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World news in brief

18 December 2020


Keeping count: the artist Marios Pergialis kneels next to his artwork of 14,434 nails at Holy Cross Minster, Stuttgart, in Germany on Tuesday. Each nail represents a death from Covid-19. The current German total is nearly 25,000

Keeping count: the artist Marios Pergialis kneels next to his artwork of 14,434 nails at Holy Cross Minster, Stuttgart, in Germany on Tuesday. Each na...

RC bishops: Cell-lines vaccines are ‘morally justified’

THE United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has agreed that the use of coronavirus vaccines that have some connection to cell lines originating from aborted foetuses are “morally justified”, given the gravity of the current circumstances. In a statement released on Monday, Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades, who chairs the USCCB, and Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, who chairs the Committee on Doctrine and the Committee on Pro-Life Activities, write: “It is because of this respect for the human person that the USCCB, in collaboration with other organizations working to protect human life, has been engaged in a campaign advocating for the development of a vaccine for Covid-19 that has no link to abortion.” They continue, however: “Given the urgency of this crisis, the lack of available alternative vaccines, and the fact that the connection between an abortion that occurred decades ago and receiving a vaccine produced today is remote, inoculation with the new Covid-19 vaccines in these circumstances can be morally justified.”


Christmas is for helping others, survey finds

MORE than three-quarters (76 per cent) of the more than 11,000 people across ten countries who took part in a global YouGov survey, commissioned by World Vision, said that it was important to focus on people in need of help this Christmas. The survey, which included 2114 respondents from the UK, was conducted at the end of November. Two-thirds (63 per cent) of all respondents said that they would prefer to receive a meaningful gift that would help someone else. The international president and chief executive of World Vision, Andrew Morley, said: “This year has been a difficult one for all of us around the world, and vulnerable children have been especially affected. It’s heart-warming to see the giving spirit is still alive globally, and encouraging to see how much people want to help one another.” As part of its Christmas campaign, World Vision is urging supporters to sponsor a child, giving them access to basic human rights such as clean water or an education.


Man shot dead by police on cathedral steps

A MAN who fired two guns into the air from the steps of the Episcopal Cathedral of St John the Divine, in New York City, on Monday, was shot dead by police where he stood. No one else was injured. The cathedral choir had just finished giving a free “Carols for the Community” concert — masked and distanced — on the front steps at about 3.45 p.m., and a crowd of hundreds was dispersing when the man fired the first shots, AP reported. The Bishop of New York, the Rt Revd Andrew Dietsche, was in the street, as was the Dean, the Rt Revd Clifton Daniel III. Police recovered two semi-automatic guns and a bag, believed to belong to the man, which contained a full container of gasoline, rope, wire, knives, and a Bible. No motive has yet been reported.

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