The Sudanese Church of Christ (SCOC) has written an open letter to the Khartoum government protesting “the systematic violation of Christian religious freedoms”, including the recent demolition of one of their churches in the Suba area of the capital, Khartoum.
During the sweltering heat of an Egyptian summer, a pair of humble friars wearing rough robes and walking on bare feet ignored the scoffing of knights on a fifth crusade to the Holy Land to cross to the Muslim forces and appeal for peace. One of the friars was St Francis of Assisi, the famous founder of the Franciscan order, and his meeting with Islamic leader Sultan Al-Kamil of Egypt has gone down in history as a powerfully moment of Christian/Muslim relationships.
Priestly celibacy, or rather the lack of it, is in the news. There have been allegations of sex orgies, prostitution and pornography against Catholic clerics in Italy. On March 8, Pope Francis suggested, in an interview with a German newspaper, Die Zeit, that the Catholic Church should discuss the tradition of celibacy in light of an increasing scarcity of priests in rural areas, especially in South America.
Most of us will try to give up something for Lent, whether it is chocolate, sweets, alcohol or meat –and a handful of us will manage to avoid consuming these things until Easter rolls around. But what is Lent and why do we mark it by giving up our favourite things?