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Quotes and news

Priests resisting Pope Francis

Fr Giulio Cirignano, a Scripture scholar at the Theological Faculty of Central Italy, wrote an article in L’Osservatore Romano saying that the “main obstacle” to implementing Pope Francis’s vision is “closure, if not hostility” from “a good part of the clergy, at levels both high and low”. The term “high and low” suggests the author had in mind clergy ranging from senior bishops to ordinary parish priests.

The article was titled ‘The Conversion asked by Pope Francis: Habit is not Fidelity’.

Among the reasons given by the author are the existence of a “modest cultural level on the part of clergy, …an antiquated image of the priesthood …[and] an old theology, associated with the Counter-Reformation”.

‘Chinese Catholicism should fit into socialism’

It looks like times are going to be tough for the Church in China. Yu Zhengsheng, the fourth-ranking member of China’s Communist Party, said it is important for “the leadership of the Chinese Catholic Church” to be “firmly in the hands of those who love the nation and the religion”.

He made his remarks while addressing about 100 bishops, priests, nuns and lay leaders of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association in Beijing. This association is the body by which the government seeks to control the Church.

“Interpretations of the teachings and dogmas should match the needs of China’s development and the great traditional culture,” he added, “and proactively fit into the Chinese characteristics of a socialist society.” During his speech, Yu also encouraged Church leaders to “implement with self-awareness the basic direction of religious works” and “always to insist on the direction of Sinicisation of religion”.

Pastoral letter on migration

In a pastoral letter on migration, Bishop Mark Seitz of El Paso, the US, wrote: “Building walls, deploying a mass deportation force and militarising our border are not long-term solutions to the challenges of migration”. He decried as “indefensible, hateful words towards our neighbours in Mexico, the demonisation of migrants and destructive language about our border”.

“Though our Church has been clear about the imperative to solve this perennial problem, our elected leaders have not yet mustered the moral courage to enact comprehensive immigration reform. Still migrants are treated, as Pope Francis says, as pawns on the chessboard of humanity. Their labour and talents are exploited but they are denied the protection of the law.”

(Compiled by Fr Joe Borg)

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