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World news in brief

13 December 2019


The President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, greets the French President, Emmanuel Macron. See gallery for more picture stories

The President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, greets the French President, Emmanuel Macron. See gallery for more picture stories

Pope calls for prayer to end Ukrainian conflict

THE Pope called for people to join him in praying for talks between Russia and Ukraine, which, he said, intended to “seek solutions to the painful conflict that has been going on for years in eastern Ukraine”. The President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, who is seen in the photo greeting the French President, Emmanuel Macron, held discussions with the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, on Monday. They were accompanied by President Macron and the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel. President Zelenskiy described the first talks as a “draw”, and President Putin said that they “were moving in the right direction”. Pope Francis called for people to join him in prayer, so ”that this initiative of political dialogue can contribute to bring fruits of peace in justice to that territory and its people”. There has been a conflict in Ukraine since Russia annexed Crimea more than five years ago (News, 21 March 2014). More than 13,000 people have died and millions more have been internally displaced.


Norwegian bishop faces prison over work for asylum-seeker

A FORMER Bishop of Oslo, the Rt Revd Gunnar Stålsett, has been ordered to appear in court for illegally employing a woman from Eritrea who had been denied asylum. He faces a possible prison sentence of 45 days. The Bishop told local reporters that he was practising “a form of civil disobedience for which I’ll take responsibility. It’s directed at what I view as an immoral law. . . I’m willing to take on that burden. It’s nothing compared with what undocumented immigrants have gone through for decades in Norway. They live in fear every day.”


Cape Town cathedral parishioner murdered
A MEMBER of the congregation at St George’s Cathedral, Cape Town, Pat Ellis, was found murdered at home last week. Items had been stolen, and police are investigating. The Dean of the cathedral, the Very Revd Michael Weeder, told a local newspaper: “It is a very sad day for us, and we extend our heartfelt condolences to her family. . . I was informed it was a house robbery incident. . . I can just imagine how terrified she must have been.”


Angola diocese created in Southern Africa


AFTER 16 years as a missionary diocese and 40 years of war, Angola became a diocese of the Province of Southern Africa last week. A service for its inauguration was led by the Archbishop of Cape Town, the Most Revd Thabo Makgoba (in the middle of the photo, below), who installed the Rt Revd André Soares as the first Bishop of Angola. Speaking afterwards, the Archbishop said: “What an experience and enriching time! What a joy! We inaugurated a fully fledged diocese and installed Bishop André as diocesan.” The site of a new cathedral in Luanda, Angola, St Andrew the Apostle, was blessed by the Archbishop. Bishop Gomes said: “The Anglican Church is working in all areas of Angola, and we are thankful that God has given us the opportunity to develop the country.”

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