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Rome & the World: WWII-era drawings in a church attic • dialing down abortion temp • & more …

ABORTION

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I.Media for Aleteia - published on 05/05/22

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 5 May 2022
1. The president of the Community of Sant’Egidio reacts to the Pope’s interview in Corriere della Sera
2. The blackmail of the West on the Bishop of Rome 
3. Focusing on the consensus amongst the divisiveness of abortion in the USA 
4. More than 1,200 Filipino bishops and priests endorse presidential candidate Leni Robredo in election
5. Wall drawings in Rome church recall secret refuge of Jews and anti-Fascists
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The president of the Community of Sant’Egidio reacts to the Pope’s interview in Corriere della Sera

Marco Impagliazzo, president of the Community of Sant’Egidio, said he was “very impressed” by Pope Francis’ request for a meeting with Putin, in an interview with Corriere della Sera. He described this gesture as an act of “great courage, great generosity and also great realism.” The Italian newspaper Avvenire asked Impagliazzo a few questions to allow him to elaborate on his remarks. “Proposing to speak directly to Putin is also a way to ‘save’ the Russian Orthodox Church from an excessive dependence on the political logic of the Kremlin,” Impagliazzo analyzed, in response to when asked if the meeting would be possible. Impagliazzo also recalled the role of every religious leader: “to pray for peace and not for victory.” However he did not forget to underline the current paradox: “today, Christians in Ukraine and Russia are in a certain sense obliged to pray for victory.” “The Pope wants to reverse this pattern,” he added.

Avvenire, Italian

The blackmail of the West on the Bishop of Rome 

Vatican expert Gianni Valente criticizes the “nagging political-ecclesiastical siege” undertaken by some to “extort” from Pope Francis and his collaborators “an explicit excommunication” of Putin and Patriarch Kirill. Nothing the Pope has done to end the conflict, the Italian journalist explains, seems sufficient for those, especially in the United States, who consider that he must “align himself” and clearly support the West against Russia. The Pope, he insists, is not “the guru of a Western-made politico-religious lobby.” It is as Bishop of Rome that he communicates with Patriarch Kirill, and therefore placing himself very far from the “fantasies of Western ideological Christians” that until recently envisaged a rapprochement with Moscow, insists Valente. In this, he is the heir of Benedict XV, Pius XII, John XXIII, Paul VI and Benedict XVI, he stresses, adding John Paul II to the list, recalling that the Pole, although appreciated by the Atlanticists, had unambiguously criticized the first Gulf War. “The task of the Bishop of Rome is not to give lessons in Western modernization to his Orthodox brothers,” he concludes, considering the Pontiff more useful than ever today in his “disarmed poverty.”

Gianni Valente Blog, Italian

Focusing on the consensus amongst the divisiveness of abortion in the USA 

A leaked document, indicating that the majority of the USA’s Supreme Court could be in favor of overturning the 1973 decision that legalized abortion in the country, has ignited both sides of this contentious issue. Charles Camosy, a professor of theology and social ethics, advances that “ the leak may be just as big a story” as the debates over abortion, as it shows how polarizing and critical this issue has become for the population, if someone is willing to “breach the usual black box of Supreme Court decision-making.” “The leaker seems to believe the stakes are so high as to be willing to destroy the court’s ability to function,” Camosy states, highlighting this as a threat to democracy. Having written a book on the divisiveness on abortion, Camosy says much more common ground exists on the issue than what is thought. In this tense moment in the USA, he suggests a “moderating force” can be found in “religious institutions” who can help show both those for and against abortion that they “can cooperate to support women in their desire to keep their children.” “Let’s work as hard as we can to dial down the temperature and focus instead on the common ground held by an exhausted majority,” Camosy concludes. 

Religion News Service, English

More than 1,200 Filipino bishops and priests endorse presidential candidate Leni Robredo in election

The members of the Catholic movement Clergy for Moral Choice in the Philippines, have come out of the reserve, to which they are theoretically subject, by calling for the election of leaders in the May 9 presidential election “whose hearts truly seek the heart of the Good Shepherd.” They are showing their support for the candidacy of Leni Robredo, the outgoing vice president, known for her commitment to human rights and for her poor relations with the populist president Rodrigo Duterte, who cannot stand for re-election and who could paradoxically support her. The challenge is to counter Ferdinand Marcos Jr, son and political heir of the former dictator overthrown in 1986 during a protest movement supported by the Catholic Church. Favorite in the polls, he has the support of the Iglesia Ni Cristo, a very powerful local sect, which has two million members and imposes on them absolute obedience to the voting instructions given by its leaders. 

EFE, Spanish

Wall drawings in Rome church recall secret refuge of Jews and anti-Fascists

In Rome, the Church of San Gioacchino is full of frescoes, mosaics, and intricate stained glass. However, perhaps its true masterpieces are not to be found in the apse or in the windows, but in the attic, hidden away. Indeed, under the roof, several charcoal drawings cover the cold walls of the church. Three of them are very large and show Jesus with a crown of thorns, a Virgin and her child, and a modern-day man sitting on a simple chair with his head in his hands. The drawings were discovered by Father Ezio Marcelli, a 90-year-old priest who still climbs the stairs to the attic without difficulty. The drawings were made by Jews and anti-fascists hidden in the church during World War II. “The meaning of what happened here, of people being persecuted, hunted down to be sentenced to death, still has a real significance today,” he explained. Among the discoveries made at the site: packs of cigarettes, decks of cards and an anti-Semitic newspaper article.

Reuters, English

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Rome & the World
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