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Rome & the World: Pell thinks Pope will rein in Germany • patriarch-oligarch? • & more …

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Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 04/28/22

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.

Thursday 28 April 2022
1. German Synod: Cardinal Pell thinks the Pope will intervene
2. Is Patriarch Kirill an oligarch?
3. Are diocesan mergers on the way?
4. A violent conflict divides an archbishop and Carmelites in Argentina
5. Brazil commemorates 522 years since its first Mass


German Synod: Cardinal Pell thinks the Pope will intervene

According to Cardinal George Pell, the Pope will intervene to stop the possibility of a schism in the Church because of the German Synod. He told the British media outlet Catholic Herald that he has “great confidence in the Successor of Peter,” whose role is to maintain the “purity of the apostolic tradition.” Cardinal Pell, along with over 85 bishops from around the world, recently signed a letter sent to the German bishops warning them of the dangers that could result from their discussions. The Australian Cardinal explained that he believes these bishops are heading “in the wrong direction.” “Bizarrely, they think that, by adopting the teachings of the world around them, they are going to help the Church,” he explained, assuring that history unanimously shows that doing so is “disastrous.” 

Catholic Herald, English

Is Patriarch Kirill an oligarch?

“No, Kirill is not Francis,” says the Vatican expert Maria Antonietta Calabrò. The Patriarch of Moscow is anything but an ascetic, he is an oligarch, she believes. In addition to his personal fortune, estimated at $4 billion by the American business magazine Forbes, there is the origin of his wealth, based on the tobacco and beer trade and on tax exemptions granted by the Russian state to the Orthodox Church. Some of this wealth is said to be invested abroad, in Switzerland, Italy, Austria and Spain, as well as in offshore havens. The human rights expert Hanna Hopko has called for sanctions against him, the EU foreign ministers are considering imposing them, and although the Patriarch has always denied his wealth, investigations are underway throughout Europe. 

Huffington Post, Italian

Are diocesan mergers on the way?

Pope Francis has just named Mark O’Toole as archbishop of Cardiff, Wales. At the same time, he also named him bishop of the neighboring diocese of Menevia, whose see had been vacant since 2019. While the two dioceses remain legally separate, the Argentine Pontiff connects them in persona episcopi, meaning unifying them in the bishop who oversees them. As The Pillar’s article highlights, this practice has become more common under the pontificate of Pope Francis. The prospect of neighboring dioceses merging could, moreover, affect many countries where the Catholic population is dwindling, and thus also the clergy.  In the United States, for example, only two episcopal sees are currently vacant. However 10 bishops are already over the retirement age of 75 and five more will turn 75 this year and will have to submit their resignations to Rome. While there are no official figures, it is rumored that usually around one in three candidates for the episcopate refuses the offer to become a bishop. Faced with these new difficulties, the merger of dioceses could be a solution.  A solution with its pros and cons… 

The Pillar, English

A violent conflict divides an archbishop and Carmelites in Argentina

“#HermanaSiTeCreo”; “my sister, yes, I believe you,” is the hashtag created by the foundation “Gender and Masculinities” from the city of Salta in Argentina to support the Discalced Carmelites of the San Bernardo convent. These nuns have filed a complaint for sexual violence and economic problems, against the Archbishop of this big Argentine city, Mario Cargnello, and a bishop emeritus, who was sent by the Pope as an apostolistic visitor, Martín De Elizalde. Paradoxically, a feminist group sided with this monastery of conservative tendency, which was created as the result of an internal division among the Carmelites and was at odds with the orientations of the Second Vatican Council. Three nuns from this convent – which has a total of 18 Carmelites – have filed a complaint against these two bishops for acts of moral harassment, which are the subject of a double investigation by the Holy See and the Argentine civil justice system. The Archbishop of Salta is said to have intervened to force the transfer of a nun to another convent. He is now forbidden to come within 300 meters of the convent, and a court hearing is scheduled for May 3.

La Nación, Spanish

Brazil commemorates 522 years since its first Mass

522 years ago, on April 26, 1500, shortly after the Portuguese landed on the shores of Brazil, Friar Henrique de Coimbra celebrated the first Catholic Mass on Brazilian land, on the islet of Coroa Vermelha, in the northeastern state of Bahia. Although Brazilian independence only occurred 300 years later in 1822, every year, Mass has been celebrated on the same day in the same location to mark the several centuries of evangelization in Brazil. The bishop of the local diocese of Eunápolis, José Edson, presided over the ceremony which was attended by local and federal government representatives, the Pataxó indigenous population who live in the area, and many faithful. After being suspended in the last years due to the pandemic, the local mayor, Agnelo Santos, said they were very happy to be there “celebrating this Mass alongside several guests, residents, and the Pataxó people, who were here when the first mass in Brazil occurred.”

Radar, Portuguese  

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