Archbishop of Damascus: “Syria a source of mercy”
THE Maronite Archbishop of Damascus, Samir Nassar, has said that five years of violence and “spilled blood” in Syria is also a source of mercy. In a Lenten letter published on the website Independent Catholic News on Saturday, Archbishop Nassar suggests that the work of charities, churches, priests, and families, in “giving consolation and comfort” to some of the 12 million Syrian refugees “remains the resilient and lasting sign of the splendour of mercy”.
Archbishop Hiltz apologises for mistreatment of indigenous people
THE Primate of the Anglican Church in Canada, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, has backed the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and said that it should be read in every parish on 21 June, National Aboriginal Day. Responding to the report Truth and Reconciliation Commission: Call to action, which calls on governments in Canada to reduce the number of Aboriginal children in care, Archbishop Hiltz apologised on behalf of the Church for the “many sins” committed against indigenous people. “For every way in which we insulted their dignity and took their lands, silenced their languages and suppressed their culture, tore apart their families and assaulted their children, I must never weary of saying on behalf of our Church, ‘I am sorry,’” he said, on Saturday.
Majority of Norwegians ‘do not believe in God’ for first time
THE majority of Norwegians “do not believe in God” for the first time in the country’s history, reports from The Independent suggest. In an annual survey of 4000 Norwegians, 39 per cent answered “No” and 39 per cent responded “Don’t know” to the question “Do you believe in God?” When the question was first asked in 1985, 50 per cent said that they believed in God, while only one-fifth said they did not. The data analysts Ipsos Norway, who led the survey, said that since then, the percentage of those unsure of their answer has “been about the same” since it was started 30 years ago.