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Rome & the World: words on war • heresy in Germany • cardinals: moving out of Europe

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I.Media - published on 07/22/22

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.

Friday 22 July 2022
1. Saying no to war is not enough, says the president of Europe’s bishops’ conference
2. Going further down the German synodal path “means heresy”
3. With Pope Francis, the College of Cardinals has become less European

Saying no to war is not enough, says the president of Europe’s bishops’ conference

Archbishop Gintaras Grušas of Vilnius, Lithuania, has just completed a “pilgrimage of suffering” to Ukraine as President of the Council of the Bishops’ Conferences of Europe (CCEE). He confided to the Italian Catholic daily Avvenire that he was particularly impacted by his visit to the martyred cities of Irpin and Bucha. “We thought that Europe could not relive such atrocities after the Second World War. Instead, war crimes, tanks, deportations are back. (…) We have not learned the lesson. That is why it is not enough to repeat that we want peace. We must work for peace. All together,” insists Archbishop Grušas. He announced that all European parishes will be invited to join in a day of prayer on September 14, the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, in order to “recall the unity of Europe.” At the shrine of Our Lady of Berdychiv, the Lithuanian Archbishop recalled that “like the Mother of God, Ukrainians are at the foot of the cross: they shed tears and their hearts are torn. But like the Virgin, they must be aware that there will be a resurrection.” The prospect of a visit by Pope Francis is “necessary both to strengthen morale and to heal wounds,” he said. The Ukrainian interlocutors of Archbishop Grušas expressed concern about the possible meeting between the Pope and the Patriarch of Moscow, Kirill, in Kazakhstan, which they said “could be instrumentalized by the Kremlin.” Nevertheless, the leaders of the Greek-Ukrainian Church call not to be “contaminated by hatred.” “To love the enemy is also to pray for him and for his conversion,” they told the CCEE president. 

Avvenire, Italian

Going further down the German synodal path “means heresy”

The conservative German Catholic newspaper Die Tagespost welcomes the Holy See’s reframing of the country’s synodal path. “We didn’t believe in it anymore,” says journalist Dorothea Schmidt. She welcomes the three “red cards” drawn by Pope Francis: a “no to changing the Church’s teaching, a no to breaking with the unity of the Church, a no to going through with it alone.” It is now time to “bring in the synodal banners,” rejoices the German journalist, who calls for refocusing their reflection and prayer on Christ. She also welcomes the reversal made by the Vatican: the movements opposed to the synod were treated as “minorities” and are now “the guides” because they focus on the unity of the Church. Schmidt warns that to oppose “such a clear word of the Holy See” would be “a gross error on the part of the synod, a manifest heresy, a schism.” 

Die Tagespost, German

With Pope Francis, the College of Cardinals has become less European

Since his election in 2013 Pope Francis has been “tilting the leadership structure of the Roman Catholic Church away from its historic European base and toward developing nations in Africa, Asia, and Latin America,” explains an article published by the Pew Research Center in the USA. After the new cardinals are installed in the next consistory on August 27, “the College of Cardinals will have 132 voting members, 40% of whom are European, down from 52% in 2013.” Under Francis’ pontificate there has been an increase in the overall representation of the Asia-Pacific region among the cardinal electors, “from 9% in 2013 to 17% in 2022,” (however, it is important to note that the article explains they did not assign a geographic region based on the cardinals’ nationalities but rather where they are serving as archbishop or bishop). Additionally there has been an increase in the representation of sub-Saharan Africa from 9% to 12%. Nonetheless Francis has still picked more European cardinals than any other region overall. 

Pew Research, English

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