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Rome & the World: Nun leads supercentenarians • patriarch quotes imam • & more…

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I.Media - published on 02/11/22

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.

Friday 11 February 2022
1 – Cardinal Hollerich, a ‘papabile’?
2 – Patriarch Sako teaches Iraqi politicians a lesson by quoting Imam Ali
3 – Vatican News relays the response of the CIASE, who wrote the report on sexual abuse in France, to criticisms
4 – Remembering an Eritrean Orthodox Patriarch who was a figure of resistance against the regime
5 – Catholic Sister Andre leads the world of supercentenarians

Cardinal Hollerich, a ‘papabile’?

Vatican expert and journalist, Sandro Magister, weighs in on the candidate he believes would have the backing of Pope Francis in the event of a conclave. His name: Jean-Claude Hollerich, the 64-year-old archbishop of Luxembourg. This polyglot Jesuit (he speaks Japanese) and president of the European Union Bishops’ Commission, now occupies a central role in the Church. Cardinal since 2019, he was appointed as rapporteur of the famous Synod on synodality by the Pope in 2021. Recently, he gave a series of interviews in which he invited the Church to reflect on the question of the ordination of married men, the ordination of women deacons and the position of the Church on homosexuality. Sandro Magister paints a portrait of a reformist candidate who “seems to promise a more linear and coherent path than the current erratic and contradictory pontificate.”

L’Espresso, English

The Chaldean Patriarch, Cardinal Louis Raphael Sako, quoted an important Muslim scholar in an address he delivered to around 2,000 Iraqi political representatives on February 5. Cardinal Sako said : “Let your heart feel mercy towards your subjects and love and kindness towards them, and do not stand over them like ravenous beasts of prey plundering their food, for they are of two kinds: either your brother in religion, or your equal in creation.” He was quoting Ali ibn Abi Talib, considered by Shiite Muslims to be the first Imam, and also the cousin and son-in-law of the prophet Mohammed. He spoke at an annual meeting in Baghdad, hosted by Iraqi politician and religious leader Ammar al Akim, who headed Iraq’s Supreme Islamic Council until 2017. 

Fides, English

Vatican News relays the response of the CIASE, who wrote the report on sexual abuse in France, to criticisms

“In a lengthy response coupled with two expert reports published Wednesday, Feb. 9, the commission chaired by Jean-Marc Sauvé refutes point by point the criticisms received” from eight members of the French Catholic Academy, says an article in Vatican News. “These criticisms have caused confusion among the faithful of the Church of France” and have “fueled controversies surrounding a report read beyond French borders,” the article said. The article addressed the criticisms surrounding the methodology used by the CIASE in the statistical survey of the report, which led to the evaluation of 330,000 victims of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church in France. (The high number was an estimate of potential victims. The commission, the website said, identified 2,700 abuse victims between 1950 and 2020 through interviews, and another 4,800 through archival research. It then worked with a polling agency and other groups to reach an estimated number of victims.)

The response of the CIASE addressed also philosophical and theological aspects, “relying in particular on texts of the Magisterium to evoke the abuse of power, the meaning of the priesthood or Christian anthropology,” explains Vatican News.

Vatican News, French

Remembering an Eritrean orthodox patriarch who was a figure of resistance against the regime

The third Patriarch of the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church, Abune Antonios, died on February 9 at 95-years-old. He is known as a figure of peaceful resistance to the Eritrean dictatorial regime and, as a consequence, lived the last 16 years under house arrest. He was made Patriarch of Eritrea in 2004 and refused to subjugate himself to the regime in place by, for example, declining to excommunicate 3,000 followers designated by the government. He also publicly demanded the release of prisoners of conscience. In 2006 the government unseated him in favor of another patriarch and the following year he disappeared. In 2017 new images of him emerged again:  weakened and older but still in his priestly habit. 

Rfi, French

Catholic Sister Andre leads the world of supercentenarians

Lucile Randon, better known as “Sister Andre,” is a French nun who turns 118 years old on February 11. This makes her the oldest woman in France and Europe and the second-oldest in the world (after a woman in Japan)! In her room in her retirement home in the French city of Toulon she only has a bed, a statue of the Virgin Mary and a radio, which she doesn’t use anymore as she finds the outside world too stressful. Sister Andre said her 118th birthday wish is “to die soon” and admits to a certain impatience : “To be alone all day with the pain is no fun […] God is not hearing me, he must be deaf.” Sister Andre’s formula for a successful life: “Find great love and don’t compromise on your needs.”

AFP, English

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