exclusion from the priesthood. The archbishop, who has spoken out in favour of vaccination, fears the influence of these pastors on some of the faithful who follow them.

AP, English.

3As war continues in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, Catholic relief programs struggle

Catholic and other humanitarian agencies are sounding the alarm for the Ethiopian region of Tigray, where millions of people in need are suffering and are unable to get the help they need. As the conflict between separatists and the government forces continues, now going on for more than a year, these agencies fear for the lives of their staff and are often unable to access the conflict areas. The town of Mekelle remains particularly isolated and some areas such as Irob in the northeast have not had access to telecommunications since November 2020. The worrying situation particularly affects women and children facing rape, killings, and shelling. According to local sources, nuns and priests are regularly arrested in their attempts to help the most vulnerable. 

National Catholic Reporter, English. 

4In Pope Adrian VI, glimpses of Pope Francis’ priorities 500 years ago

Pope Francis and Pope Adrian VI, elected in 1522, may have a lot in common. This is the case that certain historians made during a panel discussion on the Dutch pontiff held at the Vatican in January. Pope Adrian VI’s election surprised him but when he came to power he was determined to weed out corruption in the Roman curia, encouraged his cardinals to embrace humility and austerity, and wanted to offer the Eucharist to sinners.  

“What unites Pope Francis and Pope Adrian is their commitment to reforming the church,” said church historian Paul van Geest. Professor van Geest added that if Cardinal Hummes — whose encouragement led to Bergoglio taking the name Francis — had been more familiar with the writings and legacy of Pope Adrian VI, van Geest believes he might have “advised Pope Francis to take the name Adrian after all.”    

National Catholic Reporter, English.

5Pope Francis sends vinyl records to Cardinal Ravasi

 In a Tweet posted on his profile, Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, President of the Pontifical Council for Culture, shared a photo showing the vinyl records Pope Francis recently sent him to add to his “audio library” held in the Vatican. Adam’s Lament by Arvo Part, St John’s Passion by Bach, a tango disk by Astor Piazzolla, and  “Nobody can judge me” by Caterina Caselli, were some of the vinyls featured in the photo. The Cardinal explained in the social media post that the pontiff sent him these new additions in light of the annual Italian music contest, Sanremo Music Festival, which this year starts on Feb. 1., Italian.

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