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Rome & the World: why Malta matters • viral nuns • & more…

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Reprodução/ Instagram @daughterstpaul

I.Media - published on 02/15/22

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 15 February 2022
1 – Why the Pope’s visit to Malta should matter
2 – The Albanian bishop who emigrated in a boat and is back home
3 – Spanish archbishop supports abuse investigations but “without discrimination”
4 – Tartuffe, a comedy by French author Molière, the Church’s best ally?
5 – A group of nuns goes viral for Jesus

Why the Pope’s visit to Malta should matter

According to the local daily Times of Malta, even though there is a “noticeable decline” in the influence of the Church in Malta, “the Maltese will undoubtedly welcome the Pope enthusiastically.” Are they ready to embrace his radical message in the same way though? This editorial, published less than two months before the Pontiff’s visit in early April, hails the Bishop of Rome’s “prophetic choice” to visit migrants in Ħal Far during his trip: “a clear indication of at least one topic of the papal addresses.” The Times of Malta also expects words on corruption, hoping that the Pope’s collaborators have informed him well that Malta “is a country mired in it.” Finally, the article hopes for words on environmental degradation, another “blight” on the island.

Times of Malta, English

The Albanian bishop who emigrated in a boat and is back home

Arjan Dodaj emigrated from Albania at the age of 16 in a motorboat, fleeing poverty after the fall of the communist dictatorship. Today, he is back in his home country as the new Archbishop of Tirana-Durazzo. In an interview, Archbishop Dodaj talks about the oppression he experienced in his country. He remembers his grandparents who tried to preserve their faith despite persecution, and the thirst for spirituality that animated the people who were regaining their freedom. He recounts his conversion in Italy and his ordination to the priesthood by John Paul II. Decades later, in 2017, he returned to Albania, where he is now “at the service of a young and humanly resourceful community,” despite the traces of the Soviet regime. Archbishop Dodaj also advocates for the Albanian model of interfaith dialogue in a country with a Muslim majority.

Mondo e missione, Italian

Spanish archbishop supports abuse investigations but “without discrimination”

The Archbishop of Santiago, Spain, Julian Barrio, said the proposals of the Spanish government to fight child abuse are “well received” by the Church, which offers a “loyal collaboration” with the State. The Archbishop was talking specifically about the projects to create a commission of inquiry within Congress and to create an Ombudsman for sexual abuse. However, Archbishop Barrio also insisted that these investigaitons should be done with “no privileges” and “no discrimination,” denouncing that today there is the tendency to “identify abuses with the Church,” which puts “under suspicion the ecclesial institutions.” Sexual abuse “is not a Church issue, it is a social issue, and I say this not as an excuse, I say this as a reality that must be taken into account,” he explained. 

ABC, Spanish 

Tartuffe, a comedy by French author Molière, the Church’s best ally?

In light of the 400th anniversary of French author Molière’s birth, the official media of the Holy See, Vatican News, looks back at the scandal caused in 1664 by the first performance of Tartuffe, a theatrical comedy. The Archbishop of Paris at the time had the play banned due to the political context: France was in the midst of a Jansenism crisis, a theological movement declared heretical, and the authority of the Church could not be criticized. However, Father Luc Reydel, the current chaplain for artists in Paris, says that today this play seems “necessary and indispensable.” “It can only serve what the Church has in common with Molière: this desire to point the finger, to denounce the hypocrisy, the slander and the lying dimension of the human heart, that is not capable of recognizing its own poverty,” he explained. 

Vatican News, French

A group of nuns goes viral for Jesus

The Daughters of St Paul, also known as the “Media Nuns,” on the outskirts of Boston have been gaining traction on TikTok after posting videos that blend convent life, Catholic themes and pop culture. They have more than 155,000 followers and their posts have been viewed over 15.5 million times. They have even earned their own hashtag: #nuntok. The sisters say they pray for every person who watches their videos and even for the trolls who leave unkind comments. As fewer women respond to the call to nunhood, the sisters say TikTok also helps people realize nuns are normal people. “At the end of the day all we are asking is to be able to see one another as human beings,” Sister Pietra René says.

The Economist, English 

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