In Brief

In Brief Bishop Mpambani (centre)
Pope appoints new archbishop in South Africa

Pope Francis has appointed a new archbishop for Bloemfontein in South Africa after the post became vacant.

Dehonian Bishop Zolile Peter Mpambani, 63, of Kokstad was transferred to the Free State province as the region’s archbishop.

The appointment, made last week, came after the Holy Father accepted the resignation of Oblate of Mary Immaculate Archbishop Jabulani Adatus Nxumalo, who reached the canonical retirement age of 75.

Bishop Mpambani, who was consecrated Bishop of Kokstad in 2013, is responsible for formation, life and the lay apostolate within the South African Bishops’ Conference.


Taiwan Embassy provides aid to sisters, the homeless, Vatican

The Embassy of Taiwan brought food, medicine and surgical masks to the quarantined convent of the Daughters of St Camillus, the homeless and Vatican last week.

They gave the Camillian Sisters supplies, 600 tuna cans for the poor and delivered 4,000 masks to the Vatican pharmacy.

“Over the past few weeks, Taiwan has been helping Italian missionaries who dedicated their lives to the Taiwanese,” said Begonia Tsai of the Taiwanese Embassy to the Holy See.

“Now they and their brothers and sisters are suffering, especially in northern Italy. This is why we Taiwanese want to do something for them.”


Religious leaders in Canada unite to send message

More than 80 Canadian religious leaders have issued an interfaith message to “all who call Canada home” during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

The common message was initiated by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops with the support of other faith groups in the country.

“In spite of present sufferings, the flames of hope cannot be extinguished,” read the message.

“Love, which gives life its fullest meaning, continues to seek out the common good in spite of individual difficulties.”

The message advised Canadians of “the hope we share, the reasons we have to give thanks, and the ways we can act together for the good of one another”.


Church in Mexico calls for faithful to practice charity

The Church in Mexico has launched an urgent appeal to the population to practice charity and support the most vulnerable during the country’s health and economic crisis.

Fr José Manuel Suazo Reyes, Archdiocese of Xalapa, said: “In these times, we try to strengthen actions of charity, because there are many people who live day by day.”

“These people are the ones who will suffer the greatest impact, and the consequences of this situation.”

The Mexican Bishops’ Conference recently published a vademecum calling for priests to be a “great bridge of union between God and his children”.


Indonesia Catholics welcome decision to free 30,000 prisoners

Catholics were among several rights groups backing the Indonesian government’s move to release thousands of inmates to prevent the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19) in jails.

Prisoners are to be freed on conditional release, particularly those whose jail terms are due to end between now and December 31.

Groups including Amnesty International Indonesia, the Franciscan Justice and Peace Commission, Asia Justice and Rights, and Merauke Archdiocese in Papua supported the decision.

“We welcome this but we also urge the government to be fair and indiscriminately apply the decision,” said the groups in a joint statement.