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Rome & the World: “only one bishop has been a true father to me: Francis, bishop of Rome”

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AP/Associated Press/East News

I.Media - published on 11/24/22

Also in today's headlines: the Pope's Caritas decision and Becciu's "coulda-been-pope" lawsuit

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 24 November 2022
1. Dominican Father Timothy Radcliffe comments on Pope Francis’ vision of the priesthood
2. Caritas: a look at Pope Francis’ decision 
3. Becciu ‘coulda-been-pope’ lawsuit dismissed
4. Brazilian president vetoes candidate for embassy to the Holy See 
5. Bishop Gallagher pleads for the promotion of social progress to overcome the war

The daily newspaper of the Italian episcopate published a dense commentary by Father Timothy Radcliffe, the former Master of the Order of Preachers, the Domincans, from 1992 to 2001. The text focuses on the spirituality of the priesthood according to Pope Francis, and has been published in a volume by the Argentinian Pontiff titled “The Style of God: Reflections on the Spirituality of the Priesthood.” The Dominican theologian and biblical scholar speaks candidly about his own vocational journey, which was not easy. “I had always felt uncomfortable with any hint of clericalism and had accepted ordination because my brethren wanted it and it was useful for preaching,” confides Father Radcliffe. He said he would have liked at the time to have read the reflections, with very simple and concrete advice, proposed today by the Argentine Pontiff. For example, the Pope states that the vocation to the priesthood releases in the priest “that potential for Love that we received on the day of our Baptism.” Pope Francis often asked his priests in Buenos Aires how they prepared to go to sleep at night: “Don’t you pass by the Lord, at least to say good night?” “This I need to do more often, it’s not enough to just say ‘Good morning,'” admits Father Radcliffe, highlighting also the Pope’s deep fraternal care. In particular, the Dominican recalls how Pope Francis reached out to him during a long hospitalization for a tumor in his jaw. “For days and days I suffered from a terrible thirst, but the only thing I could do was to moisten my lips. […] In that dry desert I met the man who said to the Samaritan woman at the well, ‘Give me to drink’ (John 4:7) and who died thirsty on the cross. […] After the operation I was asleep for almost 30 hours, regaining consciousness only for a few moments while I was in the ICU; during that time my prior brought me a handwritten note. It came from Francis. It is a typical example of the way he exercises his episcopal paternity: the Pope makes thousands of phone calls, knocks on the door of dozens of people and writes letters in his own handwriting that always amaze those who receive them,” Father Radcliffe explained. “I have known many excellent bishops, but only one has been a true father to me: Francis, bishop of Rome,” the Dominican remarked with deep gratitude. 

Avvenire, Italian 

2Caritas: a look at Pope Francis’ decision

Crux analyzes Pope Francis’ firm decision on Tuesday to fire the leadership of Caritas Internationalis, the widespread Catholic charity present in more than 200 countries. This choice surprised even the Caritas executives, who were gathered in Rome for their plenary meeting. While the Vatican assured that the decision was not motivated by matters of morality or money mismanagement, the reasons for the sudden turnaround are unclear. Many observers believe the problems centered around the dismissed Secretary General, Frenchman Aloysius John, who had become the leader of the large organization in 2019. Crux reports rumors accuse him of “heavy-handed leadership” and “suspect management.” The American media outlet also considers that the reputation of Filipino Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, President of Caritas until the decree was issued, could have been tarnished by this change. Elected as head of the organization in 2015 and then re-elected in 2019, whatever internal failures led to this situation occurred under his leadership, the article highlights. Although this Cardinal considered “papabile” is being ousted from the leadership, he will continue to serve as a liaison between Caritas members during the interim administration. 

Crux, English

3. Becciu ‘coulda-been-pope’ lawsuit dismissed

An Italian court has dismissed a lawsuit filed by Cardinal Angelo Becciu, former substitute of the Secretariat of State, which alleged that unfavorable media coverage cost him his chance to be Pope.

The Pillar, English 

4. Brazilian president vetoes candidate for embassy to the Holy See 

Brazil’s new president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, has vetoed three names of diplomats supported by the outgoing president, Jair Bolsonaro. They were supposed to occupy Brazil’s embassies in Argentina, Italy, and the Vatican. 

La Nación, Spanish 

5. Bishop Gallagher pleads for the promotion of social progress to overcome the war 

“Promote social progress to save the new generation from war.” This was the plea of Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States and International Organizations of the Holy See, as he opened the 98th assembly of the Union of Superiors General (USG) in Rome. 

SIR, Italian 

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