Tuesday 7 June 2022
1 – “In Nigeria, ethnic cleansing is underway,” warns Nigerian nuncio to UN
2 – What must the Church change? The answer of 2 German theologians
3 – The beatification of 2 Capuchin martyrs comforts the Christians of Lebanon
4 – Testimony of the Anglican Bishop of London on the faith of the Queen of England
5 – The professional reconversion of Father José Apeles, media star of Spanish television in the 1990s
“In Nigeria, ethnic cleansing is underway,” warns Nigerian nuncio to UN
“We are facing another atrocious stage of a genocide,” affirmed Archbishop Fortunatus Nwachukwu, a 61-year-old Nigerian nuncio, who has worked for nearly 30 years for the diplomatic service of the Holy See. Reacting to the recent massacre of Christians that took place on Pentecost Sunday not far from his diocese of origin, the Archbishop, who has been posted in Geneva for the past year as the Holy See’s Permanent Observer to the United Nations, confided his sorrow for these crimes, which he believes are akin to “ethnic cleansing.” “The raids, exactions and violence of the Fulani have aggravated the climate of terror in a country already ravaged by terrorist violence, and in which the Catholic Church continues to pay a high price,” he said. For him, the Fulani – Muslim nomads – attacked a church because “there is no stronger and more articulate structure in the country than the Catholic Church.” The diplomat, who has already tried to warn of these atrocities, is working to get the international community to finally address the issue.
Il Mattino, Italian
What must the Church change? The answer of 2 German theologians
Two German theologians on the theology website Feinschwarz wonder what needs to change in the Catholic Church. According to them, there is a “fundamental deficit of credibility” because the Church struggles to integrate the “anti-totalitarian” achievements of human rights. The Church, they insist, must be able to accept lay people who initially had nothing to do with God, religion, or the Church. Its divine service, they believe, must be seen as a service to people and to society. This commitment, the two Germans conclude, has as its “soil” secularism, and must therefore imply a change of relationship to leadership, not “whining” about a nostalgic past considered by them as a “glorification of absolutism” and a “patriarchal system of government.”
The beatification of 2 Capuchin martyrs comforts the Christians of Lebanon
“A great joy for the Capuchins, for the Vicariate, for the Church and for Lebanon,” said Bishop Cesar Essayan, Vicar Apostolic of Beirut for Latin Rite Catholics in Lebanon, on the beatification on June 4 of two Capuchin monks, Leonard Melki and Thomas Saleh, who died as martyrs during the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. Their beatification is “good news for a country that lies under the weight of its history and circumstances,” observes the magazine Terre Sainte. The celebration, presided over by Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes, was attended by many Catholic representatives, but also by representatives of other Christian denominations. The President of Lebanon, Michel Aoun, said that this beatification ceremony “affirms to the whole world that Lebanon remains at the heart of the Church’s concerns.” The head of state also expressed hope that the Pope will soon visit the country. “Let us leave aside the voices of our personal, factional, partisan and sectarian interests, in order to hear what the Spirit is saying to us,” encouraged the Cardinal Patriarch Béchara Boutros Raï, during a Mass to give thanks the day after the beatification ceremony.
Terre Sainte, French
Testimony of the Anglican Bishop of London on the faith of the Queen of England
The Anglican Bishop of London, Dame Sarah Elizabeth Mullally, comments on the service she celebrated for the 70th anniversary of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. The Bishop, who was a nurse before taking Holy Orders when the Anglican Communion opened the priesthood to women, donned her predecessor’s 1935 liturgical vestments, designed for the Silver Jubilee (25 years of reign) of King George V, the current Queen’s grandfather. She admits that these ornaments are “tiring to wear because we did not think, then, of a woman bishop.” Understanding the absence of the Queen for health reasons, but certain that the monarch followed the ceremony on television, Dame Mullally confides that “it is precisely her faith that opens that smile on her face,” which is one with “the vocation, which she feels deeply, to do her duty to guide the country also on a moral level.” In her leadership of the United Kingdom as well as the Commonwealth in all its cultural and religious diversity, “the Queen has a very open vision and the talent to speak to the hearts of the people, guided by the light of faith,” explains the Bishop.
Corriere della Sera, Italian
The professional reconversion of Father José Apeles, media star of Spanish television in the 1990s
Father José Apeles was an iconic figure in Spanish popular culture at the end of the 20th century, appearing in numerous television debates and even in children’s programs. Ordained a priest in Rome in 1993 in a traditionalist movement, this erudite but unstable man was eventually disavowed by the Spanish Bishops’ Conference, which declared that he was exercising his priesthood outside of any jurisdiction. He progressively participated in increasingly controversial shows, especially in the early days of reality TV. A serious depression and a tendency toward alcoholism led him to be hospitalized and to a period of desertion. After a long media silence, the Catalan daily La Vanguardia found him in his Roman “exile,” where he researches the history of the Church. This hyperactive man, who presents himself on social networks as “journalist, TV presenter, lawyer, detective, public relations, writer and teacher,” has also tried his luck in the world of music, and became a captain in the Spanish army.
La Vanguardia, Spanish