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World news in brief

24 August 2023

Independent Photo Agency/Alamy Live News

The Pope receives the Delegation of the National Council of Lawyers of France, one of the member states of the Council of Europe, in the Vatican, on Monday

The Pope receives the Delegation of the National Council of Lawyers of France, one of the member states of the Council of Europe, in the Vatican, on M...

Pope plans follow-up encyclical to Laudato Si’

POPE Francis is writing a sequel to his enyclical Laudato Si’ on the environment (News, 26 June 2015), he told a delegation of lawyers to the Council of Europe, on Monday. The director of the Holy See press office said that it would focus on “the most recent extreme weather events and catastrophes affecting people across five continents”, Vatican News reports. The Pope expressed his appreciation of the lawyers’ efforts to develop a legal framework for protecting the environment. “We must never forget that the younger generations have the right to receive a beautiful and liveable world from us, and that this implies that we have a grave responsibility towards creation which we have received from the generous hands of God,” he said.

Bishop Michael Curry to undergo surgery

THE Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church of the United States, the Most Revd Michael Curry, was admitted to hospital on Thursday of last week (17 August) with a recurrence of internal bleeding. On Wednesday, it was announced that he had been released from hospital, and was resting at home. He was last hospitalised at the end of May (News, 2 June).  A statement from the Church’s Office of Public Affairs said that he will “undergo surgery to remove his right adrenal gland and an attached mass” on 8 September, and that he is expected to resume his regular work schedule by the start the October. In an earlier statement, Bishop Curry had said: “Fervent prayer plus good medical care is a powerful combination. In all things God is good.” 

Jesuits expelled from residence in Nicaragua

A COMMUNITY of Jesuit priests in Nicaragua — the Conference of Jesuit Provincials of Latin American and the Caribbean — reported last week that they had been ordered by police to leave their personal residence, despite showing documents proving that the building was not part of the Jesuit-run Central American University, which was closed by the authorities this month. Vatican News reports that the priests are safe in the capital. The university, which was a hub for anti-government protests in 2018, was accused of being a “centre for terrorism”. The incident is the latest move by President Daniel Ortega’s government against the Roman Catholic Church. The RC Bishop of Matagalpa, the Rt Revd Rolando Álvarez, was rearrested last month after refusing to leave the country (News, 14 July).

Head of Notre-Dame’s reconstruction dies

THE French army general who was leading the reconstruction of Notre-Dame de Paris (News, 18 April 2019), General Jean-Louis Georgelin, has died in an accident while hiking in the Pyrenees. The body of the former chief of the defence staff, who was 74, was found last Friday, after he failed to return from a hike. “The nation loses one of its great soldiers. France, one of its great servants. And Notre-Dame, the architect of its revival,” the French President, Emmanuel Macron, wrote on Twitter.

WCC highlights new report on abuses in West Papua

AN INVESTIGATION into attacks by Indonesian forces on indigenous Papuan villages in West Papua — Destroy Them First, Discuss Human Rights Later: An investigation of Indonesian security forces’ operations in Kiwirok under international law — was published by Human Rights Monitor last week. The region has been under Indonesian rule since 1969. The World Council of Churches’ director for international affairs, Peter Prove, said: “This report helps shine a small but telling beam of light on one specific part of the conflict, but from which a larger picture can be extrapolated. Indonesia — which is currently campaigning for election to the UN Human Rights Council — must provide more access and transparency on the situation in the region, and the international community must respond appropriately to the increasing gravity of the crisis.”

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