Church in the world: press briefing


View of the Benedictine abbey of Fécamp, seen from the entrance courtyard.

Guido Vermeulen-Perdaen / Alamy

A gold reliquary believed to contain the Precious Blood of Christ was stolen from a monastery in northern France in June, but returned safely six weeks later to the home of a Dutch art detective in Amsterdam. His two vials of blood were the goal of medieval pilgrimages to the Benedictine monastery of Fécamp, between Le Havre and Dieppe, to pray for the safe return of the Crusaders. Relics saw a revival in the 19th century, when the gold-plated copper reliquary with dark blue inlays was constructed. Internationally renowned Dutch detective Arthur Brand received an email from an intermediary shortly after the June 1 robbery. The thief had found the relics unsaleable and wanted to return them, but was reluctant to return to the Holy Trinity Monastery himself. The intermediary eventually left them in a cardboard box on the Dutchman’s doorstep. Other sacred vessels have also been returned but it is not yet clear if all have been returned. “These people know my reputation,” said Brand, a Catholic who considered having the relics nearby a religious experience. “It would have been too dangerous to involve the police.” The Bishop of Le Havre, Jean-Luc Brunin, said the recovery of the relics was “a great relief for the Catholic community” because “the ancient tradition of the Precious Blood is part of the history of our city”.

The German The episcopal conference has deplored the German government’s decision to repeal the law banning abortion advertising. The Church will continue to press for the protection of unborn life, said conference spokesman Matthias Kopp. However, the chairwoman of the Central Committee of (Laity) German Catholics ZdK, Irme Stetter-Karp, said the abolition of the law banning abortion advertising was a “positive” sign. “It is crucial to ensure that medical intervention for abortion is available to women nationwide,” Stetter-Karp wrote in a contribution for the German weekly. Die Zeit extra charge Christ and Welt of July 14. In rural areas, this was not yet the case, she pointed out. In Germany, a pregnant woman who wishes to have an abortion must first seek counseling and obtain a certificate stating that counseling has been provided by a recognized counseling centre. Although in 1999 Pope John Paul II banned the German Church from participating in the council and the German bishops’ conference followed suit, a group of Catholics founded the association “Donum Vitae” which offers advice. Mrs. Stetter-Karp was one of the founding members. It is thanks to the counselling, she claimed, that between 2011 and 2021, abortions have decreased by 13.1%.

As Kenyans Ahead of the general elections scheduled for August 9, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference has called on the country’s officials to abide by the law and remain faithful in serving the citizens. “We rely on our public servants to be faithful and law-abiding during the upcoming transitions and to focus on service to citizens, not so much on positions in the new government,” the Bishops said in their weekly Sunday message. , read by the father. Kevin Ndago on behalf of Bishop Salesius Mugambi of Meru Diocese. The bishops have pledged to broadcast a message each week ahead of the ballot. The Bishops further encourage officials “to ensure that persons of bad character do not take advantage of the transitional period to steal public funds and property,” the message adds. We must not only operate within the law, but also go beyond it,” the Bishops said. “Not knowing the law is no excuse, for we have the higher law – the law and the conscience of God speaking to us.”

The Holy See Press Office on Monday announced plans for the beatification of Pope John Paul I, born as Albino Luciani in the town of Forno di Canale (now Canale d’Agordo), northern Italy, on October 17, 1912. Pope Francis will preside over the beatification mass in the square St. Peter’s on Sunday, September 4, 2022. Pope John Paul I was the shortest papacy in modern history, reigning in the See of Peter for 33 days. He was the first pope to choose a double name, saying he did so in honor of his two predecessors: John XXIII and Paul VI. He was also the last in a long line of Italian-born popes that began with Clement VII in 1523.

A public letter signed by hundreds of current and former parishioners at Ohio State University’s St Thomas More Newman Center called Bishop Earl Fernandes to reconsider its decision to withdraw the Paulist Fathers from the pastoral care of the centre. The Paulists had served the university community for 66 years and, like many university chaplaincies, the center was a resource for progressive Catholics. Fernandes was installed as bishop on May 31, so the suddenness of the decision came as a surprise to many.

The annual report detailing the respect by the dioceses of the “Charter for the protection of children and young people” was published by the WE bishops’ conference, and it found that 2,930 victims had filed complaints of sexual abuse as minors in the audit year ending June 30, 2021. That figure is a significant drop from the 4,079 complaints filed in the previous audit year. Virtually all of the claims were “historical in nature,” meaning they were filed by adults alleging abuse years ago. 30 complaints were new complaints alleging recent abuse.

Dutch Choirs in Catholic churches are struggling to get back to normal after some found up to 40 per cent of their singers did not return following Covid restrictions. Singing in church was banned under safeguards because it meant so many people were breathing so close together. Joris Kregting, a sociologist at the Kaski Center for Religion and Society, said Katholiek Nieuwsblad the fall of the choir members was worrying. “I don’t expect the decline to resume like this,” he said.

Four of the eight “chapels of light” for the commemorative candles of the Marian shrine in heavy in southwestern France were destroyed in a July 10 fire that authorities described as an accident. The chapels are lightweight structures open to the Gave from the grotto where Saint Bernadette Soubirous said the Virgin Mary appeared in 1858. Four are still in operation. Built in 2018 to relieve congestion in the grotto and the baths of Lourdes, the row of round-roofed chapels included a chapel for the sale of candles and seven others for the lighting of candles. Up to 4,000 candles, large and small, could burn there.

The Nigerian The Diocese of Kafanchan has asked for prayers after the kidnapping of two Catholic priests on Friday evening last week. Father John Mark Cheitnum and Father Denatus Cleopas were abducted from the rectory of Christ the King Catholic Church in the town of Lere, Kaduna State, northern Nigeria. “May Jesus, crucified on the Cross, hear our prayers and hasten the unconditional release of his priests and all other kidnapped people,” Father Emmanuel Uchechukwu Okolo, chancellor of the Kafanchan diocese, wrote in a statement. At least seven Catholic priests were kidnapped in Nigeria in July, according to data compiled by Aid to the Church in Need. The latest abduction brings the total to 20 Nigerian priests abducted since the start of 2022. Three of the priests have been killed.

Pope Francis once again expressed his closeness to the people of Sri Lanka, assuring that he joins them in prayer. Speaking at the Sunday Angelus, he also appealed to all parties engaged in finding a solution to the crisis, rooted in corruption and economic mismanagement, which has deprived the population of the needs fundamentals and livelihoods and led to a popular uprising. Vilified President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has resigned and fled the country, and the interim President Ranil Wickremesinghe declared a state of emergency with effect from Monday. Protesters have now turned their gaze to Wickremesinghe, due to his close ties to Rajapaksa. Earlier this month Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith of Colombo urged Sri Lanka’s political leaders, including Rajapaksa, then the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe keep your word and quit.

Bishop Max Leroy Mésidor of Port-au-Prince insisted on the urgency of disarming Haiti criminal gangs. “People have a right to expect immediate action from the police to disarm illegal gangs,” he said after a UN resolution passed on Friday last week urged the Haitian government to step up enforcement. rule of law, to tackle social and economic problems and to initiate the reduction of violence. programs. It highlights the need to target sexual violence and calls for urgently addressing arms trafficking and diversion and illicit financial flows.

Eugene ScalfariA journalist who helped found the Italian Radical Party and the left-liberal newspaper La Repubblica, and who made waves in the Catholic world for his conversations with Pope Francis, died last Thursday at the age of 98. Each time a new Scalfari “interview” with the pope is published, the Vatican Press Office issues a statement warning readers not to take the pope’s quoted remarks to heart, as they were not the result of an interview and were not what the pope literally said. , but rather the fruit of Scalfari’s “own reconstruction”. After the news of Scalfari’s death, Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni reportedly said that Pope Francis learned “with sadness of the death of his friend”. Pope Francis, said Bruni, “lovingly preserves the memory of the meetings and dense conversations on the last questions of man that he had with him over the years and entrusts his soul to the Lord in prayer so that may he welcome him and console those who were close to him.


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