In Brief

In Brief A man stands inside a damaged church in the village of Tel Nasri, Syria. Credits: RODI SAID/REUTERS
Cologne cardinal warns German Church’s Synodal Path could cause schism

Cologne Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki warned that the Synodal Path reform project could lead to a “German national church. The worst outcome would be if the Synodal Path leads to a schism…with the universal Church,” Cardinal Woelki told Germany’s Catholic News Agency, KNA.

The Catholic Church in Germany launched the Synodal Path in 2019. Scheduled to run for two years, it is debating the issues of power, sexual morality, priestly existence, and the role of women in the Church. The aim is to restore trust lost in the clergy abuse scandal. But the cardinal urged participants to avoid creating “unfulfillable hopes” regarding the ordination of women priests. This would cause frustration, he told KNA, because the issue had been decided by St John Paul II.


Hope is dying in Syria, cardinal warns

With no end of conflict and no path toward economic recovery in sight, the Syrian people are losing hope that any sense of peace and normalcy will return, said the apostolic nuncio to Syria.

“Unfortunately, what is dying in the hearts of many people, is hope,” Cardinal Mario Zenari [pictured] told the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano.

“After 10 years of war, many – after no longer seeing economic recovery and reconstruction – are losing hope and this hurts a lot,” he said. “Losing hope means truly losing something fundamental and essential for life. We must try to restore confidence, to give hope back to these poor people.”

While hostilities in the country have dramatically decreased since the signing of a ceasefire in March and the Covid-19 pandemic, the cardinal said, the destruction wrought by the conflict continued to devastate the lives of countless men, women and children.


Christian communicators can bring hope to world in crisis, Pope says

l It is important to have Christian media that provide quality coverage of the life of the Church and that are capable of forming people’s consciences, Pope Francis has said.

Professional Christian communicators “must be heralds of hope and trust in the future. Because only when the future is welcomed as something positive and possible does the present become liveable, too,” he said. The Pope made his remarks on September 18, in a private audience at the Vatican with staff members of Tertio, a Belgian weekly magazine specializing in Christian and Catholic perspectives.

The print and online publication was celebrating the 20th anniversary of its founding. “In the world we live in, information makes up an integral part of our daily life,” he said.


Knights of Holy Sepulchre give $3.5 million in emergency aid to Holy Land

As members of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem around the world were experiencing their own Covid-19 lockdowns, they contributed some $3.5 million to a special fund to support the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, especially its schools and charitable outreach.

“Despite the difficult conditions on a global level, generosity was not lacking,” said a statement from the order’s Vatican headquarters.

Cardinal Fernando Filoni, grand master of the order, announced in May a special Covid-19 Humanitarian Support Fund because “the Holy Land, where the very economic lifeblood of thousands of families lies in religious pilgrimages and tourism, has been seriously affected”.