California reprieves 737 on death row
THE State of California has announced a moratorium on the death penalty and a temporary reprieve for 737 prisoners on death row. Gavin Newsom, who was elected governor in January after pledging to hold the moratorium, said this week: “The intentional killing of another person is wrong, and, as governor, I will not oversee the execution of any individual. I do not believe that a civilised society can claim to be a leader in the world as long as its government continues to sanction the premeditated and discriminatory execution of its people. The death penalty is inconsistent with our bedrock values and strikes at the very heart of what it means to be a Californian.” Owing to legal challenges to the methods used, there have been no executions in California since 2006.
South Sudanese mothers ‘teach how to survive rape’
SEXUAL violence is so prevalent in South Sudan that mothers are teaching their daughters how to survive rape, the chair of the UN Commission on Human Rights, Yasmin Sooka, said on Tuesday. “The protracted conflict in South Sudan has had the most profound impact on women and girls, who have suffered sexual violence, including multiple rapes, at the hands of both government forces and opposition forces.” The UN Secretary-General’s special representative for South Sudan, David Shearer, said last week that the country’s peace agreement was holding, but tens of thousands of civilians were still reliant on humanitarian assistance.
Taizé youth meeting to be held in Beirut
THE Taizé Community’s first International Ecumenical Youth Meeting is to be held in Beirut from 22 to 26 March, in collaboration with the Middle East Council of Churches. It will bring together 400 young Europeans with 1300 people from the Middle East.
Murdered Nigerian priest’s family are released
THE kidnapped family of an Anglican priest, the Revd Anthony Idris Jata’u, who was murdered in Nigeria in February (News, 15 February) have all been released. The diocese of Sokoto confirmed that his wife’s release had followed that of their children at the end of last month, ACNS reported. No ransom was paid.
Fijan Bishop and Primate installed
BELLS rang, the conch shell was sounded, and the lali, the Fijan hollow log drum, was beaten on Sunday when the first Fijan to be Bishop of Polynesia, and one of the three Archbishops of the Province of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, the Most Revd Fereimi Cama, was consecrated and installed in Holy Trinity Cathedral, Suva. The Archbishop of Canterbury was represented by the Dean of Lincoln, the Very Revd Christine Wilson.
French cardinal sentenced
THE Archbishop of Lyon, Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, was handed a six-month suspended prison sentence last week for failing to report to the authorities accusations of child sexual abuse made against a priest. The senior French cardinal said he would be submitting his resignation to the Pope.
Geoffrey SmithThe symbolic painted buffalo hide from the Episcopal Church Center, New York
Home sought for symbolic hide
A BUFFALO hide (pictured) on which are painted symbols of the commitment of the Episcopal Church in the United States to indigenous ministries needs a new home where it will not be forgotten, after construction work at the Episcopal Church Center in New York City. Its donor, the Revd Malcolm Chun, a native Hawaiian and secretary general of the Anglican Indigenous Network, died in January. The Revd Brad Hauff, missioner for indigenous ministries, said that he was pursuing possibilities.