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Rome & the World: Syrian refugee carves Cologne cathedral (wow!) • Kasper knocks German synod • & more …

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François adresse ses voeux à la curie romaine

Le cardinal allemand Walter Kasper © CATHOLICPRESSPHOTO/CIRIC

21 décembre 2013 : Le card. Walter KASPER (Allemagne) lors des voeux de Noël adressés par le pape François à la curie romaine, dans la salle clémentine, au Vatican, Italie. December 21, 2013 : German cardinal Walter KASPER waits to exchange Christmas greetings with Pope Francis at the Clementina Hall in Vatican City, Italy.

I.Media - published on 06/23/22

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.

Thursday 23 June 2022
1- Cardinal Kasper intensifies his criticism of the German Synodal Way
2- Bishop Cui Tai still detained: Will the Vatican insist on his release?
3- 40 years ago: the cry of the bishops against the Mafia in Naples
4- African bishops: We do not have the right to destroy biodiversity
5- A Syrian refugee sculpts a model of the Cologne Cathedral

Cardinal Kasper intensifies his criticism of the German Synodal Way

A few days after the Viennese Cardinal Christoph Schönborn spoke out, Cardinal Walter Kasper, who also belongs to the reformist wing, has also clearly distanced himself from the German Synodal Way. The former president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue criticizes the German bishops for destroying one of the three pillars on which the Church is based: the episcopate. He objects to the intention of some German bishops to submit to a synodal council and thus renounce a “personal commitment.” “In the end, such a voluntary commitment would be tantamount to a collective resignation of the bishops,” he said without mincing his words. “I don’t see how, in the final judgment, I could defend certain statements that have already been decided (on the synodal path) as being compatible with the Gospel,” he concludes., German

Bishop Cui Tai still detained: Will the Vatican insist on his release?

In October 2022 the Vatican-China deal struck in 2018 will expire, after having been renewed for two years in 2020. Chinese Catholics have no doubt that renewing the deal is in the best interest of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), but is it in the interest of the Vatican? The site Bitter Winter has surveyed the opinions of various Catholics in China and finds many “either were not happy with the agreement in the first place or are disappointed with its results.” Many, “while respectful of the Pope and the Holy See, believe they have been misled into signing an agreement that benefits the regime only.” These Catholics wonder if the CCP will release the bishops it has arrested, notably 72-year-old Bishop Augustine Cui Tai, who was Coadjutor Bishop in the Diocese of Xuanhua. He has been jailed for long intervals, with periodic releases, since 2007, and at the moment his whereabouts are unknown. He is considered one of the “conscientious objectors” who does not want to join the State approved “Patriotic Catholic Church.” Chinese Catholics believe the Vatican is quietly asking for the release of Bishop Cui Tai, whose “detention is an immense scandal.” “His Calvary proves that there is something wrong in the 2018 deal,” the article argues, adding that “releasing the conscientious objectors bishops, including Bishop Cui Tai, should be made a precondition for renewing the agreement.” 

Bitter Winter, English

40 years ago: the cry of the bishops against the Mafia in Naples

In the Neapolitan daily Il Mattino, the columnist Pietro Perone remembers the first appeal of the bishops of the Campania region against the Neapolitan mafia, the Camorra, 40 years ago in 1982. Their motto: “For the love of my people, I will not be silent.” “For the first time, the priests recognized that the line between religiosity and the Camorra was not always clear,” the journalist explains. However, their denunciation of the hijacking of the sacred in patronal celebrations and weddings that “often turned into a triumph of mafia power” is still significant today, laments the editorialist. In Naples, “too many Don Abbondios are still hiding in the sacristy,” he says, referring to the courageless priest of Alessandro Manzoni’s famous novel, The Betrothed. 

Il Mattino, Italian

African bishops: We do not have the right to destroy biodiversity

The African bishops are sounding the alarm ahead of the United Nations Summit on Biodiversity (COP15), to be held in China at the end of the year. On the sidelines of a preparatory meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) issued a statement urging governments to take urgent and ambitious action, with the support of the Ecclesial Network for the Congo River Basin (REBAC) and the Laudato Si’ Movement (MLS). They remind us that respect for nature and respect for the most vulnerable go hand in hand. In the name of caring for God’s creation, they want 50% of the Earth to be protected by 2030. In addition, the document calls for respect for the rights of indigenous peoples and the immediate abandonment of the construction of the East African oil pipeline. Finally, they call on governments, especially those of the North, to be transparent and accountable in their investments and remind them of their financial commitments to halt biodiversity loss and initiate its recovery., Italian

A Syrian refugee sculpts a model of the Cologne Cathedral

When Syrian refugee Fadel Alkhudr arrived in Germany in 2015, he was very impressed by the majestic Cathedral of Cologne, visible as soon as one exits the station. This man of Muslim faith, who is currently 42 years old, spent long hours observing and sketching it, until he carved a wooden replica. He ended up feeling that the building was part of him, “like it’s a dear friend to me.” The Syrian had learned carving from his father as a teenager and fled Syria after their wood carving business in Aleppo was destroyed. In this once thriving Syrian city, he had Muslim and Christian friends and customers of different faiths who came to buy wood art in the family store; thus working on the model of a Catholic cathedral is not unusual for this artist. His artwork is currently on display at the visitor’s center across the street from the Cathedral, which he considers “a home for all people.” He hopes that in the future he will be able to earn a living in Germany as an art sculptor.

Associated Press, English 

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