Today’s News Briefs: Barros, China, & Paul VI

Here is a summary of the major stories we’re keeping an eye on today:

  • The Bishop Barros story continues to progress, as we reported yesterday, with some members of the pope’s own commission on sexual abuse now going public with information that he received a victim letter in 2015, contrary to his claims of no victim having come forward. Abuse victim and former commission member Marie Collins tweeted yesterday, “This is why I was shocked when I heard the Pope had said on the plane the Karadima victims had not come to him and he would listen if they did. I knew they had contacted him directly with this letter three years ago! “. Nicole Winfield from the Associated Press, who broke the latest development in the story, offers a timeline summary of events today at Crux to help put the story in order.
  • The Vatican-China Compromise continues to defy belief. Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, has now praised the Communist Chinese government as “best implementing the social doctrine of the Church”. Sorondo virtually gushes about China’s approach to poverty, drugs, the economy, and the environment. (Not mentioned, in light of Pope Francis’ comments that capital punishment “is, in itself, contrary to the Gospel” [spoiler: it isn’t], is that China is the death penalty capital of the world, even treating it like a spectator sport.) Meanwhile, Roberto de Mattei’s Corrispondenza Romana reports that new Chinese regulations in 2018 will clamp down on retreats and private religious gatherings in both the official Chinese Church and the underground Church — with the latter facing more severe consequences. “Religious schools can meet only if they are registered and above all only under the control of the state. All other cases, including the celebration of Holy Mass, will be considered ‘illegal religious activity .” The Global Times — a China-based English-language tabloid with ties to the Chinese government — is running a piece today accusing “Western media outlets” and “right-wing commentators in the West” of amplifying a “civil war within the Catholic Church” over this issue.
  • Paul VI is going to be canonized, according to Andrea Tornielli of La Stampa. At Vatican Insider today, Tornielli reports that “Paul VI will be canonized soon” following the approval of a “miracle attributed to the intercession of Giovanni Battista Montini”.  The only thing left, writes Tornielli, is “Francis’ approval and the announcement of the date for the canonization.” The alleged miracle involved a healing of an unborn baby at five months’ gestation. The child’s mother was said to have been at risk of miscarriage from a (unspecified) disease, but gave birth to a healthy baby girl after asking for Montini’s intercession.
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