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Rome & the World: China plays friendly

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I.Media - published on 12/01/22

Also in today's headlines: The new US bishops' leader on the synod • And wanting to be "un-baptized" in Belgium

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 1 December 2022
1. China vows more friendly consensus amid Vatican complaints 
2. Archbishop Broglio: Synod an opportunity to combat polarization 
3. Looking back on the German and Belgian bishops’ visits to the Vatican
4. “Debaptization” requests; the figures of the Catholic Church in Belgium
5. Weapons charge against priests is Russian ‘retaliation,’ Ukrainian bishop says

1China vows more friendly consensus amid Vatican complaints

On Saturday, the Vatican explicitly accused Beijing of violating the 2018 agreement on the appointment of Chinese bishops by challenging the installation of Bishop John Peng Weizhao as an auxiliary in the Jiangxi province, which the Vatican does not recognize as a diocese. The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian assured the state’s goodwill. Zhao said he was not aware of the specific situation involving Bishop Peng, but asserted that relations between China and the Vatican have improved in recent years for the benefit and “harmonious development” of Chinese Catholicism.“China is willing to continuously expand the friendly consensus with the Vatican side and jointly maintain the spirit of our interim agreement,” Zhao told reporters. A response that comes in a particularly complex context, as the agreement renewed last October has been strongly criticized by many. In addition, Pope Francis reportedly ordained Bishop Peng clandestinely as bishop of Yujiang in 2014, four years before the 2018 agreement, explaining the Holy See’s regret at Beijing’s unilateral decision to assign the bishop to another diocese it does not recognize.

Crux, English

2Archbishop Broglio: Synod an opportunity to combat polarization

Archbishop Timothy Broglio, the newly elected president of the U.S. bishops’ conference, participated in the meeting in Rome of the presidents and coordinators of the continental assemblies of the Synod on the future of the Church. Described by some as a prelate embodying the conservative wing of the U.S. Church, he told Vatican News that he hopes the Synod will be an opportunity to combat polarization. The Archbishop of the Armed Forces is indeed the head of an American Church fractured between progressives and conservatives, a divide that is also sometimes manifested in support or criticism of Pope Francis. 

For him, the main problem lies in the inability of American society to dialogue and truly listen to one other. “We even see this on university campuses, where you would think a fundamental aspect of learning is also to listen to those who don’t necessarily agree with me. But we have this closing off where we don’t want to hear people, if they represent a certain position they’re not welcome on a campus,” he laments, adding he believes the Synod could, within the Catholic Church in the U.S., provide an opening and “heal” some of the polarization. 

As for the organization of the continental phase for North America, Archbishop Broglio explains that it will be done essentially virtually, as the size of the United States and Canada makes the logistics too cumbersome and expensive to be done in person. Each diocese can recruit 3 to 5 delegates to participate in these assemblies. In order to ensure that a wide variety of people can speak, sessions will be held in English, French and Spanish. 

Vatican News, English  

3. Looking back on the German and Belgian visits to the Vatican

Why was there a difference n the Vatican’s reception of the German and Belgian bishops?

Crux, English

4. “Debaptization” requests; the figures of the Catholic Church in Belgium

Some 5,200 Belgian Catholics have asked to be “un-baptized” in 2021, even though the Church welcomed more new faithful last year than in 2020, a report reveals. 

7 sur 7, French 

5. Weapons charge against priests is Russian ‘retaliation,’ Ukrainian bishop says

Priests arrested in Ukraine are charged with trafficking weapons used to fight Russian occupiers. But Church officials say the arrests are retaliation for Ukrainian investigation of Orthodox monasteries.

The Pillar, English 

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