|In a homily delivered by the Pope some time ago at the St Peter’s Square in the Vatican, His Holiness said ‘I am thinking of some benefactors who come and say they like to give this to the church, but these monetary donations sometimes are stained with the blood of many who are exploited, oppressed and enslaved. To those I say: Please, take your donations with you and burn it, the church does not need such donations.’|
When I read these words, I remembered the number of mosques when I passed by bearing the names of people who I knew very well when I worked at the bank and how they acquired that wealth. However, that is another story.
I wrote some time ago an article about the transformations that is expected to affect the Catholic Church, the largest Catholic Church, at the hands of the current head, Pope Francis, on topics of divorce and the use of birth control pills, outlawing abortion, and the ordination of women as priests.
Then there are the other vital things, being the largest church and the most stringent in the world, which has a billion followers and almost a half billion, more than half of the Christians of the world.
We have 40 percent Catholics in Latin America, and 24 percent of them in Europe, especially in the south and west of the continent. Then 16.1 percent of the world’s Catholics live in Africa, and the rest in Asia. The Catholic majority population is in 67 countries. The largest Catholic countries in the world are Brazil, followed by Mexico, the Philippines, the United States and Italy.
The changes that the Pope has planned to introduce, and the previous church flexibility, have attracted many people to the Church, and Christianity today has spread very quickly, after affiliation to it became more accessible, and in keeping with the times.
It is not shameful to emulate them. They have changed and evolved, but remained at the height of their power in religion and culture and the knowledge. Why is it difficult for others to develop and make progress and make worship more accessible, and in line with the times?
What is important to point out here is that the Melkite Catholics (The Melkite Catholic Church is an Eastern Catholic Church in full communion with the Holy See as part of the worldwide Catholic Church), who are mentioned in our previous article, and who represent the Catholics of the east, were originally followers of the Orthodox Church, but in 1724 they joined the Catholic Church in Rome under the leadership of Patriarch Cyril VI after having expressed their desire to secede from the Orthodox church because of the heavy laws imposed on them.
The Pope of Rome, welcomed a request from the Melkite to join the church and considered them a true church in full communion with the Catholic Church, and since that day the Melkites became part of the Catholic Church, and in complete separation from the Patriarchate of Antioch and all the East of Greek Orthodox.
It is a known fact that the Catholic Church runs schools and universities, hospitals, shelters and nursing homes in many countries, and it has the role of political influence in many of them.
We take this occasion to wish the followers of all the churches in Kuwait Merry Christmas, and a year of more love, peace and tolerance.
By Ahmad Al-Sarraf