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Rome & the World: 5 priests, nun, 2 laypeople kidnapped in Cameroon • electoral college a year from now

Village near Bamenda Cameroon

Shutterstock

Village of Bamenda in Cameroon.

I.Media for Aleteia - published on 09/19/22 - updated on 09/19/22

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.

Monday 19 September 2022
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1. Church attacked and hostages taken in Cameroon
2. Pondering the Church’s electoral college one year from now
3. Giorgia Meloni meets Cardinal Sarah
4. Pope to visit South Sudan in February
5. A rival to Tagle: Why Singapore’s Cardinal Goh could become the next Pope
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Church attacked and hostages taken in Cameroon

On Friday, five Catholic priests, a nun, and two faithful were kidnapped by some unknown assailants who also set fire to St. Mary’s Church in Nchang in Cameroon’s Bamenda province. The local Catholic Church announced the terrible news on Sunday. Violence is common in the region, but according to the bishops, this kidnapping is “completely unprecedented” in its scale. The North-West and South-West regions, populated mainly by Cameroon’s English-speaking minority, have been the backdrop of a deadly conflict for nearly six years: the so-called “Anglophone crisis.” This dispute is between armed groups demanding independence for a state they call “Ambazonia” and the security forces of President Paul Biya, 89, who has ruled Cameroon with an iron fist for nearly 40 years, explains AFP. Both sides are regularly accused by NGOs of committing atrocities against civilians. Pope Francis has regularly wished the country “true and lasting peace,” such as for example during the Regina Caeli prayer on April 24, 2022. Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin also pleaded for peace during a visit to the country in January 2021. While the conflict has left more than 6,000 people dead since late 2016, the English- and French-speaking bishops keep calling for a peaceful solution. Last April, they organized a national pilgrimage to a Marian shrine, where they invited state authorities, with one watchword: Pray for reconciliation. 

TV5 Monde, French

2Pondering the Church’s electoral college one year from now

Crux proposes an interesting article pondering the college of cardinal electors, the men who will be in charge of electing Pope Francis’ successor should he die or resign, in light of the pontiff’s recent creation of 16 new electors. After the age of 80, the members of the College of Cardinals lose their right to participate in the conclave. Every year, therefore, an average of ten cardinals will naturally stop being electors due to their age. By doing a quick calculation, Crux concludes that next year, the number of electors will be precisely 120. This number is the ceiling established by Saint Paul VI in 1975. Even though Popes sometimes exceed this number, they try to stay close to it, for practical as well as spiritual reasons. The account in the Acts of the Apostles indicates that there were about 120 disciples when they chose a successor to Judas, one of the 12 apostles who betrayed Jesus. In September 2023, when the Pope will be 86 years old and the Synod on synodality will be coming to an end, there will be 120 cardinals – unless the pontiff decides to create more in the meantime. Crux journalist John Allen points out that, among the 11 who will turn 80 this year, 7 are Italian. The fall of the “Italian party” will therefore accelerate. North America will have 14 cardinals (more than Italy), Europe 45, South America and Asia will have 21, Africa will have 16 and Oceania 3. Crux notes that Europe will still be over-represented with 37.5% of the cardinal electors, while the Old Continent now represents only about 20% of Catholics. 

Crux, English 

3. Giorgia Meloni meets Cardinal Sarah

Giorgia Meloni, president of the far-right Fratelli d’Italia party, is seeking support from conservative prelates in the Vatican on the eve of the parliamentary elections. 

La Repubblica, Italian 

4. Pope to visit South Sudan in February

After the cancellation of his trip in July, the Vatican has rescheduled the visit of the Pontiff to this country, a priori in February 2023. 

EyeRadio, English

5. A rival to Tagle: Why Singapore’s Cardinal Goh could become the next pope

While Filipino Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle remains a serious papabile, Singapore’s Archbishop William Cardinal Goh is emerging as another Asian contender. 

Catholic Herald, English

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Rome & the World
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