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 29 June 2022
1. Cardinal Erdő, a “papabile” from Hungary?
2. Polish state history body to reopen cases of priests who died under communism
3. 70 ordinations in the Diocese of Guadalajara, a “historic” celebration for the Church in Mexico
4. Is a full year of marriage preparation a realistic idea?
5. A film produced by Martin Scorsese examines the Church’s attitude towards the LGBT community
Cardinal Erdő, a “papabile” from Hungary?
Hungarian Cardinal Péter Erdő, Archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest, could well become one of the leading candidates to succeed Pope Francis, says the Catholic Herald. The London weekly presents the polyglot cardinal as an alternative candidate to Cardinal Tagle, who “would certainly align with the more liberal position taken by the current Pope.” A possible election of the Filipino cardinal to the See of Peter would testify to the changing demographics of the Church; the election of “a Hungarian Pope however would be enormously significant given the cultural Iron Curtain dividing a de-Christianized western Europe from a re-Christianizing east.” Cardinal Erdő, who was already considered a “papabile” during the 2013 conclave, is considered traditional but is also respected by liberals, “suggesting he could be a unifying force within the Church.” His role as rapporteur during the Synods on the family and his openness to dialogue with the Orthodox also give him the stature of a potential pontiff. However, the risk of a Hungarian pope being instrumentalized by populist Prime Minister Viktor Orban remains real, and this could sustain a form of “ongoing culture war” between Central Europe and the West.
Catholic Herald, English
The Polish state’s historical body, the Institute of National Remembrance (IPN), which is not only advisory but has judicial powers, says it is preparing to resume investigations into the deaths of priests who died in suspicious circumstances during the communist era. Analyses are being made of cases of priests who died in the 1980s and of anti-communist opposition activists, the institute’s president told state-run Polskie Radio, adding that he hopes the official resumption of the investigations will be announced soon. The cases of three priests who died in 1989 are being studied with particular attention. One of them, Father Stefan Niedzielak, had been a prominent figure in the commemoration of the Soviet massacre of Polish officers in Katyn. His death was officially considered an accident, but some historians believe he was deliberately killed by the security services, who had previously threatened him. “Some doubts make me go back to unexplored matters,” explained the president of the Institute, who believes that the investigation will take several months.
Notes from Poland, English
70 ordinations in the Diocese of Guadalajara, a “historic” celebration for the Church in Mexico
The secularization of society is an undeniable reality, and unfortunately, seminaries are not immune to it. Indeed, one of its most obvious effects, along with the drop in the number of requests for the sacraments, is the discouragement of priestly vocations. This makes the statistics from the Archdiocese of Guadalajara, in which 70 young men have become priests this year, all the more surprising. The celebration has been called “historic” by the Church in Mexico itself, but this data is actually related to a change in the academic organization of the seminary, which a few years ago caused an overlap of students at the end of undergraduate and beginning of graduate studies, with therefore a larger group than usual at the exit. Nevertheless, it remains a pride and a logistical headache for the diocese, which had to stagger the ceremonies between June 3 and 5 in order to accommodate the relatives and families of the new priests, nearly one-third of whom come from backgrounds affected by poverty or violence. During his homilies, Cardinal José Francisco Robles Ortega, Archbishop of Guadalajara, explained that the priest “does not belong to a special or privileged caste, but is a man chosen by God, taken from among his brothers and sisters, to serve them.” The 70 newly ordained priests will now be sent to parishes in this diocese that numbers around four million people.
Alfa y Omega, Spanish
Is a full year of marriage preparation a realistic idea?
Following the release of the Vatican’s Catechumenal Itineraries for Married Life document, which suggests a full year of marriage preparation, the Diocese of Tyler’s (USA) Family Ministry Department emphasizes the need for flexibility in approaching the specific situations of each couple. “We can’t just send couples through a program and expect that to be the thing that gives them a happy, healthy, holy marriage,” says Deanna Johnston, who attended the World Meeting of Families held last week in Rome. Friendship with other couples, for example through a Bible study group, can also be a valuable support in the development of a relationship. Deanna Johnston’s husband, Michael, is the head of the theology department at a Catholic high school. He says a year of training for a lifetime commitment doesn’t seem unreasonable, but he and his colleagues try to start even earlier. They prepare teens for a successful marriage in the future by “forming them in moral theology and Church history and ethics just so that they have an orientation towards what marriage actually is” during the period where they are structuring their affectivity.
National Catholic Register, English
A film produced by Martin Scorsese examines the Church’s attitude towards the LGBT community
Famed director Martin Scorsese, author of the film “Silence” about the Jesuit martyrs in Japan, has teamed up with Father James Martin to examine the relationship of LGBT people with the Church through the documentary “Building a Bridge.” In the 1950s, homosexuals, like communists, were seen as “aliens” to be fought. In the face of the “raging bull kind of masculinity” that was the norm at the time, the rare cases of suspected or declared homosexuality could result in physical reprisals, generally perceived as legitimate by the community. Martin Scorsese tells the story of his own family and the threats suffered by one of his cousins. Father James Martin, a high-profile Jesuit who was an advisor to Scorsese on the filming of “Silence,” has been advocating since the Orlando massacre in 2016 for greater inclusion of LGBT people in the Church. He does not call for the Church to change its doctrine on the promotion of life and the traditional family, but he wants LGBT people to be approached with “respect, compassion and sensitivity.” Martin Scorsese, himself deeply religious, wanted to support his approach by showing that welcoming the stranger or one who is different should be the basis of a truly Catholic behavior.
The New Yorker, English