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Rome & the World: A day in the catacombs of St. Calixtus

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I.Media for Aleteia - published on 10/05/22

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.

Wednesday 5 October 2022
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1. Guatemalan cardinal heads opposition movement
2. Rome: A day in the catacombs with Saint Calixtus
3. Francis against the “aggressive polarization” in Argentina
4. Altar servers from Cologne protest in Rome against Cardinal Woelki
5. The Pope and the diplomacy of silences

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Guatemalan Cardinal Álvaro Ramazzini announced on Monday, October 3, the creation of a front called “National Resistance Convergence.” In conjunction with politicians and human rights organizations, it seeks “to address corruption, the co-optation of the judiciary and the persecution of those who fight corruption.” Wearing a Roman collar and holding a crucifix, the Bishop of Huehuetenango, who turned 75 last July but remains in office, announced at a press conference his descent into the political arena. He added that his religious status is not contrary to politics because “politics in the original sense of the word is promotion of the common good,” and added that when he speaks of politics, it is not partisan politics. “As a Bishop, I must not in any way get involved in party politics. I try to maintain my neutrality in this area, but it is difficult to maintain neutrality when you become aware of certain situations,” he explained. Among the priority issues of the opposition front is the promotion of non-violent actions against the criminalization of magistrates and journalists who have been prosecuted or detained, as well as those who have gone into exile. The current government of President Alejandro Gianmattei is exerting strong pressure against personalities involved in the fight against corruption and the investigation of criminal cases dating back to the civil war (1960-1996). A lawyer, who accompanied the Cardinal at the press conference, denounced a “racist and exclusionary state.” Created a cardinal by Pope Francis in 2019, Bishop Ramazzini is one of the representatives of Central America in the College of Cardinals. The prelate, who is of Italian descent and studied at the Gregorian University in Rome in the 1960s-70s, was ordained a bishop by John Paul II in 1988. Although the civil war ended 26 years ago, Guatemala remains a country marked by instability and violence. Additionally the rise of evangelical groups are weakening a once powerful Catholic Church. 

Los Angeles Times, Spanish

2Rome: A day in the catacombs with Saint Calixtus

On the occasion of the 1,800th anniversary of the death of Pope Calixtus (218-222), the fifth Day of the Catacombs will be held on October 15 in Rome, with the theme “Calixtus and the invention of the catacombs,” reports Vatican News. This is an opportunity to underline an aspect of these sites, which have shaped the history of the Eternal City and are visited every year by tourists from around the world. This edition, organized by the Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archaeology, intends to highlight the figure of Calixtus, but also to trace the steps that led to the birth and development of these underground cemeteries. Vatican News explains that to guarantee a dignified burial to even the poorest members of the Christian community, these spaces were designed to reflect “the Christian conception of death as a suspended time awaiting the resurrection.” The first catacombs were made up of networks of underground galleries, which housed superimposed burial niches. St. Calixtus was commissioned in the third century by Pope St. Zephyrinus to build the first official cemetery of the Church of Rome on the Appian Way and today it in fact bears his name. Nearly half a million Christians, including dozens of martyrs and 16 popes, are buried there. Elected the 16th Pope of the Church, Calixtus died a martyr in 222 in the neighborhood of Trastevere. 

Vatican News, French

3. Francis against the “aggressive polarization” in Argentina

Pope Francis sent a letter to the Archbishop of La Plata, Víctor Manuel Fernández, in which he wrote that “there is much to do in Argentina, so that everyone can live with the dignity of work and so that there are no second-class citizens. Nothing important or stable will be achieved with an aggressive polarization”. 

Religion Digital, Spanish

4. Altar servers from Cologne protest in Rome against Cardinal Woelki

During a Mass at St. Paul Outside the Walls, German altar servers on a pilgrimage apparently turned their backs on Cardinal Woelki, criticized for his management of the Archdiocese of Cologne. 

Katholisch, German

5. The Pope and the diplomacy of silences 

Vatican expert Eva Fernandez offers an analysis of Vatican diplomacy, made up of silences and prudence. This diplomacy spreads its reach with “a determination that escapes us,” she explains. 

Alfa&Omega, Spanish

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