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World news in brief

by
27 October 2023

Daniel Msirikale/Tearfund

Mess of the world: plastic pollution is the focus of a global prayer movement being led by the Bishop of Dover, the Rt Revd Rose Hudson-Wilkin. It is part of Tearfund’s Rubbish Campaign Week, which starts tomorrow, before the next round of negotiations for the UN’s first treaty on pollution. Pictured are mountains of waste in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The prayer can be downloaded at: tearfund.org

Mess of the world: plastic pollution is the focus of a global prayer movement being led by the Bishop of Dover, the Rt Revd Rose Hudson-Wilkin. It is part of Tearfund’s Rubbish Campaign Week, which starts tomorrow, before the next round of negotiations for the UN’s first treaty on pollution. Pictured are mountains of waste in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The prayer can be downloaded at: tearfund.org

 

WCC calls for fair redistribution of wealth

THE World Council of Churches with other global Christian bodies has written to the General Assembly of the UN on Monday to call for a New International Financial and Economic Architecture (NIFEA). The letter — also signed on behalf the World Communion of Reformed Churches, the Lutheran World Federation, the World Methodist Council, and the Council for World Mission — argues that “the need for financial resources has never been more crucial.” It blames “the prevailing profit-driven international financial and tax system” for “aggravating inequalities and damaging our increasingly fragile ecosystems”. It urges a legally binding UN Convention on Tax to combat illicit financial flows and tax evasion.

 

Anglican anniversaries in Hong Kong celebrated

CELEBRATIONS on the theme “The Lord is the rock and the Church is the home”, including a thanksgiving service and dinner on Tuesday, marked the 180th anniversary of the arrival of Anglicanism in Hong Kong and the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Province. The first colonial chaplain was appointed in Hong Kong in 1843, and the Church became a Province of the Anglican Communion in 1998, inaugurated on 25 October at a service attended by the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey. On a visit to Hong Kong in 2013, shortly after his appointment, Archbishop Welby praised Anglicans in the Province for their “pioneering” work with refugees and migrants. The anniversary celebrations were preceded by the quadrennial conference of the Council of the Church in East Asia over the weekend.

 

Twelve priests released from Nicaraguan jail

TWELVE Roman Catholic priests imprisoned in Nicaragua on a variety of charges have been released to Rome, after an agreement was reached between the Nicaraguan government and the Vatican, the director of the Holy See Press Office, Matteo Bruni, has confirmed. “The Holy See has been asked to receive 12 priests from Nicaragua who were recently released from prison. The Holy See has accepted,” he told journalists on Thursday of last week — the day after the priests were flown out. A Nicaraguan bishop, the Rt Revd Rolando Álvarez, who was sentenced in February to 26 years in prison for treason (News, 17 February), was not among the 12. President Daniel Ortega maintains that the Church supported protests against his administration in April 2018 and that these amounted to an attempted coup.

 

Green Village named as One Planet Living leader

THE World Council of Churches’ building project in Geneva — the Green Village — has been named a One Planet Living leader by Bioregional, because of its green credentials. The complex of six energy-efficient buildings in the municipality of Le Grand-Saconnex is to be centred on the historic Ecumenical Centre, the Council’s headquarters. Each new building is to be named after an international treaty on sustainable development: Kyoto, Montreal, Rio, Lima, Durban, and Stockholm. Construction began this year. Once complete, the project — car-free, with a plethora of bicycle storage — is to provide sustainable offices for 3000 employees, more than 200 hotel and apartment rooms, housing for 50 families, and space for local services. A tramway, to open in late 2026, will connect the site with Geneva and the French suburbs.

 

Abuser’s stained-glass removed from Lyons church

STAINED-GLASS windows by Louis Ribes, a priest found to have raped and abused dozens of children, are to be removed from the church of the village of Sainte-Catherine, in the Rhône, after two years of lobbying from survivors, The Times reports. Dozens of artworks by Ribes, who died in 1994 without facing trial, have already been removed in the area. The diocese of Lyons was one of three that, in a joint statement in January 2022, said that it had received many credible accusations against Ribes. In 2021, an independent inquiry concluded that 216,000 people in France had been sexually abused by Roman Catholic priests and religious over the past 70 years (News, 8 October 2021). In April, the Mayor of Givors, Mohamed Boudjellaba, wrote to the Pope for a ruling on whether stained-glass by Ribes should be removed from the deconsecrated Saint-Martin de Cornas chapel in Givors, saying that the art should be “kept separate from the artist” (News, 21 April).

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