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Rome & the World: prisoners do Camino pilgrimage • next USCCB president?

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Shutterstock | Gena Melendrez

I.Media - published on 10/06/22

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 6 October 2022
1. More than 100 inmates from 15 prisons complete the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela
2. Who will be the next president of the U.S. Bishops’ Conference?
3. About 60 religious have fled Nicaragua since 2018
4. Jubilee 2025: the Pope creates a Commission for the witnesses of the faith
5. A survey to understand Americans’ views on abortion

1More than 100 inmates from 15 prisons complete the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela

An opportunity for redemption and forgiveness, a sip of peace and freedom: This is what 110 inmates from 15 prisons in Spain felt when they walked the “Camino de Santiago” for a week, arriving last Saturday at the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela and celebrating the Eucharist. The initiative, launched by the Department of Prison Pastoral Care of the Spanish Bishops’ Conference, allowed the prisoners, divided into 13 groups, to travel the different routes to Monte del Gozo, where they met to complete the pilgrimage together. The inmates were accompanied by a hundred officials, chaplains, and volunteers. The Secretary General of Prison Institutions explained that this activity has allowed many people to live a spiritual experience, a physical challenge, and to meet new people. However, above all, he emphasized that it allowed these inmates to be “free and responsible.” “Thanks to your freedom and responsibility, this can be repeated,” he added, while praising the Church’s efforts in supporting prisoners across the country. Eleven of the participants spoke on behalf of their fellow inmates. “We felt valued. We were able to forgive each other and leave behind the negative things in life,” said Darly. For Mario, it helped him feel “at peace,” for Pedro to accept himself, and for Gustavo, it was “an opportunity to redeem ourselves, to forgive ourselves.” “It is a trophy that I will never forget. A prize for which we are grateful,” said Jorge enthusiastically. He has been in Botafuego prison in Algeciras for 13 months, enough time to understand the value of freedom. Now that he is close to rebuilding what he has lost, to return to his family, it is clear to him that he wants prison to be in his past. The Way of St. James, travelled by a growing number of pilgrims from all walks of life, is currently celebrating the “Year of St. James,” promulgated by Pope Francis for the period 2021-2022.

Alfa y Omega, Spanish 

2Who will be the next president of the U.S. Bishops’ Conference?

This November, the U.S. Bishops’ Conference will meet to elect a new president. As the American media outlet The Pillar explains, the race is on as to who will succeed Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles. Usually, the incumbent vice president is elected, but that tradition has not been fully followed since the election of Cardinal Dolan in 2010. In addition, the current vice president, Archbishop Allen Vigneron of Detroit, is already 73 years old and therefore ineligible to succeed the California prelate. The Pillar lists the potential candidates and analyzes what their election could mean. One of the names put forward is Bishop Timothy Broglio, bishop of the Armed Forces, and current secretary of the Conference. He previously served as runner-up in the 2019 vice presidential election. Based in Washington D.C., he is a rational choice to rebalance power, after three years of relocated governance in Los Angeles. This former nuncio knows the Vatican well, but he was also the personal secretary of Cardinal Sodano, whom many bishops question for his handling of abuse, including in the case of ex-Cardinal McCarrick. In addition, Bishop Broglio is seen as too conservative by some in the progressive wing of the American bishops. The vote could go to Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City, who represents the more conservative Communio movement in the United States. Another candidate is Archbishop Paul Etienne of Seattle, who could benefit from the votes of the progressive wing, even if they are in the minority. Another candidate is Bishop Kevin Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend, who is valued for his work on the Eucharistic Coherence document. Other candidates include Bishop William Lori of Baltimore, Bishop Frank Caggiano of Bridgeport and Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville. 

The Pillar, English  

3. About 60 religious have fled Nicaragua since 2018

The ‘Nicaraguan Human Rights Collective Never Again’ reports that at least 60 priests and sisters have been expelled or have fled since 2018, when the socio-political crisis currently affecting the country began.

InfoBae, Spanish

4. Jubilee 2025: the Pope creates a Commission for the witnesses of the faith

Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, prefect of the Dicastery for the Causes of Saints, announced the Pope’s decision to establish a Commission for witnesses of the faith for the Jubilee 2025. According to Vatican News, it aims to highlight figures who, although not canonized, have manifested their faith with strength.

Vatican News, French

5. A survey to understand Americans’ views on abortion 

 “We find that about 60% of Americans favor abortion being legal in all (31%) or most (29%) cases, compared to 40% who favor it remaining illegal in all (10%) or most (29%) cases,” explains one of the authors of this recent survey on abortion in the United States, among other things.

Crux, English

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