Nicaraguan bishop protests against surveillance
THE Roman Catholic Bishop of Matagalpa, Nicaragua, in Central America, Rolando José Álvarez Lagos (above), has gone on indefinite hunger strike to protest against the constant police surveillance that, he says, he has been under, Vatican News reports. The Bishop is a critic of the Sandinista Government of President Daniel Ortega, which has arrested dozens of opposition politicians. He has said that he will continue his hunger strike until the police respect his privacy and that of his family.
Shortened US Convention to go ahead in person
THE 80th General Convention of the Episcopal Church in the United States, delayed during the pandemic, will be held from 8 to 11 July in Baltimore, Maryland, it was confirmed this week in a letter from the Presiding Bishop, the Most Revd Michael Curry, and the President of the House of Deputies, the Revd Gay Clark Jennings. The Convention has been shortened from eight to four days because of ongoing safety concerns amid rising Covid cases in the country (News, 13 May).
Charities voice concern about Eritrean human rights
A GROUP of charities, together with the Eritrean Orthodox Church, have written to the Eritrean Ambassador in the UK, calling on the Eritrean government to use its term on the UN Human Rights Council to address the human-rights crisis in the country, 31 years after its independence. The letter, signed by Christian Solidarity Worldwide, Church in Chains (Ireland), Human Rights Concern-Eritrea, and Release Eritrea, states: “We are saddened . . . by the realisation that so many Eritrean citizens are yet to enjoy the full dividends of independence for which so much was sacrificed by so many.”
Judy Garland dress removed from auction
AlamyJudy Garland in The Wizard of Oz, 1939A DISTRICT judge in the United States has blocked the planned sale by auction of a dress thought to have been worn by Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz, after Barbara Ann Hartke — the niece of a Roman Catholic priest who, she says, was given the item in 1973 — argued that the item did not belong to the university that tried to sell it, it has been reported. The dress, which was put up for sale by the Catholic University of America, was due to be auctioned by Bonhams in Los Angeles with other Hollywood memorabilia, with an estimate of $800,000 to $1.2 million. Judge Paul Gardephe, in Manhattan, granted a motion for a preliminary injunction, however, after Ms Hartke, who is 81, filed a lawsuit, saying that, as she was the closest living relative to her uncle, Fr Gilbert Hartke, who worked at the university and died in 1986, the dress belonged to her — not to the university, in which it was found last year, in a shoebox, during renovations.