At least 100,000 Afghan soldiers monitor the security at polls. Out of 5,000 polling stations, at least 400 cannot function because they are located in areas controlled by the Taliban. Hundreds more closed for security reasons. The scepticism of voters.
Too often there is talk of "new paths", but "old" ideological patterns are again rooted in 1968 and in the 1970s and 1980s. Cultural anthropology silences the proclamation of Jesus Christ. The exaltation of service reduces the Church to a NGO robbed of all of her mystery. Secularism renders testimony timid. A spiritual desertification is taking place, and the Pentecostal sects are taking advantage. Some pastoral proposals.
Pope Francis mentioned the victims of the synagogue attack in Halle, Germany, in his prayer yesterday afternoon. Today work in the smaller groups began. Discussions also focused on the tragedy of drug trafficking and its consequences.
For Fr. Martìn Lasarte, a Salesian, the "viri probati" proposal risks being a response born of imbedded clericalism. The Church’s history is rich with examples of fruitful evangelizations carried out by baptized lay people, without any priests (Korea, Vietnam and today many African nations). One contribution to the debate that is inflaming the Extraordinary Synod on the Amazon.
Bishop Kräutler: "Indigenous peoples do not understand celibacy". Deepen and disseminate a theological literature that includes, together with traditionally known sins, "ecological sins" that treat sin against the environment as a sin against God, against one's neighbor and future generations.
In the story of Paul's conversion, "the Risen One manifests His being one with those who believe in Him: to strike a member of the Church is to strike Christ himself! Even those who are ideologues because they want the so-called "purity" of the Church, strike Christ "
Much has been said about the ecology, migrations and predatory extractive models in the 3rd General Congregation of the Synod, but also about the formation of seminarians and laity, of the ordination of married elders and female deaconates. Violence against nature and against the natives who defend it was another very present topic. "The destruction of nature contradicts the Christian faith, and invokes the responsibility of all to seek a new concept of development and progress".
"We approach Amazonian communities on tiptoe, respecting their history, their cultures, their lifestyle," he explained, far from the "ideological colonisations that destroy or reduce" the traits of peoples and which today are so commonplace.”
The work of the Special Assembly opens. The goal, indicated by Francis, is "to find new ways to evangelize that portion of the People of God, especially the indigenous, often forgotten and without the prospect of a peaceful future, also due to the crisis of the Amazon forest, lung of capital importance for our planet ”.
Francis opened the Synod on the Amazon, where many of our brothers and sisters “are bearing heavy crosses and awaiting the liberating consolation of the Gospel, the Church’s caress of love”. For “how many times has there been colonization rather than evangelization! May God preserve us from the greed of new forms of colonialism. The fire set by interests that destroy, like the fire that recently devastated Amazonia, is not the fire of the Gospel.”
Pope Francis created 13 new cardinals, 10 electors and 3 over 80. Compassion "is written in the Christ’s heart; it is forever written in the heart of God." “The readiness of a cardinal to shed his own blood – as signified by the scarlet colour of your robes – is secure if it is rooted in this awareness of having been shown compassion and in the ability to show compassion in turn.” Asia now has 16 cardinal electors.
Francis ordained four new bishops: Mgr Michael Czerny, Mgr Paolo Borgia, Mgr Antoine Camilleri, and Mgr Paolo Rudelli. For him, bishops must seek a threefold closeness: “closeness to God through prayer, closeness to presbyters in the presbyterial college, and closeness to the people.”
Ceremony in the Vatican gardens. "Many say that consecrated life is going through a winter. It may be so ”. "In this situation, the great challenge is to cross the winter to flourish and bear fruit."
Card. Hummes presents the Assembly, opening on October 6, saying that "there are not two crises, one ecological and one social, but only one socio-environmental crisis", "the solutions require an integral approach, to fight poverty, restore dignity to the excluded and take care of creation, because everything is inter-connected ".
The program of the visit is published. After John Paul II, Francis will be the second pontiff to visit the two countries.