22 International News

posted Feb 22, 2018, 8:27 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Feb 22, 2018, 8:27 AM ]

Norms for the resignation of bishops modified

On Feb. 15, Pope Francis tweaked the Church's policies on bishops and Curial officials reaching the age of retirement, indicating that they should accept what God wants, whether accepting retirement or accepting continued service. The changes were made through a motu proprio entitled Imparare a congedarsi, meaning 'Learning to take your leave'.

Previous norms stated that the appointment of most bishops serving as curial officials and papal diplomats lapsed, after the officials had reached the Vatican's usual retirement age of 75. Now, like diocesan bishops, they are requested to resign at 75, and will continue in their positions, unless the Pope accepts their resignation. He may also request them to stay on, at his discretion.


Pope Francis says Paul VI will be canonised this year

During his annual Lenten meeting with the priests of Rome, Pope Francis confirmed that Blessed Pope Paul VI will be made a saint sometime this year.

"Paul VI will be a saint this year," the Pope said Feb. 15, at the end of a long question and answer session with priests of Rome. During the meeting, Pope Francis gave lengthy answers to four questions from priests. Afterward, texts containing meditations by Pope Paul VI, a gift from the Pope, were handed out to each of the priests. "I saw it, and I loved it," Pope Francis said about the book.

"There are two [recent] Bishops of Rome already saints," he continued, referring to St John XXIII and St John Paul II, who were canonised together in April 2014.

Besides Blessed Pope Paul VI, he noted that John Paul I's cause for beatification is also ongoing. "And Benedict and I," he added, are "on the waiting list: pray for us!"

According to Vatican Insider, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints approved the second miracle needed for the canonisation of Bl. Pope Paul VI by a unanimous vote.


Charge against Cardinal Pell likely to be withdrawn

The Melbourne Magistrates Court heard Feb. 14 that a charge related to a key witness in the case against Cardinal George Pell, accused of historical sexual abuse, is likely to be withdrawn.

In the Feb. 14 hearing, the director of prosecutions for the Melbourne Magistrates Court said that while they had not decided on the matter, the charge of a key complainant who died in January would likely be withdrawn.

Defence attorney Ruth Shann argued against the man's credibility, saying Pell's legal team would be examining the credibility of the "unreliable" witness when the formal four-week committal hearing begins March 5.


Churches in Jerusalem say No to taxation

The intention declared by the municipality of Jerusalem to impose municipal taxes on Church properties "contradicts the historical position between Churches and civil authorities over the centuries, said the Heads of Churches and Ecclesial Communities present in Jerusalem, in a statement released on Wednesday February 14, in which they explained the reasons for their clear and shared opposition to the new fiscal measures put in place by Israeli politicians and administrators of the Holy City. Civil authorities - the text reads - have always recognised and respected the great contribution that Christian Churches have offered to the community through the works - hospitals, schools and homes - funded especially for the disadvantaged and the elderly. The project of taxation on ecclesiastical properties "undermines the sacred character of Jerusalem, and jeopardises the ability of Churches to conduct their ministry in this land", to the benefit of their communities and Christian communities all over the world. 


Christians forgive aggressors

After the attack, the response was forgiveness. Pastor Samson Ashiq, who leads the community of the faithful of the Church of the Assemblies of God in the district of Malir, in the area of Karachi, has signed an official document forgiving some Muslims who on February 11 attacked the Christian community immediately after Sunday liturgy.

The document was signed in the police station between Church officials and opponents. "As Christians, we must forgive those who hurt us; this is what the Lenten time invites us to do. We want to promote reconciliation and harmony."


"Overcoming violence"

Violence marks daily life in Brazil, a country where 13% of the world's murders occur, although its population represents only 3%. Every hour, five people are killed by firearms. The National Conference of Bishops of Brazil (CNBB) has therefore proposed that this Lent, through the Fraternity Campaign that begins on Ash Wednesday, one has to reflect on the need to overcome violence.

In the presentation of the Campaign, which is entitled 'Fraternity and overcoming violence' and the motto is "You are all brothers", a message was sent for the occasion by Pope Francis, in which he invites "to the forgiveness received and offered, "even if it is difficult, because "forgiveness is the tool to achieve serenity of the heart and peace." "Setting aside resentment, anger, violence and revenge are necessary conditions for living as brothers and sisters and overcoming violence." Furthermore, the Holy Father invites us to "be protagonists in overcoming violence by being heralds and builders of peace—peace that is the fruit of the integral development of all, a peace that is born of a new relation also with all creatures."