Religious news February 15, 2022


Cardinal prays for peace in Ukraine

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, urged the Catholic community to pray for peace in Ukraine and for the people to be saved from war and bloodshed, as the Western nations are warning that Russia could invade its neighbor at any time. time. The Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy (Province) of the Holy Family of London, based in Mayfair, has issued an urgent appeal for medicine and relief as Ukraine faces war. Bishop Kenneth Nowakowski told the Catholic Bishops’ Conference communications team that the faithful are very concerned about the unfolding situation in Ukraine, but the threat or war was nothing new – 14,000 people have died since that Russia annexed Crimea in 2014 and more than a million people fled their homes in eastern Ukraine, he said.

England’s Covid case rates differed by religion

Covid cases in England from September 2020 to December 2021 show case rates differed by religious affiliation, with people identifying as Muslim or Sikh having the highest rates in the second wave, while the Christian group had the highest rates in the third wave. The Office for National Statistics report showed stark differences by ethnic group. In the second wave, Covid cases were highest among the Pakistani and Bangladeshi ethnic groups, but in the third wave the odds were highest for the white British group.

Italy’s campaign against sexual abuse in church launched today

Twelve Italian groups will today launch a ‘Beyond the Great Silence’ campaign, persuading the government to investigate past and present sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church, or order an impartial inquiry. Reuters reports that the campaign is the latest global move to force the Catholic Church to establish the full extent of clergy sex abuse that has cost it millions of dollars in victim compensation. The campaign is led by Francesco Zanardi, the head of Rete l’Abuso – The Abuse Network – which represents victims of clerical abuse. He was abused by a Catholic priest for four years from the age of 11 – the priest received a suspended prison sentence. The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has expressed concern about the numerous cases of child sexual abuse by Catholic clerics in Italy, but with few investigations and prosecutions.

Archbishop visits Canada to repent of his involvement in abusive residential schools

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, will travel to Canada from April 29 to May 3 to meet with Indigenous Anglican people, including survivors of church-run residential schools, who are at the center of allegations of abuse and negligence. An estimated 150,000 Indigenous children were forcibly taken from their parents in schools run by the major denominations from 1883 to 1996. More than 4,000 children died in the schools and unmarked graves were discovered. The children were victims of sexual, physical and emotional neglect and abuse. The Anglican Church in Canada says its history included a partnership with the government that contributed to residential schools, abuse and cultural deprivation. “An important purpose behind Archbishop Justin’s visit is to acknowledge and repent of what these relationships have done harm rather than good, particularly with Indigenous peoples.”

Church of England calls for urgent closure of home abortion pill program

The Bishop of Carlisle, James Newcome, has written to the Health Secretary asking for the end of a temporary program allowing abortion pills to be taken at home. The program was introduced in March 2020 to last for two years during the pandemic and allows for taking pills at home during the first nine weeks and first six days of pregnancy. The Bishop wants the program to end at the end of March 2022. The Telegraph reports that Mark Sheard, the chairman of the Council on Mission and Public Affairs, told General Synod that the program has had a negative impact on health and the women’s well-being. and girls, although a British Pregnancy Advisory Service survey found that 97% of women were happy with the arrangement. Christian Concern has launched legal action against the regime and the case is now before the European Court of Human Rights.

Holocaust reparation bill passed in Latvia

The Latvian parliament has passed a bill compensating the Jewish community for Holocaust losses. The Associated Press reports that the settlement follows 17 years of negotiations and authorizes the spending of 45 million euros to revitalize Latvia’s Jewish community of 9,500 people, provide social and material assistance to survivors of the Holocaust and fund Jewish schools, building restoration and cultural projects.

World Anglican leaders meet in London next month ahead of Lambeth conference

Archbishops and senior leaders from the global Anglican communion will travel to London next month for a meeting ahead of the Lambeth conference in July. Representing 42 churches, they were due to meet in Rome, but covid restrictions meant the gathering had to be moved to London. It will be a spiritual retreat but will also discuss the Lambeth conference agenda when 700 bishops meet in Canterbury.


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