Vatican withdraws ‘colonial’ postage stamp
A POSTAGE stamp produced by the Vatican to commemorate World Youth Day 2023 in Portugal (a Roman Catholic festival from 1 to 6 August) has been withdrawn after it was criticised for depicting a 20th-century monument that “recalls the colonial past”, Vatican News reports. The stamp, above, shows Pope Francis leading a group of children up the Monument to Discoveries in Lisbon, built in 1960 to commemorate the quincentenary of the death of the Portuguese explorer Henry the Navigator. The idea of the stamp was to represent the Pope leading children into the future; it was withdrawn, however, by the Governorate of the Vatican City State as being “very distant from Pope Francis’ message of universal fraternity”.
WCC deplores G7 communiqué on climate
SIX faith organisations, led by the World Council of Churches (WCC), have written an open letter to the G7 leaders, who met in Hiroshima this week, expressing disappointment at their lack of progress in phasing out fossil fuels and funding climate-related loss and damage. The WCC, Green Anglicans, GreenFaith, Islamic Relief Worldwide, Laudato Si’ Movement, and Soka Gakkai International write: “As many of the world’s wealthiest countries, your governments are still supporting new fossil fuel projects, domestically and internationally.” In a communiqué, G7 leaders described public investment in fossil fuels as “appropriate”, called for an expansion of the gas sector, and blocked an effort to commit to a domestic coal phase-out date of 2030. The director for Public Witness and Diakonia at WCC, the Revd Dr Kenneth Mtata, said: “Fossil fuels contribute today by far most to climate change and the fossil fuel economy must stop now, for the sake of the most vulnerable and coming generations.”
Primate lists tasks for new Nigerian government
THE Primate of the Anglican Church of Nigeria, the Most Revd Henry Ndukuba, has listed a nine-point plan for the incoming government. The President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, incoming governors, and members of the 10th National Assembly are due to be inaugurated on Monday. In a presidential address to the 12th synod of Abuja diocese, Archbishop Ndukuba said that the new government had “a call to duty and an opportunity to make a difference in the service of God and humanity”. Tinubu, governors, and national and state legislators should give due diligence to: the security of lives and property; education; healthcare; the economy; the rule of law and law enforcement; all-inclusive government; addressing infrastructural neglect; the completion and operation of critical industries; and the building of a united and prosperous nation.
US navy urged to close polluting fuel facility
EPISCOPALIANS and interfaith partners in Hawai’i have started a letter-writing campaign to President Biden and his secretary of defence, calling for the permanent closure of a World War II-era underground military storage facility, Red Hill, on the Hawaiian island of Oahu, ENS reports. The facility, which has a history of spills and ongoing leaks, sits 100 feet below the aquifer water supply, on which the island’s residents depend. The Associate Rector of Holy Nativity Episcopal Church, the Revd Jenn Latham, who co-chairs the diocese of Hawai’i’s environmental justice and creation-care task force, complained that the US Navy was “talking about taking until summer 2024 to defuel, and then 2027 to shut down completely. . . For the island of Oahu to continue to sustain human, animal, and plant life we need clean water.” The letters call for the creation of a civilian task force, oversight, and transparency. An order for closure was approved last March. “Our land and our people face a huge risk until Red Hill is fully closed,” the letter says.
Anglican virologist to chair Science Commission
THE Revd Professor Kwamena Sagoe is to co-chair the Anglican Communion Science Commission (ACSC), alongside the Bishop of Oxford, Dr Steven Croft, it was announced this week. Professor Sagoe has been a Commissioner since the ACSC was established in 2021. He is the Head of Virology at the University of Ghana’s Department of Medical Microbiology. His research interests include genetic variability and implications for viral function, vaccine development and therapeutics, and blood-borne viruses. He said: “Technological advancement, environmental degradation, climate change, and several other issues have made it paramount for the Church to actively address issues related to the nexus between science and faith.”