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 14 July 2022
1. The Pope’s old age may be an advantage with Canada’s indigenous peoples
2. Vatican approaches bioethical issues with a new tone, seeking dialogue, not polarization
3. Sri Lanka’s collapse worries the Holy See
4. Archbishop of Tokyo pays tribute to assassinated former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
5. A contemplative Franciscan sportsman
The Pope’s old age may be an advantage with Canada’s indigenous peoples
Pope Francis’ trip to Canada from July 24 to 29 will be complicated. Having suffered from a small fracture in his knee, he will have to go to Edmonton, Quebec, and Iqaluit with his cane. The Swiss portal Cath.ch notes, however, that what could be perceived as a weakness “plays in his favor with the First Nations of Canada,” who he is coming to meet in their home. A deacon and former chief of the Cree Nation explains that in their worldview “the older you get, the more valuable you become to the community.” Although the trip is taking place in a complicated context due to the “open wound” of the memory of the residential school system, the visit is shaping up to be a real step towards reconciliation.
Pope Francis has encouraged a process of theological renewal on many fronts, especially in the areas of theological ethics and moral theology, according to America Magazine. The Argentine Pontiff has especially emphasized the role of personal discernment in moral decision making. His magisterium has also influenced the way theology is taught in Catholic universities and seminaries. The article explains that under the current papacy theologians have the power to ask “complex questions that touch on the messy, real-life issues that affect the faithful without fear of being silenced.” Referring to the recent publishing of a book with the speeches from a conference organized by the Pontifical Academy for Life, the U.S. media outlet notes that Vatican academics have opened up to a previously unavailable dialogue on controversial issues like contraception. Theologians with contrasting positions said that a couple can make a “wise choice” to use contraceptive techniques, “obviously excluding those that are abortive,” in situations where “conditions and practical circumstances would make it irresponsible to choose to procreate.” A position that diverges from those held in previous decades.
Sri Lanka’s collapse worries the Holy See
L’Osservatore Romano has put Sri Lanka on its front page. The daily newspaper of the Holy See looks at the financial collapse of this country of 22 million inhabitants, which Pope Francis visited in 2015. Additionally Cardinal Ranjith, Archbishop of Colombo, has been incessantly issuing warnings about the corruption of the country’s leaders for several years now. “Plunged into the abyss by the pandemic and the conflict in Ukraine,” the country tried to ask for support from China, India, and Russia, but residents fed up with food and fuel shortages rose up and pushed President Rajapaksa to resign and flee. “The president is out of the country, so a state of emergency has been declared to deal with the situation,” said the Prime Minister’s spokesman, Dinouk Colombage. In the capital, protests continue and authorities have imposed a curfew in much of the country. The United Nations has expressed its readiness to engage in dialogue and to ensure food security and access to health for the most vulnerable, taking immediate action to prevent further disruption. In Italy, the president of the Migrantes Foundation, Archbishop Gian Carlo Perego, expressed concern for the Sri Lankan community, which is strongly present in the peninsula, with more than 110,000 people, equally divided between men and women, and 25,000 minors.
Osservatore Romano, Italian
Archbishop of Tokyo pays tribute to assassinated former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
Archbishop Tarcisius Isao Kikuchi of Tokyo, Secretary General of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC), strongly condemned the assassination of the former Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe. “Violence kills democracy. Violence kills freedom. Violence kills justice,” Bishop Kikuchi said, noting that the local church and Shinzo Abe had differences of opinion but also a lot of mutual respect. “Although we, the Catholic bishops of Japan, and the former Prime Minister had differences of opinion, especially on nuclear disarmament, nuclear energy policy and the pacifist Constitution, Mr. Abe showed great respect for the Catholic Church, especially the Holy See, because he must have understood the Holy Father’s influence in international society on issues related to peace,” Archbishop Kikuchi continued. The Prime Minister had welcomed Pope Francis during his visit to Japan in 2019. His attempt to remilitarize Japan in the face of escalating tensions with China and North Korea and his revisionist views on his country’s role in World War II have sparked controversy at home and abroad. Still, for Archbishop Kikuchi, Shinzo Abe should be honored for his contributions to the nation and the world. “No one has the right to use violence to silence the opposition,” the Tokyo Archbishop lamented, assuring that he prays “for his eternal rest and for his family members.”
Missions Étrangères, French
A contemplative Franciscan sportsman
An avid runner, Franciscan friar Daniel P. Horan recounts how the pandemic changed his approach to this sport. After recently contracting Covid-19, Friar Horan tested negative and was able to compete in two races in Atlanta and New York. In diminished physical condition, the Franciscan focused not on his performance but on the overall environment of these large races that bring together thousands of people and were interrupted during the health crisis. “I gave prayerful thanks for the gift of health and recovery that allowed me to put one step in front of another, at whatever pace, to move along with all those who were likewise running in the same direction,” he writes, “I allowed my heart to be filled with appreciation for all those spectators who lined the streets of Atlanta and Utica.”
National Catholic Register, English