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Rome & the World: lay cardinals? • torment in Honduras • & more …

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I.Media - published on 04/27/22

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 27 April 2022
1- Are lay cardinals next?
2- Honduran bishop says Central American nation ‘tormented’ by organized crime
3- The King of Jordan reaffirms Hashemite dynasty’s patronage of Christian and Muslim Holy Places in Jerusalem
4- Worrying signs for the Synod on Synodality
5- Vatican nuncio congratulates East Timor on successful elections


As Pope Francis could call a consistory for the creation of new cardinals in June, American scholar Phyllis Zagano floats the idea in an op-ed that the door is open to lay cardinals, both men and women. Pope Francis is reorganizing the Vatican Curia, she notes. Apart from the Roman Curia’s new apostolic constitution, “Praedicate Evangelium,” which states that heads of dicasteries need not be ordained, Zagano also cites history to consider reviving the tradition of lay cardinals: In the Middle Ages, some members of the Spanish and Italian royal families were created cardinals; in 1858, Pope Pius IX named the curial lawyer Teodolfo Mertel a cardinal; and in the late 1960s, Pope Paul VI considered making the French philosopher Jacques Maritain a lay cardinal. However, Zagano concedes that this would require a change in the Code of Canon Law, or at least a dispensation. So the chances of it happening tomorrow seem low.

Religion News Service, English

2Honduran bishop says Central American nation ‘tormented’ by organized crime

The violence caused by drug trafficking and organized crime in Honduras, one of the countries in Central America in the path to smuggle drugs from South America to the United States, is a concern for the auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Tegucigalpa, Teodoro Gomez. In a homily following the extradition of former Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez to the United States – where he is accused of drug trafficking – the Bishop called for “authentic peace” for this “tormented” nation, which remains the most dangerous in Central America, with 38 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants. However only the peace offered by God frees from fears, frustrations and weaknesses, he added. In recent years, tens of thousands of people have been displaced to escape gangs and violence. The condition of women is particularly worrying: in Honduras, a woman is murdered every 36 hours, most often by an intimate partner.

Crux, English

3The King of Jordan reaffirms Hashemite dynasty’s patronage of Christian and Muslim Holy Places in Jerusalem

The Hashemite dynasty of Jordan has reaffirmed its historic responsibility to protect and safeguard Christian and Muslism holy sites in Jerusalem. King Abdullah II himself reaffirmed the historic protection claimed by the Royal House of Jordan on the sites in question at the official Iftar dinner (breaking of the fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan) held on April 25 at the Royal Palace in Amman. This dinner was attended by senior representatives of the Christian and Muslim communities in Jerusalem including the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa. Archbishop Pizzaballa said the Hashemite dynasty’s connection to Jerusalem is internationally recognized and appreciated and stressed that the King’s voice is a point of reference in the face of increasing tensions and clashes around Christian and Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem. 

Fides, French

4Worrying signs for the Synod on Synodality

In the columns of the conservative Catholic website First Things, Monsignor Hans Feichtinger, a German priest, reviews the current synodal process. A process that he considers “more promising than the German ‘Synodal Way’” but which “lacks a true synodal enthusiasm,” according to him. Worse, he says, it risks being “a project of fruitless navel-gazing” if bishops and priests do not commit themselves to this path. However, their enthusiasm, he believes, is “hampered” by the Vatican which focuses on denouncing clericalism and remains opaque on evangelization. Declarations in favor of a dogmatic revision on the teachings on homosexuality do not help either, the author of the analysis points out, and would tend to show “how the German process is already compromising the Roman project.” Finally, the Vatican has been less than synodal regarding the Tridentine Rite, Monsignor Feichtinger points out. He calls for a more “humble approach” to charity and warns against “unreasonable expectations on the magisterium.”

First Things, English

5Vatican nuncio congratulates East Timor on successful elections

The presidential elections in East Timor took place on April 19, 2022. Monsignor Marco Sprizzi, chargé d’affaires at the Apostolic Nunciature, said he was “very happy” with the elections, which were “realized in a very democratic and peaceful way.” In this country with a Catholic majority, José Ramos-Horta, a Catholic and winner of the Nobel Prize for Peace, was elected with 62.1% of the votes. The Vatican has long been considered one of the country’s closest diplomatic friends. Their relationship was strengthened by the signing of a concordat in 2015 when Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin visited the country. “We will continue cultivating these relations in the same spirit, and the Holy See is always there to support the government of Timor-Leste to have better development,” said Sprizzi, before adding, “our only interest is for the common good of the people.”

UCA News, English

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