Newsstand 14 - 20 January
Archbishop Welby given COVID vaccine; getting their sums wrong; US inaugural services downscaled; remembering persecuted Christians; the pastor who went from drug dealer to life saver; and more...
January 20 2021
The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine last weekend. He was eligible to receive the vaccine as a healthcare chaplaincy volunteer at the central London St Thomas’ Hospital, opposite his Lambeth Palace official residence. He has been volunteering at the hospital during the pandemic, offering spiritual care and support to patients, staff and visitors as part of the National Health Service (NHS) chaplaincy team.
Australia’s financial watchdog miscalculated by more than $2.2 billion the amount of money transferred from Vatican City to Australia as part of its review into whether bribes were paid to pursue child sex allegations against Cardinal George Pell.
Liberal religious groups and minority faith communities around the country are urging caution in the days leading up to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, with some expressing concerns of potential violence against “liberal churches”.
As Americans ready themselves to welcome their 46th President, Episcopalians are invited to participate in a variety of virtual inaugural and Martin Luther King Jr. Day events. Washington National Cathedral is expected to host an inaugural prayer service on 21 January, as is traditional. While previous presidential inaugurations have included packed, festive services at the Cathedral, the format – like the rest of the inaugural events – is expected to be scaled back and to include virtual elements.
The Roman Catholic Church is mourning the death of former Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson, who died two years after being cleared of concealing child sex abuse. In 2018, Archbishop Wilson became the highest ranking Catholic in the world convicted of concealing child sex abuse, but after four months of home detention he was cleared on appeal with a judge finding doubts he had been told about the abuse.
The World Watch List ranks the top 50 most dangerous places to be a Christian. Every year, Open Doors compiles the list; the latest has just been released. But when we live in a relatively stable and free country such as Australia, why does the World Watch List matter?
India’s Uttar Pradesh state recently criminalised forced religious conversion, including by way of interfaith marriages, which critics fear could be used to control women and stop them freely choosing who to marry. The legislation followed a campaign by hardline Hindu groups against interfaith marriages that they call “love jihad” – Muslim men engaging in a conspiracy to turn Hindu women away from their religion by seducing them.
For Martin Luther King Jr, the goal of the civil rights movement was not desegregation and non-discrimination. It was, rather, to build a society in which the members of different races have a sense of goodwill toward one another and think of themselves as collectively constituting one people. We should not be content with interracial détente; we should strive for interracial civic friendship — that is, fraternity in a multiracial society of equals.
Satanists are celebrating what they are calling, "a small but important win for religious freedom" after succeeding in having the pentagram added among the symbols of recognised faiths displayed at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital’s multi-faith centre.
Last month, millions of people watched Pastor Mick Fleming and Father Alex Frost on BBC News, feeding and clothing the poor in Burnley, England. Many were moved by their work, and since then they have received more than £250,000 in donations. But Mick's life wasn't always about love and care. He was once a dangerous, violent drug user and dealer, covering up painful childhood memories. Until a single moment changed everything.