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World news in brief

24 March 2023


Left to right: the Mayor of Castelo Branco, President Leopoldo Rodrigues; the Lord Mayor of Manchester, Cllr Donna Ludford; and the Very Revd Rogers Govender

Left to right: the Mayor of Castelo Branco, President Leopoldo Rodrigues; the Lord Mayor of Manchester, Cllr Donna Ludford; and the Very Revd Rogers G...

Friendship with Portugal affirmed, 650 years on

A DELEGATION of civic, education, and city leaders, led by the Dean of Manchester, the Very Revd Rogers Covender, signed a “Friendship Accord” between Manchester and a Portuguese region, Castelo Branco, on Monday. The document pledges to build links “to enrich each region’s culture, education, and scientific research,” a press release from Manchester Cathedral said. It marks the 650th anniversary of the Anglo-Portuguese Treaty signed at St Paul’s Cathedral, London, in 1373, which established “perpetual friendships, unions, and alliances”. The choir of Manchester Cathedral travelled to Portugal to sing at venues in the region during the six-day visit.


Patriarchate calls Jerusalem attack ‘daily occurrence’

AN ATTACK on clergy at the Church of Gethsemane, in East Jerusalem, on Sunday, has been condemned by the Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem. A statement from the Patriarchate, represented by Theophilus III, described a “heinous terrorist attack” perpetrated by “two Israeli radicals” who had attempted to harm a bishop, and attacked one of the priests who was taking a service at the time. “Terrorist attacks, by radical Israeli groups, targeting churches, cemeteries, and Christian properties, in addition to physical and verbal abuse against Christian clergy, have become almost a daily occurrence that evidently increases in intensity during Christian holidays,” it said. “The Patriarchate calls upon the international community to intervene immediately to provide security and protection to the Christians of Jerusalem.”


WCC calls for support for women suffering from fistula

THE lack of attention given to women suffering the pain, stigma, and discrimination associated with obstetric fistula — a hole in the birth canal caused by obstructed labour — was highlighted by the World Council of Churches, in a joint statement issued on Monday during a session of the UN Human Rights Council. The statement, also signed by Geneva for Human Rights, Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, and Vivat International, addresses the UN Human Rights Council, stating that “the only appropriate human rights response is the prevention of this devastating condition.” It calls on the governments of the council to do more to ensure prevention, including supporting the training of midwives.


RC centre offers free inking

A ROMAN CATHOLIC centre run by monks in Vienna, Quo Vadis, has commissioned a tattoo artist, Silas Becks, to provide free tattoos to any visitors over the age of 18, on 15 April, The Times reports. “We don’t want to leave tattoos purely to the body cult or the mystics, but to point the way for Catholics too,” Christopher Paul Campbell, the centre’s director, told Kurier, a newspaper in the city. The initiative will begin with a service at the Ruprechtskirche, where the needles and any tattooed members of the congregation will be blessed. Tattoos on offer will include the Franciscan cross and the ichthys fish symbol.

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