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.
Tuesday 21 June 2022
1. A renowned Vatican expert attacks Pope Francis
2. Moral theologian criticizes repeal of the Sunday Mass obligation because of COVID-19
3. As Pope Francis calls for more marriage prep, Catholic marriage rates on the decline
4. South Korea’s euthanasia law a dismay
5. Pope Francis receives headdress from Amazonian bishops
1A renowned Vatican expert attacks Pope Francis
A new charge – without concession – has been launched by Vatican expert Sandro Magister, historical observer of Vatican life and very skeptical about the way Pope Francis leads, especially at the presumed end of his pontificate. “At the sunset of this pontificate there is great confusion under heaven, all the greater the more Francis centralizes all powers in himself, as if moved by the irrepressible anxiety to do on his own what the incapable ‘institution’ is not doing,” the journalist tackles after listing a series of presumed dysfunctions. In addition to the health problems that jeopardize the Pope’s travels, the journalist points to the unconventional way in which he expresses himself on the Ukrainian conflict, his way of interfering in the affairs of the Order of Malta, his failure to create cardinal the Belgian Luc Van Looy, who ultimately preferred to decline the cardinal’s red hat because of his mismanagement of sexual abuse cases, his choice not to make appointments to the Curia despite the entry into force of the new constitution and more… In short, Sandro Magister has plenty to say about the Argentinian Pope.
Settimo Cielo, English
Two years after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the debate about whether it is permissible or not to go to Mass on Sunday is not over in Germany. Some dioceses have not yet reintroduced the “Sunday obligation” and experts, such as the moral theologian Peter Schallenberg, regret this. He considers that the suspension of this duty was “a bit hasty” and that since then not going to Mass on Sunday has “quietly fallen under the wheels of everyday life.” However, the theologian also recognizes that the term “Sunday obligation” is not very favorable. The journalist reminds us that this duty is inscribed in article 1246 of the Code of Canon Law: “Sunday, on which the Paschal Mystery is celebrated, is to be kept by apostolic tradition throughout the Church as the proper original feast day.”
3As Pope Francis calls for more marriage prep, Catholic marriage rates on the decline
While the Vatican has just released a document to improve marriage preparation within the Church, The Pillar highlights a “drastic” decline in marriage rates: The number of Catholics worldwide has increased by 17% over the past 12 years, but the number of marriages celebrated by the Church has decreased by 26% over the same period. However, Catholics are somewhat less likely to divorce. In a 2015 survey on marriage and family, Pew Research Center found that 25% of Catholics have been divorced, compared to 31% of the general population. While the share of young people living together has largely increased, not all Catholic couples shun marriage: 51% report being married compared to 47% of the general population. However, a third are married civilly, not religiously. The Pillar cites other studies showing that practicing Catholics, but also couples who did not live together before marriage or people who did not have multiple sexual partners before marriage, are significantly less likely to divorce than their contemporaries. This leads experts to conclude that a foundation in both religious practice and Catholic sexual morality would be helpful to couples preparing for marriage — a preparation that should begin during childhood, “since the point when a couple is already engaged and preparing for a wedding may be rather late in the game to inculcate practices and beliefs.”
The Pillar, English
4South Korea’s euthanasia law a dismay
Archbishop Peter Chung Soon-taick of Seoul expressed his “serious concern” after the introduction of a bill in South Korea allowing physician-assisted suicide for terminally ill patients with no chance of recovery. “We must understand dignity means the concern and care of the community, not the act of shortening lives,” Bishop Chung tells UCA News. He urges the government to adopt policies that promote palliative care as an alternative. However, Koreans are largely in favor (76%) of legalizing euthanasia, following a logic of “pursuit of economic efficiency” linked to the loss of a culture of care, says the prelate. This new bill will harden the existing the “Death with Dignity Law,” passed in 2018, which allows the cessation of life-sustaining treatment in case of an agreement from the family or a written “advance directive” from the patient.
UCA News, English
5Pope Francis receives headdress from Amazonian bishops
Pope Francis received an indigenous headdress from the Brazilian Bishops of the Amazon region who are in Rome for their ad limina apostolic visits. The colorful headdress was given to the Pontiff by Bishop Edson Taschetto Damian of the diocese of São Gabriel da Cachoeira in the northwest of Brazil and in the middle of the Amazon rainforest. He said that before traveling to Italy he asked his faithful what they wanted to give to Pope Francis and they said a headdress. On receiving it the Pope asked if it was a miter, the headpiece worn by popes and bishops. “Imagine if I showed up at St. Peter’s with this,” he joked, as the bishops laughed. Other bishops, including the Archbishop of Manaus, Leonardo Steiner, who will be made a Cardinal in August, offered the Pope gifts as well.