Monday 12 September 2022
1. From Queen Elizabeth II to King Charles III, the Anglican faith and religion as a heritage
2. A consistory that strengthens the pontificate
3. After the German Synodal Way
4. “In Kazakhstan, the Pope is an undisputed leader,” says a Spanish missionary bishop
5. A new book on Mother Teresa, written by her friend
From Queen Elizabeth II to King Charles III, the Anglican faith and religion as a heritage
“What Christ taught and the fact that I am accountable to God gives me a framework for living my life. Like many of you, in difficult times, I draw great support from the life and example of Christ,” said Queen Elizabeth in her Christmas address of the year 2000. A rare moment of openness for a sovereign who never shared what she truly thought and lived, notes a journalist from French daily Le Monde. As the symbolic head of the Anglican Church, Queen Elizabeth regularly read the Bible and went to services every Sunday. She never expressed herself though on the evolution of the Anglican Communion, which allowed the remarriage of divorcees or the access of women to the priesthood. She did, however, make some notable gestures of rapprochement with the Catholic Church. For example, she once participated in vespers at the Westminster Cathedral, which hadn’t happened in 300 years. It is now up to her son, King Charles III, to symbolically lead the Anglican Communion. How will the man who has shown interest in Islam, the religions of India or Orthodoxy, take on the role of defender of the Anglican faith? The question is still open.
Le Monde, French
A consistory that strengthens the pontificate
The consistory and meeting of cardinals organized by the Pope at the end of August in Rome “resulted in unconditional support for the pillars of the papacy and the reform of the Curia,” according to the Spanish newspaper Alfa y Omega. The meeting took place “in a fraternal atmosphere and with serene debates,” the newspaper said, after interviewing several cardinals. German Cardinal Walter Kasper, for example, spoke about their discussions regarding governance and the place of the laity in the Church. He explained that “all the cardinals agree on the substance of the question – the greater responsibility to the laity but some have asked for clarification on the theological justification – offered by the constitution – and on other practical elements.” Cardinal Schönborn, for his part, was pleased to hear the new cardinals, created during the consistory, speak about their countries. He sees this as an “enrichment” for the College of Cardinals.
Alfa y Omega, Spanish
After the German Synodal Way
“The Synodal Way in Germany does not work for the division of the Catholic Church,” says theologian Rainer Bucher on the website Feinschwarz. For him, this path, which began in 2019, is not a matter of “protestantization” but comes to the rescue of the future of a Church that he describes as “a car whose brakes often jam.” In particular, he deplores how in matters of “gender justice, sexual morality, separation of powers,” the various catechisms written by the Popes have become “defensive places.” The theologian advocates an end to this “paternalism” and calls for looking at the Church “through the eyes” of those outside. He also warns that if the German Synodal Way fails, “the culture wars in Catholicism that already divide the United States or Orthodoxy threaten to intensify.”
“In Kazakhstan, the Pope is an undisputed leader,” says a Spanish missionary bishop
“The Pope will be very well received by the government because they recognize the great importance of his figure as a leader,” assures Bishop José Luis Mumbiela Sierra, a Spanish bishop who has been on mission in Kazakhstan for 24 years. He had already welcomed Pope John Paul II during his trip in 2001 and is looking forward to the arrival of the Argentinian pope. Even if the Catholic community in this country of 19 million inhabitants represents only 1% of the population, the charismatic dimension of Pope Francis is undisputed. While war rages in Ukraine, Bishop Mumbiela Sierra believes that this trip will be a blessing Urbi et Orbi, a message of peace and unity addressed to Kazakhstan and the world. On the delicate issue of relations with Russian Orthodoxy, the missionary believes that the fact that Patriarch Kirill is not coming to Kazakhstan does not mean that the dialogue has stopped.
Religion Digital, Spanish
A new book on Mother Teresa, written by her friend
Jim Towey is one of the fortunate few who personally knew Saint Teresa of Calcutta. An American attorney who also worked for the US government and in academia, Towey first met Mother Teresa 37 years ago, when he was volunteering at a soup kitchen run by the Missionaries of Charity, the religious order founded by the Saint. Struggling with what he considered the shallowness of his life in Washington at the time, Towey traveled to India in 1985 seeking an encounter with Mother Teresa. That meeting changed Towey’s life, as he decided to dedicate himself to serving Catholics and the most vulnerable, and also became a close friend and advisor to the future Saint. Towey has now decided to share the story of this relationship in a new book published on September 6 and titled “To Love and Be Loved — A Personal Portrait of Mother Teresa.” Even after all these years, Towey said he still thinks daily about the living Saint who befriended him and influenced every facet of his life. “She brought out the best in you. […] She just was a person you know was so in love with God that she was available to little people like me,” he told Catholic News Service. “I wrote this book because I wanted people to know that she is not some plastic saint,” Towey explained, adding that “she was flesh and blood and grit and determination.”
Catholic News Service, English