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Rome & the World: helping Americans be pro-life • boys who study are religious • & more …

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I.Media - published on 03/30/22

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.

Wednesday 30 March 2022
1 – Ukraine is fighting, but for Francis, wars today cannot be just
2 – Bishop Paglia wants to reconcile divided American Catholics
3 – Bishop Eugenio Coter confides on the challenges as representative of the Amazonian bishops in the presidency of CEAMA
4 – In Pakistan a civil society group calls on the government to protect religious minorities
5- How religion helps boys from working-class families pursue their education


“The right to defend one’s life, one’s people and one’s country sometimes also involves the sad recourse to arms,” Pope Francis let his Secretary of State, Cardinal Parolin, say about the Ukrainian resistance to the Russian invasion. However, according to Vatican expert Sandro Magister, who is often critical of the Pope, the Catholic doctrine on peace and war as it appears in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which legitimizes the use of force in certain cases, has had its day with Francis. According to the Argentine pontiff, war may be waged to defend the victim of aggression, as a lesser evil, but the notion of a “just” war is no longer acceptable. This concept causes confusion. In an interview with the daily newspaper Domani, the Italian Cardinal Matteo Zuppi, who is close to Francis, said “a little of everything.” He said that “no war is just” and that “in a situation of open and tragic conflict like the one we are seeing, there is the right to defend oneself.” The classic doctrine laid down by John Paul II may need to be partially revised, but it is still more linear, the Vatican scholar says. 

Settimo Cielo, English

Bishop Paglia wants to reconcile divided American Catholics

Will Archbishop Paglia be able to ease the tensions between American Catholics? The president of the Pontifical Academy for Life is currently in the United States “hoping to disarm positions,” reports the Jesuit media outlet America. The Italian archbishop, who is scheduled to meet with a number of Catholic Church leaders, wants to promote Pope Francis’ voice in an attempt to break the rut. “Us believers are all against abortion of course, but to be credible we must state that we are against the killing of children, against the death penalty, against war, against abandonment and the discarding of the elderly,” he said before arriving on American soil. And to remind that one “cannot defend a foot without defending the entire body.”

America, English

Bishop Eugenio Coter confides on the challenges as representative of the Amazonian bishops in the presidency of CEAMA

Bishop Eugenio Coter, Vicar Apostolic of Pando, Bolivia, has been elected to the presidency of the Ecclesial Conference of the Amazon (CEAMA), as representative of the Amazonian bishops. Interviewed by Iglesia viva, the official website of the Bolivian episcopate, he details the challenges facing this organization created as a result of the Synod on Amazonia organized in the Vatican in October 2019, under the impetus of Pope Francis. The objective of CEAMA is to propose concrete actions to “animate the work of each community and each territory,” he explains. This “path of communion” lived in connection with REPAM (the Pan-Amazonian Ecclesial Network) wants to stimulate the participation of all. The assumption of responsibility by the laity is embodied in particular by a co-president, Mauricio López, of Mexican origin, who was notably director of Caritas Ecuador. The objective is to develop “a vision of humanity in communion with nature and in fidelity to God’s plan.”

Iglesia Viva, Spanish 

In Pakistan a civil society group calls on the government to protect religious minorities

“There is an urgent need for the government to adopt specific measures and a national action plan to counter extremism, violence, and persecution of minorities,” said the Center for Social Justice’s (CSJ) Pakistan branch in a statement after the killing of Pooka Kumari, a Hindu girl who resisted kidnapping, forced conversion, and forced marriage. The killing “was widely condemned by civil society and by individuals on social and mainstream media,” the declaration says, as it deplores “the government’s failure to address gender-based violence and religion-related violence in the country.” The CSJ emphasizes the problem of forced marriages and conversions, reporting at least 78 cases of the latter in 2021, affecting 39 girls from the Hindu community, 38 Christian women and 1 Sikh. The CSJ leaders lament that these “”incidents have increased by 80% since 2020.”

Fides, English

How religion helps boys from working-class families pursue their education

Dr. Ilana M. Horwitz, sociologist at Tulane University, has spent almost 10 years studying the impact of religion on education (especially Christians as they are the most prevalent religion in the US). In her survey following 3,290 teenagers she found that working-class boys that grew up in religious households were twice as likely to earn their bachelor’s degrees, compared to moderately or nonreligious boys. 21% of religious teenagers brought home report cards filled with As, compared with 9% of their less-religious peers. Dr Horwitz’s conclusion is that religion is a buffer from the despair that many working class men feel from having less opportunities professionally. Religion offers a “support system” that insulates these boys from “the hopelessness so many of their peers described.” Belonging to a religious community can also bring about networks and connections that can help educationally and professionally, the article explains. 

The New York Times, English   

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