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Rome & the World: buying a child in S Sudan • 3 popes? • & more …

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WEB 3 – South Sudanese refugees in Uganda – fleeing the killings, the rapes and the looting PHOTO EU-ECHO-Anouk Delafortrie

Photos: EU/ECHO/Anouk Delafortrie

I.Media - published on 05/27/22

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.

Friday 27 May 2022
1. In Syria, people continue to die and the world is indifferent
2. Buying a child in South Sudan
3. Will there soon be three popes?
4. Pope to meet with victims of Congolese conflict in Goma
5. When your job fills in for your faith

In Syria, people continue to die and the world is indifferent

Syria has disappeared from the media radar. And yet, it is suffering more and more. This is the cry of Archbishop Joseph Tobji, Maronite Archbishop of Aleppo. “Here, the situation is worsening day by day. 90% of the population lives below the poverty line while the world has forgotten us,” he told Vatican News. It is true that the fighting has almost disappeared from the territory, except in the north of the country. However, it is hunger that is now plaguing a population wounded by eleven years of international sanctions. “The entire population has fallen into begging,” says Bishop Tobji. And the war in Ukraine has pushed up the price of wheat and oil, making life almost worse than under the bombs, some of the faithful told the Maronite Bishop. 

Vatican News, French

Buying a child in South Sudan

On the occasion of the Pope’s upcoming trip to South Sudan in early July, Vatican expert Sandro Magister published an article on his blog highlighting the slavery that exists in this region of Africa. Even today, says Beatrice Nicolini, a professor of African history and international relations, it is possible in South Sudan to buy a child from his or her family of origin and sell them for a good profit. “The majority of the raids are aimed at acquiring boys and girls for military and sexual exploitation by rebel militias,” she writes. This practice takes place in the southern region of the country, bordering Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia, a traditionally black and non-Muslim region. No doubt Pope Francis will use his trip to publicly condemn these barbaric actions. 

Settimo Cielo, English 

Will there soon be three popes?

While Pope Francis’ health has deteriorated lately, between a colon operation and his knee pain forcing him to use a wheelchair, speculations continue to run rampant about a possible resignation soon. Meeting recently with the Italian bishops in a plenary assembly, Francis confided that he did not want to undergo surgery under any circumstances, having had a bad experience during his operation in July 2021. “I’d rather resign, than have another operation” he reportedly said, citing his worry about the “problems in the head” that general anesthesia causes. This statement by the Pope, which has not been confirmed by the Vatican, has raised a crucial question in the German press: Will there soon be three popes – two retired and one in office? 

Die Tagespost, German 

Pope to meet with victims of Congolese conflict in Goma

During his upcoming apostolic trip to Africa, Pope Francis will meet with victims of the violent conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo on July 4 in Goma, reports Spanish information site Religión Digital. In a country that has one of the largest numbers of internally displaced persons in recent years, the Pope’s words will be eagerly awaited. The Spanish media outlet also reveals another appointment on the agenda: a visit, on Sunday 3, to the Maman Koko orphanage in Kimbondo. Vatican expert Hernán Reyes Alcaide points out that these two meetings illustrate constant concerns of Francis’ pontificate. The latter, he believes, manages to speak of a larger issue by giving attention to one reality.

Religion Digital, Spanish  

When your job fills in for your faith

“Work is replacing — and in some cases, even taking the form of — religion among many of America’s professionals,” says Carolyn Chen, co-director of the Center for the Study of Religion, at the University of California, Berkeley, in an op-ed published in The New York Times. For her book “Work Pray Code” she interviewed more than 100 workers in Silicon Valley between 2013 and 2018. They told her over and over again that their careers are “spiritual journeys” and their work is a “calling. “The gospel of work is thin gruel, an ethically empty solution to meet our essential need for belonging and meaning. And it is starving us as individuals and communities,” Chen explains in her article. She cites the story of a fervent evangelical Christian who, after joining a tech start-up was left with no time to participate in his church anymore. “Work gave John not only a new identity but also a new purpose in life and a different set of values. Instead of embracing the Christian mission to change the world by spreading the Gospel, John embraced the company mission: to ‘change the world’ with its app,” Chen explains. The scholar says that society, communities and democracy are all negatively affected when people worship work. Worst of all she describes how these people lose all sense of self and identity, as they center their lives around the company they work for.

The New York Times, English  

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