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World news in brief

21 June 2024

Dan Sheridan/St Michan’s Church 

The mummified remains pictured on Thursday of last week, after the fire

The mummified remains pictured on Thursday of last week, after the fire

Dublin mummies destroyed in fire

MUMMIFIED remains in the historic crypt of St Michan’s, Dublin, in the Church of Ireland, have been damaged or destroyed in a fire, after vandals broke in on Tuesday of last week. The Archdeacon of Dublin, the Ven. David Pierpoint, who is the Vicar of St Michan’s, said that CCTV had been in operation. “The footage has been handed to the Gardai, and the investigation is in their hands. . . The mummies are sitting in a foot of water. They need a very specific atmosphere, and I fear that at least two of the remains, including the Crusader, have been destroyed. I will contact the National Museum to see if anything can be saved.” The Archbishop of Dublin, the Most Revd Michael Jackson, visited the site last week. He said: “These historic remains are woven into the history of the city of Dublin. . . I am shocked at the sacrilege of the destruction of the remains of people who once lived.”


Hundreds of Mecca pilgrims die in extreme heat

MORE than 500 pilgrims have died in scorching temperatures this year during the Hajj, the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, AFP reports. Most of the dead, 323 people, were Egyptians, most of whom succumbed to heat-related illnesses, two Arab diplomats told the news agency on Tuesday. “All of them died because of heat” except for one, they reported, who had sustained fatal injuries during a minor crowd crush. The figures came from the hospital morgue in the Al-Muaisem neighbourhood of Mecca. Temperatures rose to 51.8ºC at the Grand Mosque in Mecca on Monday, the Saudi national meteorology centre said. At least 240 pilgrims were reported dead by various countries last year, most of them Indonesians.


Anglican Centre in Rome searches for next director

THE search has begun for the next director of the Anglican Centre in Rome, who also serves as representative of the Archbishop of Canterbury to the Holy See, it was announced this week. The new director will replace Archbishop Ian Ernest, who is retiring in January after five years in post. The job description states that “The successful candidate will be a bishop in a member Church of the Anglican Communion with a demonstrable commitment to Christian unity.” The closing date is 8 July.


Charity releases resources on Middle East

CHRISTIAN AID has released online resources to “help people speak more confidently” about the situation in the Middle East. This includes a booklet of first-hand accounts of life in Israel and Gaza; a history of the conflict; and a report on Palestinians in the occupied West Bank. A press release from the agency said that “people may shy away from conversations about Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory, seeing it as too difficult, controversial, or uncomfortable.” The resources seek to “build people’s understanding and break the silence, through conversations about a just peace”. Christian Aid’s Head of Middle East Policy and Advocacy, William Bell, said: “Every day, ordinary Palestinians and Israelis stand up for dignity, equality, and a just peace, often at great cost. We want to stand with them and encourage others to do the same.”

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