Bishops seek peace after Morales is ousted
THE Roman Catholic bishops of Bolivia have urged the country’s political leaders to call new elections in “freedom and peace” after the resignation of the former President, Evo Morales. He has sought asylum in Mexico after losing the confidence of the military and being forced to stand down on Sunday, accused of “manipulation” of last month’s elections. The Catholic Bishops’ Conference, in a statement, argued, contrary to the former President and his supporters, that there had not been a coup, and called on the people to “stop actions of violence and preserve life and peace”. The Pope had previously urged Bolivians “to await with a constructive spirit” the results of a election review. The opposition senator Jeanine Áñez declared herself Interim President on Wednesday.
New York diocese creates slavery reparation fund
THE Episcopal diocese of New York has established a task force to explore how to make reparations meaningfully for its involvement in the slave trade, and has set aside $1.1 million for a reparation fund, ENS reports. The decision was made last week at the annual diocesan convention, which endorsed four “tabled” anti-slavery resolutions that failed to overcome strong opposition when they were first presented in 1860. The Bishop, the Rt Revd Andrew M. L. Dietsche, told the convention: “The legacy, the shadow, of white supremacy which flows from our slave past and continues to poison the common life of the American people . . . continues to impose extraordinary burdens, costs, hardships, and degradation upon people of African descent in our country. The diocese of New York played a significant, and genuinely evil, part in American slavery; so we must make, where we can, repair.”
Canadian Church warned of extinction by c.2040
THE Anglican Church of Canada will run out of churchgoers in just over two decades at the current rate of decline, the Council of the Canadian General Synod heard last week when new statistics were published. The Anglican Journal reported that the Revd Neil Elliot, from Kootenay diocese, said: “We’ve got simple projections from our data that suggest that there will be no members, attenders, or givers in the Anglican Church of Canada by approximately 2040.”
Christian Aid set to respond to Cyclone Bulbul
PAA woman stands with her child surrounded by destruction caused by Cyclone Bulbul in West Bengal on Monday
TWENTY people are known to have died last weekend as result of Cyclone Bulbul in India and Bangladesh. Christian Aid said that it was ready to respond to the disaster, which had “affected some of the poorest people in the region”. The cyclone damaged thousands of mostly mud and tin-built houses in the affected area, but immediate loss of life was lessened by the evacuation of 2.1 million Bangladeshis to cyclone shelters, the authorities report. Christian Aid’s humanitarian programme manager, Shahana Hayat, said: “The cyclone has brought significant devastation to areas where people are already struggling to survive.”
New Zealand to hold assisted-dying referendum
LEGISLATION for assisted dying, the End of Life Choice Bill, will be referred to a binding public referendum in New Zealand next year, alongside the General Election, despite objections raised by the Anglican and Roman Catholic Churches, among others. It was carried at its second reading in the New Zealand Parliament on Wednesday. The Bill permits terminally ill people with less than six months to live to choose assisted dying if this is approved by two doctors.
Chaplain in Baghdad requests prayer support
THE Chaplain of St George’s, Baghdad, the Revd Faez Jirjees, visiting the Foreign Office in London last week, has spoken of the “very bad situation” in Iraq, where around 300 people have died during protests that have been going on for more a month against corruption (News, 11 October). He requests prayers “for our people, for St George’s, [and] for our projects”.