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Rome & the World: Mother Teresa’s nuns recount exile • taking Westminster • & more …


Diócesis de Tilarán - Liberia

I.Media - published on 07/12/22

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.

Tuesday 12 July 2022
1. The painful first-hand account of Mother Teresa’s nuns expelled from Nicaragua
2. Catholic groups oppose EU vote to designate gas and nuclear energy as ‘green’
3. Who will be the next Archbishop of Westminster?
4. Does the Pope have a communication strategy?
5. Two Ukrainian academics criticize the naivety of the Pope’s Russia position

The painful first-hand account of Mother Teresa’s nuns expelled from Nicaragua

“We left with great sorrow in our hearts, leaving our poor people there,” said Sister Agnesita, one of the 18 Missionaries of Charity who were expelled from Nicaragua, after a decision from the government led by President Daniel Ortega. “A choice that has outraged the world, and revealed the measure of the brutality and dullness of the current Nicaraguan government, which month after month is shutting down any free voice and persecuting, in particular, the Catholic Church,” explains Catholic news agency SIR. “We have never done any kind of political activity, and we remember that President Ortega met Mother Teresa. Our thought has always been to serve the poor. Of course, the country is suffering, especially the Church, which is persecuted. There is no freedom, but the economic situation is also difficult, and there is a growing lack of jobs,” analyzed Sister Agnesita. The Missionaries of Charity had three centers in Nicaragua, which served the poor, old people, and at-risk teenage girls. The nuns have now gone to Costa Rica and hope to “take special care” of all the Nicaraguans who have been forced to flee to the neighboring country. 

SIR, Italian

Catholic groups oppose EU vote to designate gas and nuclear energy as ‘green’

In a vote on July 6 the European Parliament of the European Union approved nuclear and gas being designated as “green” options for sustainable investing, as part of the 27-nation bloc’s efforts to combat climate change. This means that certain fossil gas and nuclear energy activities are set to be included in a list of environmentally sustainable economic activities, referred to as the “EU taxonomy.” CIDSE, a network of primarily European-based Catholic social and environmental justice organizations, was among the groups criticizing the vote. They echoed comments from Climate Action Network Europe, which said in a statement that “classifying fossil gas and nuclear power as green is a climate disaster fueling human right violations, as it will increase gas and uranium demand.” The European Laudato Si’ alliance also criticized the decision in a Tweet saying this was a “missed opportunity […] to preserve the integrity of the EU Taxonomy and the credibility of the EU Green Deal.”

National Catholic Reporter, English

Who will be the next Archbishop of Westminster?

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster since 2009, gave his resignation to Pope Francis on his 75th birthday, November 8, 2020, as required by canon law. While formally accepting his resignation, the Pope asked him to remain in office until a successor is found. Many other large dioceses in the world are in the same situation, such as Boston, Vienna, and Bombay. For Westminster however the search, which is usually led by the Apostolic Nuncio, is beginning, sources have told The Pillar. John Wilson, Archbishop of Southwark, is among the names mentioned. This Anglican who became a Catholic at 16 is described by a local priest as a “solid” and “good” man with the “zeal of the convert.” Other names mentioned include Bishop Hugh Gilbert, currently president of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland. The 70-year-old Bishop of Aberdeen was born in southern England and is a Benedictine, like Cardinal Basil Hume, archbishop of Westminster from 1976 to 1999. The London diocese is unique in that all the previous incumbents have died in office except Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor (1932-2017), who was the first to retire in 2009.

The Pillar, English  

Does the Pope have a communication strategy?

Vatican expert Andrea Gagliarducci notes the omnipresence of Pope Francis in the media at the beginning of this summer, between a podcast recorded with his former spokesman in Buenos Aires, Guillermo Marco, and his two lengthy interviews with Telam and Reuters. “When it comes to giving his opinion, Francis never backs down,” notes the Vatican expert, who points out that the Pope “makes an astute, populist use of communication media.” However, at the level of the Holy See, “Pope Francis does not tend to unite but to create rifts,” the journalist argues. These interviews are often personal initiatives of the Pope and are done without a filter and sometimes without the knowledge of the Dicastery of Communication. The fact that “no one manages the communications of the Pope” and that the Secretariat of State cannot exercise any filter, creates “two speeds” at the Vatican, between the Pope and his services. The challenge is not to deal with substantive issues, on which the Pope generally remains “unclear,” but to show that his pontificate is not over. By acting as “a guy alone in command, separate from any governing body,” the Pontiff sends the message that he “exists, is present, and does not stop making decisions.”

Monday Vatican, English

Two Ukrainian academics criticize the naivety of the Pope’s Russia position

Two professors from the Catholic University of Ukraine offer a long critical reflection on an article published by Father Antonio Spadaro in La Civiltà Cattolica. The Italian Jesuit newspaper, considered a relay of the geopolitical vision of Pope Francis and the Holy See, is criticized by these Ukrainian intellectuals for its overly nuanced approach to Russian imperialism, which they say shows “insufficient sensitivity or lack of information on the part of those on the Vatican Hills making decisions regarding the Ukrainian issue.” They consider that the “subjective” reflection of Father Spadaro leads to “erroneous conclusions.” They warn in particular about the position of Metropolitan Hilarion, whom Father Spadaro presents as a nuanced interlocutor, while the authors sustain he is a propagandist of the “Russian world” ideology and that some of his interventions have paved the way towards a spiritual legitimization of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. Recalling that the Pope himself has acknowledged that “offering no resistance would be akin to suicidal behavior,” the two Ukrainian academics hope that the Vatican’s position will evolve into one of support for Ukraine, and that the initial delay, as in the case of Germany’s invasion of Poland in 1939, will evolve into a better identification of the aggressor and the aggressed.

RISU, English

Rome & the World
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