- Jan 18, 2020
As millions of Americans woke up the day after Thanksgiving ready to swamp stores and take advantage of the traditional sales, they probably don’t realize that “Black Friday” is now marked in countries around the world that don’t even celebrate the American holiday.
Bishop Jose Maria Gil Tamayo, former secretary and spokesman of the Spanish bishops’ conference, said there’s an attempt to “extend an unfair veil of suspicion over the immense multitude of priests.”
Cardinal Wilfrid Napier of Durban, South Africa, said Saturday that the working document for the Oct. 3-28 Synod of Bishops doesn’t take account of African realities, where young people aren’t leaving the Church but flocking to it.
While the Vatican hosted a major summit on Europe on Friday featuring some 350 spiritual and political leaders from across the continent, nobody seemed eager to touch the big European story of the day — Catalonia’s vote to declare independence, and Spain’s move to impose direct rule. That may reflect both the sensitivity of the issue, and the fact that the Church isn’t of one mind.
The Spanish ambassador to the Vatican, Ambassador Gerardo Bugallo, had a private meeting with Pope Francis, and afterwards a weekly Catholic magazine Vida Nueva, wrote that the pope spoke to Bugallo about the “Holy See’s position against every self-determination process that is not justified by a process of decolonization.”
As an independence vote looms on Sunday in the Spanish region of Catalonia, the Church seems as badly divided as Spaniards themselves. Officially, they’re urging dialogue and calm, but some Catalonian prelates and clergy are openly supporting the secessionist movement, while others are maintaining their distance from the drive for independence.