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LA STAMPA

Pope Benedict To Clamp Down On ‘Creative’ Liturgy

An end to hand-clapping masses and showman priests in papal document reportedly aimed at cracking down on abuses of traditional Catholic ceremonies.

Pope Benedict XVI (Rohan Chennal)
Pope Benedict XVI (Rohan Chennal)
Giacomo Galeazzi

ROME - Enough ‘do-it-yourself" Eucharistic prayers, lay people preaching sermons, gospel-style songs of worship, rainbow peace flags adorning the altar. Away with informal baptism or communion services where the new arrivals receive the rites seated around a table, or in the mold of a "World Cup mass' in Amsterdam last year where a priest fielded goals his parishioners kicked up the church aisle.

Pope Benedict XVI is due to sign a motu proprio, a document produced at his own initiative, which heralds a crackdown on what he sees as liturgical abuses. This document will also change the way in which the Church handles issues related to matrimonial issues such as the 500 cases each year of marriages not consummated sexually though the rite is celebrated in church.

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Geopolitics

Our 'Emotional' Divide: How The Ukraine War Reveals A World Broken In Two

Russia's invasion has created a stark global divide: them and us. On one side are the countries refusing to condemn Moscow, with the West on the other. It's a dangerous split that could have repercussions far into the future.

Protesters against the war in Ukraine demonstrate in front of the Russian embassy in London

Dominique Moïsi

-Analysis-

PARIS — "The West and the Rest of Us." That's the title of a 1975 essay written by Nigerian essayist and critic Chinweizu Ibekwe. I've been thinking about his words as the war in Ukraine both reveals and accelerates divisions of the world that I believe are ultimately "emotional" in nature.

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With war returning to Europe and the risk of escalation, there is a gap between the Western view and that of the "others," a distinct "us and them." This gap cannot be explained in strictly geographical, political, and economic terms.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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