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Rome & the World: a bookseller befriended by popes • Disney-fying Jerusalem? • & more …

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I.Media - published on 05/18/22

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.

Wednesday 18 May 2022
1. Cardinal Czerny pays tribute to Cardinal Martini, a “prophet”
2. Farewell to Don Gino Belleri, the popes’ historical bookseller
3. Cable car in Jerusalem: green light from the Israeli Supreme Court
4. Cardinal Zen’s arrest sends chill through Hong Kong’s Catholic community
5 – According to Cardinal Parolin, the new Apostolic Constitution fulfills one of the main objectives of the pontificate

Cardinal Czerny pays tribute to Cardinal Martini, a “prophet”

A “prophet,” an “authentic witness to the word of God,” a “point of reference” in the Churches throughout the world: Cardinal Michael Czerny, Prefect of the Dicastery for Integral Human Development, recalled the life and works of Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini on the occasion of a meeting on the seventh volume of Bompiani’s Opera Omnia, “Farsi Prossimo.” Cardinal Martini, Archbishop of Milan from 1979 to 2002, was known for his listening and dedication to prayer, as well as his love for Scripture and his “quite extraordinary ability to interpret them in the historical context.” Cardinal Czerny rejoiced, recalling that the “visions and priorities of his pastoral government (…) anticipated paths that ultimately involve the universal Church.” One of these paths is precisely the “synod” that this same universal Church is living at this moment. He also underlined the correspondence between the commitment of the Dicastery for Integral Human Development and the profile of charity that Martini knew how to draw out and cultivate, citing the parable of the Good Samaritan that Martini used a lot and that Francis takes up again in his “Fratelli Tutti,” although in a very different context.

Vatican News, Italian

Farewell to Don Gino Belleri, the popes’ historical bookseller

Just a few steps from St. Peter’s in Rome, in Via dei Corridori, is the library of Don Gino Belleri. This priest, chaplain of the Villa Giuseppina, who ran the “papal bookstore,” has died at the age of 93. It was here in this store that many personalities, journalists, and politicians came to buy books. A living archive of Vatican history and anecdotes, Don Gino lived through 7 different conclaves and was the confidant of many high prelates and some popes. In particular, he maintained a correspondence, which he kept like a treasure, with Paul VI, as well as a friendly relationship with John XXIII. The latter, to whom Don Gino once brought a book that he really wanted to read, confided to him one day, “You know, I’m alone here, I’m a prisoner.” Francesco Cossiga, former President of Italy, was another friend of the priest-librarian. He often came to read in this library during his walks in Rome and liked it so much that he even worked there for a few days as a clerk.

AdnKronos, Italian

Cable car in Jerusalem: green light from the Israeli Supreme Court

“It is not a cable car to the Old City but a cable car to the Silwan settlement, for which Jerusalem is being turned into a Disneyland.” These are the words of Hagit Ofran, from the NGO “Peace Now,” which closely follows the development of the Israeli settlement. It was after learning that the Supreme Court of Israel had rejected four petitions against the construction of this cable car, which passes over Palestinian homes and erases portions of the Palestinian heritage, that Hagit tweeted his reaction. A statement from the Palestinian Foreign Ministry accused the cable car project of being “part of Israel’s Judaization campaign in Jerusalem to erode its Palestinian, Islamic, and Christian identity.” To counter this project, a petition launched by the NGO “Emek Shaveh” has already been signed by 4,200 people. Surprisingly, the Israeli Minister of Transport, Merav Mihaeli, considered that the cable car project would pose too many environmental and political problems and that it had more disadvantages than advantages,

Terre Sainte, French

Cardinal Zen’s arrest sends chill through Hong Kong’s Catholic community

Last week, Hong Kong police arrested Cardinal Zen, Bishop Emeritus of the same city since 2009. The retired prelate is 90 years old. Four others were arrested along with him for alleged “collusion with foreign forces.” He was released on bail on May 12 and is due to appear in court on May 24. Cardinal Zen’s arrest came in the midst of talks between the Chinese government and the Vatican on renewing a power-sharing agreement on the ordination of Bishops in mainland China. Those who want to show their support for the Cardinal are afraid that any public action will cause him more trouble. Father Tobias Brandner, a prison chaplain in Hong Kong, believes the silence of the faithful is surely an “expression of fear.” Yet Cardinal Parolin himself told the media that the arrest of Cardinal Zen was not a “disavowal” of the China-Vatican agreement, adding that he hoped the incident would not “complicate the already complex dialogue” between the two states.

The Guardian, English 

According to Cardinal Parolin, the new Apostolic Constitution fulfills one of the main objectives of the pontificate

A study day on the Apostolic Constitution Praedicate Evangelium, the new Constitution issued by Pope Francis on March 19, 2022, was held at the Lateran University on May 17. There, the Pope’s Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, spoke on the Constitution. “The Secretariat of State has not lost its status in the Curia, its functions are the same but with some variations,” he explained. He recalled the steps that, over the past nine years, have led to the drafting of the Constitution reforming the Curia: “an instrument in the hands of the Pope” for the good of the Church and the service of the Bishops. Praedicate Evangelium is ultimately a response to “recurring requests made by the cardinals in the congregations preceding the 2013 conclave.” Cardinal Parolin also spoke extensively about the role of the Secretariat of State, which “retains a special status in law because of its specific task of closely assisting the Supreme Pontiff in the exercise of his supreme mission.”

Vatican News, Italian

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