£20m allocated to CofE’s racial justice program
The Archbishops Commission for Racial Justice has published the first of six reports on how to implement cultural and structural change within the Church of England. In a foreword, Commission Chair Lord Paul Boateng said it was a painful process as examining racism was often met with denials and delays, which “must not not go unchallenged”. The Commission is calling for a minimum of £20million to be set aside to implement the 47 recommendations of the task force’s previous ‘Complaint to Action’ report, adding that it was disappointing ‘the little thought process that has apparently been devoted to using existing funding streams”. . It also advocates a fundamental change in the process of removing statues and memorials associated with the slave trade. He says the guidelines are inadequate and incomplete and do not take sufficient account of affected communities or building authorities. The Consistory Court process is too costly and chancellors/judges should be drawn from a more ethnically diverse pool and receive diversity training. The Commission expects each diocese to develop a racial justice strategy by the end of the fiscal year. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has welcomed the report.
Members of the Catholic Church dream of a better future
The Catholic bishops of England and Wales have published a document summarizing a consultation over the winter on a new type of church organization based on synods, including laity and clergy, in decision-making . The “National Briefing Paper” says people have noticed the novelty of speaking freely and being heard, dreaming of a brighter future and a renewed understanding of the Church. The report says the place of women as the silent and unrecognized majority was a recurring concern, with their talents not being fully utilized and especially not in ministry. LGBTQ+ people felt marginalized and invisible. Young people wanted to be listened to and valued. A common complaint was that community life was “subject to the whims of the incoming priest, who can undo in an instant what took years to build”. The abuse crisis is cited as a reason people are leaving the church and has led many Catholics to keep their faith private. The report will be discussed by the bishops and then submitted to Rome.
Pope mourns death of 46 migrants near Mexican border
Pope Francis has expressed sadness over the deaths of 46 people inside a truck near the Mexican border in San Antonio, Texas, believed to be the victims of a smuggling gang. The truck was discovered in a remote area on a day when temperatures reached 39 degrees. In a Tweeter, the pope said: “I learned with sadness the news of the tragedy of #migrants in Texas and in #Melilla. #PrayTogether for these brothers and sisters who died following their hope for a better life; and for ourselves, may the Lord open our hearts so that these misfortunes never happen again.
101-year-old jailed for Holocaust complicity in murder charges
A 101-year-old man has been jailed for five years in Germany, after being found guilty of being an accomplice to the murder of 3,518 people at the Nazi concentration camp Sachsenhausen during World War II. He had denied being an SS guard at the camp, but judges concluded he had been an enlisted member of the Nazi paramilitary wing. Jewish News reports an interview with the Executive Director of the Holocaust Educational Trust, Karen Pollock, who said: “The passage of time is no obstacle to justice when it comes to the heinous crimes of the Holocaust. “.
Muslim journalist arrested for insulting religious beliefs
Indian police have arrested a prominent Muslim journalist, accusing him of insulting religious beliefs on social media. Mohammed Zubair, co-founder of the fact-checking website Alt News, known for reporting on hate speech and rebutting misinformation, has been arrested under laws relating to maintaining religious harmony. His attorney says it relates to a 2018 Twitter post about renaming a hotel after a Hindu god. BBC story here
Evangelical MP Danny Kruger at the center of a row of abortions
Danny Kruger, a Conservative Evangelical Christian and MP for Devizes, told the House of Commons he did not see a woman as an “absolute right to bodily autonomy”. He was speaking during a debate on the United States Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v Wade to remove the constitutional right to have an abortion. He said: “They think women have an absolute right to bodily autonomy in this matter, whereas I think in the case of abortion that right is limited by the fact that another body is involved. “. MPs shouted in protest and there was a strong backlash against his comments on social media. During the debate, MP Dame Diana Johnson said far-right US groups wanted to roll back abortion protections in the UK. Foreign Secretary Amanda Milling said the United States had taken a step backwards and the United Kingdom was proud to defend and promote universal and comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and rights.
Pope tells mothers not to iron their son’s shirts
The Pope has advised mothers to stop ironing their sons’ shirts to encourage them to leave home and get married. Speaking at a Mass to close the Tenth World Meeting of Families, he said. “We see a lot of young people who don’t have the courage to get married and often mothers tell me: ‘Do something, talk to my son, he won’t get married, he’s thirty-seven!’ , madam, stop ironing his shirts, start sending him back little by little to leave the nest.” He also warned the males not to “take the easy road” and return to their mothers in of difficulty”, but rather to move forward with courage. Family love drives children to fly, he says.