Amid prayers for peace, Vatican-Israeli tensions were on display

 — June 7, 20247 juin 2024

The Oct. 7 terrorist attack on Israel and Israel’s massive military response in Gaza have led to strong papal pleas for peace but also to Vatican-Israeli diplomatic tensions.

At a concert and reception June 6, Raphael Schutz, the Israeli ambassador to the Holy See, told guests, “It is no secret that after Oct. 7, at some junctions, Israel and the Holy See have not seen eye to eye the same reality in the Middle East. In such moments, as well as during my 41 years as a diplomat, I’ve believed that being frank and speaking clearly was no opposite to being diplomatic.”

Archbishop Paul R. Gallagher, the Vatican foreign minister, told the ambassador and his guests, “In conflicts, the Holy See must adhere to the principle of neutrality, which does not mean being morally indifferent.”

“In fact,” he continued, “the Holy See does not close its doors to anyone and strives to understand everyone’s motivations and perspectives. In this regard, it is very much appreciated when the positions of one’s own authorities are timely presented through the appropriate diplomatic forum and channels. Indeed, diplomatic relations with the Holy See are precisely bilateral diplomatic relations and not just a matter of public diplomacy.”

The comments, during the event at the Jewish Museum of Rome, reminded the audience of two incidents in particular: Pope Francis describing the ongoing conflict as “terrorism” in remarks Nov. 22, and Schutz responding indirectly at a news conference the same day. And, more recently, Schutz publishing in a Rome newspaper a rebuttal to an article in L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, which argued that criticizing Zionism is not the same as being antisemitic.

The event at the museum was a delayed commemoration of the 76th anniversary of Israel’s declaration of independence. It also coincided with the 30th anniversary of the Vatican and Israel launching formal diplomatic relations and with the 10th anniversary of Francis and Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople praying for peace in the Holy Land with Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the Vatican Gardens.

The commemoration included prayers for peace and a long musical program composed mainly of liturgical songs in Hebrew performed by the choir of Rome’s main synagogue.

Schutz told his guests, “October 7 has been the worst day in these 76 years. The 1,400 Israelis that were massacred that day, not only were the highest number of Jews killed in one day since the Holocaust, but the brutality of the crime, its horrendous nature and all details that were related to it made the Israeli collective mind inevitably jump back to a past of pogroms and persecutions.”

When he arrived in Rome, he said, he was hoping Israel and the Holy See could work together exploring and promoting how Francis’ teaching on the environment and on human fraternity coincided with “the Jewish concept of ‘tikkun olam,’ repairing the world.”

The ambassador said he hoped that still would be possible, but “it seems to me that in the short run, some healing process is needed and before we move forward, we may need to discuss some basics. Maybe the 60th anniversary next year of ‘Nostra Aetate,’ (the Second Vatican Council document that launched a new era of Catholic respect for the Jews and for Judaism) can serve us as a conceptual framework for this process.”

Gallagher noted that in his document officially announcing the Holy Year 2025, “Pope Francis wrote, ‘The need for peace challenges us all and demands that concrete steps be taken. May diplomacy be tireless in its commitment to seek with courage and creativity every opportunity to undertake negotiations aimed at everlasting peace.'”

“This is my hope and wish for the state of Israel and its neighbors,” the archbishop said: “Peace, shalom, salaam.”

Posted: June 7, 2024 • Permanent link:
Categories: CNSIn this article: Israel, Palestine, peace, Vatican
Transmis : 7 juin 2024 • Lien permanente :
Catégorie : CNSDans cet article : Israel, Palestine, peace, Vatican

Members of the official Anglican–Roman Catholic International Commission pose for a photo during their meeting May 11-18, 2024, in Strasbourg, France. Archbishop Bernard Longley of Birmingham, England, center left, is the Catholic co-chair of the commission, and Archbishop Philip Freier of Melbourne, Australia, center right, is the Anglican co-chair

Anglican-Catholic dialogue examines churches’ ethical teachings

 — May 29, 202429 mai 2024

Recognizing that the Christian churches continually are called to grapple with new moral issues and that reaching different conclusions can complicate the search for Christian unity, a commission of Catholic and Anglican bishops and theologians has been studying how their traditions make decisions and what they can learn from each other.

Members of the official Anglican–Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) met May 11-18 in Strasbourg, France, to continue their examination of “how the Church local, regional and universal discerns right ethical teaching,” according to a statement released May 27.

“For the first time in its work, ARCIC III has chosen to include two case studies as part of its reflection — one where Catholics and Anglicans reached broadly the same teaching, and one where they did not. These case studies, on Enslavement and Contraception, illustrate the doctrinal and structural similarities and differences between the two communions and also serve to highlight unresolved questions,” the statement said.
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Christian Witness in an Increasingly Multi-Faith (and Secular) Canada | One Body

 — May 16, 202416 mai 2024

A few weeks ago, I attended the “Grand Opening” event of a new Buddhist Temple recently constructed in my north Edmonton neighbourhood. It was a beautiful event, marked by ritual and ceremony, hospitality and fellowship. It also involved a fair bit of informal interfaith dialogue with the monks of the temple and between fellow visitors of various traditions, who, like me, appreciated the opportunity to see inside the temple and to learn what this new community was all about.

This is now the third new non-Christian prayer space and second Buddhist temple to open in my neighbourhood in recent years, the other being a new mosque, adding to the array of Christian churches and other prayer spaces already present there. It also reflects the diversity of the population that now lives in “our part” of the city: a population that values spiritual realities and draws life from religious traditions “ever ancient, ever new,” to steal St. Augustine’s formulation.
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Representatives from the three partner churches stand in front of the construction site at Bloor Street United Church in Toronto. The national offices for the Anglican, Presbyterian, and United churches will be moving to the newly-built offfice space in 2026. From left to right: Rev. Douglas Ducharme, minister of Bloor Street United, Rev. Victor Kim, principal clerk of the PCC, Rev. Michael Blair, general secretary of the UCC, Rev. Alan Perry, general secretary of the ACC, and Bob Hilliard, trustee of Bloor Street United

Anglican, Presbyterian, and United churches sign lease to share national office space

 — May 10, 202410 mai 2024

It’s official; the national offices of the Anglican Church of Canada, the United Church of Canada, and the Presbyterian Church in Canada will be moving in together after signing leases to share space at a redeveloped church site in downtown Toronto.

General Secretary of the ACC General Synod, Archdeacon Alan Perry, said in a May 7 staff email, followed by a public news release the following day, that all three churches had signed leases to share national office space at the renovated site of Bloor Street United Church, located at 300 Bloor Street West in the Annex-University of Toronto neighbourhood. Construction on the new facility is “well underway,” he added, with a target to move in by spring 2026.
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Candles for peace floating on the river Thames near Oxford, England

Called to Be Salt and Light: Open Up Space to Stand for Peace

 — May 10, 202410 mai 2024

The Canadian Council of Churches’ Commission on Justice and Peace deplores the violence and cycle of reprisals in Palestine and Israel that is leading to thousands of lives lost and even more death, suffering, and trauma to come.

We call on Christian communities across Canada to be salt and light in a way that opens up space to stand for peace with justice for all.
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Pope Francis gives a gift to Anglican Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury during a meeting with Anglican primates in the Apostolic Palace at the Vatican

Meeting Anglican primates, Pope Francis talks about overcoming divisions

 — May 2, 20242 mai 2024

Unity within Christian communities and the unity of all the churches will grow only as believers draw closer to Jesus and learn to be honest in examining if they are listening to the Holy Spirit or to their own preferences, Pope Francis told leaders of the worldwide Anglican Communion.

“We are called to pray and to listen to one another, seeking to understand each other’s concerns and asking ourselves, before enquiring of others, whether we have been docile to the promptings of the Holy Spirit or prey to our own personal or group opinions,” Pope Francis said May 2 as he welcomed to the Vatican Anglican Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury and the primates of the Anglican churches.

“Surely, the divine way of seeing things will never be one of division, separation or the interruption of dialogue,” the pope said. “Rather, God’s way leads us to cling ever more fervently to the Lord Jesus, for only in communion with him will we find full communion with one another.”

Pope Francis read his speech to the group, but also set aside time to respond to the primates’ questions, Archbishop Linda Nicholls, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, told reporters. The questions, she said, allowed the pope to talk about “his own passions in ministry, unity in diversity, harmony, and he said in several ways that ‘war is always, always, always a defeat.'”
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The skyline of Rome from the south of Vatican City with the dome of St. Peter's Basilica on the left and the Apostolic Palace in the centre

2024 Anglican Primates’ Meeting will be held in Rome for pilgrimage, consultation, and meeting with Pope Francis

 — Apr. 24, 202424 avril 2024

Senior archbishops, presiding bishops, and moderators of the churches of the Anglican Communion will meet in Rome for the 2024 Primates’ Meeting (April 29-May 3). Conceived as a pilgrimage, they will pray and study Scripture together, visit holy sites in Rome, and reflect together about the mission and witness of the Church in the world.

In the first gathering of Anglican Primates to be held in Rome, the Primates’ programme will include a meeting with Pope Francis and conversation with Cardinal Grech about the meaning and promise of synodality for the whole Church.

The city of Rome is full of historical and spiritual significance for the whole Christian world. Pope Gregory the Great sent Augustine of Canterbury on mission to England in 597. Especially since the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), Rome has been a centre of inter-Christian encounter and ecumenical research.
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The Fourth Global Gathering was held in Accra, Ghana by the Global Christian Forum

Message of the Fourth Global Gathering of the Global Christian Forum

 — Apr. 20, 202420 avril 2024

The rain came with a cool breeze, driving away the humid heat through the open windows of the church. An auspicious blessing from God! So began the collective story of the 4th Global Gathering of the Global Christian Forum in Ghana, a country where Christianity is vibrant and thriving. An outpouring of hospitality and generosity characterised our time together from 16-19 April, 2024.

The very first youth gathering in GCF’s history preceded the main Forum from 13-15 April. The diversity and vision of the young adults gave energy to their own conversations about justice, hope, and reconciliation.

This is the 25th Anniversary of the Global Christian Forum, something we celebrated joyfully. Throughout its existence, the GCF has been a unique space for all major streams of Christianity to be together for encounter and prayer. It is the broadest expression of Christian faith and one that reflects the movement of the majority of churches from the global north to the global south.
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Mosaic depicting the baptism of Christ in the Arian Baptistry in Ravenna, Italy

Baptism in Ecumenical Dialogue: Questions about the Trinitarian Formula | One Body

 — Apr. 12, 202412 avril 2024

With our recent celebration of the Easter Vigil in mind, it’s a good time to reflect on the ecumenical significance of baptism and offer a brief review of some of the dialogues that have taken place on this topic. From a Catholic perspective, the ecumenical significance of baptism is clearly affirmed in Vatican II’s Decree on Ecumenism, which states that: “all who have been justified by faith in baptism are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers [and sisters] by the children of the Catholic Church” (#3).
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Cardinal Víctor Manuel Fernández, prefect of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, speaks at a news conference to present the dicastery's declaration, <i>Dignitas Infinita</i> ('Infinite Dignity'), on human dignity at the Vatican press office

New Vatican document combines modern transparency with eternal teaching

 — Apr. 11, 202411 avril 2024

Two things struck me while reading Dignitas Infinita or “Infinite Dignity,” the new declaration on surrogacy, gender and life from the Vatican released April 8 by the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith.

For one, the document sets a new standard for transparency about how it was written, and, second, it goes to lengths to impress on its readers how long the church has taught on these topics.

The document, which applies church teaching to current threats to human dignity, makes clear that human dignity does not depend on wealth, intelligence, social status or abilities, but on the intrinsic worth of every human being.
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