Brazil land-dispute deaths increase tenfold
DEATHS in Brazil linked to land disputes increased significantly from nine in 2020 to 109 in 2021, a report published by the Land Pastoral Commission of the Brazilian Catholic Bishops’ Conference says. The Crux news agency reports that this statistic includes homicides and incidents indirectly related to land conflicts, such as diseases caused by miners and loggers entering Indigenous land illegally. Most (101) of the deaths were reported by Yanomami, an Indigenous people in a region of Northern Brazil that has attracted an estimated 20,000 illegal miners.
Anglican leaders mourn Bishop of Lusaka
THE Archbishop of Canterbury has expressed his “shock and deep sadness” at the sudden death last week of the Bishop of Lusaka, Zambia, the Rt Revd David Njovu. The news was posted on the website of the diocese of Bath & Wells to which the Anglican Church in Zambia is linked. The Bishop of Taunton, the Rt Revd Ruth Worsley, said: “We join the Church in Zambia in praying for Noreen and their family and for the people of the Diocese of Lusaka. He will be sadly missed.”
Pope reiterates opposition to nuclear weapons
POPE FRANCIS has reiterated his total opposition to the use and possession of nuclear armaments in a meeting with the Prime Minister of Japan, Fumio Kishida, this week, Vatican News reports. A statement released by the Holy See Press Office after the meeting said that “satisfaction was expressed for the bilateral collaboration, evoking the 80th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the Holy See and Japan.” International issues were also reportedly addressed, including the war in Ukraine and the urgency of dialogue and peace.
Spanish abuse inquiry too narrow to participate, say bishops
BISHOPS in Spain have said that they will not take part in an independent commission into clerical sexual abuse created by the Spanish congress because the commission is only investigating child abuse committed by Roman Catholics. The spokesman for the Catholic Bishops’ Conference in Spain, Bishop Luis Argüello, said: “We want to state that to carry out an investigation of abuses only in the Church, when it is clear that out of 15,000 open cases in Spain, only 69 refer to the Church, is a surprising decision.”
Boston censured for refusing to fly Christian flag
istockFlagpoles outside Boston City Hall
THE City Hall in Boston, in the United States, violated the free-speech rights of a conservative activist when it refused his request to fly a Christian flag on its flagpole, the Supreme Court ruled on Monday. Organisations can apply to have their flag temporarily replace the Boston city flag outside the hall. Justice Stephen Breyer ruled that the city authorities discriminated against the activist, Harold Shurtleff, because of his “religious viewpoint” when it refused his request to fly a white banner with a red cross on a blue background to mark Constitution Day in September 2017. Lower courts had upheld the City Hall’s decision.