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Rome & the World: Heresy to read Bible as scientific text – Mass on an inflatable mattress shocks Italians – & more…

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I.Media for Aleteia - published on 08/02/22 - updated on 08/03/22

Every day, Aleteia offers a selection of articles written by the international press about the Church and the major issues that concern Catholics around the world. The opinions and views expressed in these articles are not those of the editors.

Tuesday 2 August 2022

1. Bishop in Kazakhstan hopes the Pope’s trip will bring peace

2. The Pope’s astronomer : “It is heresy to read the Bible as a scientific text”

3. A mass on an inflatable mattress at the beach shocks Italians

1Bishop in Kazakhstan hopes the Pope’s trip will bring peace

“We wait for the Pope with all our hearts and with the hope that he can give us and the world a contribution of peace and solidarity,” said Italian Bishop of Karaganda, Kazakhstan, Adelio Dell’Oro, in an interview with Catholic press agency SIR, after the announcement today of Pope Francis’ visit to the Central Asian country from 13 to 15 September. The Pope will visit the capital Nur-Sultan to attend the VII Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions. The Bishop sees the trip as a “great ecumenical possibility for Pope Francis” and says “it seems that Patriarch Kirill will also come” meaning it could be an opportunity for the two religious leaders to meet again. The Bishop says he feels there is a desire amongst the Kazakhstani people to meet a person like Pope Francis “who has an authoritative voice in the world.”

SIR, Italian  

2The Pope’s astronomer: “It is heresy to read the Bible as a scientific text”

Guy Consolmagno is not a priest like any other. This Jesuit, director of the Vatican Observatory, is a top scientist and it is in his capacity as an astrophysicist that he was interviewed by the Spanish magazine Alfa y Omega. The interview is about a major trending news topic, the publication of the first images of the universe taken by the NASA telescope, ‘James Webb.’ He recounts the emotion he felt when looking at these images for the first time, evoking their “beauty.” The success of the Webb telescope mission is “almost a miracle,” he assures. He hopes that, by studying the image, scientists will be able to find evidence of ozone, a condition that implies the existence of free oxygen, indicating that perhaps life is possible on other planets. He also explained how he does not separate “the eyes of the science and the eyes of faith” because for him the two points of view are complementary to one another. He therefore warns against some Christian’s unnecessary fear of scientific discoveries, especially in light of the fact that next summer the Webb telescope will start transmitting images of events that occurred 13 billion years ago. “Any Christian who is afraid of what science reveals about the universe simply has no faith in his or her faith,” he exclaimed, criticizing as a “modern heresy” those that consider the Bible to be a scientific text. On the contrary, the priest assures us, citing the names of Volta, Ampère, Mendel or Secchi, that there are many believers who have helped and still help to better understand the universe.

Alfa y Omega, Spanish  

3A mass on an inflatable mattress at the beach shocks Italians

Vatican journalist Francesco Antonio Grana publishes a cry of anger. Recently, a Milanese priest celebrated mass in a bathing suit in the sea on the beach in Crotone, southern Italy, using a simple inflatable mattress as an altar. “There is no possible justification for an episode that, to say the least, is shameful and has offended the sensibilities of both believers and non-believers, offering a deplorable image of how an Italian parish lives the liturgy,” the journalist judges severely.

Both the local diocese and the Milan archdiocese condemned Father Mattia’s actions, who promptly apologized. He also faces a possible penalty for “offending” a religious denomination from Crotone’s prosecutor office. The Italian journalist sees in this episode a sign of a wider deterioration of the liturgy in certain Italian parishes. He even speaks of a “flood of acts bordering on sacrilege,” which he attributes to the “egocentrism of some priests,” who believe their altar is a “stage,” or engage in desperate actions to try and bring believers back to the church. He points the finger at some bishops “who are sometimes distracted, if not complicit and capable of worse profanations.” “Do those who attend the celebrations really want this?” the Vatican journalist asks rhetorically, defending the right of the faithful “to Mass celebrated in accordance with liturgical norms,” and not according to “fashions” or “the celebrant’s fantasy.” 

Il Fatto Quotidiano, Italian.

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