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, August 18
1. In Germany, Catholics are strongly divided over abortion
2. Synod: in Switzerland, little participation and revolutionary proposals
3. New Nigerian cardinal worries about “survival of Christianity”
1In Germany, Catholics are strongly divided over abortion
While the president of the influential lay Central Committee of German Catholics (ZdK), Irme Stetter-Karp, has called for the “nationwide provision of abortion,” the Catholic group Maria 1.0—an initiative dedicated to “the unity of the universal Church and fidelity to the papal magisterium”—criticizes the “deafening” silence of the German bishops’ conference on the subject. The latter sought to distance itself from the president’s appeal, pleading instead for “a nationwide qualified counseling service for women.” But for Maria 1.0, this position is “remarkably meaningless.” In a letter with nearly 2,000 signatories, the group calls for an end to all cooperation with the ZdK leader, who has “crossed a red line.” Maria 1.0 asks “why Bishop Dr. Bätzing wants to shape the future of the Catholic Church in Germany alongside a woman who places the right to life of the most vulnerable and defenseless people under the precondition of the woman’s right to self-determination and thus openly violates the teachings of the Church.” In addition, a petition demanding the resignation of Irme Stetter-Karp has already gathered more than 4,000 signatures on Change.org.
The Pillar, English.
2Synod: in Switzerland, little participation and revolutionary proposals
The ordination of women and the inclusion of LGBT+ people are among the conclusions of the final report from Switzerland, at the end of the diocesan and national consultation of the Synod. The process generated “little interest”, notes media outlet Religión Digital. Participation was low—less than 1% of all Swiss Catholics—with relatively moderate conclusions compared to the German Synod. For good reason, Bishop Felix Gmür, president of the Swiss Bishops’ Conference, had asked that the word “demands” be avoided in the texts of this synodal phase, in a context where the Vatican has recently issued a firm warning to the German Church. The faithful, who were invited to meet in groups and answer 27 questions, were overwhelmingly of the opinion that the Church excludes women. The final report criticizes clericalism and hopes for “a synodal Church that recognizes the royal, priestly, and prophetic dignity and vocation of the baptized.” Nevertheless, the Spanish media outlet notes, the explicit proposal to open up priestly ordination to women remains “revolutionary.”
Religión Digital, Spanish.
3. New Nigerian cardinal worries about “survival of Christianity“
3New Nigerian cardinal worries about “survival of Christianity”
The future Cardinal Okpeleke has one of the most original backgrounds of the cardinals of the college he is about to officially join on August 27. Rejected by his diocesan constituents when he was appointed bishop of the Diocese of Ahiara—because he was not of the right ethnicity—the Nigerian eventually resigned. However, Pope Francis gave him another diocese and then decided to elevate him to the rank of cardinal, in a very symbolic gesture. In this interview with Crux, the cardinal-designate shares his concerns about the “survival of Christianity” in his country, which is facing “Islamic fundamentalist groups”. “Kidnapping for ransom has increased steadily so much so that traveling to some parts of the country or plying some highways amounts to a suicide mission,” he laments.