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World news in brief

02 June 2023

Richard Washbrooke/Lambeth Conference

Bishop Curry speaks during the Lambeth Conference last summer

Bishop Curry speaks during the Lambeth Conference last summer

Bishop Curry hospitalised with heart condition

THE Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States, the Most Revd Michael Curry, was hospitalised at the weekend with internal bleeding and a heart condition, a statement from his office of public affairs confirmed on Tuesday evening. He was admitted to the hospital in Raleigh, North Carolina, “where he underwent testing” for these conditions. He has been discharged and will be monitored while working on a reduced schedule from home. The internal bleeding was now “under control”, the statement said; additional test results were expected later this week. “While in the hospital, Curry experienced two other episodes of irregular heartbeat, and he will wear a heart monitor to determine what further treatment is necessary. . . Please pray for a full and speedy recovery.”


Illinois reports scale of ‘credible’ abuse allegations

THE number of credibly accused child-abusers to have worked in the Roman Catholic Church in Illinois is four times higher than the Church has previously disclosed, the state’s Attorney-General, Kwame Raoul, reports. The new report says that at least 1997 children have been abused since 1950, and that a total of 451 clerics and lay brothers have been credibly accused, although only 103 were previously named. The Chicago Sun-Times reported that, in 2018, shortly after the investigation by the attorney-general’s office began, the Archbishop of Chicago, Cardinal Blase Cupich, said that all of the names of known abusers had been made public. Asked whether church officials had lied about the extent of the abuse, Mr Raoul: “I think the numbers sort of speak for themselves.” Cardinal Cupich responded to the report in a video on YouTube, saying: “We have reported all allegations of child sexual abuse by clergy. . . There are no hidden or undisclosed cases.”


RC priest shot dead in western Mexico

OFFICIALS in Mexico have identified the Revd Javier Garcia Villafana, a Roman Catholic priest, as the victim of a shooting in the western state of Michoacan last week. Vatican News reported that Fr Villafana’s body was found in a car, and that no one had yet been arrested, or claimed responsibility, for his murder. Fr Villanova is the ninth priest in Mexico to have been killed in the past four years; many of the previous killings have been attributed to drug cartels angered by criticism from the clergy. The Mexican Conference of Bishops said: “This is a pointed reminder of the serious situation that society faces, while organized crime and impunity continue to threaten the lives of so many.”


Crackdown on Nicaraguan hierarchy continues

MORE Roman Catholic priests have been arrested and charged with treason in Nicaragua, in the continuing crackdown by President Daniel Ortega (Comment, 10 March). Vatican News reported that the Revd Jaime Iván Montesinos Sauceda was arrested on 23 May, and a statement later in the week confirmed that he had been detained on treason charges. Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) reported that two other priests had been arrested in the same week as Fr Montesinos, in a campaign that ACN described as “a clear attempt to silence the Church in Nicaragua”. In February, the Bishop of Matagalpa, the Rt Revd Rolando Álvarez, was sentenced to 26 years in prison for treason, after refusing a last-minute offer to be exiled in the United States (News, 14 February).

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