The Weekly Roundup

In today’s weekly round-up, we cover the news we missed from the 8th to the 28th November 2021 to Dec 5 2021

Nov 30, 2021 – On the feast of St. Andrew, Pope Francis expressed hope that Catholics and Orthodox Christians will collaborate more often “to make visible our communion.”

In a message to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople, the pope said that Christian unity would be realized through the grace of the Holy Spirit.

“Beloved brother in Christ, along the path towards full communion between our Churches, we are sustained by the intercession of the holy brothers Peter and Andrew, our patron saints,” Pope Francis said on Nov 30. “The full unity for which we yearn is, of course, a gift from God, through the grace of the Holy Spirit. May our Lord help us to be ready to embrace this gift through prayer, interior conversion, and openness to seeking and offering pardon.”

Dec 1, 2021 – Catholic bishops in the Netherlands have decided to cancel Christmas Midnight Masses once again this year as a precaution to stop the spread of COVID-19.

The Dutch bishops announced on Dec 1 that no Catholic Masses or other parish functions will be allowed to take place after 5 p.m., with public venues required to close between 5 p.m. and 5 a.m. under new government measures lasting until at least Dec 19.

The Dutch bishops’ conference website explained that the decision, also taken last year, was made to prevent large crowds from gathering for evening Masses on Christmas Eve. It added that it is challenging to maintain good ventilation with multiple Masses in one evening.

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Dec 1, 2021 – The beatification ceremony for sixteen martyrs of the Spanish Civil War will be held in February at the Granada Cathedral. Fr. Cayetano Giménez Martín and his 15 companions will be beatified Feb. 26, 2022. Of the group, all were priests, except a seminarian and a layman.

The Spanish Civil War was fought from 1936 to 1939 between the Nationalist forces, led by Francisco Franco, and the Republican faction. During the war, Republicans martyred thousands of clerics, religious, and laity; of these, 11 have been canonized, and more than 2,000 beatified.

Fr. Cayetano refused to escape to safety at the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War. When his parish church was burned, he took refuge with a family for two weeks but was captured, and then shot Aug. 1, 1936, shouting “Viva Cristo Rey”. His companions were: Fr. José Becerra Sánchez; Fr. José Jiménez Reyes; Fr. Pedro Ruiz de Valdivia; Fr. Francisco Morales Valenzuela; Fr. José Frías Ruiz; Fr. Manuel Vázquez Alfalla; Fr.Ramón Cervilla Luis; Fr. Lorenzo Palomino Villaescusa; Fr. José Rescalvo Ruiz; Fr. Manuel Vilches Montalvo; Fr. José María Polo Rejón; Fr. Juan Bazaga Palacios; Fr. Miguel Romero Rojas; Antonio Caba Pozo, a seminarian; and José Muñoz Calvo, a layman. 

Dec 2, 2021 – Hundreds of buildings worldwide were lit up in solidarity with persecuted Christians in Red Week, an annual event organized by the charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN).

On Nov. 17-24, this year’s commemoration marked the first time the eastern European countries of Vatican finance trialukraine

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 and Bosnia and Herzegovina took part in the event, with Kyiv’s Greek Catholic Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ and Sarajevo Cathedral illuminated in red.

Another highlight was the participation of the Maronite Cathedral of St. Elijah in Aleppo, Syria. The cathedral was severely damaged in the country’s ongoing war but rebuilt with help from ACN. Also lit up in red were Sacré-Cœur in the French capital, Paris, and the cathedrals in Sydney, Melbourne, and Hobart in Australia.

Dec 2, 2021 – A Nigerian priest who spent more than a month in captivity following his abduction earlier this year has called on the international community to aid the people of God in Nigeria’s Kaduna State amid heightened insecurity.

Fr. Bako Francis Awesuh, 37, told Aid to the Church in Need Nov 25 attacks from the predominantly Muslim Fulani herders “have become very common in Kaduna state.” “I am therefore calling on the international community to please come to our rescue,” Fr. Awesuh told the pontifical charity organization.

Christians in Nigeria’s Zamfara State have been cautioned against public worship in churches lest they be attacked, abducted, and their places of worship torched. The warning, for which a “Fulani association” claims responsibility, is contained in a letter circulated by the office of the state police commissioner.

“The command has already alerted its Divisions/Formations for immediate proactive action and deployment of men at churches especially during services,” the police leadership in Zamfara said in reaction to what it described as “an anonymous letter threatening to launch attack on churches, especially churches located at the outskirt of the metropolis.” The threatening letter was delivered to police headquarters in Gusau, the state capital, on Nov 19.

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Dec 3, 2021 – Videotapes of interrogations with a key witness in the ongoing Vatican finance trial have been leaked to an Italian newspaper.

Corriere Della Sera reported in a Dec 3 article billed as an “exclusive” that journalists at the Italian newspaper had viewed the video footage of interviews between Vatican prosecutors and Msgr. Alberto Perlasca, a former official at the Secretariat of State, who was once considered a suspect in the finance investigations but has not been charged after volunteering information to investigators during extensive questioning in 2020 and 2021.

The newspaper has published on its website over 14 minutes of excerpts of the videos of Perlasca’s depositions, in which he indicates that Pope Francis authorized the Secretariat of State to negotiate with businessman Gianluigi Torzi, who brokered the final stage of the London deal and is one of the trial’s defendants.

 

 

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