#ShortNews: Pope beatifies 7 Romanian Greek Catholic bishop-martyrs

All seven of the Greek-Catholic bishops were arrested in 1948. All of them were imprisoned and left to die of hunger, exposure, disease, or the effects of hard labour, and then buried in unmarked graves. The liturgical chair used during the Divine Liturgy in Blaj on Sunday, was made from the wooden planks of the prison beds, and from the iron bars of the prison windows where some of the martyrs died.

Iuliu Hossu, a theology student in Rome. He spent 22 years in prison. His last words were: “My battle is over, yours continues”. He never knew that Pope Paul VI had created him a Cardinal “in pectore” in 1969.

Vasile Aftenie, a theology student in Rome. A year after his arrest he was transferred to the infamous Ministry of the Interior where he suffered terrible tortures and eventually died of his wounds in 1950.

Ioan Balan, in 1929 Ioan Balan was appointed to the Vatican Commission to draw up the new Code of Canon Law of the Eastern Churches. After his arrest in 1948, he was placed in solitary confinement and died in 1959 without ever being tried or sentenced.

Valeriu Traian Frentiu, was ordained a bishop when he was only 37 years of age. Also arrested in 1948, he spent the rest of his life in a concentration camp. When he died in 1952, his body was thrown into an unmarked grave.

Ioan Suciu, was ordained a priest in 1931. He too died of hunger and disease while in prison. In his last letter to the faithful before his arrest, he wrote: “Do not be deceived by vain words, promises, lies… We cannot sell Christ or the Church”.

Tito Liviu Chinezu, was ordained a bishop in prison by those bishops who were themselves prisoners. When the secret of his ordination leaked out, he was transferred to a prison where he died of cold and hunger.

Alexandru Rusu, was consecrated bishop in 1931. Arrested in 1948, he was sentenced to 25 years in prison for instigation and high treason. He died in 1963 and was buried in the prison cemetery without any religious rite.

Source;

https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2019-06/pope-francis-romania-beatification-7-greek-catholic-martyrs.html

https://www.americamagazine.org/faith/2019/06/02/joyous-celebration-romania-pope-francis-beatifies-seven-bishop-martyrs

#ShortNews: Birth control, divorce, premarital sex deemed ‘morally acceptable’ by majority of Americans

Americans have increasingly taken a more liberal view on many of them since then. The latest reading, from a May 1-12 poll, shows that at least 60% of Americans find 10 of the behaviors to be morally acceptable. In addition to birth control (92%), alcohol use (79%), and divorce (77%), sex between unmarried men and women (71%), gambling (68%), smoking marijuana (65%), embryonic stem cell research (64%), having a baby outside of marriage (64%), gay or lesbian relations (63%) and the death penalty (60%) round out that list.

At the other end of the spectrum, there are seven behaviors that fewer than four in 10 Americans deem morally acceptable, including teenage sex (38%), pornography (37%), cloning animals (31%), polygamy (18%), suicide (17%), cloning humans (12%) and extramarital affairs (9%).

The issues that divide Americans most closely are buying and wearing clothing made of animal fur, doctor-assisted suicide, medical testing on animals and abortion. On each, the gap between “morally acceptable” and “morally wrong” views is less than 10 percentage points.

Study more about the other percentages and the changes in ideology here; https://news.gallup.com/poll/257858/birth-control-tops-list-morally-acceptable-issues.aspx

#ShortNews: Iraqi Christians face an impossible choice

The call came in 2014, shortly after Easter. Four years earlier, Catrin Almako’s family had applied for special visas to the United States. Catrin’s husband, Evan, had cut hair for the U.S. military during the early years of its occupation of Iraq. Now a staffer from the International Organization for Migration was on the phone. “Are you ready?” he asked. The family had been assigned a departure date just a few weeks away.

“I was so confused,” Catrin told me recently. During the years they had waited for their visas, Catrin and Evan had debated whether they actually wanted to leave Iraq. Both of them had grown up in Karamles, a small town in the historic heart of Iraqi Christianity, the Nineveh Plain. Evan owned a barbershop near a church. Catrin loved her kitchen, where she spent her days making pastries filled with nuts and dates. Their families lived there: her five siblings and aging parents, his two brothers.

But they also lived amid constant danger. “Everybody who was working with the United States military—they get killed,” Catrin said. Evan had been injured by an explosion near a U.S. Army base in Mosul in 2004. Catrin worried about him driving back and forth to the base along highways that cross some of the most contested land in Iraq. Even after he stopped working for the military, they feared he might be a victim of violence. That fear was compounded by their faith: During the war years, insurgents consistently targeted Christian towns and churches in a campaign of terror.

The Almakos had watched neighbors and friends wrestle with the same question: stay, or go?

Read full story here: https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2019/05/iraqi-christians-nineveh-plain/589819/