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World news in brief

29 September 2017


Global reach: Pope Francis meets a group of migrants during the Weekly Audience, in St Peter’s Square, on Wednesday

Global reach: Pope Francis meets a group of migrants during the Weekly Audience, in St Peter’s Square, on Wednesday

Pope launches Caritas refugee campaign

POPE FRANCIS has launched a two-year campaign by Caritas Inter­nationalis urging the international community to welcome migrants and refugees with “open hearts and minds”, Vatican Radio has reported. “If God is with us, no one will rob us of that virtue which is necessary to look to the future: no one will rob us of hope,” the Pope told crowds in St Peter’s Square on Wednesday. The campaign, Share the Journey, is encouraging participants to video and post the gesture of open arms on social media using the hashtag #reachout. journey.caritas.org


Nepali Christians jailed for ‘witchcraft’ released

FOUR Nepali Christians who were sentenced last year to five years in prison for “violence and witchcraft”, after praying for a mentally ill woman, have been released, the World Watch Monitor reported on Tuesday. Lali Pun, Bimkali Budha, Ruplal Pariyar, and his wife, Ganga, were found guilty in December 2016 at the District Court in Salya, western Nepal, even though the woman concerned had testified in court that their prayers had healed her. A fifth Christian, Rupa Thapa, was found not guilty. In a statement, the Federation of National Christian Nepal (FNCN) thanked the court for overturning the sentences and “setting free our innocent people”.



ReutersIn the driving seat: a law was passed by King Salman of Saudi Arabia to allow women to drive in the kingdom for the first time. The royal decree was delivered on Tuesday. Women can now legally obtain a driving licence, and do not have to ask a male guardian for permission



Pauline text on women an addition, suggests scholar

THE New Testament passage forbidding women to speak in church (1 Corinthians 14.35) may not have been written by the Apostle Paul, but have been added later, an academic in the United States, Dr Philip Barton Payne, has said. In his article, published last week in the journal New Testament Studies (Volume 63, Issue 4), by the Cambridge University Press, he argues that the discovery of a symbol next to the passage in the Greek Codex Vaticanus suggests that a scribe marked it out as an addition to the original text. “This [discovery] is important theologically since it offers a resolution to the notorious difficulty of reconciling vv. 34–5 with Paul’s many affirmations of women in vocal ministry and their equal standing with men in Christ,” he writes. www.cambridge.org/core/journals/new-testament-studies


Vicar opens £10,000 hurricane appeal

THE Vicar of St George’s, Hanworth, the Revd Paul Williamson, has launched a parish appeal to raise £10,000 to help the victims of the hurricane season in the Caribbean. Fr Williamson said that he had spoken to the Bishop of the Bahamas, and the Turks and Caicos Islands, the Rt Revd Laish Zane Boyd, Sr., and heard “first hand” of the devastation caused by hurricanes Irma and Maria, last week (News, 22 September). “There are Hanworth family connections with the Islands,” he wrote. “We can do a great deal of good in a small area that is likely to be overlooked. If 100 people gave £100, we could raise this sum very quickly. Whatever the size of donation, the Bishop has said all will be most gratefully received, and he prays a blessing upon our efforts.” www.s-george.org.uk



New conference for religious tourism in Poland

THE first Congress of Religious Tourism and Pilgrimages will take place in Krakow, Poland, in November, the organisers have announced. The event is being organised by Ernest Miroslaw, of the local religious tour operator Ernesto Travel, to promote Poland, and Central and Eastern Europe more widely, as a religious tourism destination. The Congress is due to open on 9 November with a mass at the John Paul II Centre, followed by speeches, lectures, and a workshop with the representatives of places of worship and tourist attractions in the area. For more details, visit www.ICoRTaP.com

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