Cathedral’s renovation prompts Dean to move on
THE Dean of Taranaki Cathedral in New Zealand, the Very Revd Jamie Allen, has resigned, telling the congregation that he is not the person to lead them through a period during which the building will be closed to improve its resilience to earthquakes, Taranki Daily News reports. “I am simply not the person to see through a lengthy remediation project on a building, beautiful and sacred though it is,” he said this month. He will focus on establishing the Taranaki Retreat, a suicide-prevention initiative.
Archbishop criticises ‘mischievous’ Malaysian leader
THE Archbishop of South East Asia, the Most Revd Bolly Lapok, has criticised the President of the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party, Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, who said that Christianity was brought to Sabah and Sarawak because it was “no longer attractive” in European countries, and that missionaries used unethical means to spread Christianity. “He is a person of no substance,” the Archbishop told the Malaysian Insider. “Humans are imperfect, but to dismiss the whole missionary movement as rejected in Europe is completely arrogant and mischievous.”
Pope extends foot-washing to women
POPE FRANCIS has issued a decree stating that priests can wash the feet of both women and men in Maundy Thursday ceremonies. In a letter to Cardinal Robert Sarah, published by the Vatican, the Pope said that he had made the change “so that it might express more fully the meaning of Jesus’s gesture in the Cenacle: His giving of Himself unto the end for the salvation of the world; His limitless charity”.
Pakistani girl murdered after rejecting man’s advances
A PAKISTANI Christian girl was run over by a car and killed after she rejected the advances of the men who drove it, the British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA) has reported. The girl, Kiran Masih, aged 17, was reportedly walking home with two friends in Lahore when four young men in a car accosted them and made sexual advances. The men then drove into the group, killing Miss Masih and injuring her two friends, it is alleged. The BPCA, which is supporting Miss Masih’s family financially, said that the family were struggling to get the local police to properly investigate the incident, and that violence against poor Christians in Pakistan is rarely met with the full weight of the law.
One Sudanese Christian released, but others still in jail
A SUDANESE church leader, the Revd Kwa Shamal, who was arrested by the security services in December has been released from prison. He was detained at his home last month, but has now been unconditionally released, Christian Solidarity Worldwide has said. But another pastor, the Revd Hassan Abduraheem, and a Christian activist, Talahon Nigosi Kassa Ratta, who were also picked up by security agents in December, are still being held in an unknown location. Neither has been charged.