Armenian killings were genocide, says Biden
PRESIDENT BIDEN has said that the “Medz Yeghern” — the Great Crime — in which 1.5 million Armenian Christians were killed was genocide. In a statement issued on Armenian Remembrance Day, on Saturday, President Biden said: “The American people honor all those Armenians who perished in the genocide that began 106 years ago today.” The President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, said that President Biden’s statement opened a “deep wound” in relations between the two countries. President Biden’s statement was welcomed by Christian campaigning groups, including Open Doors and Christian Solidarity Worldwide.
Former Bishop of Los Angeles dies
A FORMER Bishop of Los Angeles, the Rt Revd J. Jon Bruno, died last Friday, aged 74, of natural causes, the Episcopal News Service reports. Bishop Bruno was suspended for three years, in 2017, after he locked the congregation out of St James the Great, Newport Beach, for two years, after he failed to sell it (News, 4 August 2017). The US Episcopal Church’s Court of Review upheld the suspension in 2019 (News, 8 February 2019). Bishop Bruno’s wife, Mary, said in a statement: “Our family and the many others who knew and loved Jon have been blessed with his magnificent life. We are gladdened to know that he has been greeted by St Peter and is in the loving hands of God. We ask that our family is included in your prayers and our privacy respected in this time of grief.”
Shooting at Rumbek RC diocesan office
THE shooting of the Roman Catholic Bishop-elect of Rumbek, in South Sudan, Fr Christian Carlassare, on Sunday evening, will “send shockwaves” through all the country’s churches, the Secretary-General of the Anglican Communion, the Rt Revd Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon, has said. Fr Carlassare, an Italian priest, was seriously injured after gunmen stormed the diocese’s offices and fired at least 13 bullets. “All diocesan officials and workers, including members of the clergy, are being investigated,” Vatican News reports. Dr Idowu-Fearon said on Wednesday: “In my visits to South Sudan, I have seen how close Catholic, Anglican, and other Christians are. The shooting of Bishop-Elect Christian Carlassare will have sent shockwaves through all the churches of South Sudan, as it has amongst Christian communities outside the country.” The Primate of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan, the Most Revd Justin Badi Arama, said: “We share in the pain of our brother, Bishop-elect Christian Carlassare, and we pray for his quick recovery and healing and that all involved find forgiveness and reconciliation to move forward and shine as an example of God in Rumbek Diocese and throughout South Sudan.”
Four of the Haitian captives are released
FOUR of the ten Roman Catholics who were abducted in Haiti earlier this month have been released (News, 16 April), Vatican News reports. The group, which comprised five priests and two nuns, two of them French citizens, were abducted in the municipality of Croix-des-Bouquet, where the group were preparing to attend the installation of a new parish priest. Vatican News reports that one woman in the group, who was ill, has been released, as have three others, all Haitian priests. A nun and a priest, both French citizens, are among six people still being held, it reports. The kidnappers, suspected to be part of an armed gang, demanded a ransom for their release.
Mozambican authorities urged to end violence
CHURCH leaders in Mozambique have urged its government to take decisive action to end armed conflict in the north of the country (News, 5 February). They say that at least 700,000 people have been displaced and about 1500 killed in violence in Cabo Delgado province, the World Council of Churches reports. The President of the Christian Council of Mozambique, the Revd Dr Felicidade Naume Chirinda, said: “Mozambique and Mozambicans are weeping. . . Some are weeping while praying . . . running . . . searching for food, for clothes, for water. Others are weeping while caring for those who are traumatised.”