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Rome & the World: book for Pope blocked by customs • 1st ‘untouchable’ cardinal • & more …

Pope Francis knee pain

Antoine Mekary | ALETEIA

I.Media for Aleteia - published on 06/10/22

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 10 June 2022
1- Francis resigning? Reasons to believe yes and no
2- First Dalit cardinal – My mission: help as many poor children as possible
3- How the Synod is helping the Church in Spain reach those on the margins
4- Pope Francis meets the director of Yad Vashem
5- Pakistan customs blocks book that was supposed to be sent to Pope Francis
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Francis resigning? Reasons to believe yes and no

America journalist Colleen Dulle presents both sides of the debate regarding whether Pope Francis may resign soon. For those who believe the pontificate may be ending, Francis’ deteriorating health, after colon surgery last summer, and being increasingly seen in a wheelchair, is a significant factor. Other planned events, such as the creation of new cardinals at a consistory on Aug. 27, followed immediately by an unusual meeting of the world’s cardinals, have also added fuel to the fire, explains Dulle. However it was the announcement that Pope Francis will make a trip to L’Aquila, where the first pope to resign by choice, Celestine V, is buried, that “sent the flames of speculation soaring.” Dulle is skeptical that Pope Francis may resign though, and gives reasons countering this thesis. She explains that the unusual timing of the consistory could be to save money, as “traveling to Rome during the off-season for tourism is cheaper.” She also cites his planned visit to Kazakhstan in September, along with other rumored trips for 2023. Lastly she mentions “the simple fact that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is still alive.” However, the journalist acknowledges that “it is certainly possible that the pope is laying the groundwork for a future resignation” and simply may be keeping “his eye on the horizon” for now. 

America, English  

First Dalit cardinal – My mission: help as many poor children as possible

The name of Archbishop Anthony Poola of Hyderabad, India, has gone down in history as the first Dalit to become a cardinal. The Dalit are the lowest rank of the Indian caste system and are also known as the “untouchables.” “I was in shock,” the Indian tells Vatican News, recalling the moment he heard the news. “Love, compassion, and reaching out to the periphery, the poorest of the poor,” is how he analyzes Pope Francis’ decision to create him a cardinal on Aug. 27. Although the caste system in India has been officially abolished, the cardinal-designate, who comes from this disowned and ostracized sector of the population, reminds us that there is still a long way to go before the social stigma disappears. On the situation of Christians in India, Bishop Anthony Poola also acknowledges that a sense of threat persists. “There are some fanatic groups. But when we approach the government, they are very cooperative, understanding, and amicable. They try to solve the problems,” he says. 

Vatican News, English

How the Synod is helping the Church in Spain reach those on the margins

The synodal consultation process in Spain, which is now coming to an end, has reached out to very diverse realities by involving, among others, prisoners, homeless people, elderly people in nursing homes, LGBT groups, prisoners, politicians and even artists. “I am very happy that the Pope remembered us. No one consults us in prison,” said a prisoner in Seville. In a nuanced and sometimes critical way, the different workshops allowed the society’s thoughts on the Church to be brought out, notes the Catholic weekly Alfa & Omega. In Barcelona, for example, participants had positive opinions about the Pope’s mission, the work done by Caritas, “which goes where the State does not,” and the parish as a generator of identity. On the other hand, they were more critical of the hierarchy, the lack of coherence, and the lack of emphasis on women. In Madrid, LGBT representatives were listened to but still feel some discomfort from the bishops. Popular writer Rafael Tarradas Bultó, who enjoyed his dialogue with Cardinal Carlos Osoro Sierra, believes that the Church has “many good things,” such as values, but that it “lacks rhythm” and risks not evolving fast enough to keep its place in society.

Alfa y Omega, Spanish

Pope Francis meets the director of Yad Vashem

Dani Dayan, the director of the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem, met with Pope Francis at the Vatican on June 9 in a private audience. A first, notes The Times of Israel, which explains that the meeting focused on “the memory, education and documentation of the Holocaust and the fight against anti-Semitism and racism in the world.” Three popes – Francis, Benedict XVI and John Paul II – have already visited the memorial, opened in 1953 to remember the genocide that occurred during World War II. Dani Dayan interpreted the Pope’s audience as a sign of interest. He explained that he offered the Pontiff the services of his organization and passed on a message from President Isaac Herzog, inviting Francis to visit Israel again. The two interlocutors also discussed the opening in 2020 of the Vatican archives on the pontificate of Pius XII, especially in the context marked by the recent publication of a book by historian David Kertzer. He believes that the Italian Pope did not publish important information he had on the Holocaust during the war. 

The Times of Israel, French

Pakistan customs blocks book that was supposed to be sent to Pope Francis

A book intended for Pope Francis was mailed back to its sender in Lahore, North Pakistan, after being stopped by the country’s customs, as the office “is not allowed to export religious books.” Although the book was not exclusively about religion, as it is about child abuse and how to prevent it, it still did not pass the authorities’ control, who also presumably did not know who the recipient was. The book has already been published in English, Spanish, French, and Korean and the version from Pakistan in Urdu was scheduled to arrive by June 11 at the Vatican, in time for an event with a group of sisters. Rather than attempt to mail it again, the senders in Pakistan have decided to transmit a PDF version in order for it to be printed in Italy and then given to the Pope. 

ANSA, Italian 

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