Showing posts with label Catacombs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Catacombs. Show all posts

Friday, September 12, 2014

Islamists Control Libyan Capitol: Christians Hardly Dare to Leave Their Homes

(Tripoli) The Islamists have taken control over Libya's capital Tripoli. Christians hardly dare to leave their homes: "We celebrate Holy Mass as in the times of the great persecutions."

The government and parliament have fled to Tobruk. The Libyan Capitol has sunk into chaos: "Since the West has militarily intervened, armed bands have the say."

The end of August saw the Islamist Misrata Brigade, the Libyan Dawn, capture the international airport In Tripoli. Parliament and government then tool flight. The security situation in the Libyan capital since then has been a "nightmare". "Defenseless, above all are the Christians, says Pater Amado Baranquel for the Catholic News Service.

Celebrating Mass in Secret

The Franciscan priest was a pastor for Philippine guest workers in Libya before the war. Their number before the war was about 13,000. Today he cares for all of the Christians. "For two weeks Christians have hardly dared to leave their homes any more," says Pater Amado. They are afraid of being abused or even killed. "There is no rule of law any more in the city. We don't know who might protect us or come to help us. All Holy Masses have to be celebrated in private in secret and private homes, as in the old times during the great persecutions," is how the Franciscan described the difficult situation.

In Libya there are daily conflicts between Islamists and forces loyal to the government. There are check points on the streets. Before getting to the control point you don't exactly know which side set it up. "Who can we trust? Whom can we ask for help? The question will remain open until we know who will take over the government."

"The Church Stands by Her People"

The situation in Bengazi, the second largest city in Libya, which is controlled by Islamists, is no different. "The Church stands with Her people," exclaims Sylvester Margi, Apostolic Vicar of Bengazi for the Catholic Church, besides the Orthodox Copts and the Greek Orthodox who have excavated their priests from the city. "The Catholic Church has decided to take the religious sisters out of Bengazi into safety." The danger of rape is too great, says the Apostolic Vicar, who is remaining behind in the city.

"We don't know what the future will bring. At the moment there are two governments, two warring parties and countless associated militias and battle groups. nicht, was die Zukunft bringen wird. There are at present not intermediaries," says Pater Amado.

The 115 Parliament members live with their families on a Greek luxury liner about 1.500 Kilometers from the Capitol of Tripoli. They seem prepared to go further into exile. Neither US-Präsident Obama, NATO or the Inited Nations, who toppled the previous president Muammar al-Gaddafi, and simultaneously plummeted the land into it's current chaos, show the least interest to change the situation. The same goes for the EU, despite Libya being a point of departure for most of the immigrants who are attempting to get to the EU through Lampadusa.

Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Bild: Asia news
Trans: Tancred

Thursday, April 11, 2013

“The Faith is Not to Be Negotiated Over” -- Pope Francis and the “Pretension” to Change the World

(Rome) A month after his election to Pope, there is word that Jorge Mario Bergoglio has not yet pronounced the concept religious freedom. Vaticanista Sandro Magister warned about this. Pope Francis did not even use the word, despite the associated expectations, even in his speech on the 22nd of March before the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See with the envoys from around the world.

Once he talked about it, but without mentioning it by the name of religious freedom, and then on Saturday, the 6th April in his morning, improvised short sermon in the chapel of the Vatican guesthouse Domus Sanctae Martae where he lives.

Pope Francis has still never mentioned Religious Freedom

He did so, but in a very special form. Pope Francis said not a word against the persecutors even against those who are trying to strangle the freedom of the believers in a subtile way.

He took a stand in his brief discussion on the side of the persecuted: “In order to meet a martyr you need not go into the Catacombs and the Colosseum: The martyrs are now living in many countries. Christians are persecuted for their faith, today, in the 21st Century, our church is a Church of martyrs. “

Then he identified with the early Christians, by quoting the words of Peter and John, "We can not but speak of what we have seen and heard" [Acts 4:20).

Church Church of martyrs, they are not negotiating the faith

To them there were no ifs and butts to derive a statement: “The faith is not to be negotiated over.”

He continued: "In the history of God's people, there was always this temptation: omit part of the faith, perhaps not much. But the belief is, as we confess in the Creed. The temptation must be overcome to take a little bit so as do like everyone, not to be so very strict, because right there is a journey that begins and ends in apostasy. In fact, when we begin to cut away a piece of the faith, to negotiate the faith in order to sell it to the highest bidder, we enter the road of apostasy, unfaithfulness to the Lord.”

This is religious freedom for Pope Francis, especially, "have the courage to bear witness to the Risen Lord." An unabridged, public faith. A faith that claims to change society, and thus the world.

The “pretension" to change the world - criticism of theory of laicism of the "neutral" state

“The Pretension" is also the title of the book, published a few days ago the sociologist of religion Luca Diotallevi. Practice it started hard criticism of theories of laicism. Theories that are widely apparent even within the Church, appealing improperly to rely on the Second Vatican Council. It specifically concerns the denial of a direct and inseparable link between the Gospel and the social order, which is justified by an alleged "neutrality" of the state.

Diotallevi poses the paradigm of secularism against the paradigm of religious freedom, as it is typical done in the Anglo-Saxon world, but with a theological basis, based on De Civitate Dei of St. Augustine, and eventually to the New Testament.

Accordingly, the Saeculum between the first and second coming of Christ, an encounter between time and eternity, a conflict between sin and grace. This conflict is also attended by the prince, whether thrones or dominions, of which the New Testament speaks, and those who are considered to be the powers of this world. It's the rebel forces, on the cross and resurrection of Jesus who are to win the final victory. A victory that has not yet found its fulfillment. In Saeculum these powers still fluctuate between the extremes of anarchy and absolute rule, while the Church, as a guardian of victory is constantly trying to keep her away from the one and the other extreme.

Diotallevi and historical theology of Joseph Ratzinger

According to Augustine, the New Testament view of history has developed in our day, especially as developed by Oscar Cullmann and Joseph Ratzinger, the latter also in a theology of history, is quoted by Diotallevi in detail.

The really original part of the book, however, is that in which Diotallevi identifies with the celebration of the Eucharist as the source and summit of this “pretension" of the Christian faith to have a design for the social order. Here too the author is seen in continuity with Benedict XVI..

"The Eucharist is the Church visible. It is the victorious work of God breaking into history and it serves as a vision for the people. It is between the two thieves where the scourged Jesus is crucified, with the centurion who recognizes Him and the earth which trembles,” says Sandro Magister. The educated pagans of the first centuries were not wrong when they spoke of the celebration of the liturgy to describe Christianity.

Books for those interested (so far only in Italian edition):

Luca Diotallevi La pretesa. Quale rapporto tra vangelo ordine e sociale? (Entitlement. Which is the relationship between the gospel and social order?) Rubbettino, Soveria Mannelli, 2013, pp. 140, € 12.00.

These days, a book was published by the Archbishop of Milan, Cardinal Angelo Scola, the relationship between state and religion, which deals also critical of the prevailing model of secularism:

Angelo Scola: Non dimentichiamoci di Dio (God does not let us forget), Rizzoli, Milan, 2013, pp. 112, € 15.00.

From katholisches...

Text: Settimo Cielo / Giuseppe Nardi
 Image: Asianews
Translation: Tancred