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World news in brief

02 September 2022


The original cast of Hamilton

The original cast of Hamilton

Church apologises for unauthorised Hamilton show

THE pastor of a non-denominational church in Texas which staged an unauthorised edited production of the hit Broadway musical Hamilton has apologised to the musical’s creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and agreed to pay legal damages. The production by the Door Christian Fellowship McAllen Church, in which the songs and dialogue were edited to include conservative Christian themes, and a scene added in which Alexander Hamilton repents and accepts Jesus as Lord, was first streamed live on 5 August. Clips were shared on social media, prompting lawyers for the official Hamilton to send a cease-and-desist letter. In an Instagram post on Tuesday, the pastor, Roman Gutierrez, apologised, admitting that the church “did not ask for, or receive, a license” to produce or tamper with the work. “Our ministry will use this moment as a learning opportunity about protected artistic works and intellectual property.”


Pope prays for peace after Iraqi clashes

POPE FRANCIS used his General Audience on Wednesday to pray for peace in Iraq, after two days of deadly protests in Bagdad, Vatican News reports. At least 22 people died and dozens more people were injured in clashes on Monday between hundreds of followers of an influential Shia cleric, Muqtada al-Sadr, and security forces. The cleric had announced his withdrawal from Iraqi politics, prompting his followers to storm the government palace. The country has been in political deadlock for ten months since the last parliamentary elections. The Pope, recalling his visit to the country last year (News, 5 March 2021), urged dialogue as the best way “to deal with the current difficulty and arrive at the goal of peaceful coexistence”.


New election to be held for next Bishop of Florida

THE diocese of Florida is to hold a second election for its Bishop Coadjutor, it was announced last Friday, after the Court of Review of the Episcopal Church of the United States ruled that the original election had not been conducted properly (News, 26 August). After the ruling, the Bishop-elect, the Revd Charlie Holt, who had been elected in May, withdrew his acceptance. An objection had been filed by several delegates to the electoral convention, who had argued that diocesan canons did not allow for remote voting, and, therefore, the vote was not quorate. The present Bishop, the Rt Revd Samuel Johnson Howard, who is to retire at the end of 2023, has said that he does not agree with the court’s criticism of the process. “Our good faith, our integrity, our desire for a fair and open election is unquestioned, but we will be faced with the need to conduct another electing convention.”


St John’s, New York, to have religious community

THE Cathedral of St John the Divine, New York, is creating a cross-denominational version of the Community of St Anselm in Lambeth Palace, which was set up by the Archbishop of Canterbury in 2015, to give young people a taste of the religious life by serving “A Year in God’s Time” (News, 25 September 2015). Next year, St John’s will welcome the first cohort of the Community at the Crossing: 12 lay American Christians, aged between 20 and 30, from the Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and other traditions, as well as the Episcopal Church. The programme has been endorsed by both Archbishop Welby and Pope Francis. The Acting Dean of St John’s, the Very Revd Patrick Malloy, said: “Ideally, when they leave here, they would be able to have a solid sort of understanding of how Christians do theology, a grasp of the social sciences in some general sort of way, and an intense experience of community life, and in particular, living together in unity despite differences.”


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