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, August 29, 2002
1. Debunking three persistent myths about cardinals
2. A Ukrainian philosopher laments the pope’s message about the death of Daria Dougina
3. What will the cardinals gathered around the pope talk about?
In the wake of the consistory, debunking three persistent myths about cardinals
In the wake of the consistory for the creation of 20 new cardinals, Crux debunks three misconceptions circulating around this event. First, it’s not about pitting liberals against conservatives—a taxonomy that doesn’t work outside the Western world. Second: Cardinals are not Vatican experts. “(T)he corridors of power in Rome are every bit as much terra incognita to them as the tundra of the Arctic, or the isolated islands of the Pacific,” notes Vatican scholar John Allen. Moreover, Pope Francis has appointed a large number of cardinals from the world’s peripheries who “not only don’t work in the Vatican, but who’ve spent precious little time in Rome over the years.” Which brings a final disclaimer: the cardinals in the Curia are not best friends, and indeed, many are strangers to each other. In this context, according to Crux, the real purpose of the two-day meeting of cardinals that begins today is not so much to discuss Vatican reform as “to afford them a chance at least to meet one another, and to form some fleeting sense of one another’s concerns and experiences.” “When you look upon a cardinal, try to moderate your expectations,” concludes John Allen.
The vice-rector of the Catholic University of Ukraine, Myroslav Marynovych, a philosopher and human rights activist, expressed his discomfort after Pope Francis’ words during last Wednesday’s general audience, presenting the Russian nationalist activist Daria Dugina, recently murdered in Moscow, as an “innocent war victim.” This papal “communication crisis” shows, according to him, that some of Pope Francis’ advisers should reconsider their position towards Russia. Denouncing “the inertia of Vatican Ostpolitik,” the Ukrainian intellectual notes that Ukrainian Greek Catholics feel more and more discontent with these positions which give the impression that “diplomacy prevails over the logic of faith.” After meeting the Pope at the Vatican last June, Myroslav Marynovych emphasizes that Francis “is not an enemy of Ukraine” but that he is simply “trapped between crooked mirrors of communication.” But the expectations of the Ukrainian population for a possible trip of the Pope to Kiev have weakened. “Everything depends on the message the Pope would come to Ukraine with. If it were another generalized ‘we are all to blame,’ such a visit could only worsen the situation,” he warns.
What will the cardinals gathered around the pope talk about?
The new cardinals created by Francis on Saturday are already at work. Gathered at the request of the Argentine pontiff, cardinals from all over the world have been invited to study together, on Monday and Tuesday, the new constitution of the Roman Curia which came into force last June. They have been given an 11-page report that focuses on some of the key points of Francis’ reform. The appointment of lay people to the position of prefect of dicasteries should therefore be addressed, as well as the transformation of the Office of Papal Charities into the Dicastery for Charity Services. Above all, the author of the article points out that the last extraordinary consistory was in 2015, so, the cardinals need to meet to get to know each other, which they will be able to do at two lunches and two dinners.