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Rome & the World: Portugal’s euthanasia push • Vatican’s better grades on finance • & more …

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Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 05/10/22

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.

Tuesday 10 May 2022
1. To stop Russian manipulation, Francis must make Vatican’s stand on Ukraine clear
2. Portugal moves closer to legalizing euthanasia
3. Chilean government contemplating investigation into clerical abuse
4. Vatican progress in financial security recognized by Europe
5. Young people with no religion outnumber Catholics and Evangelicals in major Brazilian cities

To stop Russian manipulation, Francis must make Vatican’s stand on Ukraine clear

Two months after the invasion of Ukraine, the Russian Orthodox Church has not missed a single opportunity to affirm that the Vatican stands with it in the conflict, argue four Catholic academics in an opinion article in NCR. Pope Francis’ repeated calls for peace have so far been interpreted by the Moscow Patriarchate as support for the Russian justification for the war, according to which peace in the Donbass was threatened by Ukrainian extremists and had to be restored by a Russian military operation. Several events in recent months have been used by the Russian Orthodox Church to assert that the Holy See was on the side of the “invaders.” Among them, the visit of the papal nuncio to Russia and the videoconference meeting between Francis and Kirill. It is true that some of Pope Francis’ words are confusing, especially in his interview with Corriere della Sera where he wondered if “NATO barking at the gates of Russia” had not pushed Putin to declare war on Ukraine. In addition to stating that “in Ukraine, the conflict was created by others.” These four academics who co-authored the article argue that pledging for peace is not enough, saying Pope Francis needs to make clear where he stands in the war in order to avoid playing into the hands of those who support it.

NCR, English

Portugal moves closer to legalizing euthanasia

The introduction of a new euthanasia bill in Portugal seems increasingly likely, as the new parliament from the January 30 elections takes office. After an initial narrow rejection in Parliament in 2018, a pro-euthanasia law was passed in January 2021. However, President Marcelo Rebeso de Sousa, who opposes euthanasia, sent the text to the Constitutional Court, which invalidated the draft due to the subjectivity of terms such as “intolerable suffering,” “permanent injury” and “fatal illness,” which were supposed to justify the use of this measure. A new version of the bill was also vetoed by the president, who is close to the Catholic Church and strongly opposes legalization. According to bioethicist Ana Sofia Carvalho, the new wording proposed in the latest draft remains “very strange” and only makes things worse. “When they say it applies only to serious, incurable, and irreversible illnesses that lead to very intense suffering, that fits any type of cancer,” she warned on the Catholic radio Renascença

The Tablet, English

Chilean government contemplating investigation into clerical abuse

After a prominent Jesuit priest – Felipe Berrios – was recently accused of sexually abusing a teenage girl in the early 2000s, Chilean President Gabriel Boric announced that he is considering opening a national investigation into the Catholic Church. The new accusation comes as the Church in Chile has already been rocked in recent years by revelations of abuse and cover-ups of abuse, the most infamous case being former priest Fernando Karadima. In a report released in May 2021, the Jesuits in Chile acknowledged that 64 people were sexually abused, 34 of them as children or teenagers, by 11 of its clerics that the order investigated between 2005 and 2020. In their statement regarding the new complaints, the Jesuits hoped for “a quick and transparent process, but (one that is) especially careful with the victim.”

Crux, English

Vatican progress in financial security recognized by Europe

The European Union’s anti-money laundering authority, Moneyval, considers that its annual report on the Vatican will now be subject to regular controls, welcoming a series of recent reforms by Pope Francis. The Vatican expert Maria-Antonietta Calabro, however, notes that the risk of abuse within the system by “insiders” still exists and that the organization considers that the Vatican is not yet perfect in this field, making “a clear reference” to the ongoing legal proceedings of the case of the London building. The report also points to a certain “slowness” as well as a “lack of resources both in the judicial system and in law enforcement agencies,” which do not have “sufficiently qualified financial investigators.” However, the results of the progress made are considered “encouraging” overall.

Just Out, Italian

Young people with no religion outnumber Catholics and Evangelicals in major Brazilian cities

“I have no religion, I have always been loyal to that. I believe in everything, first of all in Jesus, the only all powerful God. I also believe in entities, who have helped me a lot and whenever they can they will help me…. I believe in energies, in the universe…” This is how 21-year-old Mariana Oliveira Viana, resident in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), described her beliefs. Mariana is one of the thousands of young people in Brazil who define themselves as “without religion.” According to 2022 data from the polling institute Datafolha, for the age bracket from 16- to 24-years-old, those who do not identify with any religion count for 14% of people surveyed, compared to 26% who identify as Evangelical and 49% as Catholic. In São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, some of the biggest cities in the country, the “nones” group increases to around 30% and 34% respectively. BBC Brasil also consulted three social scientists to explain what being “without religion” means, as it does not signify without faith or spirituality. It is primarily an urban and youth phenomenon, focused on distancing oneself from religious institutions and with a more fluid conception of spirituality, mixing many belief elements together.

BBC Brasil, Portuguese

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