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Rome & the World: biographer update on Benedict XVI • cyber-attacking the Church

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SEBASTIEN BOZON/AFP/EAST NEWS

I.Media for Aleteia - published on 10/28/22

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.

Friday 28 October 2022
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1. Benedict XVI suffers from Church’s current situation, says his biographer
2. Cyberattacks now affect Church organizations
3. Cardinal O’Malley: “Prayer gives meaning to suffering and pain”
4. WCC general secretary talks about meeting with Patriarch Kirill
5. A Filipino nun shows a red card to the World Cup in Qatar
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1Benedict XVI suffers from Church’s current situation, says his biographer

“Benedict XVI is the longest-living pope. Two weeks ago I was with him and I have the impression that he is suffering a lot because of the current situation of the Church. He confessed to me that maybe God still keeps him here to give a testimony to the world,” said Peter Seewald, journalist, writer and biographer of Pope Benedict XVI, on October 26. He spoke at a conference organized on the occasion of the 95th birthday of the Pope Emeritus. He also explained that Benedict XVI considers that if the Church does not do what it should, it has repercussions in the modern times in which we live. “He is a man who has suffered a lot, and we will see how he will go down in history in the coming years,” said the writer, who knows Joseph Ratzinger well, after interviewing him when he was still head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Coming from the left, Seewald had a rather negative prejudice concerning the German Cardinal, but was won over by his personality, and finds it unfair that the media still presents the German Pope as a “reactionary.” For Seewald, Benedict XVI is an authentic man, because he says and does what he thinks. “It is very easy to enter into a dialogue with him. He is a very humble man and not at all an inquisitor. You can criticize him, but it is more interesting to listen to what he has to say,” said the biographer. Seewald said another surprising element is that all of Benedict XVI’s analyses of the Church have since come true. “When man turns away from God, society suffers,” the biographer said, echoing the words of the Pope Emeritus and the powerful movement of secularization that is shaking up Western societies, but also, increasingly, the countries of the southern hemisphere. The congress was also an opportunity to recall that, despite their obvious differences in style, Pope Francis is not in opposition to Benedict XVI. Msgr. Markus Graulich, undersecretary of the Dicastery for Legislative Texts and president of the Association of Ecclesiastical Theology, recalled the words of Francis, who considers that the theological work of Benedict XVI, places him among the great theologians who have occupied the Chair of Peter. Pope Francis considers his predecessor as a man who truly believes and truly prays, a man of peace and a man of God, recalled Msgr. Graulich.

El Confidencial, Spanish

2Cyberattacks now affect Church organizations

Caritas of the Diocese of Munich, an association with 10,000 employees, was recently the victim of a cyber attack, reports Katholisch.de. A large amount of data, some of it potentially sensitive, was stolen from them. The criminals demanded a ransom so that the data would not be distributed. Behind this cyberattack is Blackcat, a group of hackers who sell very easy-to-use cyberattack software at low prices and whose activity has increased significantly in recent years. Caritas Munich has made it clear that they will not pay the ransom and has already set up an alternative infrastructure. The organization is not the only Catholic association who has been a victim of this kind of attack: The Vatican also apparently suffered targeted attacks from a group of hackers called ‘Mustang Panda,’ allegedly close to the Chinese state, during the summer of 2020. The Vatican, the Diocese of Hong Kong and other institutions were affected. The China Center in Sankt Augustin, near Bonn, was also reportedly targeted. In response, Catholic institutions are beginning to train their employees on best practices to counter these cyberattacks, but most importantly, to guard against the serious consequences they can have. “One wrong click can result in damage of several hundred thousand euros,” says the cybersecurity manager of the Munich diocese.

Katholisch.de, German

3. Cardinal O’Malley: “Prayer gives meaning to suffering and pain”

Cardinal O’Malley, Archbishop of Boston and President of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, spoke at the Theology Days at the University of Salamanca, Spain, reminding us that scientific advances cannot obscure the importance of prayer.

El Debate, Spanish

4. WCC general secretary talks about meeting with Patriarch Kirill

Romanian Orthodox priest Ioan Sauca, general secretary of the World Council of Churches, had a long meeting with Patriarch Kirill on October 17 in Moscow. He explains that he wants to maintain a channel of dialogue with Russian Orthodoxy despite the war in Ukraine.

Oikoumene, English

5. A Filipino nun shows a red card to the World Cup in Qatar

Sister Mary John Mananzan, a Filipino Benedictine nun living in Germany, has joined a campaign by the organization Missio, calling for a boycott of the World Cup to be held in Qatar next November and December. She denounces the situation of women and immigrant workers, many of whom are her fellow Filipinos. According to human rights organizations, more than 6,500 workers have lost their lives on construction sites related to this competition.

Religion Digital, Spanish

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