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Rome & the World: Madonna (the singer) wants to meet Pope • Church growing in Sweden • & more …

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Jamie McCarthy / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

I.Media - published on 05/06/22

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 6 May 2022
1 – Ten Chinese priests missing since the beginning of the year
2 – Archbishop Paglia comments on the Pope’s criticism of the Patriarch of Moscow
3 – Archdiocese of Buenos Aires faces Vatican investigation over controversial management of properties
4 – In Sweden, the Catholic Church is growing in numbers but lacks economic resources
5 – Singer Madonna wants to meet with Pope Francis to discuss women’s rights

10 Chinese priests missing since the beginning of the year

Since January 2022, at least 10 priests, all belonging to the clandestine (unofficial) community of Baoding (Hebei), have disappeared after being taken by government representatives and the Chinese Police, AsiaNews reports. Their followers have been struggling in vain to obtain clarification on their disappearance. Other priests from this numerous underground Church who are still free, fear that they will soon be arrested. While Bishop James Su Zhimin has been in the hands of the police for at least 25 years, the underground community has been strained by the agreement between China and the Holy See on new bishop appointments. According to the media outlet, the agreement is being used by the Chinese government as “proof” that the Vatican is espousing the Party line of total control of the Church. It obliges all priests to profess their adherence to the Party and their membership in the official Church. Those who fail to do so are subject to detention. 

AsiaNews, Italian

The president of the Pontifical Academy for Life assures us that the Pope, in his interview published on May 3 by Corriere della Sera, did not want to “offend” the Patriarch of Moscow, whom he described as at threat of becoming “Putin’s altar boy.” Archbishop Paglia insisted on “the fraternal search for ways that the Churches can promote peace,” pointing out that “the Holy Father referred to the fact that men of the Church cannot and must never be put in a position where they have to bow to other powers, except to the will of God.” Asserting that he has known Patriarch Kirill personally “for more than 30 years,” Archbishop Paglia hopes that the two religious leaders will soon be able to meet again and “embrace” each other like brothers, and that Vladimir Putin will be able to “open the door” to a visit from the Pope in Moscow.

Il Giornale, Italian

Archdiocese of Buenos Aires faces Vatican investigation over controversial management of properties

Pope Francis’ former diocese is going through a period of crisis due to questions about the management of five properties. These properties were the subject of transactions that did not comply with the procedures provided for by the Code of Canon Law on Church property held by dioceses, which required the endorsement of the diocesan Council of Economic Issues and the College of Consultors. The audit of the Congregation for the Clergy has brought to light irregularities, but according to sources inside the diocese, these are not strictly speaking “crimes.” According to the Argentine daily La Nacion, the matter is to be discussed this Friday, May 6, in the Vatican between Pope Francis and his successor as archbishop of Buenos Aires, Cardinal Poli.

La Nación, Spanish

In Sweden, the Catholic Church is growing in numbers but lacks economic resources

The Catholic Church in Sweden continues to grow, with more than 126,000 registered faithful, according to a report published on the website of the Diocese of Stockholm, led by Cardinal Anders Arborelius. The country has 44 parishes, 16 missions, and six Eastern Rite communities, as well as 43 religious communities. Among the students at the Uppsala seminary are former priests of the Lutheran Church of Sweden who have decided to change their denomination, considering their church too liberal. The Catholic minority is served by 172 priests. However, uncertainties are emerging for the future: the government that will be constituted from the September 11 elections could reduce subsidies for faith communities in the Scandinavian country. The geopolitical situation and Russian threats may also weaken this Church, which has been energized by recent immigration but still remains fragile.

SIR, Italian

Singer Madonna wants to meet with Pope Francis to discuss women’s rights

Known for her provocations, singer Madonna, who defines herself as Catholic, has said she wants to meet with Pope Francis to discuss “Jesus’ point of view about women.” This request comes in the context of the heated debate about abortion in the United States, with the Supreme Court considering reversing the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which legalized abortion in the country. In addition, Madonna, whose show at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome was strongly criticized by the Vatican because of her ironic use of religious symbols, complains that she has been “excommunicated” and wants explanations. 

Daily Mail, English  

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