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Rome & the World: exiled Ukraine Carmelites • Opus Dei revenge? • Pope calls DJ priest

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I.Media - published on 08/08/22

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.

Monday 8 August 2022
1- Ukrainian Carmelites tell of their exile
2- Did Pope Francis take revenge on Opus Dei?
3- Pope Francis congratulates priest, former DJ, for organizing “Christian raves”

Ukrainian Carmelites tell of their exile

The convent of Our Lady Mediatrix of All Grace, Saints Peter and Andrew in Pokotylivka, near Kharkiv, is reportedly intact at the moment, unlike the Ukrainian city it borders, which is being bombed daily by the Russian forces and is subject to bitter fighting. The German Catholic weekly Die Tagespost tells the story of the former occupants of the convent, Carmelite nuns, who are now refugees in Poland near the Marian sanctuary of Czestochowa. The sisters are being hosted in some buildings that had been abandoned by a religious community a couple of months ago. In a letter, the exiled nuns express their gratitude, saying the buildings are perfectly suited to their communal lifestyle and that they are “safe and lack nothing.” Since arriving the nuns have received many donations, including from Germany, which they try to redistribute to “those who need it most.” “We try to live our contemplative life with even greater intensity by praying for peace. Every day we hope for the news that it is now possible to return to the monastery in Kharkiv,” they wrote. 

Die Tagespost, German

Did Pope Francis take revenge on Opus Dei?

In an opinion article published in Vida Nueva Digital, José Francisco Gómez Hinojosa, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Monterrey (Mexico), comments on the different interpretations regarding Pope Francis’ recent Motu proprio,  ‘Ad charisma tuendum‘, which placed the personal prelature of the Opus Dei under the Dicastery for the Clergy, rather than the Dicastery for Bishops. One interpretation, he underlines, is that this document was an expression of “papal revenge,” as the year before Opus Dei received its special statute by John Paul II in 1982, the Polish pontiff intervened in the Society of Jesus (the religious family of Francis) by appointing a personal representative. Father Hinojosa explains that those who think this way believe Pope Francis sees himself as first and foremost a Jesuit. The Mexican Vicar does not agree and says that “the putting in order of Opus Dei is part […] of this theology promoted by Francis of Rome, in which he wants shepherds with the smell of sheep, and not of French perfume.” “The fact must be inscribed in the invitation of Pope Francis for all of us, consecrated and lay, to ride the wave of renewal that he continues to promote,” Father Hinojosa concludes. 

Vida Nueva Digital, Spanish

Pope Francis congratulates priest, former DJ, for organizing “Christian raves”

“Hello, this is not a joke. This is the Pope,” was the last thing Neapolitan priest Michele Madonna was expecting to hear when he picked up his cell phone a couple of days ago. However, the 48-year-old Father Madonna is also not your average priest. After working as a DJ in his 20s, he embraced the priesthood at the age of 30 and has since become a hit with the young people in his neighborhood, Montesanto, for his “Christian raves.” Organized in a Catholic institute close to his parish, Father Madonna remixes Christian songs with disco tunes and alternates the music with moments of prayer where he also preaches about God. “Good job, how do you talk to so many young people?” Pope Francis asked him “with a cheerful voice full of curiosity,” reports Italian daily La Repubblica. “Be sure to keep me informed,” the Pontiff said at the end of the phone call. 

Repubblica, Italian

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