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Rome & the World: what Zen arrest means for China • getting liturgy • & more …

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I.Media - published on 05/13/22

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 13 May 2022
1 – Church in Jerusalem calls killing of Palestinian journalist a blatant tragedy
2 – Bartholomew: It is the duty of the Orthodox Church to serve the cause of peace
3 – The arrest of Cardinal Zen weakens the Beijing regime on the international scene
4 – US government releases 1st report on relation between religious institutions and Indigenous boarding schools 
5 – The Vatican wants to strengthen the liturgical formation of all the baptized

Church in Jerusalem calls killing of Palestinian journalist a blatant tragedy

Shireen Abu Akleh was a Palestinian-American journalist for Al Jazeera. On the morning of May 11, 2022, while covering the Israeli army’s storming of the Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank, she was shot in the head despite wearing a vest marked “press.” Another journalist was wounded in the operation but managed to get to safety away from the military fire. The Patriarchate of Jerusalem strongly condemned the attack, calling it a “blatant tragedy” that ” brings back to human conscience the need to find a just solution to the Palestinian conflict, which refuses to enter oblivion.” According to the Associated Press, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz promised a transparent investigation and said he was in contact with American and Palestinian officials. The U.S. ambassador to Israel, Tom Nides, also reacted by tweeting that he was “very sad” to learn of the journalist’s killing and that he too was calling for “a thorough investigation into the circumstances.”

Crux, English

Bartholomew: It is the duty of the Orthodox Church to serve the cause of peace

The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew I, in the context of serious internal divisions within the Orthodox Churches around the Russian offensive in Ukraine, delivered a speech at an interfaith meeting held in Riyadh, in Saudi Arabia. “In our times, the credibility of religions largely depends on their commitment to peace,” explained Patriarch Bartholomew, in this majority-Muslim country. Highlighting the responsibility of the great religious traditions, he explained that “the Orthodox Church considers it is her duty to encourage all that which genuinely serves the cause of peace and paves the way to justice, fraternity, true freedom, and mutual love among […] all peoples who make up the one human family.” A position that further marks a distancing from Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, who has given his blessing to the Russian offensive in Ukraine, where many bombings of churches have been reported. Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew also met on Wednesday, May 11, the Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs, Adel al-Jubeir, who expressed his admiration for the initiatives of the Ecumenical Patriarch and the actions of the Ecumenical Throne.

Orthodox Times, English 

The arrest of Cardinal Zen weakens the Beijing regime on the international scene

The arrest of the Bishop Emeritus of Hong Kong, Cardinal Joseph Zen, caused an international outcry. The cardinal’s notoriety and his advanced age, 90, seemed to put him beyond the reach of any physical harm. His situation is causing great embarrassment in the Vatican and in China. Nevertheless, this new crisis shows “how timely and necessary it was to have an agreement. Today, thanks to an agreement, there is at least a channel of communication and the fate of millions of Chinese Catholics has a minimum of protection,” writes analyst Francesco Sisci. “The risk otherwise would have been to put them in front of the difficult choices of the 1950s, renouncing the faith or renouncing to be Chinese,” he believes. In the context of a serious internal crisis, linked to the war in Ukraine, and the drastic measures to fight against Covid-19, the Chinese Communist Party is in a weak position. Paradoxically, this situation could open an opportunity for the Holy See to “seek dialogue and understanding with Beijing.” The author of this analysis poses this broad question, “if the Church does not speak to those who make mistakes and do not know it or perhaps do not see it, to whom should she speak?”

Settimana News, Italian

US government releases 1st report on relation between religious institutions and Indigenous boarding schools

The United States Department of Interior released on May 11 the first volume of an investigative report on the Indigenous boarding school system in the country. Religion News Service reports that between 1819 and 1969, the US operated 408 boarding schools for Indigenous children across 37 territories and states, with half of them likely being supported by religious institutions. The report, published by the Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative created in 2021 by the Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, also recorded the deaths of over 500 children and identified marked or unmarked burial sites at more than 50 schools across the country. The report describes an “unprecedented delegation of power by the Federal Government to church bodies” in administering these schools, and explains how the government assigned Indigenous reservations to “major religious denominations,” giving them considerable control. The Catholic Church and a number of Protestant denominations have already begun investigating their own roles in these establishments. Many Catholic and Protestant groups and denominations have also called for the US to establish a Truth and Healing Commission, similar to the Canadian one. 

Religion News Service, English 

The Vatican wants to strengthen the liturgical formation of all the baptized

One year after his arrival at the head of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Archbishop Arthur Roche explains his desire to give all the people of God the keys to understanding the liturgy, a subject that is still divisive in the Catholic world. The publication of Traditionis Custodes, in 2021, had aroused strong misunderstandings among Catholics attached to the Tridentine rite. But Archbishop Roche explains that the Pope wants above all to promote “the unity of the Church.” He specifies that John Paul II and Benedict XVI had never sought to “promote the Tridentine Rite,” but their objective was to show attention to people “who have difficulty with the new form of prayer of the Church.” Since Vatican II, the liturgy must involve all the baptized, contrary to the understanding in force until the 1962 missal, in which the priest was seen as the representative of all the other people present at Mass. The liturgical formation of the laity must therefore be strengthened according to the “ecclesiology of today.” 

Omnes, Spanish

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