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Rome & the World: history of Corpus Christi • Hilarion fired to be patriarch? • & more …

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I.Media - published on 06/15/22

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 15 June 2022
1. Was Hilarion dismissed because Kirill is becoming increasingly “pro-Putin”? 
2. Bishop Timmerevers: the synodal path is “not a panacea”
3. Nicaragua: 190 attacks against the Catholic Church in past four years 
4. Elizabeth II: Queen of relations with the Catholic Church
5. The history of Corpus Christi

1Was Hilarion dismissed because Kirill is becoming increasingly “pro-Putin”?

Why was Kirill’s right-hand man, Metropolitan Hilarion, abruptly dismissed? A journalist from Catholic magazine Tempi tries to analyze the situation in the context of the umpteenth shake in the Orthodox world. Brilliant and autonomous – perhaps too much so in the eyes of the Patriarch of Moscow – Hilarion, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Orthodox Church, has been dismissed from his role after 13 years on the job. One of the reasons evoked to explain this departure would be the tendency of the Metropolitan to keep open the channels of dialogue with the West, while the patriarch of Moscow has been locked in an anti-Western rhetoric since the beginning of the Russian offensive in Ukraine. “Now Kirill seems clearly aligned with Putin’s will,” the article explains. However even if the author considers that “Kirill is increasingly ‘Putinian,’” he wonders whether the patriarch of Moscow didn’t plan the departure of his right-hand man, in order to preserve him for the future of the Orthodox Church.  

Tempi, Italian

Bishop Heinrich Timmerevers of Dresden, in Eastern Germany, will be received by Pope Francis in the coming days. In an interview with the local newspaper Dresdner Neueste Nachrichten, he expresses his reservations about the Synodal Way, which is “certainly not a panacea” for the whole Church, even if he supports the reform process. He is especially concerned about the unity between Rome and Germany. “We have to be careful with all necessary changes so that we don’t focus too much on ourselves. After all, the church should serve the world. I don’t come to the Vatican with ready-made concepts, but with an open ear,” he said. Concerned with the divisions in society, which he notices particularly in his home state of Saxony, Bishop Timmerevers assures us that “our religious roots, and the understanding of the human being that stems from them, offer an enormous opportunity” to face up to changes and avoid a nostalgic withdrawal. He also wants to tell the Pope “how great the disappointment of the people is in the way the Church deals with sexual abuse” and the need for a change in the relevant structures in order to restore trust., German

3Nicaragua: 190 attacks against the Catholic Church in past four years

Since 2018, 190 cases of aggressions against the Catholic Church in Nicaragua have been registered, according to the study “Nicaragua: a persecuted Church?” by lawyer Martha Patricia Molina Montenegro, member of the Observatory Pro-Transparency and Anti-Corruption. She began her study in 2018 as that is when the Church denounced the government repression of civil demonstrations that led to an estimated 355 deaths. During this turbulent period many priests also opened their parishes as a place of refuge for those targeted by the regime, which was not well received by the government led by President Daniel Ortega, Molina explains. “What we are observing after 2018 is that everything that is being done is with viciousness, with hatred, in order to destroy everything that means religiosity or Catholicism in the country,” she states, although clarifying that not all agressions reported are necessarily directly caused by Ortega’s regime or his followers. The cases in her study are classified into seven categories that range from “graffiti on walls and anonymous messages in Catholic temples” to “aggressive messages against priests and religious by President Daniel Ortega and Vice President Rosario Murillo.” Aggressions against priests, bishops, and nuns represent 37% of the hostilities, followed by the desecrations of places of worship, which comprise 19% of the cases registered. The year with the highest record of aggressions was 2019, accounting for 48% of the cases. However Molina does not exclude that 2022, which included the expulsion of the nuncio in March, could exceed the number of previous attacks. 

Confidencial, English

4Elizabeth II: Queen of relations with the Catholic Church

Queen Elizabeth II has helped improve relations with the Catholic Church in the United Kingdom. This is what this article in Omnes magazine explains by tracing the Queen’s efforts to dialogue with Rome. In 2014, for example, she and her husband, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, visited the Vatican to mark the centenary of the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between the UK and the Holy See. The Queen, who has known five popes, including four as Queen, has maintained warm relations with the Bishops of Rome; for example she met John Paul II three times. During her reign, several members of the royal family chose to join the Catholic Church, such as Lord Nicholas Windsor, son of the Duke and Duchess of Kent, who then lost his right to the throne. In 2006, as required by the Royal Marriage Act of 1772, he had to obtain permission from the Queen, which she gave, in order to marry a Catholic woman. “From a time when Catholicism was banned, even brutally punished, in Britain, to today’s public acceptance of the faith, even within the royal family, is an important transition,” the author points out. And this transition has only expanded and developed, under the reign of the one who just celebrated her platinum Jubilee.

Omnes, English

5The history of Corpus Christi

Catholics this Sunday will celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, also known as Corpus Christi. American Catholic site The Pillar explains that this celebration originated over 800 years ago in the city of Liège (today Belgium), with a young woman named Juliana of Mont-Cornillon, who was later canonized in 1869. She is associated with “a movement of female piety” that swept through the Low Countries in the 13th century and was often associated with Eucharistic devotion. Christ is reported to have told her in a dream to institute a feast dedicated to his body and blood. Her suggestion was supported by many eccelsiastical figures but also met some resistance, so when the Saint died in 1258 the feast had only gained local attention. In 1261, Jacques Pantaleon, who had supported Saint Juliana’s message when he was Archdeacon of Liège, became Pope Urban IV and consequently officialized the celebration for the whole Church in 1264. St. Thomas Aquinas composed the office, the Mass and three hymns, which are still sung today, for this new festivity. The article also explains that from its inception Corpus Christi took place on a Thursday, however in 1970 the Sacred Congregation of Rites published some new general norms allowing the feast to be celebrated on a Sunday, explaining why some countries and churches celebrate it on different days.

The Pillar, English

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