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|Investiture of the Members of the Third Order. Order and Discipline|
Which is a Thorn in the Side of Liberals
The small church of the Byzantine rite, unified with Rome, has met for its first synod in a century. It wants its own bishop and resources for priestly education.
Bergamo (kath.net/jg) The Russian Greek Catholic Church accuses Pope Francis not to taking their concerns into account so as not to jeopardize the approach to the Russian Orthodox Church. This has been reported by the Wall Street Journal.
The leadership of the church, which is unified with Rome, wishes for its own bishop and resources for priestly formation. Currently, the Russian Greek Catholic Church is headed by Joseph Werth SJ, the Latin diocesan bishop of Novosibirsk.
"The survival of the Russian Greek Catholic Church is at stake," says Lawrence Cross, one of her priests, who lives in Melbourne, Australia. The head of the Russian Greek Catholic Church is meeting for the first synod for a century in Bergamo (Italy).
The relationship with the Russian Orthodox Church is strained. The Moscow Patriarchate tolerates the Greek Catholic clergy in Russia. However, a bishop of the Greek Catholic Church in Russia is unacceptable to the Orthodox, says Ronald Roberson, an adviser to the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the United States. [But Orthodox Bishops in Italy are acceptable?]
With fewer than 30,000 members, the Russian Greek Catholic Church is one of the smallest churches in Rome. Most of them live outside Russia. There are communities in Western Europe, the USA, South America and Australia.
|Heralds in the Basilica of Our Lady of the|
|Priests of the Order|
"Apart from more or less real problems and more or less justified accusations against the founders, these communities have three essential similarities: they are committed to the tradition of the Church (therefore, the more Thomas than Rahner supporters, are characterized by a strong worship of Our Lady of Fatima and are active in the right to life of unborn children), many vocations (which are more suspicious nowadays in church hierarchies and bishops) and have considerable financial resources. "
(Rome) Pope Francis threatens to suspend all priests of a whole diocese in Nigeria a divinis. The ultimatum expires on July 8th.
The conflict is already going back to 2012. At that time Pope Benedict XVI., shortly before retiring his office, assinged a new bishop for the diocese of Ahiara.
The priests and faithful of the diocese have since hindered the new Bishop Peter Ebere from taking possession of his diocese because he does not belong to the Mbaise people as did his predecessor.
Monsignor Okpaleke is Ibo. Cardinal John Onaiyekan, Archbishop of Abuja, has been an Apostolic Administrator of Ahiara ever since.
The Ahiara diocese was established by Pope John Paul II in 1987 and is a suffragan diocese of the Archdiocese of Owerri. Bishop Okpaleke is only the second bishop of the diocese. The number of Catholics in the diocese is more than half a million or about 80 percent of the population. The number of diocesan priests has increased from less than 50 to more than 130 since its establishment.
Last Thursday the Vatican press office announced that Pope Francis had received a delegation from the Ahiara diocese in private audience, accompanied by Cardinal Onaiyekan and Bishop Opaleke. The delegation undertook an ad limina pilgrimage to the tombs of the apostles in Rome.
Discussions about "the tormented situation of the church in Ahiara" also took place with the Cardinal Secretary.
In the audience with Pope Francis, he explained to the delegation that the situation in Ahiara was "unacceptable". After "careful consideration", he maintained there would be "appropriate measures".
What the Press Office did not communicate so directly, but the intelligence service Fides wrote: Pope Francis gave an ultimatum, primarily to the priests of the diocese. Either they accept within 30 days without reservation the appointed bishop, or they will be suspended a divinis. The ultimatum has been public since Thursday.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: Vatican.va (screenshot)
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