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Overseas news in brief

19 January 2011

Griffiths criticises aid agencies in Haiti

THE Revd Lord Griffiths, Superintendent Minister of Wesley’s Chapel in London, has said that if he had the power, he would expel half the aid agencies working in Haiti after last year’s earthquake. Speaking on Premier Radio, he said that Haiti had become “the NGO capital of the world. They’re all looking for a bit of the action to tell their stories back home and to convince their donors that they’re spending their money properly.” Lord Griffiths worked in Haiti in the 1970s, and visited it just after the earthquake struck on 12 January 2010.

John Paul II is set on the road to beatification

POPE Benedict XVI has set in motion the process for beatifying his predecessor, Pope John Paul II, after a French nun, Sister Marie Simon-Pierre, stated that she had been cured of Parkinson’s disease after praying to the late Pope. Pope Benedict has signed a decree confirming the miracle, and the beatification is to take place on 1 May in St Peter’s Square, Rome.

Vancouver breakaways fight on for their buildings

FOUR congregations that broke away from the diocese of New Westminster in Canada over the issue of same-sex blessings have filed an application for leave to appeal against a Supreme Court ruling that awarded their properties to the Anglican Church of Canada. St Matthew’s, Abbotsford, St Matthias and St Luke’s, Vancouver, St John’s, Shaughnessy, and the Church of the Good Shepherd, Vancouver, are now part of the Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC). A decision by the Supreme Court on whether they can appeal is expected in a few months. The Bishop of New Westminster, the Rt Revd Michael Ingham, said that he was “saddened” by the news, which would “consume even more of the time, energy, and money that should be used for the mission of the Church”.

Presiding Bishop urges President to reinvigorate peace talks

THE Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States, Dr Katharine Jefferts Schori, has written to the US President, Barack Obama, urging his administration to take “bold and decisive action to reinvigorate the stalled peace process” between Israel and Palestine. She argued that Security Council resolutions were “not an alternative to a negotiated settlement between the Israelis and Palestinians”.

American pastor to place Qur’an ‘on trial’

TERRY Jones, pastor of the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainsville, Florida, whose threatened “Burn A Koran Day” triggered protests and attacks on Christians in India and Pakistan last September (News, 10 September 2010), is reported to be holding a mock court case over the Qur’an in March, which could lead to its being burnt or shredded.

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