Religion news 22 January

Image credit: Ali Abbas Islamic centre

First mosque in Britain opened as vaccine hub

The Al Abbas Islamic Centre in Clifton Road, Balsall Heath, became the first mosque in the country to open as a vaccination hub. Up to 500 people a day are expected to be vaccinated there. The mosque’s Imam, Sheikh Nuru Mohammed, said he hoped the move would dispel false information that the vaccine was forbidden in Islamic law. BBC story here

Vatican bank top official jailed for embezzlement

Angelo Caloia , a former head of the Vatican bank has been convicted of embezzlement and money laundering and sentenced to nearly nine years in prison. Caloia, 81, was president of “Institute for Works of Religion “ between 1999 and 2009.  Also convicted were Gabriele Liuzzo, 97, and his son Lamberto Liuzzo, 55, both Italian lawyers who were consultants to the bank. The three were charged with participating in a scheme in which they embezzled money while managing the sale of Italian real estate owned by the bank between 2001 and 2008.  CNN story here

Leader of Irish Church appeals for information about mother and baby home burials

The leader of the Irish Church has reiterated his appeal to anyone with information about mother and baby home burials to come forward so that the graves can be identified and appropriately marked by the families of the infants, The Tablet reported. Speaking to RTE Radio 1’s This Week programme, Archbishop Eamon Martin said he expected religious congregations who were involved in running the homes to contribute to a redress scheme.

Catholic Archbishop of Glasgow remembered as man of “great human warmth”

The Catholic Archbishop of Glasgow, Philip Tartaglia, has been remembered as a man of “great human warmth” at his funeral service, Premier Christian News reported. The 70-year-old, who h was one of the most senior figures in the Catholic Church in Scotland, died on January 13 after contracting Covid-19. His funeral mass was held at St Andrew’s Cathedral in Glasgow on Thursday.

Jesuits apologise for sexual abuse in Spain

The Guardian reports that the Jesuit order in Spain has admitted that 81 children and 21 adults have been sexually abused by 96 of its members since 1927, and has apologised for the “painful, shameful and sorrowful” crimes. The Society of Jesus said in a report that meor was related to schools. Guardian report here

Twitter bans China’s embassy in USA over Uyghur post

Twitter has locked the account of China’s embassy in the USA after it posted in defence of the ill treatment of the Uyghur people in Xinjiang, Reuters reported. The account, @ChineseEmbinUS, posted a tweet this month to say Uyghur women had been emancipated and were no longer “baby-making machines”. Twitter removed the post which it said violated its stand against “dehumanizing” people.

Virtual commemoration wall for International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Israel’s Holocaust museum Yad Vashem is launching a virtual commemoration “wall” in collaboration with Facebook to coincide with International Holocaust Remembrance Day on 27 January, the Jewish News reports. Called the IRemember Wall it will be accessible in six languages to let the public learn the names and stories of just some of the six million killed. Each participant who joins the event will be randomly linked to one of the individuals recorded in database of 4.8million victims.

Stolen ancient coins returned after thief confessed to a priest

More than 200 ancient coins have been returned to an Italian museum by a priest who was told about the theft in confession, Al Jazeera reported. The unnamed penitent, presumed to be the thief himself, asked the priest to return the loot to the Paestum archaeological park near Naples. “It’s the latest restitution by someone who feels remorseful” for stealing things, the park said in a statement.

“Witchcraft” as bat carcass jinxes football match

Zimbabwe head coach Zdravko Logarusic has refused to blame Cameroon’s alleged witchcraft for his side’s defeat in their African Nations Championship opener after a bat carcass was found on the pitch ahead of the game. He has outlined his belief that such intimidation tactics have no place in the sport. “Goal” story here