Friday 8 July 2022
1. The Church in the Philippines is against divorce
2. An unpublished text by Cardinal Ratzinger on Father Henri de Lubac
3. When the Pope gets into the podcast game
4. Bishop Ambarus on the degradation of Rome: risk of becoming an urban jungle
5. U.S. bishops welcome new gun legislation, but hope for stronger measures
The Church in the Philippines is against divorce
The Catholic Church in the Philippines has expressed its disapproval at a bill intending to legalize divorce in the country. “It’s unfortunate that some legislators would rather focus on breaking marriages than fixing them or strengthening marital bonds,” said Father Jerome Secillano, executive secretary of the Public Affairs Committee of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines. For him, it is not fair that elected officials give priority to laws that destroy the family instead of serving it, and do not focus on other much more important problems that affect the Filipino people. The article reminds us that the Philippines is the only country, along with the Vatican, where divorce is prohibited.
The Manila Times, English
An unpublished text by Cardinal Ratzinger on Father Henri de Lubac
The Italian daily L’Avvenire published a text by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, written in 1996 on the occasion of the centenary of the birth of the French theologian Henri de Lubac. The text was published for the first time in philosopher Antonio Russo’s book “Ancient and Modern Ways of Solidarity. From Maurice Blondel to Pope Francis,” released in 2021. “To speak of Lubac 100 years after his birth is a rather difficult undertaking,” the then-prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith began. He went on to describe how the work of the French priest had nourished his own thinking. In particular, he cited a 1936 text in which Father de Lubac took a stand against the individualistic tendencies of his time and wrote that Catholicism was essentially social. “Social, in the deepest sense of the term: not only by its applications in the field of natural institutions, but first of all in itself […]. So social that the expression ‘social Catholicism’ should always have seemed a pleonasm,” he explained. The future pope praised the “impressive fervor” of the French theologian and his “tireless research” and wrote that the Jesuit’s contributions had made it possible to “renew patristic studies” in the Church.
When the Pope gets into the podcast game
In his residence, Santa Marta in the Vatican, Pope Francis had a long conversation with the priest who was his spokesman when he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires. The conversation lasted an hour and a half and a part was converted into a podcast. It was released on Spotify in early July on the account “Marcó, tu semana.” In this 22-minute episode titled “Talking with the Pope,” the Argentine Pontiff confides, for example, about how he prays, saying he does it in a “more or less” identical way to when he was a bishop. As well, he remains an “early riser in prayer,” “because if you don’t pray in the morning, you don’t pray later on,” he warns. The Pope reiterated his regret at not being able to walk the streets or take the bus as he used to in Argentina, and recalled the reasons why he decided not to live in the papal apartments but in the residence of Santa Marta, alongside other people. On the subject of his age, the Pope ironizes by indicating that he does not believe he is 85 years old.
Bishop Ambarus on the degradation of Rome: risk of becoming an urban jungle
Interviewed by the official media outlet of the Holy See, an auxiliary bishop of Rome, Bishop Benoni Ambarus, spoke about the chaotic atmosphere that has been reigning in the Italian capital since the beginning of this summer. There are piles of trash littering the streets and a multitude of fires have broken out, notably one in the ex-landfill of Malagrotta, whose closure several years ago has caused a crisis in waste management. While the municipal authority seems to be in retreat, Archbishop Ambarus points out that this crisis situation reveals “a corrosion of human relations” and a lack of responsibility from individuals towards their fellow residents, which is transforming the Eternal City into an “urban jungle.” The additional stress linked to the chaos of the public transportation network and the economic situation is causing “a self-concentration to the detriment of attention to others,” he laments. The Romans are exhausted by “the obstacle course they have to live through on all fronts,” especially in the face of the inefficiency of public administrations. Institutions and citizens must each assume their share. In view of the Jubilee of 2025, this young Italian bishop of Romanian origin calls for “a leap of dignity” and for “institutional choices capable of carrying a vision for the future.”
Vatican News, Italian
U.S. bishops welcome new gun legislation, but hope for stronger measures
Amidst a rise in shootings in the United States, including the killings in Highland Park, Uvalde, and Tulsa, the U.S. bishops are still speaking out against the increase in gun violence in the country. “We are grateful that Congress recently passed its first major gun legislation in nearly 30 years, but in the face of these repeated acts of violence, that cannot be all we do,”said the chairmen of several Episcopal committees. “We call on Catholics, lawmakers, community leaders, health care and social service providers, law enforcement, and families to keep pushing for change and offer prayers, support and generous assistance to victims,” urge the signatories of the appeal, which includes Pro-Life Committee Chairman Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore. “May we live to see an America that can celebrate its freedoms without orphaning its children,” the statement says, adding “may the light of God’s compassion shine on us and guide our feet out of darkness and the shadow of death, and into the way of peace.”