Religion news 6 June 2022

Image credit: Archbishop of York

The Queen’s life of service drawn from a well of faith

The service of thanksgiving for the Queen at St Paul’s Cathedral this Platinum Jubilee weekend, honoured her 70 year reign of service and faithfulness. In his sermon, the Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell, said she had served the nation faithfully because of her faith in Jesus Christ, which was a well, overflowing as a fountain, replenishing life through challenges and joys. As the celebrations came to an end, the Queen issued a statement saying she had been inspired by the “kindness, joy and kinship that has been so evident in recent days” and hoped the renewed sense of togetherness would be felt for many years to come.

8 million people take part in Thankyou Day to reconnect communities

An estimated 8 million people from all faiths and none joined in Thankyou Day yesterday, to thank individuals and organisations which have helped bind communities, especially during the past years of Covid. The numbers were estimated from an ICM poll organised by the Together Coalition, founded by Brendan Cox, the husband of the late MP Jo Cox. He said the scale of the participation reflected “an untapped desire to reconnect that we should build on”.

Birthday honours

in the Queen’s Jubilee Birthday Honours, Canon Paul Oestreicher was awarded an OBE, for services to Peace, Human Rights and Reconciliation. Prudence Dailey, former chair of the Prayer Book Society, is appointed MBE. Sir Salman Rushdie, author of The Satanic Verses, received the Order of the Companions of Honour for services to literature.

Historic wooden Russian Orthodox church firebombed in Ukraine

The 16th century wooden Skete of All Saints, a church within the Russian Orthodox monastery of Svyatogorsk Lavra in Donetsk, has been razed to the ground after shelling by Russian artillery. Dramatic film on Twitter shows the monastery, affiliated to the Russian Orthodox church in Moscow, ablaze in a fireball. This was the third attack on the monastery during the war.

Kirill removed from EU sanctions list after Hungary objection

The Times reports that the European Union has taken Patriarch Kirill, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, off a sanctions list after opposition from Hungary. The concession was demanded in order to approve a partial EU ban on Russian oil imports – Hungary demanded an exemption for the Druzhba pipeline, which supplies Hungary, Slovakia, Austria and the Czech Republic. Kirill supports President Putin and has refused to condemn the war in Ukraine.

More than 50 Christians killed in attack on church in south-west Nigeria

At least 50 worshippers, including children, were killed by gunmen at a Catholic church in Nigeria, who opened fire and set off explosives as the congregation gathered for a Pentecost service on Sunday morning. The presiding priest was abducted, according to the Associated Press. The attack was in the state of Ondo, previously regarded as one of Nigeria’s most peaceful states.

Is the Pope about to resign?

An announcement that the Pope is to attend a feast initiated by a 13th century Pope who resigned, has ignited rumours that he may be considering his own resignation, due to failing health. News agencies report  unsourced speculation that he is considering his future, pointing to the significance of recent moves to create new cardinals and his intention to address a consistory on Vatican reforms this summer. The gossip has been fuelled by Pope Francis’ announcement that he will visit the Italian city of L’Aquila in August for a feast initiated by Pope Celestine V, who voluntarily resigned in 1294. It is rare for a Pope to resign. The  most recent example was Pope Benedict XVI in 2013, who left due to illness. Pope Francis has mobility issues and is using a wheelchair.  


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