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World news in brief

19 December 2014


Agony: a statue of Jesus on the cross, on a Roman Catholic church in Australia 

Agony: a statue of Jesus on the cross, on a Roman Catholic church in Australia 

RC report says celibacy may be 'unbearable strain'

AN OFFICIAL report from the Australian Roman Catholic Church has suggested that the vow of celibacy taken by priests may be connected to clerical child abuse. The report, by the RC Church's Truth, Justice and Healing Council, which collaborates with the Australian government inquiry into child abuse, says that "psycho-sexual development" is neces-sary to help celibate seminarians. The council's chief executive, Francis Sullivan, told the newspaper The Australian that celibacy should not end, but that it might be an "unbearable strain" for some priests. A Vatican spokesman dismissed any link between child abuse and celibacy, speaking last Friday.

Nigerian Primate condemns bomb attacks

THE Archbishop of Jos, Dr Benjamin Kwashi, has condemned the latest bomb attacks in the city, which are assumed to be the work of the Islamist militant group Boko Haram. Twin explosions at a market last week killed at least 30 people. Dr Kwashi told the BBC that the victims were innocent, and that Boko Haram would fail in its attempt to incite a religious war.

Iranian pastors' sentence quashed

THREE Christians in Iran have had their six-year prison sentences for "action against national security" quashed after an appeal. Two pastors, Behnam Irani and Matthias Haghnejad, and a deacon, Silas Rabbani, were told on Monday that the charges had been dropped, Christian Solidarity Worldwide said. Mr Rabbani and Mr Haghnejad have been released, but Mr Irani remains in prison, where he is serving a separate sentence for alleged subversion (News, 28 December 2011).

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