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Rome & the World: feast of Ascension in a mosque • an ‘elder’s’ visit to First Nations • & more …

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I.Media - published on 05/30/22

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 30 May 2022
1. With Sodano’s passing, the Vatican’s old guard is down but hardly out
2. An end-of-summer Consistory that looks to the world
3. In Jerusalem, the feast of the Ascension is celebrated in a mosque
4. Archbishop Gallagher: Ukraine war an opportunity to put an end to logic of nuclear deterrence 
5. For Indigenous Canadians, Pope Francis’ age is an advantage

With Sodano’s passing, the Vatican’s old guard is down but hardly out

Vatican journalist John Allen looks at the death of 94-year-old Cardinal Angelo Sodano, former Secretary of State under John Paul II and Benedict XVI and then dean of the College of Cardinals until 2019. The powerful Italian Cardinal embodied the “old guard” and had retained a strong influence within the Vatican’s internal culture. “Though Sodano was an important point of reference, it would be a serious mistake to think that his death means the old guard is down for the count,” considers the American Vatican expert. The past is now embodied by Cardinal Re, 88, who succeeded Cardinal Sodano in 2019 as dean of the College of Cardinals. An important page in the history of the Vatican is being turned with some discretion. Cardinal Sodano’s death elicited only a relatively sober telegram from Pope Francis. The very factual articles published on Vatican News, the official media portal of the Holy See, lacked the glowing tone often associated with Cardinal’s deaths. Cardinal Sodano “one of the titans of the Catholic Church over more than 50 years,” will keep a reputation tarnished by the sexual abuse scandals and his controversial action during his service as apostolic nuncio in Chile, under the dictatorship of Pinochet. 

Crux, English

An end-of-summer Consistory that looks to the world

The editorial director for the Dicastery for Communication, Andrea Tornielli, reflects on the significance of the Consistory announced Sunday, which will bring the number of cardinal electors to 132. The organization of such an event at the end of the summer may be surprising, as well as its announcement almost three months in advance, but this Consistory will precede a meeting of the Cardinals organized on August 29 and 30, to work on the new Apostolic Constitution on the Roman Curia, “Praedicate Evangelium,” promulgated last March 19, on the feast of St. Joseph, and which comes into force this Sunday, June 5, feast of Pentecost. Tornielli also notes that “the list of new cardinals confirms the line of thinking followed by Pope Francis throughout his pontificate.” Once again, the Pope has chosen to elevate “bishops from all over the world, preferring the peripheries and overlooking those sees that were once traditionally considered ‘cardinalitial.‘”

Vatican News, English 

In Jerusalem, the feast of the Ascension is celebrated in a mosque

This is one of the amazing things that can only happen in Jerusalem. Every year, reports the press agency Fides, the feast of the Ascension is celebrated in a mosque located at the top of the Mount of Olives. In reality, it was previously a chapel built by the Crusaders in 1152. However, it was transformed into a mosque 50 years later by Saladin. Today, the chapel is still part of the mosque “of the Ascension.” The ancient Christian place of worship is open to visitors and pilgrims all year round and, on the feast of the Ascension, by special concession of the ancient tradition, the Franciscans of the Custody of the Holy Land celebrate Masses there, which groups of local Christians and pilgrims can participate in. 

Fides, English 

Archbishop Gallagher: Ukraine war an opportunity to put an end to logic of nuclear deterrence 

In the current conflict in Europe, “the first victim of war is truth,” said Archbishop Paul Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States, speaking May 27 at the conference “The Culture of Encounter: Imperative for a Divided World,” organized at Villa Malta in Rome by the Jesuit magazine La Civiltà Cattolica and Georgetown University. Noting that this war is made even more dangerous by the existence of nuclear weapons, the Vatican foreign minister hoped that it could be transformed into an opportunity to end the logic of nuclear deterrence. He called for a “radical change in the way we look at the world,” to “ask ourselves about the future of humanity,” to “regenerate democracy” and to give “credibility to politics.” “Our world is dying of selfishness,” the Archbishop lamented, speaking of the “multilateral” diplomacy of the Holy See as a way of “renewed global co-responsibility.”

Vatican News, Italian 

For Indigenous Canadians, Pope Francis’ age is an advantage

For The Tablet, Pope Francis’ upcoming visit to Canada from July 24 to 29 can be described as “an old man confronting the nation’s history.” The 85-year-old Pope’s advanced age will be, in spite of physical limitations, “an advantage” to the indigenous Canadians he is visiting as part of a reconciliation process, following the discovery of the abuse they suffered in Catholic residential schools. The Argentine Pontiff will be listened to all the more because of his status as an elder. “In our minds and in our world view, as you age you become more valuable to the community,” says Deacon Harry Lafond, former chief of Muskeg Lake Cree First Nation. “Your age tends to help you to understand life from a different perspective. You bring that to the generations that are following you […] that road to wisdom about life and living,” he explained. The head of the Catholic Church will visit Edmonton, Alberta; Iqaluit, Nunavut; and Quebec City. In this French-speaking province, the Métis Nation of Alberta wants the Pope to visit Lac Sainte-Anne, a place of cultural and spiritual importance for all Indigenous peoples in the country. 

The Tablet, English    

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