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Rome & the World: win in Italy • Catholics and the rest, in numbers • & more …

Antoine Mekary | ALETEIA

I.Media for Aleteia - published on 02/17/22 - updated on 02/17/22

Every day, Aleteia offers a selection of articles written by the international press about the Church and the major issues that concern Catholics around the world. The opinions and views expressed in these articles are not those of the editors.

Thursday 17 February 2022
1 – Catholic reactions to the Italian Constitutional Court decision on euthanasia referendum
2 – Explainer: What is an invalid baptism?
3 – Liquid Catholicism and the German Synodal path
4 – A new book reveals the backstory of the Church’s 1949 Decree Against Communism
5 – Christianity remains the world’s largest religion with 2.5 billion believers

Catholic reactions to the Italian Constitutional Court decision on euthanasia referendum

On February 14, the Italian Constitutional Court rejected the possibility of a referendum on the murder of a consenting person and euthanasia. For Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Pontifical Academy for Life, who posted a video statement on Twitter, the Court “did not take his decision lightly, speaking moreover of the defense of the most fragile life.” Now the Parliament will have to decide on “a law to regulate this final stage of life,” he explained. The Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life also said in a note that “medically assisted suicide and euthanasia are not forms of social solidarity nor of Christian charity” and “there are other ways to treat the incurable and to be close to the suffering and the dying.” The Catholic associations, Movement for Life and Ecclesial Movement of Cultural Commitment (MEIC), also both welcomed the Court’s decision.

Avvenire, English 

Explainer: What is an invalid baptism?

American Father Matthew Hood has recently discovered his baptism was invalid, as the priest who baptized him used a formula the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith deems incorrect, affecting his ordination and the people he has administered sacraments to. Father John Baldovin, sacramental theologian interviewed by America, noted that the CDF has the authority to say what is and is not valid when it comes to sacramental language and form. Theologians, however, also have the right to raise questions, he said. Father Baldovin states that in a baptism it is important that intention “be expressed both internally and externally,” and that invalid does not mean necessarily unreal. Although the external expression was invalid it can be assumed the deacon who baptized Father Hood did so in good will in his internal intention, the article continues. The deacon’s errors were meaningful and should not be repeated, Father Baldovin says, but they do not necessarily limit God’s power to act and his grace.

America, English

Liquid Catholicism and the German synodal path

In an opinion article, the American writer George Weigel criticizes “Liquid Catholicism,” that of a Church “that takes its cues from the surrounding culture” and is mainly concerned with “the business of doing good works.” For him, this Catholicism leads to “death,” and he sees this pattern in the German synodal way: “a multi-year process, dominated by Church bureaucrats and academics, that seems determined to reinvent the Catholic Church as a form of liberal Protestantism.” Denouncing “a false notion of freedom as ‘autonomy,'” he warns that the result of the German synod “will not be evangelical renewal but a further abandonment of the gospel.”

First Things, English

A new book reveals the backstory of the Church’s 1949 Decree Against Communism

A new book by Italian journalist Cesare Catananti and prefaced by Sant’Egidio founder Andrea Riccardi reveals the context, characters, and dynamics that surrounded the Catholic Church’s 1949 Decree Against Communism published by the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office and approved by Pope Pius XII. Although the Church had already often condemned Communist doctrine, this decree was the first time it directly attacked those who supported it, the article explains. “It was a reaction to the repression of church representatives that was happening in the East,” the author comments. The idea to excommunicate resulted out of “the confluence of several streams of events that over the course of a century passed through the Church of Rome,” he continues. In the preface, Riccardi calls the decision to excommunicate “a strong and lacerating step.”

La Stampa, Italian

Christianity remains the world’s largest religion with 2.5 billion believers

According to the World Christian Encyclopedia, Christians continue to form the largest religious community in the world with 2.5 billion believers. Of these, 1.2 billion are Catholics; the rest are divided among Pentecostals and Charismatics (667 million), Evangelicals (600 million) and Orthodox (295 million). According to the WCE, most Christians live in Africa (692 million), followed by Latin America (612 million) and Europe (568 million). The second largest religion is Islam, with 1.9 billion believers. Hinduism is in third place with one billion followers. The number of non-religious people is estimated at about 897 million, including 750 million agnostics and 147 million atheists. 

Katholisch.de, German. 

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Rome & the World
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