Canada to permit ‘local’ same-sex marriages
THE House of Bishops of the Anglican Church in Canada has agreed to allow its clerics “to proceed with same-sex marriage according to their contexts and convictions”. The Bishops failed to secure the majority needed to pass a resolution, put to its General Synod on Monday, to amend Canon 21 to allow priests to solemnise same-sex marriage in church. The retiring Primate, the Most Revd Fred Hiltz, describing the aggrieved reaction of the Church’s youth delegates, said after the vote: “Our children are crying.” The Bishops issued a statement on Tuesday: “We are walking together in a way which leaves room for individual dioceses and jurisdictions of our church to proceed with same-sex marriage according to their contexts and convictions, sometimes described as ‘local option’. Together, we affirm the inherent right of Indigenous peoples and communities to spiritual self-determination in their discernment and decisions in all matters.”
Chile removes statute of limitations on child sexual abuse
THE President of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, has signed into law a Bill to remove the statute of limitations on sex crimes involving children, Reuters reports. Its government is currently investigating more than 200 allegations of child sexual abuse and cover-up by the Roman Catholic Church. The law, which was first proposed in 2010 when allegations against an RC priest, Fernando Karadima, came to light, is to end impunity in cases that would previously have had a statute of limitations of between five and ten years. The new law, which has been described as not retroactive, was revived by President Piñera after Pope Francis visited Chile in 2018, when he apologised for the “magnitude and the gravity of the damage” done to children who had been abused (News, 23 February 2018; 24 August 2018).
Emanuela Orlandi mystery deepens
THE mystery of the disappearance in 1983 of Emanuela Orlandi, the 15-year-old daughter of a Vatican employee, deepened this week, when the Vatican announced that two sets of bones had been discovered under a stone manhole in the cemetery of the Pontifical Teutonic College. Earlier that week, the Vatican had opened the tombs of two 19th-century German princesses, after the family of Orlandi received a tip that her remains might be buried there, but the tombs were empty. The manhole area has been sealed off and was due to be forensically investigated this week.
Sistine choral director resigns amid financial scandal
THE choral director of the Sistine Chapel Choir, Monsignor Massimo Palombella, has resigned after eight years in post amid a Vatican investigation into alleged money-laundering, fraud, and embezzlement connected to the choir funds, the Financial Times reports. The Vatican said that Pope Francis had accepted his resignation. In September 2018, the Vatican announced an “investigation into some economic-administrative aspects” of the choral ensemble, which is the oldest in the world. Its tour of the United States, scheduled for this month, and a CD recording were cancelled. Mr Palombella has previously denied wrongdoing, saying that he did not have any administrative responsibilities, the FT reports.