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Rome & the World: pilgrim makes Pope LOL • Pius XII’s letters to Hitler discovered • & more …

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I.Media - published on 06/03/22

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 3 June 2022
1. Pope Francis should go to celebrate a mass at Ukrainian border 
2. Hungary opposes sanctions against Patriarch Kirill
3. A young pilgrim makes Pope Francis laugh out loud
4. Letters from Pius XII to Hitler discovered
5. When Saint Francis of Assisi fascinated Spanish painters

1Pope Francis should go to celebrate a mass at Ukrainian border

Alarmed by the consequences of the war in Ukraine, including a serious food crisis, the writer Giorgio Montefoschi laments that “diplomacy is at a standstill” in an opinion article in Italian daily Corriere della Sera. “Words are of little use” now, argues the writer, who comments on the attempts by the Pontiff to go to Moscow and Kyiv. “The Pope must go there, because a strong gesture is needed now, and only he can make that gesture,” Montefoschi said, pointing out that phone calls and other actions taken until now have not yielded anything. Just as St. Francis went to see Malik al-Kamil during the Fifth Crusade, the writer considers that the Pope should go to the heart of the war, to the demarcation line or to the no-man’s land between Ukraine and Russia. “There, on a simple altar, in the open, with no entourage, no oceanic crowds to cheer him on, he would celebrate Mass and, in his homily, ask Putin to stop the devastation,” the writer envisions. “One does not keep a Pope at the door,” the author emphasized in his concluding sentence.

Corriere della Sera, Italian

2Hungary opposes sanctions against Patriarch Kirill

Hungary apparently delayed the announcement of the European Union’s new sanctions against Russia and obtained the removal of Patriarch Kirill from the list. Although Budapest claims they have held this position for a long time, this has not prevented several diplomats from releasing the information, a sign of disagreement on the subject. The diplomats, at first, had wanted to strike the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, considered a supporter of Putin and the war waged against Ukraine. However, Hungary won the case and announced that it would respect the final sanctions agreement voted by the members of the European Union.

Reuters, English

3A young pilgrim makes Pope Francis laugh out loud

Carlota Valenzuela, a young Spanish woman who met with Pope Francis during the general audience last Wednesday, shared a laugh with the head of the Catholic Church, the 266th Successor of Peter. The young woman was stopping in Rome during a pilgrimage on foot from the city of Finisterre to Jerusalem. “I’m going to see Jesus, but I went to see Peter first,” she told the Pontiff, to which he retorted, “Very well, it’s important to greet the doorman.” Carlota asked the Pope to bless a clown nose “to bring God’s joy to those (she) meets along the way.” Taking a sabbatical from a promising career with companies like Banco Santander and Acciona, she hopes to arrive in the Holy Land by Christmas. “I have eliminated from my life the rush, the fears, and the need to plan everything for the long-term,” she confided, “I’m learning to surrender and appreciate the gift of being able to live each day, whether I deserve it or not.” Along the way, Carlota says she is seeing “the best of humanity.”

Alfa y Omega, Spanish. 

4Letters from Pius XII to Hitler discovered

According to a new book published by the American David Kertzer, just before the outbreak of World War II, Pope Pius XII engaged in negotiations with Adolf Hitler to try to reconcile the Third Reich and the Catholic Church. This book, resulting from research conducted after the opening of the Vatican archives in March 2020, shows how Hitler tried to influence the position of the Catholic Church toward Nazism shortly after the election of Pius XII in 1939 after a pontificate of Pius XI who had clearly condemned the ideology. At the time, relations between the Church in Germany and the Nazi government were atrocious. Pope Pius XII, approached by the Nazis via Prince Philipp Von Hessen, stated in a letter that he was “eager to reach an agreement with Hitler” but conditioned this rapprochement on a truce. “Once we have peace, the Catholics will be loyal, more than anyone else,” he assured. The Pope did not mention anti-Jewish policy but focused on anti-Christian persecutions, Kertzer explains. Pius XII emphasized that it was impossible, for example, for a Catholic at the time to advance in the ranks of the SS without having renounced his faith. Negotiations did not progress much with the outbreak of the war, and were aggravated especially by the visit of the Minister of Foreign Affairs Joachim von Ribbentrop, who refused to kneel before the Pope as was the custom at the time. “Pius XII and Adolf Hitler had no affection for each other,” insists Kertzer, who nevertheless considers that the pontiff “resisted” during the war those who wanted to denounce Nazi crimes against the Jews. 

The Algemeiner, English

5When St. Francis of Assisi fascinated Spanish painters

A guide to the representations of St. Francis of Assisi in the Prado Museum in Madrid has just been published, highlighting the appeal of this Saint to Iberian painters – and far beyond. The author of the book, a Franciscan, explains: “I would dare to say that St. Francis of Assisi is not only the most painted religious figure in the art gallery of Madrid, but of all the characters, including civilians and laymen.” There are in fact 173 representations of the “Poverello,” among which he chose 12 paintings, signed by El Greco, Ribera, Zurbarán or Murillo. The author shows how each of them knew how to capture the passion that animated the life of the Saint of Assisi, showing “a Francis full of light, full of seduction, who invites you to look him in the face.”

Vida Nueva Digital, Spanish

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