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 20 June 2022
1- Cardinal Müller does not want Pope Francis to resign
2- Bishop Lucas Van Looy’s “non-cardinalization” and the lesson for a conclave
3- Could Pope Francis visit Saudi Arabia soon?
4- News from the Holy Land imposes itself on Moscow and Washington
5- Behind the scenes of John Paul II’s trip to Argentina a few days after the defeat in the Falklands
Cardinal Müller does not want Pope Francis to resign
Classified as a conservative, German Cardinal Gerhard Müller confides to Italian daily, Corriere della Sera, that he does not want Pope Francis to resign. For the former prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, a resignation would be an even more difficult situation than the current one, where the Pope Emeritus lives a few meters from the Pope in place. He says he discussed the matter eight years ago with Pope Francis, who apparently said then that he did not want to have a pontificate longer than that of Benedict XVI. The German Cardinal replied that renunciation should not become a norm but remain an absolute exception. In this interview, the man who is often classified as an opponent of the Argentinean Pope, also warns against a Church that becomes an NGO. “The mission of the Church is to help the union of men and women with God,” said Cardinal Muller. In this interview he also defended the vision of marriage as between a man and a woman.
Il Corriere della Sera, Italian
Bishop Lucas Van Looy’s “non-cardinalization” and the lesson for a conclave
Vatican expert John Allen looks back at the unprecedented decision of Bishop Lucas Van Looy, Bishop Emeritus of Ghent, to decline the cardinal’s red hat, which the Pope had decided to confer to him on August 27. This decision was made because the 80-year-old prelate is alleged to have made mistakes in handling cases of sexual abuse. By accepting his choice, the Pope is – consciously or not – giving a warning to the cardinals who will one day have to choose his successor. Additionally, this affair shows how careful the cardinals will have to be about the profile of the future pope: he will have to be exemplary in his handling of abuses, and the cardinals would be well advised to do their research before making their choice. An affair like that of Bishop Lucas Van Looy would have disastrous consequences if it happened with the election of a pope.
Could Pope Francis visit Saudi Arabia soon?
This information has passed almost under the radar, probably because news outlets have been focusing on the war in Ukraine. However, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia organized in May an interfaith conference sponsored by the Muslim World League, an NGO largely funded by the Saudi government and based in Mecca. Muslims, Jews, Christians, Hindus and Buddhists took part in the conference. The author of the article looks at the progressive opening of Saudi Arabia in search of respectability. Looking back at the recent relations between this country and the Catholic Church, he notes that things have changed a lot in the space of 15 years — so much so that a trip by a Pope to that country does not seem impossible now. “It would be a major political and theological undertaking,” the author insists. In 2007, for the first time, a Wahhabi ruler – King Abdullah – came to the Vatican to meet Pope Benedict XVI.
News from the Holy Land imposes itself on Moscow and Washington
The city of Jerusalem is once again in the international spotlight. This is because the acquisition of Greek Orthodox Church buildings by an ultra-nationalist Jewish organization has not been to Russia’s liking, according to Terre Sainte magazine. The Russian Foreign Ministry said it was “deeply concerned” about the future of the Christian presence in the Holy City. This statement comes at a time when Israel has chosen not to officially support Moscow in Ukraine and the European Union wants to strengthen its energy cooperation with Israel. Jerusalem is expected to continue in the spotlight due to the visit of US President Joe Biden in mid-July. The Christian communities expect the president to make a strong statement against Israeli extremist organizations and their intimidation of Christian institutions.
Terre Sainte, French
Behind the scenes of John Paul II’s trip to Argentina a few days after the defeat in the Falklands
The visit lasted only 36 hours, but it will remain forever in the memory of the Argentines. In June 1982, Pope John Paul II pulled off a diplomatic coup: in 1980, the Polish pontiff had planned to visit Great Britain between May 28 and June 2, 1982. However, two months before this trip, the Falklands War broke out with the landing of the Argentinian army on these islands, which provoked a response from the British troops. In this context, the Pope’s visit to London should not be interpreted as a sign of support, the Vatican thought. To break the deadlock, the Pope listened to his brilliant diplomat, Cardinal Secretary of State Agostino Casaroli, who suggested that he organize a lightning visit to Argentina in the wake of his trip. The Holy See’s newspaper L’Osservatore Romano dispelled all political speculation about the visit by speaking only of a “trip for peace.”