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Rome & the World: building bridges with Mary’s heart • Moscow patriarchate answers Europe’s bishops • & more …

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Immaculate Heart of Mary – MD004

© Antoine Mekary/ALETEIA

Immaculate Heart of Mary © Antoine Mekary / ALETEIA

I.Media - published on 03/25/22

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.

Friday 25 March 2022
1 – Pope Francis is drawing on Vatican II to radically change how the Catholic Church is governed
2 – Through the consecration, Pope Francis wants to build bridges, says expert in Mariology
3 – The Moscow Patriarchate responds to Cardinal Hollerich
4 – A reflection on the anniversary of Saint Romero’s martyrdom by a human rights activist
5 – Bringing God’s love to the poor and the excluded: new Superior of the Missionaries of Charity talks about her mission


America magazine offers a reading of the Apostolic Constitution Praedicate Evangelium, explaining that the text “takes a head-on approach to the crises facing the Church, using the Second Vatican Council as a road map for reclaiming the Church’s credibility.” In the context of the vocations crisis, the Constitution assumes two priorities: evangelization without proselytizing but by attraction, and the assumption of responsibility by the laity, especially women. Their presence in government positions in the Vatican is consistent with their assumption of responsibility in parishes and dioceses. Clerics working in the Vatican will be called upon to perform more pastoral functions, not to remain confined to office work. According to America magazine, these provisions make it possible to implement the conciliar process that came out of Vatican II, which John Paul II and Benedict XVI had “sought to slow or stall the pace.” The new Constitution can thus be “more attractive to those disillusioned by the church’s lack of gender equity,” the Jesuit magazine says.

America, English 

Through the consecration, Pope Francis wants to build bridges, says expert in Mariology

On March 25 Pope Francis will consecrate Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Father Alexandre Mello, secretary of the Dicastery for the Laity, Family, and Life and an expert in the Catholic field of Mariology, said in an interview with Crux that Pope Francis’ decision is “a plea for God to intervene for the good of all.” Father Mello emphasized that it “is not a political act, but a religious one” as the consecration is “a prayer of surrender, of intercession for the good of both peoples and of the whole world.” “It is certainly a gesture designed to build bridges. Orthodox Christians are just as Marian, or even more Marian, than we Latins,” he said, insisting that Mary “is, in fact, part of the Christian identity of the Russian people and the Ukrainian people.”

Crux, English  

The Moscow Patriarchate responds to Cardinal Hollerich

“These days, the prayers and thoughts of millions of Christians around the world are concerned about the dramatic developments in the land of Ukraine.” This is how the Moscow Patriarchate begins its response to the letter sent by Archbishop Hollerich, Archbishop of Luxembourg and President of COMECE, which urged Patriarch Kirill to put pressure on the Russian authorities to stop the war against Ukraine. It is Metropolitan Hilarion, head of the department of external relations of the patriarchate, who has taken on the task of responding to the European bishops. It says that “His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia is doing a lot to restore peace and trust, especially in the Ukrainian land, working hard every day to achieve this.” The Metropolitan believes that COMECE “could play an important role in building such a dialogue by working with the representatives of the European Union to prevent a further escalation of the current situation.”

Vatican News, French  

A human rights activist reflects on the anniversary of Saint Romero’s martyrdom

March 24 was International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims. This day of remembrance was chosen especially because on the same day in 1980, Archbishop Oscar Romero was shot and killed by a sniper while celebrating mass in San Salvador (El Salvador). Mary Aileen Diez-Bacalso, a human rights activist and journalist based in Manila (Philippines), remembers the Salvadoran martyr and Saint and his indefatigable fight for the rights of “suffering people.” Diez-Bacalso was also encouraged in the late 1990s by Father Jon de Cortina, an activist close to Romero, to found her own organization to fight involuntary disappearances in Philippines and in Asia. “Pondering on the significance of this day, reflecting on the Salvadoran situation and thinking of the thousands of victims of human rights violations in my own country, I reckon that the Philippines needs more prophetic voices to stop the repression, a situation which sadly seems normal to many,” Diez-Bacalso writes. She concludes her article praying to Saint Romero to help in the “search for truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence.” 

UCANews, English 

Bringing God’s love to the poor and the excluded: new Superior of the Missionaries of Charity talks about her mission

“With the guidance and blessing of God, I commit myself to adhere to the call to serve the poor and the needy.” These are the words of Sister Joseph Micahel, newly elected Superior General of the Missionaries of Charity, the religious congregation founded by Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta, in an interview with news agency Fides. The 68-year-old ex-secretary of Mother Teresa, says she is “ready to face the challenges that will arise along the way, always placing her life, her activities and her choices in the hands of the Lord.” Bishop of Bagdogra (India), Vincent Aind also expressed his support saying he believes Sister Micahel’s “vast experience of missionary work in different places and countries” will give her the “courage and strength” needed to lead this important Congregation. “I have accepted this new responsibility in the name of God. Jesus will accompany me in my mission,” Sister Joseph said.

Fides, English 

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