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Rome & the World: martyred Nicaragua • opening Russia’s eyes

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Antoine Mekary | ALETEIA KAY NIETFELD / DPA / DPA PICTURE-ALLIANCE VIA AFP

I.Media for Aleteia - published on 10/03/22

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 3 October 2022
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1. “Helping Russia means opening its eyes to its crimes in Ukraine,” says academic 
2. “Blessed are the Nicaraguans who have been murdered,” says journalist
3. UN asks Vatican to investigate Bishop Belo
4. The business aspect of the Jubilee 2025
5. Vatican diplomacy in Central Asia
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1“Helping Russia means opening its eyes to its crimes in Ukraine,” says academic

“Moscow listens carefully to what Pope Francis says, even if the Kremlin would expect words much closer to its positions,” says Myroslav Marynovych, vice-rector of the Catholic University of Lviv, in an interview with Radio Maria. The human rights activist and specialist in relations between religion and society explains why he asked for the mediation of Pope Francis last June for the release of prisoners. Marynovych says that the exchange of prisoners remains “a priority,” because “detention conditions in Russia include various forms of torture: thus, every day of imprisonment turns into hell.” Additionally it is important to show that this is also the Pontiff’s priority, as he “certainly cannot encourage the sending of arms.” Nevertheless, Marynovych explains that the head of the Catholic Church has little room for maneuver: “The current war bears no resemblance to the 1962 Cuba crisis when John XXIII’s action averted the worst. Then both the U.S. and the USSR did not want military confrontation and welcomed papal intervention. For today’s Russia, the conflict is a political lever. Putin could stop the flow of arms in a heartbeat, but each time he raises the bar to force the world to accept his rules of the game.” Currently, “Francis can appeal only to reason and compassion, elements without grip on Putin who is driven by a desire for revenge and an imperialist spirit,” adds Marynovych. The expert also stresses that “fear strengthens the aggressor” and that “as long as Russia does not give up the idea of reintegrating Ukraine into its orbit, the negotiations will be a sham.” In short, “Today loving the Russians means helping them open their eyes to the crimes committed.”

Radio Maria, Italian. 

2“Blessed are the Nicaraguans who have been murdered,” says journalist

“We, the Dominican Catholic laity, contemplate with great concern the persecutions of the Nicaraguan government, headed by Daniel Ortega, against the Catholic Church in this neighboring country,” writes José Gomez Cerda, president of the Dominican Association of Journalists and Writers. In his article, he recalls the open conflict between dictator Daniel Ortega and the Catholic Church, a crisis that intensified with the arrest last August of a Nicaraguan bishop. However this is not the only tragic event that has occured, as Ortega’s government has also expelled the Missionaries of Charity from the country, closed many diocesan radio stations, and imprisoned other priests for being considered critics of the regime, laments José Gomez Cerda. In addition, the government “has continued to violate the rights of assembly and association and religious freedom. This year alone, 1112 human rights organizations and professional associations, including medical ones, have had their legal status canceled,” the journalists said. He evoked the call of the country’s bishops “to pray intensely to ask God for the grace to stop the harassment that prevents them from living and expressing their faith in peace and freedom.” José Gomez Cerda concludes with the strong message: “Blessed are the Nicaraguans who have been killed, imprisoned, deported and persecuted by Daniel Ortega’s dictatorship for defending their Catholic Church!”

Acento, Spanish 

3. UN asks Vatican to investigate Bishop Belo

Accused of sexually assaulting minors in the 1980s and 1990s, Bishop Belo, winner of the 1996 Nobel Peace Prize for his work in East Timor, was sanctioned in 2020 by the Vatican. According to AP, the UN spokeswoman supports an investigation to shed light on the case. 

AP, English

4. The business aspect of the Jubilee 2025

The city of Rome is preparing to welcome millions of pilgrims for the Jubilee 2025. La Repubblica analyzes the economic effects of this event.

La Repubblica, Italian

5. Vatican diplomacy in Central Asia

Two weeks after the Pope’s trip to Kazakhstan, a long article published in The Diplomat analyzes how Vatican diplomacy intends to act in this region of the world. 

The Diplomat, English

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