Global news in brief

Persevere in marriage, the Pope urges the faithful

POPE FRANCIS recognized the tribute that the pandemic took weddings and families. In one letter to married couples, published on Boxing Day, he writes: “For some couples, the living conditions imposed during quarantine were particularly difficult. The pre-existing problems worsened, creating conflicts which in some cases became almost unbearable. He urges married couples, however, not to divorce, as it causes “immense suffering” to both the couple and their children. “The Lord Jesus, in his infinite mercy, will inspire you to continue in the midst of your many difficulties and pains. Continue to pray for his help and seek in him a refuge and a light for the journey.

Legal recognition of the C of E approved in Italy

The Church of England obtained legal status and recognition in Italy, after a treaty signed between the Associazione Chiesa d’Inghilterra (ACDI) and the Italian government, in 2019 (News, April 12, 2019) was approved by the lower house of Italy’s Parliament on December 15, having been approved by the Italian Senate last January. A declaration from the diocese in Europe indicates that the treaty “allows our chaplaincy churches and our congregations to integrate more fully into the Italian legal, social and fiscal system”. Among other benefits, it should make it easier for members of the Italian clergy to obtain visas; enable them to work under specific clergy contracts and to participate in the Italian clergy pension schemes; and make it “easier for the clergy and chaplaincies to offer ministry in hospitals, prisons and schools,” says the diocese.

Charitable association concerned with the well-being of five Nigerian orphans

The charity Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) has expressed concern for the welfare of five children taken by police from orphanages in the Nigerian states of Kano and Kaduna in December 2019. The orphanages are run by the Christian organization Du Thanks Orphanage. The children, aged four to eight, have been held in an orphanage in Gaya since last January, according to CSW. He “received credible reports that the five children appear skinny, dirty and unkempt, and withdrawn and fearful. They were all given Muslim names and no longer remember their original name. Earlier this year, Du Merci co-founder Professor Richard Solomon Musa Tarfa was acquitted of abducting 19 children from their legal guardians and locking them in an unregistered orphanage (News, July 2).

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