Pope Francis: little prospect of women priests ever
THE Pope, speaking to reporters, has dismissed the possibility that women will ever be ordained in the Roman Catholic Church. “St Pope John Paul II had the last clear word on this and it stands, this stands,” he said on Tuesday. When pressed further on whether this meant “for ever”, he replied: “If we read carefully the  declaration by St John Paul II, it is going in that direction.” He went on to say that the Church was “feminine”, and that the Virgin Mary was “more important in the theology or in the spirituality of the Church” on Pentecost.
Bishop of New York writes letter after police killing
THE Bishop of New York, the Rt Revd Andrew Dietsche, has written an open letter to his diocese condemning police racism, and the “stigma and fear” surrounding mental illness in the United States, after Deborah Danner, an African American known to suffer from mental illness, was killed by a New York police sergeant during a confrontation in her apartment. “We have also been made to look again (and again and again) at the urgent, infuriating pattern of the use of excessive force by the police, predominantly against people of colour,” he wrote. Ms Danner’s funeral was in St John the Divine Cathedral on All Souls’ Day.
First ‘world-civilisation’ prizewinners announced
THE first Lui Che Woo prizes for world civilisation have been announced. The awards, launched by Dr Lui, a Chinese philanthropist, recognise work in the categories of sustainability, welfare betterment, and positive energy. The judges included the former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Williams. The winners this year are Professor Yuan Longpin, who invented a high-yielding hybrid rice; Médecins Sans Frontières, for its work against cholera and the Ebola virus; and the former US President Jimmy Carter and the Carter Center for the “promotion of harmony”. Each will receive £1.93 million.
Further agreement with Oriental Orthodox on the Spirit
THE Anglican-Oriental Orthodox International Commission (AOOIC) has reached further agreement on pneumatology, after meeting in Beirut last week, the Anglican News Service has reported. Its co-chairs have signed the second part of an Agreed Statement, “The Sending of the Holy Spirit in Time (Economia)”, which will be sent to the Churches for reflection and comment, after which the full statement, The Nature and Work of the Holy Spirit, is expected, possibly in 2017; then it would besent to the Anglican Consultative Council and/or the Lambeth Conference. The communiqué states that the Holy Spirit “transcends time and space and yet inhabits both” and is sent to “commission and empower the weak to be strong, the humble to be courageous, and the poor to be comforted and blessed in a fallen world”.