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Rome & the World: Church’s single toughest job • 11 evangelization tips • & more …

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Pope Chooses Global Leadership for Vatican Economic Office Marcin Mazur

Marcin Mazur/UK Catholic

I.Media for Aleteia - published on 05/25/22

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 25 May 2022
1. U.S. Ambassador to Holy See on Ukraine, China, and his meeting with Pope Francis
2. Opposition to abortion in the United States is not based only on religion
3. Pope Francis in Quebec: a more sober papal visit than in 1984
4. Religious marketing: “11 lessons to better evangelize”
5. Glimpses into the single toughest job in the Catholic Church 
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U.S. Ambassador to Holy See on Ukraine, China, and his meeting with Pope Francis

Vatican journalist Gerard O’Connell recently met with the new U.S. ambassador to the Holy See, Joe Donnelly, who presented his credentials to Pope Francis in April. The former Democratic senator from Indiana shared with him a number of things about the content of his meeting with the Pope, including on Ukraine. The Pontiff “said to me: ‘I am willing to try anything to bring peace. I will go to Moscow. I will go to Kyiv. I will do whatever is needed if it would bring peace,’” reports the diplomat who considers that the Russians are perpetrating a genocide. The Ambassador believes that the Vatican’s position is in line with Ukraine’s hopes and aspirations, but takes a step back when the Vatican journalist reminds him that Pope Francis had also spoken of NATO’s “barking at the door” of Russia, pushing it to act. Ukraine is “a free and independent nation, and they have a right to associate with whom they want,” Donnelly replied. Referring to the situation in Israel, the United States, and China, the new ambassador confided that the Vatican is “in a very difficult situation.” He especially cited how the Holy See is trying to ensure the survival of the Church in China in the face of an “authoritarian, dictatorial regime that wants to impose its own will.” Regarding the arrest of Cardinal Zen, he said, “the United States has been much more vocal in condemning China […] about Cardinal Zen” than the Vatican. 

America, English

Opposition to abortion in the United States is not based only on religion

The American website First Things denounces the outrageousness of pro-abortion activists, who shout about a return to “theocracy,” in the face of a possible overturning of the Roe vs. Wade decision, which established the liberalization of abortion in 1973 at the federal level in the US. Opponents of abortion are often portrayed as religious fundamentalists, but their position is actually based on an anthropological conviction. “The pro-life cause is built upon natural and moral realities: scientific facts about when new human life begins and sound philosophy about the profound dignity and worth of every member of the human family,” the conservative site insists. Recalling the right of every human being to legal protection, it recalls that pro-life laws “are no more and no less religious than the Declaration of Independence” of 1776.  The article reiterates “the intrinsic equal value of human life, regardless of size, developmental stage, or cognitive abilities,” in contrast to a certain dominant ideology “that views some human beings as non-persons.” Pro-lifers are therefore invited to “boldly and compassionately bear witness to the truth about the equal dignity of every member of the human family.”

First Things, English

Pope Francis in Quebec: a more sober papal visit than in 1984

“Pope Francis will visit Quebec City at the end of July in a different context than that of John Paul II’s visit in 1984, so his visit should be more sober and less festive,” analyzes the Journal de Québec, a few weeks before Pope Francis’ first trip to Canada, designed to rebuild bridges with indigenous peoples after revelations of abuses committed in residential schools, notably those run by the Catholic Church. There’s not much similar with the visit of John Paul II, who, at 64, “crossed the country in a 12-day marathon, attracting huge crowds wherever he went, including Quebec City, where he gathered more than 250,000 people at an open-air mass,” the newspaper reported. However, the Polish Pope’s trip was announced a year and a half in advance, while by announcing the arrival of the Argentine pontiff only two months before, Gilles Routhier, a professor at Laval University’s Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, believes that the crowds of 1984 will not be repeated, mainly for logistical reasons. 

Journal de Quebec, French

Religious marketing: “11 lessons to better evangelize”

“Religious Marketing Fundamentals: 11 lessons to evangelize and sell ourselves better without losing hope or mission.” This is the title of Carlos Luna’s book, reviewed by Spanish religious site Religion Digital. “People think that marketing is the same as selling. I like to define it as empathy, a relational attitude that human beings have, and it is the pampering that Jesus practiced with those he met on his path, with the aim of satisfying their needs,” Luna, a lay Dominican family man, explains in the book. He emphasizes how his focus lies on the desires and needs of those receiving the Good News, rather than how the Church or other religious actors package and communicate the message. The theologian reviewing the book, Father Jesus Espeja, calls Luna’s idea “a gratifying contribution” which connects with the renewal “suggested by the [Second Vatican] Council” and which “today is encouraged by Pope Francis.” He especially appreciates Luna’s focus on empathy.

Religion Digital, Spanish

Glimpses into the single toughest job in the Catholic Church

It’s a job that the uninitiated know little or nothing about. Yet the position of Substitute for General Affairs in the Secretariat of State is arguably the most difficult and strategic in the Roman Curia, says John Allen. As the Pope’s Chief of Staff, the Substitute is the only one – by tradition – who has the right to see the Pontiff without an appointment. “On most days, it’s the sostituto who does the leg work for about 90 percent of the decisions a Pope has to make,” adds the Crux Vatican journalist. Under Francis, it was Cardinal Angelo Becciu who – in spite of himself – put a spotlight on this function. Indicted in the Vatican’s “Trial of the Century,” related to an ill-fated $400 million land deal in London, the Italian cardinal was removed from office by the Pope in October 2020. In this article, Allen does not seek to determine whether Becciu is guilty or innocent. However, he wants to show that even the most experienced could not properly fulfill the mission of the Substitute, so great is the complexity of the cases to be treated. He quotes a Vatican employee who told him what an ideal sostituto has to manage: “That guy has to think about the adverb that’s going to be used in a papal talk, who’s going to be named a bishop in some sensitive place, the latest petty Vatican personnel dispute, and also what policy the Vatican should adopt on some big theological dispute. Nobody could do all of that perfectly.”

Crux, English

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