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Quotes and news

Call for a new ecclesiology

Fr Arturo Sosa Abascal, superior general of the Society of Jesus, said that “the fullness of women’s participation in the Church has not yet arrived”. According to the National Catholic Reporter, Fr Sosa was speaking at the annual Voices of Faith event for International Women’s Day at the Vatican’s Casina Pio IV.

Sosa acknowledged that “Pope Francis has been quite outspoken about women making decisions and holding responsibility in the Church. He has also created a study commission on the women’s diaconate to explore the history and role of women in this Church structure. But if we are honest, we acknowledge that the fullness of women’s participation in the Church has not yet arrived.”

Sosa called for a new type of ecclesiology – or theology of Church structures – that “should push the Church to become the People of God as we proclaimed [in] Vatican Council II”.

Anti-Catholic demonstrations

Archbishop Alfredo Horacio Zecca condemned the insulting portrayal of the Virgin Mary during a demonstration in Tucuman, Argentina, in conjunction with the celebration of the World’s Women’s Day. According to a report by the Catholic website, Crux, men pretended to perform an abortion on a woman dressed as the Blessed Virgin Mary, with “what looks like blood and baby parts coming out from under the woman’s dress”.

Archbishop Zecca described the demonstration as an attack on the faith of the Catholics of Tucuman. In Bahia Blanca, protestors defaced the cathedral with pro-abortion and anti-Catholic slogans.

Threat to tribes criticised

Christians in Jharkhand are opposed to the amendment of two laws on land ownership that threaten to deprive the use of tribal lands. Cardinal Telesphore Toppo, Archbishop of Ranchi, led a Christian delegation to the Governor of the Indian state, composed mostly of tribal farmers.

Cardinal Toppo lamented a proposed change in law that would threaten tribal farmers’ ownership of their land.

“The life of our people is linked inextricably with the forest, land and natural resources that have sustained us for generations,” he told AsiaNews. “Our tribal and poor people are in danger of losing the small property they have at the expense of industrial, commercial and government projects.”

According to the cardinal, “changing laws will bring devastating consequences: mass displacement, migration of tribal, serious dangers to community life and survival”. “The Church,” he concluded, “cannot remain silent in the face of all this. We are always on the side of the poor”.

Appeal for US, EU generosity

Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, and the former Archbishop of Los Angeles, Cardinal Roger Mahoney, appealed to Europe and the US to provide both humanitarian and political solutions for the millions of migrants who continue to flee from the conflicts in the Middle East.

The cardinal and the archbishop spent 10 days meeting and talking to people living in refugee camps and also saw first-hand the practical and psychological support provided by local Caritas organisations, Jesuit Refugee Service and other NGOs.

Cardinal Mahoney said that when the fighting finally ends and the reconstruction process begins, the Church leaders say the biggest challenge will be to rebuild the trust that has been shattered between Christians and Muslims, between Sunni and Shia communities, that once lived in peace with each other.

(Compiled by Fr Joe Borg)

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