Pokémon Go player awaits Russian judgment
A BLOGGER aged 22, Ruslan Sokolovsky, is under house arrest in Russia and facing a possible three-and-a-half-year prison sentence, requested by state prosecutors, on charges connected with playing the Pokémon Go game app in a Russian Orthodox church, All Saints’, Yekaterinburg, it was reported last week. The church was built where Tsar Nicholas II and his family were killed in 1918. In footage watched 1.7 million times on YouTube, Mr Sokolovsky, an atheist, says: “You know, I didn’t catch the rarest Pokémon that you could find there — Jesus. They said it doesn’t even exist, so I’m not really surprised.” He has been charged with inciting religious hatred. The judge’s decision will be given on 11 May.
United Methodist council rules on lesbian bishop
THE Judicial Council of the United Methodist Church, in the United States, has ruled by six to three that the consecration of its first openly gay bishop, Dr Karen Oliveto, who is in a civil marriage with a woman, violated its law on marriage and sexuality. But the council stated that she might be able to continue as a bishop, pending a separate disciplinary process, the Associated Press reported on Saturday. Dr Oliveto was elected for the Church’s Western Jurisdiction in Denver, Colorado, in 2016. The decision was immediately challenged by the South Central Jurisdiction. The council stated: “It is not lawful for the College of Bishops of any jurisdictional or central conference to consecrate a self-avowed practicing homosexual bishop.”
Irish priest complains of ‘zero’ support
THE Roman Catholic parish priest of Beaufort, Co. Kerry, Fr Fergal Ryan, wrote to his parishioners after finding that their contributions for his support had been “zero”. His letter requests contributions to the upkeep of the church and his living expenses, the Irish Mirror reported this week. “This is very disappointing. I hope you can do better and support your parish priest,” the priest writes. Parishioners are asked to pay €5 a week towards the church, and €20 six times a year towards the priest’s living expenses, the paper reported. Fr Ryan told the Mirror that it was a “private matter” between him and his parishioners.