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Rome & the World: a pope from Malta? • deeper reason pro-choicers desecrate churches • & more …

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Mgr Mario Grech lors de la session d'ouverture du synode sur l’Amazonie.

I.Media - published on 05/16/22

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.

Monday 16 May 2022
1 – Cardinal Grech, a potential future pope from Malta
2 – Chilean bishop facing misconduct, abuse allegations leaves country 
3 – The Pope prepares his next successor as Archbishop of Buenos Aires
4 – Why are pro-abortion activists attacking churches?
5 – The thousand lives of Charles de Foucauld, by the writer Christiane Rancé

Cardinal Grech, a potential future pope from Malta

While the health of Pope Francis has been the subject of many articles for several months, speculation is rife about his potential successors in the case of his resignation. Among them: Cardinal Mario Grech. The press is already talking about a battle between conservatives and liberals. The former are said to be putting forward the candidacies of the Hungarian Cardinal Peter Erdo, the Dutch Cardinal Wim Eijk and the Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet. However, another name that has come up is the Maltese Mario Grech, who had a conservative reputation but became pro-Francis. The 65-year-old secretary general of the Synod of Bishops became a cardinal after supporting the Pope’s apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia, the Times of Malta explains. In contrast, liberals would support Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the current Vatican secretary of state, and Filipino Cardinal Luis Tagle. However, Vatican experts warn, neither side has the support needed to secure the two-thirds majority required to elect a pope of their choice in the next conclave.

Times of Malta, English

Chilean bishop facing misconduct, abuse allegations leaves country

Bishop Cristián Roncagliolo, Vicar General of Santiago, Chile’s capital, has left the country to go to Spain for an unspecified period of “recovery of his physical, psychological and spiritual health,” following reports of accusations of sexual misconduct and abuse of power against personnel of the archdiocese. News of his exit was first reported by La Tercera, a newspaper in Chile, which suggested that Roncagliolo faces accusations of inappropriate sexual conduct as well as abuse of power, Crux explains. Ana Maria Celis, President of the Council for the Prevention of Abuse and Victim Accompaniment of the Chilean bishops, confirmed to the Chilean newspaper that some allegations were received but said the Council had fulfilled its duty in forwarding them to Rome. Eneas Espinoza, the spokesman for Chile’s Clerical Abuse Survivors Network, told Crux that, though they have also received information on Roncagliolo, so far it is “partial,” so he prefers to be cautious. Following the article in La Tercera, the Bishop who succeeded Roncaglio as Vicar General sent an internal memo to collaborators of the archdiocese, which was then made public, saying that although the archdiocese had received complaints of labor mistreatment and abuse of power they had not received any for sexual misconduct. 

Crux, English

The Pope prepares his next successor as Archbishop of Buenos Aires

One of Pope Francis’ first episcopal appointments was that of his successor as Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Archbishop Mario Aurelio Poli, who was created a cardinal the following year. However relations between the Argentine Pope and the man who was his auxiliary bishop from 2002 to 2008 have now cooled. At issue is the controversial management of certain real estate assets of the diocese of the Argentine capital, which is at the center of a Vatican investigation because the procedures, provided for by the Code of Canon Law on diocesan investments, have not been respected. An extension of Cardinal Poli’s mission beyond his 75th birthday on November 29 seems unlikely. Archbishop Victor Fernandez, former rector of the Catholic University of Argentina, is a strong candidate because of his personal proximity to Pope Francis. Appointed archbishop of La Plata in 2018, the 59-year-old prelate was warmly received by the Pope at the Vatican on Saturday and appears to be preparing to take on new responsibilities. 

La Nacion, Spanish

Why are pro-abortion activists attacking churches?

In the United States, for several weeks now, rumors have been circulating that the Supreme Court is about to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision. This ruling allows women to have access to abortion across the country throughout all 9 months of pregnancy. Since the ruling was challenged, some pro-abortion activists have responded by vandalizing Catholic churches and disrupting masses. Carl R. Trueman explains in First Things that this desecration of churches is not simply a matter of disruption but of protestors wanting to “profane the sacred.” For him, “sex and conception create new life and that means they possess—or should possess—a mysterious aura of the sacred.” Therefore, to “attack a worship service is not simply to annoy the participants. It is to profane the sacred. It is to enact that which abortion itself represents.” The biblical studies professor concludes with the worry that desecration seems to be the default of our culture and that when the majority comes to see the common good “in purely profane terms,” then “religious freedom itself will ultimately fall.”

First Things, English

The thousand lives of Charles de Foucauld, by the writer Christiane Rancé

In light of the canonization of Charles de Foucauld, French daily Le Monde published a long article on the “thousand lives” of the new saint, who was “a debauched heir, an officer, an explorer, a priest.” The writer Christiane Rancé underlines his extraordinary career but also the controversies that surround him. The young officer of Saint-Cyr, who said he “slept a lot, ate a lot and thought little,” was an orphan, wealthy and led a dissolute life, explains the exhaustive article, giving details of his childhood, his youth and his inner journey. It was in Morocco that the call of the muezzin cracked the armor of his nihilism. He changed his ways, shaken by the faith and the abandonment of the Muslims. Radical, this time in the opposite direction, Charles de Foucauld wanted “poverty to the bone.” He chose the hermit life among the Tuaregs, but, rather than the Muslims, “it is himself” that Charles de Foucauld converted. He learned “to let others into his life, to have the humility to receive,” and that “the ultimate charity […] is gratitude.” Against the background of the legend created around Charles de Foucauld, Christiane Rancé speaks of the ambivalences of a complex character, such as his paternalistic prejudices on the “unfortunate Muslims,” and his links with the French conquest of the Sahara. 

Le Monde, French

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