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Rome & the World : Vatican diplomacy • celibacy not linked to abuse • deathbed conversion

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I.Media - published on 07/20/22

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.

Wednesday 20 July 2022 
1. Archbishop Gallagher on Vatican diplomacy, Ukraine and the threat of World War III
2. Response to The Economist article claiming that priestly celibacy is responsible for pedophilia
3. Curzio Malaparte : conversion during his last hours 

1Archbishop Gallagher on Vatican diplomacy, Ukraine and the threat of World War III

In a lengthy interview with America magazine, Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States, reflects on the major international crises of the moment. “We’re getting to a very dangerous situation worldwide,” and “it wouldn’t take much to make things even worse,” he worries in the first part of the interview, noting that in addition to open wars, some countries are also fractured internally by social or political polarization. “Whether we’re working on a political level or a diplomatic level or at the church level, we have to recognize the reality of this conflict and try to heal it,” insists the Archbishop, who notes that the multilateral system has been “severely debilitated.” Regarding the situation in Ukraine, he emphasizes the “resilience of the people, their determination, their courage,” and recognizes that it is “very difficult for the Ukrainians to envisage real negotiations at this time because of the depth of the suffering and the trauma” of the population. He suggests that an invitation for the Pope to go to Moscow is not in the cards. During his visit to Kiev, Archbishop Gallagher also said the Holy See supports the “territorial integrity of Ukraine.” “I was speaking in the name of the Holy See, and the Holy Father hasn’t corrected me so far on what I’ve said on his behalf,” he added, in response to a question by the journalist. “The pope’s main priority at this moment is to make the visit to Ukraine, meet with the Ukrainian authorities, meet with the Ukrainian people and with the Ukrainian Catholic Church,” assures Archbishop Gallagher, who specified that the possibility of a visit could be evaluated after the Pope returns from Canada and depending on his health. 

America, English 

Responding to an article published by The Economist (featured in Monday’s newsletter), Italian news outlet Il Sussidiario sarcastically criticizes the British weekly, which “spares nothing for the Clergy and the Church, giving their ‘enlightened’” version of the facts, and points to priestly celibacy as the cause of all evils of abuse in the Church. “The concept – false and falsified – is always the same: with these rules the Church loses consensus and vocations, so the ‘rules’ need to be changed and ‘watered down’ to meet the world,” Il Sussidiario responds. The Economist, however, “does not fully grasp the ‘gift’ – as Pope Francis calls it – of celibacy, while only noting its alleged faults, regarding the issue of pedophilia and the shortage of vocations,” the article explains. For Il Sussidiario, “the point is not that without celibacy the problems on pedophilia would be eliminated.” Rather, as expressed by Pope Benedict XVI who in fact lifted the veil on sexual abuse crimes in the Church, the point concerns priests’ relationship with the Eucharist, that is with Christ. “From the daily celebration of the Eucharist, which implies a permanent service to God, spontaneously arose the impossibility of a marriage bond,” said the Pope Emeritus. 

Il Sussidiario, Italian 

3Curzio Malaparte : conversion during his last hours

The Spanish Catholic site Alfa y Omega dedicated an article to the Italian writer Curzio Malaparte and his conversion in the last hours of his life. The author of “Kaputt” and “LaTechnique du coup d’État” was for a long time a supporter of Mussolini’s fascism until he turned around and became communist. An extreme man at the service of literature rather than the great ideologies, he finally converted in the twilight of his life. This is what Jesuit Father Virgilio Rotondi explains, who affirms that Malaparte apparently asked a religious nurse to be baptized when his physical condition worsened while he was hospitalized with lung cancer. He then allegedly confessed and took communion. The Jesuit said Malaparte promised to write a life of Christ if he survived the ordeal, finally accepting suffering and asking for a crucifix to accompany him in his final hours. This conversion was not unanimous and many saw it as an attempt by the Catholic Church to “seize” the writer. However the author of the article argues that Malaparte’s particular attention to the suffering Christ in his last hours touches a chord in his other literary works, making the episode credible. 

Alfa y Omega, Spanish 

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