Archbishop of Brazil condemns impeachment
THE Primate of Brazil, the Most Revd Francisco de Assis da Silva, has described the impeachment of the country’s President, Dilma Rousseff, as a “show of sad cynicism”. Writing in his personal blog, Archbishop da Silva, said that the Senate and the new government run by the Acting President, Michel Temer, had, by voting to begin impeachment proceedings against Ms Rousseff, betrayed the rule of law and ignored their own corruption (News, 6 May and 13 May). “We will not let democracy die,” he wrote.
Australian Primate demands release of Asia Bibi
THE Pakistani Christian woman Asia Bibi, who was sentenced to death in 2010 for alleged blasphemy (News, 19 November 2010), should be freed, the Primate of Australia, the Most Revd Philip Freier, has said. The Archbishop has written to both the Pakistani High Commission in Australia and the Australian Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, demanding that Mrs Bibi’s case be reopened and justice done. “It is clear that a disgraceful application of Pakistan’s blasphemy law has brought tragedy and shame upon Asia Bibi and indeed the beautiful nation of Pakistan,” he wrote in a blog on Monday.
Could going to church extend your life?
WOMEN who attend church once a week are likely to live longer than those who don’t, researchers in the United States have suggested. A study of 74,000 women by academics at Harvard University found that frequent churchgoers had a 33 per cent reduced risk of dying during the 16 years of the study, compared with women who had never attended any services. Attending church was also correlated with fewer deaths from heart disease and cancer. The study’s authors suggest that church attendance might discourage unhealthy habits, such as smoking, besides making the women more optimistic and less prone to depression.
Holy Trinity, Kumamoto, opens doors after earthquake
SURVIVORS of two earthquakes in Japan are being offered support by an Anglican church. Holy Trinity Church in the Kumamoto region, which was hit by powerful earthquakes on 14 and 16 April, has become Kyushu Diocese Support Centre for Victims of the Kyushu Earthquake. The diocese is using expertise gained in response to the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, although the number of people killed in last month’s earthquake, 65, is small by comparison. The diocese of Kyushu is collecting money to help survivors of the earthquake, which has left at least 23,000 without a home.
US bishops urge action on gun control
SIXTY bishops in the Episcopal Church in the United States have thrown their weight behind a campaign to wear orange on 2 June to support new regulation of gun ownership. The group, Bishops United Against Gun Violence, has asked Episcopalians to join the Wear Orange movement, which began after Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old high-school student, was shot fatally in Chicago in 2013. Orange is the colour normally chosen by hunters to ensure that they are not shot by accident. The Bishop of Newark, the Rt Revd Mark Beckwith, who leads the group, said that a huge majority of Americans supported simple gun reform, such as universal background checks on all gun purchases.