For the optimists the provisional agreement is "historic"; for the pessimists it is the beginning of the total sell out of the Church to the Party. The Pope is involved in naming bishops. But we know nothing of a right of veto. The lifting of excommunications is good, but the faithful expect a public request for forgiveness. China has not asked for a break with Taiwan as a prior condition. Praise for Lithuanian martyrs, amid silence on the Chinese ones.
The prelate must appear before the court of first instance. The police also took him to the place where the rape allegedly took place. A sister in the Missionaries of Jesus who protested against the bishop complains that she has been removed from all positions.
29 people died in the attack, at least 57 injured. Claimed by ISIS and the Al-Ahwazi group. Rouhani: "Saddam's mercenaries who changed masters and enjoy Washington's support." US Ambassador to the UN: Iran must "look in the mirror".
Pope Francis stood in silence and laid flowers at the ghetto and lit a golden lamp at the museum that commemorates the people tortured and executed by the KGB. He noted the “thirst for absolute power on the part of those who sought complete domination”, praying that “we may not be deaf to the plea of all those who cry out to heaven in our own day.”
Pope Francis met priests, consecrated men and women and seminarians in Kaunas Cathedral. He spoke about "groaning” for the thirst of God and listening to the groaning of people. Being sad in one’s vocation is a "disease", which turns the consecrated into hardened and fruitless bachelors and spinsters. The consecrated must be fathers and mothers of mercy. "If you do so, when you will be old, you will have a beautiful smile and bright eyes”.
During the Angelus in Kaunas, Pope Francis called on the faithful to pay attention to "the outcast and [. . .] minorities. In this way, we can keep far from our lives and our cultures the possibility of destroying one another, of marginalizing, of continuing to discard whatever we find troublesome or uncomfortable." He has a special thought for the Jewish community, and will visit the site of the Vilnius ghetto, which was destroyed 75 years ago.
Pope Francis celebrated his first Mass in the Baltic States, in Santakos Park in Kaunas, together with hundreds of thousands, remembering the "experiences of the cross" and persecution. “How many of you have also felt your faith shaken because God did not appear to take your side?” Ultimately, “the thirst for power and glory [. . .] is a fruitless and vain attitude.” We should think about ethnic minorities, the jobless who have to emigrate, the elderly, the lonely, or those young people who “lost their roots”.
The Provisional Agreement concerns the appointment of bishops. The Global Times today cited China’s Foreign Ministry, which denied the presence in Beijing of a Vatican delegation. China’s leadership appears divided on the matter. The goal of this “accord is not political but pastoral”.