22 International News

posted Mar 6, 2019, 8:35 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Mar 6, 2019, 8:36 AM ]

Vatican to open archives on Pope Pius XII

Declaring that the Church "isn't afraid of history," Pope Francis said he has decided to open up the Vatican archives on World War II-era Pope Pius XII, who has been criticised by Jews for staying silent on the Holocaust. Pope Francis told officials and personnel of the Vatican Secret Archives that the archive would be open to researchers starting March 2, 2020.

Pius XII was elected pontiff on March 2, 1939, six months before World War II erupted in Europe. He died on Oct. 9, 1958, at the Vatican summer residence at Castel Gandolfo, near Rome. The Vatican usually waits 70 years after the end of a pontificate to open up the relevant archives. But the Holy See has been under pressure to make the Pius XII documentation available sooner, and while Holocaust survivors are still alive. Vatican archivists had already started preparing the documentation for consultation back in 2006, at the behest of Pope Francis' German-born predecessor, Benedict XVI.


Service, not party affiliation, makes a politician Catholic

What makes a politician "Catholic" is not party affiliation, but dedication to promoting the common good, particularly through listening to and empowering people who are often overlooked, said Pope Francis. "I invite you to live your faith with great freedom, never believing that there exists only one form of political commitment for Catholics - a Catholic party," the Pope said March 4, during a meeting with 26 young Latin American leaders attending a course on politics and the Social Teaching of the Church.

A Catholic politician, he said, always looks for "the possible good, even if it is modest." Quoting St Paul VI, Pope Francis told the young leaders, "In concrete situations, and taking account of solidarity in each person's life, one must recognise a legitimate variety of possible options. The same Christian faith can lead to different commitments."


Rome remembers Jesuit missionary kidnapped in Syria

A torchlight rally took place on February 13 in front of Rome's Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore for Fr Paolo Dall'Oglio, a native Roman and Jesuit missionary in Syria who disappeared in 2013, along with thousands of both natives and foreigners who have been subject to kidnapping or arbitrary detention in Syria, since violence broke out in 2011.


Parolin: Pell conviction 'shocking and painful'

Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin has called the conviction of Cardinal George Pell in Australia "shocking and painful." Pell's case "is an incentive to continue in the Pope's line: to fight against this phenomenon and pay attention to the victims," Parolin told L'Osservatore Romano Feb. 28.


Police offer protection to bishops, priests

Philippine authorities have offered protection to Catholic bishops and priests, following reports that several Church leaders have received death threats in recent weeks. National Police Chief, Oscar Albayalde, said the offer has been discussed with Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila.


Shahbaz Bhatti remembered

"Shahbaz Bhatti was a man of profound faith and a fearless leader. He had received death threats, but to whoever advised him to emigrate, he said: I am a disciple of Christ, I will never abandon my country and my people."

This is how Fr Emmanuel Parvez, the Parish Priest in Faisalabad, recalled the Pakistani on the eighth anniversary of his killing, which took place on March 2, 2011, in Islamabad.