Rome & the World: Archbishop Welby: Pope Francis may visit South Sudan soon – Laity fear voices will not be heard in synodal process
Every day, Aleteia offers a selection of articles written by the international press about the Church and the major issues that concern Catholics around the world. The opinions and views expressed in these articles are not those of the editors.
Wednesday 9 February 2022
1 – Archbishop Welby: Pope Francis may visit South Sudan “in the next few months”
2 – Synod: Pope hit the reset button, says a Dutch theologian
3 – Vatican ambassador to India insists caste plays no role in bishop selection
4 – Laity fear voices will not by heard in synodal process
5 – From a helicopter, Colombian bishop blesses violent city
According to Archbishop Welby of Canterbury, Pope Francis may visit South Sudan “in the next few months.”
Referring to the South Sudanese leaders, the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said that if “God willing, sometime in the next few months, perhaps year, we will go and see them in Juba, not in Rome, and see what progress can be made.” In 2017, Pope Francis’ planned trip to South Sudan was postponed due to the country’s deteriorating security situation. Then, in 2019, the Pontiff welcomed a delegation of five South Sudanese leaders to Rome for a retreat. He then kissed their feet, urging them not to plunge the country back into civil war. The Vatican’s number three, Archbishop Paul Gallagher, also visited Juba in December 2021 to meet with the country’s political leaders.
Agenzia Nova, Italian
For Dutch theologian Myriam Wijlens, Pope Francis has given a “fresh start” to a more than 100-year-old theological question by initiating the Synod on synodality. Since the First Vatican Council, she explains, the place of the “People of God” has become a central issue, as the pontifical role has been redefined. “It’s not just a matter of thinking about structures,” the Synod advisor argues, but of nourishing the dialogue of the Church’s members with the Word of God. It is not a matter of establishing an ecclesial parliamentarianism, she insists – though encouraging voting on issues – but of determining together in whose name the priest, the bishop and the pope are speaking. This, she insists, can only be done by reaching a “consensus,” a process that requires patience in the first place.
Vatican ambassador to India insists caste plays no role in bishop selection
In a statement sent to Crux the Apostolic Nunciature in India wanted to clarify that “there is no discrimination in the selection of episcopal candidates and in the appointment of new Bishops” with regards to “ethnicity, caste, language or social status.” The Nunciature felt the need to reaffirm their strong condemnation of the caste system, still largely in place in some segments of Indian society, after the Apostolic Nuncio to India, the Italian Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli, met with the Dalit Christian Liberation Movement (DCLM) on February 2. The Dalits, often called the “untouchables,” are the lowest level of the Hindu caste system. This DCLM was criticizing the fact that in the areas of Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry, where 70% of Catholics are Dalit, there is only one Dalit bishop in 18 dioceses.